We are told from everyone not to ‘drop’ a year if we fail to get into that esteemed institute or university. But in this post, I argue that taking a break in life is not only a good thing but also an essential thing. Read on.
Ever since we start going to school from our early ages, we never stop. From kindergarten till 12th, we are on a continuous march. And after 12th class, we have to make a decision about college and then our college life starts.
After that, we usually get a job, which usually goes on till we are in our late 50s or early 60s. In between, we get married and have kids and our own family. Everything seems planned, and more importantly, fixed. And any sense of deviation is frowned up on by the society, your peers and even your family.
In this post, I will argue the opposite and talk about ‘dropping’ a year and how it can actually help you in various aspects. Let’s try to see first why the idea of ‘dropping’ a year is seen as something negative.
‘Dropping’ a Year – What Exactly are We ‘Dropping’?
One of the reasons why dropping a year is looked down upon in the society it is because of the expectations attached to each age bracket of our lives. Society – an extension of our peers and families – has standardised expectations of how our lives should go, which I mentioned earlier.
Any person who seems to step away – intentionally or unintentionally – from this set track faces a backlash of an emotional kind from the nearest kin or friends. This leads to self-questioning and even depression at times. As we, seem to have, fallen under the eyes of our peers.
Also, look at the way the phrase is coined – Dropping a Year. What exactly are we dropping? We don’t have the ability to drop time, literally. Some even call it ‘wasting time by not being on the set path’.
Pausing Life to Know Yourself Better
I would like to offer an alternative way to look at the same thing. Our lives have become so fast-paced that we sometimes lose track how fast things pass by us. From our school days to our college days and then our work life – all seem to fly past us without us noticing.
And during all these phases we fail to see how we, as a person, change. We do not reflect on what we are doing and how it may be affecting our lives. And in the process, we end up doing things which we might not even want to – prime example choosing a certain stream which may not be right for you. Or even doing a certain job which is not right for you to begin with. Which often leads to discontentment among the people.
I argue that it is important – imperative even to take a break, or pause life for a bit. Pause life so you can reflect on what you are doing, why you are doing it and what does it mean for you. Take a break to reassess your life, your wants and needs, and your passions.
A Personal Anecdote
Just to give you an example, I will narrate my story. In class 12th I had taken the subjects PCM or ‘non-medical’ as commonly known. I didn’t know why I took them but I guess I was just following the herd at that moment.
Lo and behold, I ended up failing 12th, unsurprisingly. After that, I took a break, paused my life for a few years. Yes, years! I didn’t take the 12th board exams for another couple of years as I felt it was not what I wanted to do. Sounds blasphemous, right?
Instead, I did other things – I read literature, some philosophical in nature, watched a lot of world cinema, traveled and had new experiences. In all, I went on a journey to discover myself in order to know myself better.
After this break, I found myself reinvigorated and more confident about what I wanted to do. Roughly 10 years later, I am on my way to do what I want to do and feel at peace about it. And yes, I did clear that 12th eventually.
What You Can Do
Well, I am not saying everyone takes a break of 2-3 years and start wandering around. For those students who feel comfortable and know that they want to do what they are doing, then you don’t need to.
But for those who feel things are moving too fast and you feel confused about yourself and what you want to do. Then taking a break is always a good option. Take that trip or do some volunteer work or read that novel you’ve been putting off or start reading literature if you haven’t or start learning a musical instrument – whatever floats your boat.
The idea is to explore other avenues that life has to offer. And in doing so you will explore yourself – which is the main objective. The period of break depends on you and your comfort level.
At first, your peers and family members will strongly object to it but it is something worth resisting. But its always better to stop and explore the things you feel like doing rather than going with the flow and doing things you don’t want to do.
Now, what I have said is a very personal opinion about life and how to explore it. It doesn’t that is a right way or ‘the’ right way. But it is one of the ways as there is no right way. As in the end, life is all about trying to be the best version of ourselves. Till then cheers and keep exploring yourself with Brainpundits!