8 Life lessons I learnt during my Gap Year

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Taking a gap year after finishing school
was probably the best decision of my life. Apart from travelling to over 12
different destinations, starting my blog and rediscovering myself and what I
really want in life, I learnt some major things on my trip.
Here are the 8 most important life lessons
I learnt during my Gap Year:
is always a solution.
Leaving the country won’t solve anything, you
will only be running away from your problems blablabla. Scratch that. In my
opinion travelling is always a solution.
Feeling down? Unsure of what do with your life? Not sure where things are
heading? I have been there and travelling has always been the answer for me.
When you get to a new place you are able to view everything from a totally
different perspective. You realize how huge this world is and how many
opportunities are out there. Then you realize how small your “problems” are in
comparison. Travelling is and will always remain one of the biggest sources of
inspiration for me.
Travelling is always a solution
only way to truly live is by throwing all your plans overboard and seeing what
comes your way.
99.9% of the plans I made for my Gap Year
didn’t work out. Travelling the world nonstop for a year? Didn’t happen,
because I didn’t have anyone to join me. Going to Martinique for a two week
French course? Got cancelled last minute, because once I arrived at Paris
airport they told me that all flights going there were overbooked last minute.
It feels like every time I make a plan the universe laughs and comes up with
something else for me. Lesson learnt: Don’t get too caught up in plans and
expectations and see what life has to offer.
people will stay in your life. Others won’t. Don’t hold onto the wrong ones for
too long.
When you leave home for several months you
will eventually realize who your real friends are. Some will make an effort to
stay in touch, others won’t.  And when
you get back some people will be more than happy to see you and hear about your
stories, whereas with others it will just feel like a huge distance grew
between you.  Don’t try too hard to keep
the people in your life that are just simply not meant to be there.
When you grow as a person, there will be
people in your life who are not able to grow with you. Let them go.
Being a tourist in London
finding your way takes time.
From school we are so used to deadlines:
You have got until the end of the week to hand in your homework, until the end
of the month to finish that essay and until the end of the year to study for
your finals. I am sorry, but life doesn’t come with deadlines.
Time is a complex concept and age is nothing more than a number.
If you don’t know what you want to do in life (just like me) then don’t stress
about it. Go out there and live- the right things will come at the right time.
You can’t force anything if you are not ready for it.
come & go. Stay true to yourself.
Boys. Boys .Boys. The struggle with the
opposite sex can be so very real. I am still trying to understand boys, but
there is one thing that I have learnt for myself: Never ever let a guy stop you
from chasing your dreams. If a boy doesn’t like you the way you are and you
think you got to change for him, the chances are pretty high that it won’t
last. Dump him, buy yourself a new pair of shoes & stay true to yourself.
In Beijing, China
is awesome.
Me during my last year at school: “School
sucks. When is this sh** going to be over?”
Me during the first months of my gap year:
“Who needs uni? Look at all these people sitting in college studying their asses
off whilst I am living the life!”
Me now: “When can I start uni? I finally
want to study again!”
The reasons that I didn’t start university
this year yet were 1)I was simply to unorganized to do my application research
on time 2)My sister finished school and I wanted to use the chance and go
travelling with her 3) There are so many more things on my to-do list that I
want to do before I settle down and start studying.  Nonetheless, I am so excited to start uni
next year and get back into studying. It may sound weird, but right now I am
actually craving knowledge.
makes you richer than experience.
There have been times during my Gap Year
when I felt like a loser. All my friends were at amazing universities, studying
fancy degrees and achieving things, whereas I was just aimlessly travelling the
world with no concrete future goal in sight.
Now I know that I was wrong. Just because I
didn’t do anything that was approved by society, doesn’t mean that it wasn’t
valuable or enriching. In this one year I learnt SO incredibly much: I discovered
different cultures, met knew people and made amazing experiences. Things I most
likely would have not been able to whilst sitting in a lecture hall at
university.  All those experiences and
encounters have truly enriched my life and shaped me as person.
Magical moment in Cape Town. Can you spot the table mountain in the background?
is no place in the world like home.
Sometimes you have got to travel the globe,
visit exotic cities and dig your toes into the most picture perfect sand
beaches just to realize that there will never be a place out there that
compares to home.  Every time I get back
from a long trip I am actually really excited to come back home to Munich. Once
I couldn’t wait to leave this place, but now after all my travels I have really
started to appreciate my home.
Now that I am staring my second “Gap Year”
I am super excited for what’s to come. Let’s see maybe I can write another post
like this in one years time 😉


Magdalena Fenzl 28. October 2015 Reply

Richtig toller Post! Ich finde es toll, wie du denkst 🙂 Weiter so!Viele liebe Grüße, Lena :))

    Janine Jahnke 29. October 2015 Reply

    Danke dir Lena 🙂 Ich wollte echt einfach die Erfahrung teilen die ich gemacht habe! <3

Anonym 29. October 2015 Reply

Liebe Janine,ich war bisher immer nur stille Leserin deines Blogs, aber diesen Post finde ich einfach wahnsinnig toll geschrieben! Ich finde es wirklich beeindruckend, wie gelassen du das Ganze angehst, das schaffen echt nicht viele. Hut ab dafür und mach genauso weiter! :)Viele liebe Grüße, Steffi

    Janine Jahnke 30. October 2015 Reply

    Hi Steffi,Du hast keine Ahnung wie happy mich dein Kommentar gerade macht! Wenn man solche Sachen schreibt dann fragt man sich oft selbst: Finden das andere überhaupt interessant? Kann es irgendjemand weiterhelfen? Daher freue ich mich total über dein Feedback 🙂 Alles Liebe, Janine

krupamandavia 30. October 2015 Reply

I love this post! Your experience with taking a gap year really resonated with me, I really wanted to do the same but was unable to because everyone thought it was a bad idea and hence I was pressured into starting university. I'm so glad you got a chance to travel and explore the world and it has confirmed my belief in travelling being something that really helps improve people's perspective of the world!

Anonym 30. October 2015 Reply

Hi Janine :DEin sehr schön geschriebener Post mit einem riesigen Kern voller Wahrheiten.Ich habe mein Gap Year während der Schule gemacht und es nie bereut, obwohl ich ein Jahr “verloren“ habe.Natürlich war es hart, meinen alten Freunden beim Abi machen zuzusehen, aber es hat sich gelohnt, denn ich habe in dem Jahr die wertvollsten Erfahrungen sammeln können.Besonders den Punkt “Man erkennt, wer seine wahren Freunde sind“ kann ich absolut bestätigen. Hat zwar manchmal weh getan, im Endeffekt aber mein Leben bereichert.Danke, dass du deine Eindrücke auf so eine kreative Weise teilst!Ganz liebe Grüße aus München <3

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