the bachelor premiere recap

Hi loves, and happy new year! Clearly my resolution last year of posting every other week didn't work out so well, but I PROMISE you can expect to be hearing from me more (definitely at least once a week now that I'm jumping on the recap train!) So here goes!

first impressions:

Wow before we get into this, can I just say that during that season preview, I see WAY more diversity than I’ve ever seen in the entire rest of the franchise? I’m willing to give this a chance.

So I’ll be honest: when I first saw Nick on Andi’s season, I could not stand the guy. I thought he was such a creep, and then when he came back for Kaitlyn’s season I was pissed. We already had to put up with him once, why do we have to do this again? AND THEN THEY PUT HIM ON PARADISE and I may or may not have thrown my remote across the room. Over the course of BIP, though, he seemed to be much sweeter, though I questioned his sincerity for sure, so I’m very skeptical about having Nick as our bachelor.

Moving on. They keep playing the rejections and I am CRINGING. We’ve seen this happen so many times and it’s never any less uncomfortable. Fourth time's a charm, maybe?

 rejection 2/3

rejection 2/3

Okay they're doing the whole family and shirtless workout montage, and someone’s been working out since his first appearance. I see you, boo. He’s so awkward oh my gosh. Okay I think I get it now, he’s kind of adorkable. That’s endearing I guess. I’d probably fall for that. 

AND COMMERCIAL BREAK. Is it bad I’m more excited over this live-action Beauty and the Beast preview than I am about this season?

the girls & the cocktail party:

Okay I missed this first girl’s name but she’s cute, she’s ETHNIC (!!) she’s a lawyer and she seems super #quirky and #relatable without trying to be. Update: her name is Rachel and she looks gorgeous in her red dress.

Danielle has super pretty hair, but she's not standing out to me otherwise. She's first out of the limo though, so she’s automatically a front runner. Her dress is cute though, you go girl.

AND WE’VE GOT OUR TOKEN CANADIAN! Vanessa is a teacher and I’m definitely automatically rooting for her. And Nick seems to like her, so this is good stuff!

Josephine the nurse with the cat seems like she’s trying really hard to be #quirky and #relatable and she probably loves pizza just like you!!

This boutique owner from Arkansas doesn’t stand out to me, but I like her clothes a lot. I might need to google this boutique. I guess her name is Raven, she’s in a super sparky dress and just made him call pigs with her. Hmm.

Corrine from Miami, I’m already irritated by you. You are twenty-four and you have a nanny which tells me you might not be ready to get married and be independent? And you called your vagine a vagine. There are a lot of red flags here.

Alexis has a cute doggo, and she’s obsessed with dolphins. I’m a fan of the doggo, but why are all these girls trying so hard to be weird?

Danielle the nurse is precious. I have a super good feeling about her, and her lob is so Pinterest. She seems sweet and genuine, and I’m thinking she's going to go pretty far. She brought him maple syrup and they seemed to have cute chemistry.

 One of the best lines this episode was when she told Nick her sister picked out her dress, and he goes "well, good for your sister"

One of the best lines this episode was when she told Nick her sister picked out her dress, and he goes "well, good for your sister"

Taylor, are you Indian?! (Answer was no, she’s biracial, half black and half white, she seems sweet and I’m kind of relieved because I low key want to be the first Indian contestant). Her dress is STUNNING but that first impression was cringeworthy (all my friends said you're a piece of sh*t, yikes!)

Liz is friends with Jade and Tanner, they’re one of my favourite couples from the franchise. Like, anything Jade advertises on her Instagram I will probably purchase. She’s interesting because she already hooked up with Nick that’s #scandi I can’t wait to watch this drama

Blonde Elizabeth is second out of the limo, she’s all Southern and stuff and she seems sweet but her dress is a little prom/wedding?

Christen in her bright yellow dress looks like she’s a fangirl (ha haha get it, because of the fan?) also, she’s literally fangirling over him. I feel like this’ll just end up weirding him out.

Kristina, Angela, Michelle, Briana, eh, their dresses are pretty but they were on screen for about four seconds each. At this point, I'm distracted wondering who the drunk mess will be this season.

Lauren has a super pretty dress but again, these girls need to work on the first impressions!

Ida Marie has this cute two-piece dress on and the trust fall is cute!

Olivia, the girl from Alaska did an Eskimo kiss thing but oh my gosh this next girl literally RAN TO THE MANSION? Her name is Sarah and she just made the corniest runner-up joke. She’s going to do well. She reminds me of Kaitlyn, and I have a good feeling about her.

Now for the limo entrances that had me looking like Olivia from Ben's season.

 In case you forgot.

In case you forgot.

Jasmine brought NEAL LANE? WYD? 

Hailey IS NOT WEARING UNDERWEAR. OKAY. NOTED.

Astrid is German, she’s talking about sex and stuff I guess, which is neat?

BACK TO LIZ. This is awkward this is awkward does he remember her? HE DOESN’T REMEMBER HER? It’ll probably hit him eventually. 

Okay, it hit him and he knows. Next limo.

Dramatic and romantic music for… Corrine. No nope please no.

Jaimi and Susannah and the one between those two were super odd.

Josephine is here and she tried to make him eat a hot dog out of a book. What’s with all of the red dresses? All of you look like varying shades of that dancer emoji:

Three more girls in red dresses, I’m actually starting to miss names but I did notice that Hailey with no underwear is also Canadian!

Lacey (also in red) came in on a camel to make a joke about humping. Nice.

Oh no, Alexis came in wearing a left shark suit. She’s insisting it’s a dolphin suit. I’m shook. 

 Girl, you know this is a shark suit. Sharks have gills. I write about marine conservation sometimes, I know this.

Girl, you know this is a shark suit. Sharks have gills. I write about marine conservation sometimes, I know this.

So everyone’s flirting and they’re talking, and Christen ballroom dances with Nick and it’s very cute, and then JUST WHEN OUR GIRL CANADIAN VANESSA IS ABOUT TO GET THE FIRST KISS OF THE SEASON FREAKING CORRINE SWOOPS IN. I’m calling it now, this girl is the villain of the season. And I didn’t like her right from the intro package. 

 I AM LIVID.

I AM LIVID.

And Jasmine who brought Neal Lane (green dress Jasmine) is already crying.

Left Shark Alexis is the drunk girl of the night and I'm so okay with it. Nick one hundred percent tried to tell this girl she was in a shark suit and she is so convinced it's a dolphin it’s painful.

Speaking of painful, Liz. Awww. This isn’t looking so good for you.

And our girl Rachel gets the first impression rose and the first actual cute kiss! 

 

rose ceremony time:

Vanessa, Danielle with the good hair, fangirl Christen, Astrid, ugh Corrine, prom dress Elizabeth, Jasmine who cried, Raven from Arkansas, Kristina who’s been crying and talking to the producers through the whole ceremony, Danielle the nurse who I love, Sarah the runner-up, Josephine the #quirky nurse, Lacey the with the camel, Taylor, Left Shark Alexis (lol what), Hailey with no underwear, Whitney (one of the red dress girls), Dominique (another red dress), Jamie, Brittany (red dress), and finally LIZ (!) are the women who receive roses tonight. 

I’m super sad that Ida Marie is leaving, I thought she was super cute, and I’m really surprised Lauren is leaving. I don’t actually remember the rest of the women who are exiting so they must not have gotten too much camera time. 

 YES Vanessa, represent for us Canadians!

YES Vanessa, represent for us Canadians!

my predictions: 

Corrine is one hundred percent the villain, and Taylor will be the one who tries to call her out the most. They’ll end up on a two on one date, and besides the two of them, Liz will bring the drama because of her #scandi history with Nick. 

Vanessa and Hailey (the Canadians) the Danielles, Sarah, and Taylor are my front-runners this season. It's too early to call the final rose but I’m thinking maybe Vanessa (don’t hold me to it though!)

I know this is super different from my usual posts but let me know what you think! Who are your front runners? 

xoxo,

Nish

tinytea 14-day teatox review

Hi Loves!

As you may know one of my new year's resolutions is to get healthy and feel good. So when YourTea was kind enough to send me their TinyTea 14-Day Teatox to try out and review during the last two weeks of my fitness challenge, I couldn't wait.

first impressions

After getting a confirmation of my order, my 14-day TinyTea cleanse arrived super quickly, within about three business days. The packaging is simple and adorable and the bright pink and white colour scheme is super-cute and motivating. I found myself getting excited every time it was time to open up a new little pink package of TinyTea.

YourTea is also great about making their products feel personalized. When I opened up my box of TinyTea, I was pleasantly surprised to find notes and samples of their café teas included!

TinyTea contains natural ingredients without laxatives or senna, a plant usually used in “weight loss” teas as a natural laxative. I tried a tea with senna this past summer, and found it to be too harsh (it felt like I was running to the bathroom every five minutes!). I decided to go with YourTea because they were one of the only companies I could find that doesn’t use senna. Instead, the company uses principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine to develop their blends.

The ingredients are: Camellia Sinensis (Tea Plant), Fructus Hordei Geminatus 麦芽 (Germinated Barley), Cratigus Pinnatifida 山楂 (Chinese Hawthorn), Pericarpium Citri Reticulatae 陈皮 (Tangerine Peel), Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn 荷葉 (Lotus Leaf) and Semen Phaseoli 赤小豆 (Aduki Bean).

taste

I’m personally a huge fan of tea and always take my blends unsweetened, so I liked the taste and didn’t feel the need to add any lemon or honey. However it is important to know that the tea does taste very herbal (almost like a combination of jasmine, green, and black tea) and it can be an acquired taste.

 

the teatox

One of the main reasons for my teatox was that I had been experiencing stomach issues since the middle of November. I wasn’t able to keep much food down and had virtually no appetite, but despite barely eating (and not being able to hold any of the food that I did decide to eat) I was super bloated and gaining weight.

The first five days were definitely an adjustment. It felt like my body was flushing out all of the toxins that had been causing me problems for the past few months, and because of that, I found myself experiencing the morning run to the bathroom that is typical of most teatoxes. I was drinking the tea three times a day though, and this only happened in the morning after the first cup, and only for the first five days.  

Since the effects of the tea were most prominent at first, I noticed my bloating was basically gone after just a couple of days.

My bloating was gone after the first five days, and it stayed gone throughout the remainder of the 14-day teatox. I also noticed an increase in energy and that my sleeping patterns became much more regular—I didn’t have a hard time waking up in the mornings, and was going to bed around midnight, which is 2-3 hours earlier than usual for me.

I don’t usually have much of an appetite, but I did notice after the first week my usual cravings for chips and sweets were gone. It’s been about a week and a half since I finished my box of TinyTea, and I still don’t feel the need to eat junk food.

It was pretty easy for me to stay on schedule with my three cups a day: I would drink one when I woke up, one before or after my meal in the middle of the day (usually around 2-4pm) and one before bed. I also made sure to exercise regularly, as I started the teatox during the last two weeks of my #FITWITHNISH 30 Day-Challenge.

 

final results

I saw noticeable results that weren’t overly drastic, probably because I exercised regularly but didn’t eat any healthier than usual. My results probably would have been much more dramatic if I had gone on YourTea’s suggested clean eating plan, but as a university student living in a dorm, that just wasn’t doable for me.

The purpose of TinyTea is to aid in proper digestion, which frequently results in a decrease in bloating and weight loss. If you’re looking for quick and drastic results—this may not be the tea for you. However, if you plan to exercise regularly and eat well, and your goal is to gently and naturally reset your digestive system and decrease extra bloating (like mine!) then this is the PERFECT tea for you and I would definitely recommend it!

 

If you're interested, get the 14-Day Teatox or 28-Day Teatox , and don't forget to follow YourTea on Instagram and Facebook!

I hope you all have an amazing week, and make sure to comment if you end up deciding to try TinyTea out yourself!

-Nishaa

 

Disclaimer: YourTea was kind enough to provide me a complimentary 14-Day Teatox, however everything in this post is one hundred percent honest and my own opinions!

get fit with me!

Hi loves! So as you may have read yesterday, one of my main resolutions for 2015 is to get healthy and feel good. To kick things off, I'm doing a 30-day challenge starting tomorrow! Here's my plan if you want to follow along and get fit with me:

The #FITWITHNISH 30-Day Challenge

Day 1: 0:25 plank, 50 squats, 100 jumping jacks, 100 crunches, 5 leg raises and & dog legs

Day 2: 0:30 plank, 55 squats, 100 jumping jacks, 100 crunches, 8 leg raises & dog legs

Day 3: 0:35 plank, 60 squats, 100 jumping jacks, 100 crunches, 10 leg raises & dog legs

Day 4: Rest

Day 5: 0:40 plank, 70 squats, 200 jumping jacks, 150 crunches, 12 leg raises & dog legs

Day 6: 0:45 plank, 75 squats, 200 jumping jacks, 150 crunches, 15 leg raises & dog legs

Day 7: 0:50 plank, 80 squats, 200 jumping jacks, 150 crunches, 20 leg raises & dog legs

Day 8: Rest

Day 9: 1 :00 plank, 100 squats, 100 jumping jacks, 200 crunches, 30 leg raises & dog legs

Day 10: 1:05 plank, 105 squats, 100 jumping jacks, 200 crunches, 33 leg raises & dog legs

Day 11: 1:10 plank, 110 squats, 100 jumping jacks, 200 crunches, 35 leg raises & dog legs

Day 12: Rest

Day 13: 1:15 plank, 130 squats, 200 jumping jacks, 225 crunches, 40 leg raises & dog legs

Day 14: 1:20 plank, 135 squats, 200 jumping jacks, 225 crunches, 42 leg raises & dog legs

Day 15: 1:25 plank, 140 squats, 200 jumping jacks, 225 crunches, 45 leg raises & dog legs

Day 16: Rest

Day 17: 1:30 plank, 150 squats, 100 jumping jacks, 250 crunches, 45 leg raises & dog legs

Day 18: 1:35 plank, 155 squats, 100 jumping jacks, 250 crunches, 48 leg raises & dog legs

Day 19: 1:40 plank, 160 squats, 100 jumping jacks, 250 crunches, 50 leg raises & dog legs

Day 20: Rest

Day 21: 1:50 plank, 180 squats, 200 jumping jacks, 275 crunches, 52 leg raises & dog legs

Day 22: 2:00 plank, 185 squats, 200 jumping jacks, 275 crunches, 55 leg raises & dog legs

Day 23: 2:10 plank, 190 squats, 200 jumping jacks, 275 crunches, 58 leg raises & dog legs

Day 24: Rest

Day 25: 2:20 plank, 220 squats, 100 jumping jacks, 300 crunches, 60 leg raises & dog legs

Day 26: 2:30 plank, 225 squats, 100 jumping jacks, 300 crunches, 62 leg raises & dog legs

Day 27: 2:40 plank, 230 squats, 100 jumping jacks, 300 crunches, 65 leg raises & dog legs

Day 28: Rest

Day 29: 2:50 plank, 240 squats, 200 jumping jacks, 300 crunches, 68 leg raises & dog legs

Day 30: 3:00 plank, 250 squats, 200 jumping jacks, 300 crunches, 70 leg raises & dog legs


Three more things:

1.  You may be wondering what a dog leg is! Also known as the "peeing dog" exercise, it involves getting on your hands and knees and slowly swinging each leg out to the side (so that you look like a peeing dog-- it looks and sounds ridiculous but tones your tush and thighs like crazy!) 

2 .I'm planning to accompany this challenge with cardio like swimming, the elliptical machine, the "zombies run" app (depending on how well it works), and the Just Dance Wii games when I have free time. 

3. Don't forget it's okay to make little modifications-- you can break up the jumping jacks into little bursts of 25 or 50, do planks on your knees or using your elbows instead of your hands, do leg raises lying on your back, on your stomach Superman-style (or both, like I am!) or by doing wide-leg or tippy-toe squats. Whatever works best for you! 


Good luck and let me know how the plan goes for you by using the hashtag #FITWITHNISH! 

-Nishaa

xoxo

two thousand and sixteen: resolutions

Happy New Year, loves!

So my reflections on 2015 post ended up WAY longer than I had planned for it to be, so let’s keep the 2016 resolutions short and sweet! (And yes, part of the reason I'm posting this is definitely so I can hold myself more accountable to keeping my resolutions)

1. Stop procrastinating:

… Starting tomorrow.

2. Get healthy and feel good:

Lots of medical trouble (plus my first semester of college) has left me feeling bloated, icky, and out of shape, so I’m planning to start up workout plans, get into self-defense and dance classes, and eat healthier, and try to shift my self-image to be more positive. I’ve never had the best eating habits, and although this isn't necessarily about losing weight, it is about feeling good in my own skin and this year will be the year that happens! If you want to get fit with me, check out my 30-day workout plan coming in my next blog post tomorrow.

3. Start saving:

Traveling takes money, and I need to start saving it! By cutting down on eating out (to once a week in January, and once every other week and special occasions only from February onwards) I’ll already be saving tons, and I also plan to curb my spending by saving half of my paycheck and doing the penny-a-day challenge to fill up my travel jar for upcoming adventures.

4. Write:

I’ve been kind of awful at updating this blog regularly so I want to commit myself to at least one post per week on this site, and I want 2016 to be the year that I start trying to contribute to bigger websites.

And while I’m on the topic of writing more, I’d like to make sure that I keep a personal travel journal when I’m abroad (especially since I’m visiting more than ten different countries this year!). While the internet is great for documenting travel, it’d be nice to have someplace to privately and personally reflect each day.

5. More service:

2016 is the year that Making Waves becomes the Passport Project!

In addition to starting up a brand-new philanthropic campaign, I’d also like to volunteer more, both domestically and internationally, encourage others to do the same, and focus on helping people.

6. Self-care:

And although I want to focus on helping people this year, I know it’s also important to take care of myself. I’d like to be much more conscious and aware of self-care this year, and make sure that I take the time to stay healthy both physically and emotionally. (Hello bubble baths and books!)

7. See the world:

This year is going to be HUGE for travel. I’ll be visiting more than 10 different countries, as well as all six inhabited continents! (But don’t worry Antarctica, you’re next!) This isn’t so much a resolution as a plan, but it makes this year super exciting nonetheless.

8. Be brave:

Finally, 2016 will be the year of courage. Whether it’s standing up for myself and others, putting myself out there, having adventures, or taking risks, I want to be more bold and fearless this year, and make 2016 the best it can be!

Keep an eye out for updates on these resolutions every once in a while, and good luck keeping all of your resolutions!

Much love,

-Nishaa

What are your new year’s resolutions for 2016?

two thousand and fifteen: reflections

2015 has been a super significant year, so as it comes to a close, I wanted to take some time to reflect on the good, the bad, and the downright crazy things that the past twelve months have held.

1. Taking some time:

2015 was weird for me in the sense that it was the first time that I’ve taken some “me” time. After finishing high school right before turning seventeen, I found myself in a position where taking a year off wouldn’t put me “behind” my peers, and honestly, I wasn’t ready to go off to college right away. Taking the year off was hard at times. I’m someone who needs to stay busy, so having that much down time took some getting used to, but it also gave me plenty of room to discover my strengths, weaknesses, passions, and to grow.

 beverly beach, oregon

beverly beach, oregon

 

2. Applying to college:

Going through the college application process for a second time, this time during a year off, I found myself with a much more clear path. Knowing that I needed a strong study abroad program, deciding that international advertising and communications I want to do as a career, and having a firm idea of what I needed out of my college experience, I looked at schools I hadn’t considered at all during my senior year. I ended up applying to twelve universities in three different countries (The United States, Canada, and Australia) and…

 

 chapman university, say hello to your newest panther cub!

chapman university, say hello to your newest panther cub!

3. Getting accepted to (and attending!) my dream school:

Deciding on Chapman University was easy. The friendly environment, beautiful Southern California location, and the ability to study abroad on my dream program were all major factors for me, and to be completely honest, I knew it was the school for me the second I stepped onto campus for my admissions interview. I adore my double major in Strategic and Corporate Communications and Peace Studies, my classes and professors have been incredible, my two roommates are both the best, and I go to Disneyland almost once a week. What more could a girl ask for?

 

4. Meeting amazing people:

2015 has taught me that some of the best people can come from the most unexpected places. Becoming more involved at my church led me to incredible people, and so did entering the Global Degree contest. Even though I wasn’t selected as the winner, I still feel like I won through the hundreds of big sisters and two big brothers that being a part of the contest connected me with, and taking the risk of entering pushed me to do so many other things (like starting this blog) and I started to let myself dream big.

 

 disneyland with liv, september 28th 2015

disneyland with liv, september 28th 2015

And speaking of amazing people, one of the best things that going to Chapman this year has given me is my best friend Liv. We met by chance (she was actually coming over from the dorm room next door to talk to my roommate—who wasn’t home), and have been spending almost all of our time together ever since. We’re Disneyland buddies and partners in crime, we can and do talk about everything and anything (I’m not kidding. We’ll talk about boy problems and serious social issues in the same conversation) and I am so grateful to have her in my life!

 

5. Overcoming fears:

This was the year of #yolo. Despite being a big worrier for my entire life, I decided to start to put myself out there and start to push myself out of my comfort zone and face some fears. I overcame my fear of doctors and hospitals and needles (that last one I REALLY faced), my fear of traveling alone, and finally a little fear of big heights:

 jumping off the auckland sky tower, may 2015

jumping off the auckland sky tower, may 2015

From jumping off the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere to zip lining over a saltwater crocodile, this year was insane and I probably gave my mother multiple heart attacks (sorry mom!)

 

6. Starting up and growing as a travel blogger:

After the Global Degree contest ended, I was super inspired to start my own travel blog like so many of the other girls had. And so after a few less-than-successful attempts, nishaasharma.com was finally born at the end of August. I’ve been lucky enough to reach over 5,000 people between this website and my Instagram, @nishaasharma, been featured in articles about gap years and travel fails, and have gotten the chance to work with amazing companies like Serengetee, The BoobyPack, BeyondBeanie, and Life Before Work Travel. This has become something so much bigger than I ever expected and I’m constantly amazed by how much has happened this year.

 the boobypack, as seen on shark tank

the boobypack, as seen on shark tank

 

7. Making childhood dreams come true:

When I was six and first watched Finding Nemo, my obsession with Australia began. I knew I had to go to the Great Barrier Reef, see the opera house, and travel up and down the coast like Marlin did. I spent my free time watching the Crocodile Hunter, Discovery Channel (hello, Shark Week!) and Animal Planet, and this year I FINALLY got to go and find Nemo in Australia. From traveling alone for the first time, to celebrating my eighteenth birthday in Sydney, and to swimming with the biggest fish in the ocean, Australia was everything my inner six year old could have asked for and much more. 

 great barrier reef, queensland australia (i finally found nemo)

great barrier reef, queensland australia (i finally found nemo)

 

8. Learning that I deserve happiness:

This was the year I started living life for myself. Moving to California like I’ve always wanted to, traveling to the other side of the world, and all of the things I accomplished this year were the things I wanted to do, and worked my butt off to achieve. I’ve learned that I can’t live my life to please other people and live up to their expectations for me, and I’ve started to take risks, pursue my passions, live up to my own expectations for myself and follow my own dreams.

 chapman university, september 2015

chapman university, september 2015


I hope your 2015 has been a year of growing and change, and that you all have an amazing new year, loves!


-Nishaa

xoxo

What are you most proud of from 2015?


mind the gap: things to think about before taking the year off

Hi Loves!

I know some of you are in that exciting time of year right now where you’re a senior in high school and considering what college to go to in the fall; and I know that decision is difficult enough on its own but I’m about to give you some insight on another option: a gap year.

A gap year is basically taking a year (or maybe just a semester) off between graduating high school and beginning college. Some people do it to take a breather because they’re feeling burnt out, some work, some do internships, some volunteer, and some travel. It’s the first time you have this much time to do anything you want to do, so the options are endless, and you don’t have to pick just one.

 The Nobbies, Phillip Island, Victoria Australia

The Nobbies, Phillip Island, Victoria Australia

The Good

When you take a year off, you’re actually at an advantage in the competitive job market and college admissions. It can show self-motivation, a global awareness, and you quite literally have a full year to do nothing but build up your resume and fill your life with experiences to discuss with potential employers and to build networking connections. Lots of people come to college having never worked a job, and you have the opportunity to come in with job experience and it’s worth considering a domestic or international internship.

You can work on yourself and you get the chance to mature. I made a conscious effort to do the things I was afraid of and be more adventurous, became more independent, and grew as a person through having to be responsible for myself and the decisions I made while traveling. When you’re doing things like navigating a public transportation system in Australia and you can’t use Google Maps, suddenly the idea of going off to school isn’t so intimidating. And after taking the year off, it becomes much clearer what you’re looking for in both a career and a college experience, and you will be much more well informed in making your decisions.

If you decide to volunteer during your gap year, you can do good in the world. You can work locally by volunteering in homeless shelters, or even at your old elementary school. which is what I did when I wasn’t abroad. You can also go to another country and volunteer, which I’ll touch on more in a bit.

 Pacific City, Oregon, United States

Pacific City, Oregon, United States

The Bad

The biggest problem with gap years happens when you have a lack of planning, which can lead to too much time on your hands. If you don’t make at least a few firm plans for your gap year, you can end up lounging around the house, sleeping until 2pm (which is totally okay every once in a while, don’t get me wrong!) and possibly even losing your motivation. There were definitely times last year where I would be super down, felt like an actual potato, and was worried about being able to go back into a school environment at all.

Which brings me to my next point, some aspects of starting college become more difficult. While you may be at an advantage, aspects of your social life may become harder. I just started my freshman year of college about a month and a half ago, and there are times where I can’t really connect to the people around me, because in taking the year off, I did a lot of the maturing and learning that people do during their first year of college (the crazy drinking? Not so appealing anymore!). I’ve found myself hanging out with a lot of upperclassmen even though I’m not technically older than my freshman class since I graduated at sixteen, and then took the time off, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing because upperclassmen are a fun time.

 The Great Barrier Reef, Cairns, Queensland Australia

The Great Barrier Reef, Cairns, Queensland Australia


The Options

Working is a great option, and it’s what I did for a majority of my gap year. You can go into a mall and work retail, host or wait at a restaurant, work at a parent’s friend’s office, babysit, or nanny. When you don’t have to work around being in school, you have the chance to make WAY more money. When you’re going around from job interview to job interview, you learn about the best way to present yourself and what your strengths are, since you get asked ALL the time.

Interning is something interesting, which can be done locally or internationally. Personally, I decided to intern with a travel agency in my hometown, which allowed me to learn a lot more about the world, my own travel goals and also how to work efficiently with others. You can also intern abroad, which allows you to travel the world AND build your resume!

A Working Holiday does something similar to an internship abroad, and it’s not an option that a lot of people are familiar with. Australia and New Zealand have working holiday visas for U.S citizens between the ages of 18 and 30, where you get to work in the country for half the year, and then adventure and travel within the country with the money you made for half the year! Expect a lot more information about this since it’s my plan for after college.

Volunteering is also a great option, and so is Adventure Travel. You can do this through a tour group or company, like Rustic Pathways (which is the company I volunteered in Costa Rica through), or you can travel independently (which is what I did for Australia and New Zealand)! Rustic Pathways is super cool because they offer volunteer and adventure options for gap years, which can be found at http://gap.rusticpathways.com

 Camaronal Wildlife Refuge, Costa Rica (photo by Andrew Jenkins, sign by yours truly and the Rustic Pathways crew)

Camaronal Wildlife Refuge, Costa Rica (photo by Andrew Jenkins, sign by yours truly and the Rustic Pathways crew)

Tips

Have a plan and goals before you take your year off! This can help to combat that potato-ness that tends to happen sometimes. Even if you don’t have your entire year planned out day by day, you at least have things to look forward to and work towards.

Mix it up! You don’t have to pick just one of the things I listed above. Personally, I volunteered in Costa Rica, worked/interned/volunteered locally, went to Canada, worked, and finished things out in New Zealand and Australia on a solo trip.

Know where you want to grow. Consider the areas where you want to grow as a person. Maybe you want to be more independent, more adventurous, or more outgoing. Have a couple of goals and make choices to help you work towards those goals..

A gap year is amazing, but it isn’t the best option for everyone; make sure you feel that it is for you before you decide to do it!

And as always, if you need advice hit up that contact page!

Much love,

Nishaa

xoxo