Ask Jigsaw: Gap year decision

Ask Jigsaw: Gap year decision

Thursday, 22 October 2020

I decided to take a gap year from starting college because of Covid causing everything to be online. I just feel like a coward who ran away as soon as the going got tough. But I just wanted to connect with people and be in the atmosphere of it all.

I’ve always felt trapped within myself, like I’m the audience watching characters in a scene and I can’t break that barrier. Doing College online only amplified this feelings as I was literally watching a screen.

I’m just afraid I made this choice out of fear. I was doing the course out of fear of not doing it and now I’m not doing the course out of fear of doing it. My family supported my decision and I felt brave for telling them how I felt but a part of me still feels like a coward and a failure and I’m afraid I’m going to waste this year and I’ll regret this decision in the future.


Hi Cole,

There are many reasons for delaying the start of your studies or training after school. Making a decision to wait until you can fully engage in the college experience is brave. It sounds like it was one that you and your family put some thought into, so trust yourself.

Jigsaw clinician
What we can do is focus on making our decision work for us in the best way that we can.

Making big decisions can be stressful and we are often unsure if we’ve made the right choice. The thing with decisions is that once we have made them, there is no way of knowing whether the alternative would have been better or worse. All we can do is focus on making our decision work for us in the best way that we can.

Make the most out of your gap year

A good way of tackling these fears is to make the most of your gap year. Setting realistic goals will give you a sense of achievement and help reduce any feelings of regret.

You probably have some ideas about how you would like to spend your year. However, it could be a great opportunity to focus on developing positive habits that will support your mental health into the future. Consider the 5-a-day for mental health as a starting point and build up a range of activities from there.

Get support

I understand there is a lot of uncertainty at the moment but well done again on making this decision for you. You are welcome to use our Live Chat service if you would like to talk things through further with a member of the Jigsaw Online team. We are open 1-5 Monday, Wednesday, Friday and 2-8 Tuesday and Thursday.

Best wishes,


Jigsaw clinician

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