With the pandemic, some people may have found themselves in an unexpected gap year. Maybe your predicted grades were not sufficient for the course you wanted to get. Maybe you wanted to wait to start college next year. Or if you’re like me, you got downgraded and received no CAO offers because of the points rising. Whatever the reason, you may have found yourself at home, with nothing to do other than watch Tik Toks all day in your bed. Trust me, I was on the same boat.
Recently I’ve started reading books about self-help and creating the life of my dreams. I realised that just because I’m stuck at home, with everything being closed, I can still do a lot with my life. I wanted to share some tips that might help you if you feel like you want to take more control of your time. If you don’t though, that’s fine. It’s a pandemic and just getting through each day is enough.
Try a new hobby
So you’re at home and you realise you have a lot of time on your hands, why not do something about it and start a new hobby. Begin doing things that you always wanted to do but never had enough time. I decided to take up Italian because I always wanted to go to Italy. So I set a goal for myself to learn Italian for a post-coronavirus holiday to Rome. I also always wanted to learn chess but never had enough time with studying homework, and the stress of the Leaving Cert. So I recently decided that’s one of the things on my ‘bucket list’ and started playing and learning. It doesn’t matter if you fail don’t succeed, or even just don’t like the hobby. All you have to do is start and keep trying until you find something new that you love and gives you energy.
Focus on your mental and physical wellbeing
I think this is a good time to get your head and body together before you start your college journey. I had two extremely stressful years having repeated the Leaving Cert and I knew this year I had to focus on myself and make myself my priority. So, I started meditating every morning. Every morning even if it was for only two minutes. Now I’ve made a habit out of it and it’s become part of my morning routine. After reading the book ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne I learned about the power of gratitude. I began a gratitude journal. I write ten things I am grateful for that I have and ten things that I want. Importantly I write them in the present tense. I kid you not when I say my life changed. When we begin to appreciate everything great in our life, other great things will start coming our way. I also began exercising every day, to give my body the movement and love that it needs. I am in the process of trying to go for walks every day now to get some fresh air and clarity of mind.
Create a Vision Board
Create a vision board and write down everything you want to accomplish in the year 2021. All of your goals, dreams, everything you ever dreamed of. Write it all down in and then go search for images (I find Pinterest to be extremely useful when making vision boards) for everything you want in your life. Whether it’s money, a job, a college course, clothes you’d like to wear. Anything no matter how absurd( I even have a private jet on mine!) However, the simple act of making a vision board can set you straight on what you really want in your life and help you start on your goals.
Start an online course
I wanted to study law, which unfortunately I didn’t get in September. However, I found a website that allows you to study any course you want for free, or you can pay for a course with a certificate at the end. I searched through and I found Harvard offering a Justice Course. I immediately enrolled and not only did I find it interesting, but it also gave me some sort of purpose, a routine. It also encouraged me to think about whether this course was for me or not
I know, I know, you are probably all thinking ‘But how? I can’t get a job? There’s a pandemic going on? Yes, that is true, but did you know there are so many ways only to make money. I decided to go the creative route and start my own business making and selling t-shirts, so I went and bought a sewing machine. Had I ever used one? Nope. Will I keep trying until I learn how to and make my business a success? Yes, because I will never have as much time on my hands as I do now, and in the end, I prefer using my time for something creative that I enjoy.
Now, I am aware that reading isn’t for everyone but I found it incredibly useful when I found myself in a rut with absolutely no motivation. So I picked up ‘The Secret’ which got my attention straight away, leading me on to read ‘A New Earth’ by Eckhart Tolle which completely changed my view of life.
Here are a few books I would recommend to get the life you dream of:
- The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
- A New Earth By Eckhart Tolle
- The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
- Atomic Habits by James Clear
- You are a Badass by Jen Sincero
- Feel the Fear and Do it Anyways by Susan Jeffers
- Relentless by Tim S. Grover
So, in the end, what I am trying to say is, try to make the most of your spare time. Doing things you enjoy now will mean that in August when you’re finally getting ready for college, you won’t have regrets. Rest, recharge and empower yourself for this new journey you and I both cannot wait for!