In starting my gap year, I had clearly defined goals that I believed would keep me motivated throughout the year. While some of these have remained in tact, I’ve reevaluated the purpose of this gap year to more closely align to my passions.
I’ve continued to pursue learning Spanish, but not in the way I originally thought I would. I’ve been listening to Spanish music and radio in the car and trying to pick out words that I recognize, which has improved my comprehension speed greatly. Additionally, during my time volunteering with Spanish-speaking children at an elementary school, I try to speak as much Spanish as I can with them, even if I mess up and they have to correct me. I’ve noticed I can speak better without translating in my head first and my circumlocution, or describing or defining a concept instead of saying or writing the specific words, skills have improved.
Another one of my goals was to become more independent in preparation for my time abroad. I’ve been reaching this goal by completing small tasks alone to increase my confidence. I’ll go to my doctor’s appointments alone, make plans by myself, and getting comfortable being alone. Compared to the beginning of this year, I am greatly impressed with how far I’ve come with my independence and confidence.
An obstacle this year has been finding a schedule to study for my personal training exam. I am interested in the material, but it is difficult to carve out the time to sit and make myself complete the course. I’ve come to the conclusion that I enjoy in-person learning versus online, so I’ll take that into consideration when choosing courses. But, I’m still on track to complete the course within my gap year, and I’ll be scheduling more time to study in the spring.
In the spring, I want to change my schedule so I’m less overwhelmed and I can study Spanish and personal training with greater focus. To do this, I’ll be cutting back on my hours at my retail job and hopefully volunteering at the school more days out of the week.