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A Realistic Day in the Life: At Home Edition

By: Camey VanSant

By Benjamin

As I have come to realize, being on a gap year is much more difficult than I thought it would be. For starters, you’re basically on your own, navigating a life without the rigid structure of high school and dipping your toes in everything. That’s why it’s so important to stay disciplined, striving to become at least 1% better every day. Have I been doing a good job at that? Ehhh let’s just say I could be better.

I’ve been staying at home pretty much the entire gap year so far, spending valuable time with family, studying chess and computer science, cooking, and playing. With this blog, I hope to share a realistic day in my life and reflect upon what should and shouldn’t be changed. Let’s begin!

11:30 am: Wake Up. I know, I know, we’re already off to a bad start. I’ve been trying to get a better sleep schedule, but without being forced to wake up for school, it’s been a little bit too easy to sleep in. However, I’m hoping that’ll change, and I’m actively putting in an effort to change that.

12 – 2 pm: Hoping to sharpen my skills and become more productive, I usually spend this time of my day learning computer science or reading. Sometimes, though, I get really lazy and get distracted by watching basketball highlight videos and current chess events. These days, productivity is something I struggle with a lot because I get distracted very easily. My goal is to build better habits that’ll make learning much easier, and carry those habits over to my studies at Duke.

Pasta that I cooked with my brother

2 – 3 pm: Lunch. I usually try to cook my own lunch, and although I’m relatively new to the art, I enjoy learning new recipes and seeing what beautiful concoctions I can cook up. I’m no Michelin star chef (yet), but I’m definitely trying and learning. What I cook ranges from something as simple as scrambled eggs with bacon to pasta, fried rice, spam musubi, Shakshuka (a North African/Middle Eastern dish), or an omelet.

2 – 7:30 pm: Chess. Whether it’s studying, teaching, playing online, or watching, the biggest part of my day is filled with chess. I love the game; it keeps my mind sharp and it’s fun. I wrote a whole Common App essay about my love for the sport, and if that isn’t convincing enough, I really cannot imagine anything that is. Throughout the gap year, I’ll take you along my journey of playing chess tournaments, which will be the culmination of my studying and work at home.

7:30 – 8 pm: Dinner. Nothing really special about this one.

This world jigsaw with 1000 pieces took 17 hours

8 – 12 am: Family time. I dedicate my evenings to scale it back a bit and just relax. We love to go on walks, play card games, or piece together a jigsaw puzzle. It’s always a merry time as we bond together, laugh, and spread happiness.

Today’s blog was both a reflection and a description of how my gap year is going. I hope that these blogs will not only serve as a medium for me to share my whereabouts, but also a source of accountability, motivating me to be more productive. This is just the beginning, and I’m so excited to see where this journey takes me!