This page was last edited on 2 Oct 2012, and will no longer be edited as my gap year has ended!
This comes rather late, after almost 13 months into my gap year (only 8 months left!). But I just had a brainwave while on the MRT today (28 Jan 2012) to put up a page about my gap year. Because as we all know, not many Singaporeans "dare" to take gap years. Most parents are still rather traditional in their thinking, and anyway our paper-chase, results-oriented society has us all believe that our main goal in life is to graduate from university as fast as possible and find as high a paying job as possible and raise the most talented kids (with lots of certificates of course) as possible.
Thankfully, my parents are more liberal-minded (after 1 whole year of persuasion) so yay, gap year ftw.
Why I took a gap year
I don't know exactly how the idea struck me, but I thought it would be fun to take a break before commencing university. I love travelling (though it means my carbon footprint is rather high :/ I'll remedy that some day) so I guess I wanted to take time to travel. And also to work, because working Before uni, is vastly different from After. People treat you differently, and you get different experiences.
Also, being in the biodiversity community and intending to do further studies overseas, I thought it would be better to do some stuff locally first, so that I kinda have something to come back to after studies. Instead of coming back from overseas and being totally out-of-touch with the local scene.
And also, skills upgrading! And to do things I won't get to do otherwise.
Gap year part 1 (2011)
Learned to DIVE (PADI Advance Open Water Diver!) with The Submersibles
Attempted to climb a mountain in the Himalayas, Island Peak with PacWest. Read about my experience here and a photo post here.
Worked with animals, both alive and dead (in alcohol) in the Singapore Zoo and the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research in the National University of Singapore
Helped build a house in Batam with Batam Build under Habitat for Humanity
Started my nature blog http://natureramble.wordpress.com
Started my driving lessons
Gap year part 2 (before Oct 2012)
Worked at the National Biodiversity Centre, National Parks Board on the Festival of Biodiversity
Took an 8-week Introductory French lessons at Alliance Francaise de Singapour
Took an introduction course to Wind-surfing
Took a powerboat license! (but failed to pass :X)
Volunteered with Rimba in peninsula Malaysia for 4 weeks (18 June to 13 July). Read about my experience here.
Volunteered with Coral Cay in the Philippines for 4 weeks (8 Aug to 5 Sept). Read about my experience here.
Took my driving test TWICE, but failed both times :(
All in all, I had a wonderful experience during my gap year, very invaluable experience. I've blogged about it here (more nature and conservation related) and here.