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Should You Let Your Child Take A Year Off After High School?

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December 16th, 2014

There is now a trend among young adults who graduated from high school and it’s called a “gap year”. Gap year refers to the time between high school and college, and a lot of students take this opportunity to travel. The jury’s still out on the benefits of a gap year but overall, it does have a positive impact on students.

What is a Gap Year?

Understandably, a lot of parents are concerned when they hear the term gap year. When their kids, fresh off high school, tell them they want to take a year off before going to college, many parents become worried. However, what they don’t understand is that a gap year is something necessary to actually revitalize the spirit of learning in these young adults.

Gap year is not always done after high school and before going to college. A lot of college students actually take a gap year. There is no concrete time as to when you should do it, but experts claim that, by taking a gap year, students actually learn a lot of things, experience life and become more focused when they enter college.

Educating Yourself

As parents, it is truly frightening to hear that your child would want to skip a year before going to college. The reason here is the fear that your child might lose the academic groove of continued education or the expectation of academic “greatness” that all parents aspire from their children. This is a normal parental fear but understanding the essence of a gap year can ease your worries.

In order to accept the reality, first, you must realize that a gap year is for the betterment of your teenager. Assume that they already know what they are doing and confront them, not about taking a gap year, but what their plan is. Next is to support them. This is the time in a young adult’s life that they need the full support of their parents. By doing so, they will see the real world with their own eyes and become mature.

Planning a Gap Year

Taking a gap year might be fun, but it shouldn’t be all fun and games. A plan must always be made. The best way to encourage a well thought out gap year is to involve yourself with an activity that is, at least, related to the person’s desired degree or major. This way, they will have an understanding of what they really want and it will give them a better perspective.

A gap year should be spent meaningfully and with the right attitude. If the gap year will be focused on finding a job, then it is important for the young adult to use his earnings wisely during the gap year, or to save for college. It is also an option to earn as much money as possible to travel and see the world or at least, some parts of it.

A gap year is not a threat to a student’s future. It is a way for them to grow and become more appreciative of their chosen path in life. Besides, most college admissions officers are always impressed with young adults who take a gap year and spend it meaningfully.

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