When Sagarikka Sivakumar, a 22‐year‐old from Trichy completed her Class 10, she was perplexed as to what next.

“While I scored an average percentage, friends, all around me, were celebrating good grades and venturing into popular streams. But I had no idea what my future looked like,” she says.

This was when Sagarikka decided to take a year’s break.

“The idea was to work on my health, practise technical subjects such as Physics and Chemistry so as to not lose my basics, and improve my practical knowledge,” she says.

She adds, “A typical day would entail waking up, reading the news, improving my vocabulary through reading, and enhancing my general knowledge. I also began doing internships to improve my skill set.”

“I wanted to get a sense of various industries and their operations behind the scenes, so I could then decide on a career path.”

This gave her a chance to distinguish between what she wanted to do later in life and what she wouldn’t enjoy as much.

In April 2016, Sagarikka began compiling her book ‘My Unskooled Year’ to highlight her learnings.

The book was ready to be published in December of the same year and went on to sell 6,000 copies.

While Sagarikka did go back to studying and pursued a BBA in Data Science online, she says the things she learned during her unschooled year can never be erased.

“I had the opportunity to take a break and learn practical things, and I took it. You might get a similar opportunity disguised as something else. Take it.”

“I often tell people that though I took the one-year break to build a foundation for my career, I ended up building a foundation for life.”