The Gap Year Continues in Full Force
In September 2009, I blogged about my eldest daughter's decision to take a gap year after she graduated from high school and before heading off to college. Almost immediately after solidifying the decision, my husband, daughter and I started to question and debate with our crystal ball about this mostly because no one we knew had ever done it. But I thought for the benefit of any parent considering a gap year for their child, I'd fill you in on our personal experience now that we are six months into it.
First of all, the most significant thing I truly "got" is that one year is just a blip on the radar of life, especially at this stage in a child's life. Most of our children can expect to live well into their 70s and 80s, and some well beyond that. This one year between high school and college is a time that cannot be replicated easily. There's still so much growing-up and discovering to do. My daughter has been able to travel to Europe, do volunteer work, create her own blog, and work as an intern at my husband's company. She decided on her own that she wants to pay for as much of her education as possible, and taking this year off has given her a tremendous head-start. We are quite fortunate that my husband's company had an internship, but my daughter had to interview and get the job based on her own merit. She commutes to work with my husband and they have been able to connect in ways we did not foresee. She instant messages him during the day about funny observations, and they talk about their day during their commute. She also has a chance to see my husband at work and really appreciate what he does for a living. That's saying a lot considering the results when I polled my daughter's friends about what their parents do for a living and NONE of them could answer that question. I was shocked!Continued on the next page