With the pressure of school and the big build up to results day, it can be easy to become very focused on one particular direction – achieving the ‘right’ grades, going to university, working towards a specific career.
It’s really important to remember at this time that there is no single path to success. Life is a journey with many twists and turns and not always one set destination.
Most people take a few different routes on their journey throughout life, changing their minds along the way, trying out new things and discovering parts of themselves that they never would have expected.
We asked some of our very own Camps team about the various experiences they had after school which eventually led them to Camps International. Our team all come from very different backgrounds, with various skills, work and life experiences behind them. Their unique stories go to show that there is no wrong path to success, and by following your passions, life can take you to some exciting and unexpected places.
Callum is a member of our Independent Travel Team, arranging gap trips for hundreds of students every year. As a previous Camps International gapper himself, he knows first-hand the impact a trip like this can have on your future…
“After school I went to college to study a BTEC in Business Studies, but I actually decided to quit the course after a year and go travelling; first to Kenya with Camps International and then to Australia for a working holiday.
Those 2 months in Kenya were definitely the most influential months of my life, a real starting block for my future to date and something that impacted highly on me as a person, how I treated life, people and the opportunities that have arisen since.
To anyone receiving their results this week I would say: your future is not determined on a piece of paper. No one can tell you whether you can or can’t do or achieve anything. Everything starts in the mind, and with the right application and attitude, you can go as far as you want to go.”
Gemma works for our Operations team, helping to support our school students as they prepare for and undertake their expeditions. After she left school she started down a very different career path to the one she has today…
“I studied Interior Architecture and Design at uni and went on to do an internship with an interior design company after I graduated – but though it was what I’d planned to do, I found that I hated it. After that I fell into agency work, teaching and assisting in special needs schools and discovered that I loved that!
I took a break from work to travel to America, working in a summer camp for 3 months then travelling for a month after. Although I have always been interested in the travel industry, I never thought my qualifications would be relevant for the job I do today. My ‘gap-few-months’ gave me a chance to explore a bit and I found I loved working with young people in the summer camp – hence now working for a company which is travel-related and is a people-job’.
Sharon is our Group Operations Manager, working to ensure that every part of our expeditions out in-country runs smoothly. She found that taking some time out before university helped her to develop a wide range of skills and become more focused on what she wanted to do in the future…
“I didn’t really know what I wanted to do after school and eventually took two years out before going to uni. The first year I was part of a church-based youth work programme and got to travel in the UK and Europe as part of various events. The second year I worked in a variety of sports coaching roles (and briefly at Top Shop) while applying to study Sport Science at university.
The experiences gave me lots of skills and confidence, from public speaking and event management to folding jeans, stock control and the tact you need when someone’s selected the wrong size but won’t admit it! I met lifetime friends and I think it prepared me for university. I certainly worked harder at university than I did at college and I think it’s because I was that little bit older and wiser than the other Fresher’s.”
Kat is the Marketing & Communications Manager at Camps International. She says it’s important to remember that one set of results do not define your future – take the time to think about you and what you’d like your future to be…
“My predicted grades were far worse than my actual grades. I took a gap year after 6th form, undertaking an events management traineeship, then applied to uni through the clearing process.
Taking this time out gave me chance to explore the world of work, see how my interests could be incorporated in my jobs and give me chance to think about what I wanted to do next. I discovered there are many routes to achieving the same goal.”
So, if things aren’t necessarily moving towards the plan you had set for yourself – don’t panic. A step in a different direction is not a failure, just an opportunity opening up for you to discover a different – and potentially very exciting – path.
Your journey is just beginning… where will it take you?
Make the first step on your path to success by requesting a brochure and gap year planner today, and discover more about the amazing programmes you could get involved with and start building a future you can be excited and proud about.