Spilling the Tea with Francisca Rockey - Taking a gap year

Yesterday, we got to find out all about one of the sassiest, most 'real' bloggers around - Francisca Rockey. Today, we're finding out all about her decision to take a gap year...

You’re taking a gap year this year. What prompted that decision?
When I started my UCAS application back into 2017, taking a gap year seemed like my best
option, but seeing my friends apply for 2018 entry and being discouraged from deferring saw me applying for 2018 entry. I’ve spent most of the year umming and ahhing about whether going to university this year was for me and by the time results day rolled around, I had lost all excitement. No part of me wanted to go this year anymore. I felt like a balloon full of air and on that day, I was burst. A few days before heading off to Reading, I was sat with one of my close friends and we were having a chat about university and her decision to take a gap year and it was then that I realised, I wanted to take a gap year. Once I got back from Reading, I emailed all the relevant people and withdrew my application for 2018 and the rest is history.

How are you choosing to spend your gap year?
The typical “gap yah” is to travel for most of the year and come back a month or a few weeks before starting uni. Your girl is from a working-class background (this may come as a shock to some people as it’s believed that I come from a wealthy background) and my parents do not have the money to fund that so I’m working and saving until I can. I also want to volunteer for a few charities and organisations in and outside of the UK, take part in NCS but as a leader and work on my blog content.

Do you think there’s enough information out there for students who might want to take a gap year, particularly those who might make that decision last minute?
There’s a lot of resources for people who are taking a gap year and going travelling but there’s close to nothing for people who are taking a gap year to work, take a break or like myself, making the decision last minute. I am going to do a blog post about taking a gap year, how to plan, making the decision etc as I think I could help a lot of people who would like to take one but don’t know how to go about it or think they don’t have enough money to take one.

So what advice do you have any advice for students interested in taking a gap year?
If you’re thinking about it, DO IT. Don’t let any of your friends, family or teachers sway your
decision. After all, it’s you who has to live with the consequences of your decision, no one else and if you decide for someone else, you’re the one who spends the first year in uni or the year of your gap year unhappy. You lose nothing from taking a gap year, but you can lose something from going to uni straight away when you’re unsure.

What university will you be heading to in September and what will you be studying?
I have a post over on my blog about why I’m taking a gap year and in that I mentioned that I am reapplying and altering my course. (You can read that here!) The university that I will be heading to is yet to be confirmed as I am waiting for the Oxbridge application date to pass before I receive my offers. I will be studying earth and environmental sciences, geography and environmental science or environmental sciences, dependant on which uni I decide to go to.

Do you think your mind-set and attitude towards learning and university, and even just life in general, will be different when you go to university next September as opposed to the mind-set and attitude you may have had if you’d gone this September?
 Definitely! I have been on my gap year for 2 months now. Within those two months, I can already see a change in my mindset and attitude towards learning, university and life in general. I was mature before, but I’ve grown a lot over the last 2 months because I’ve
faced a lot of challenges that have made me have to grow up even more so than if I’d gone to university. For example, quitting a job within 2 weeks of starting it and having to find a new job almost immediately or facing unemployment for the first quarter of my gap year.

Part 3 of Spilling the Tea will be live tomorrow, and we'll be talking about being an environmentalist... make sure you don't miss it! 

In the meantime, find Fran on Twitter at @franciscarockey and visit her blog at www.franciscarockey.co.uk

Love from,
Florence Grace

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