How to be a gap year bore

first_imgSo you’re a year older than everyone else and twice as mature? That’s a good start to being a Gap Year Bore. Got a deep mahogany tan and natural highlights? 52 grubby woven bracelets on your wrists (which will be entirely white when you eventually cut said bracelets off)? Been to South America? Thailand? Australia? Or all three? Great. You’re a star candidate for a Gap-Year Bore. Now all you need to do is take every opportunity to bring up your amazing experiences washing lepers / breastfeeding orangutans / educating shanty-town orphans. Wearing your battered Havaianas and badly dyed pyjama trousers to lunch in the rain might create an opportunity to bring it up. Or you could just compare everything to its Third World equivalent: “this Red Bull is nothing like the Thai original. It’s laced with LSD, it’ll blow your mind!”  Or even “I just can’t get used to the taste of Coke after drinking only Inca-Kola when I was in Peru for a year…” While it’s lovely that you went out there and broadened their horizons, the rest of us are quite happy with our narrow little Oxford worldview. Keep your dreadlocks and ethnic scarves. We don’t care.Even worse than hearing all about the Gap-Year Bore’s experiences is being stuck in a corner listening to two of them talk to each other. Inevitably they’ll have been to the same beaches and met the same people – fellow travellers called Brett and Jonty, probably Australian or Irish – God forbid anyone should talk to actual Thai people, you know?If you do manage to wriggle out of that corner, though, and find pale wintry people in normal attire, you should be on your guard for another type of GYB – the Corporate Gapper. While others were gallivanting around the world the Corporate Gapper was beavering away building up an enviable CV at a blue-chip management consultancy or accounting firm, slaving away 9-5 with perhaps the odd awkward lunchtime strip-club outing with the Junior Partners. No endless stories here – that’s because there are none. Yes, you were paid £10 an hour for a bit of photocopying and a lot of idle facebook, and yes, you came out with a sky-high boredom threshold and shedloads of cash but you’re lacking in terms of amusing anecdotes. Luckily you can make up for it by offering your pals several years’ worth of recruitment spiel. “You get a nice fat bonus for every new innocent you corrupt, with fancy dinners at Freud’s thrown in!” Sounds fab. Unfortunately these lose their appeal once you’ve been to one and realised the hidden price – sharing your evening with the dullest people you’ve ever met. Beware children! You’re only a free cocktail away from eternal damnation in the bowels of the City.Still, even if you resisted the charms of the Travel Gapper and the Corporate Gapper there are others, for example the Stayed-At-Home-And-Watched- Jeremy-Kyle Gapper. If you’re one of these, you won’t bore your new pals with what you did on your gap year, but will probably be so boring anyway you won’t have the opportunity. Although you will have an astonishing knowledge of relationship dynamics among the dregs of society. Didn’t take a gap year at all? Don’t fret, you can be a Pretend Gapper. You feel so left out you’ll eagerly try and join in with tales of how you found yourself on the terrible-test-of-endurance that was your Outward Bound expedition in Year nine Easter half-term. But beware, if you’re still reading this, perhaps feeling oh-so-smug and superior to all those silly, shallow gap-year types, you may be an Anti-Gapper: one of those who is so bitter about their own lack of interesting experiences that they will spend hours bitching about everyone who does have something to enthuse about. Gap years may not make you bigger or more clever, but they’re probably a lot of fun (or, if you went the accountancy route, at least they’re lucrative). So don’t dump on people’s stories, and maybe (possibly) they won’t dump on your own less spectacular offerings. If they do, tell them, in the words of GCSE poetry guru Simon Armitage, that “it ain’t what you do, it’s what it does to you.” And if you still feel left out you could always take a gap year of your own.last_img

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