The Gap Year: Update
I last wrote about my eldest daughter's Gap Year in January 2010. A Gap Year is very common in Europe and Australia and slowly gaining momentum in the U.S. A few of my friend's children have had delayed admittance to their college of choice, which resulted in a "Half Gap Year", but that was not by choice.
Our daughter's year off between high school and college has been incredible. Prior to taking the Gap Year, she was admitted for the Fall of 2009 to San Jose State University's School of Art & Design (one of the top 60 Design Schools World Wide). She delayed her admittance and everything is set. She will be attending this Fall of 2010. She's thoroughly excited and more prepared than she would have been a year ago.
What's been most incredible this past year are the bonds she has forged with her two younger sisters. Prior to this year my youngest daughters were at odds with her. She was always the bossy older sister, and to summarize their relationship it was more "hate" than "love". But with the stress of high school removed she relaxed and my three girls have formed a strong sisterly bond that will last a lifetime. She's influenced their reading selection because she's a voracious reader. And when it comes to dinnertime conversation my husband and I can barely get a word in edgewise because they are chatting so much. Now I can honestly say they will miss her when she's in college. Had she gone to college in 2009, her younger sisters would have helped her pack and pushed her out the door faster than you can say "Freshman 15". But that has all changed and they will truly miss their sister. But she won't be far away and visits to see her will be filled with happy reunions now.
The second, unpredictable circumstance that occurred was when we received the unfortunate diagnosis that my husband had prostate cancer at the beginning of this year. My daughter was able to provide emotional support and understanding. By being here she was able to help take a bit of the heavy load off my mind.
She also got to experience some invaluable one-on-one time, accompanying my husband to Europe at the beginning of her gap year. She has interned at his company for the past ten months, learning the high tech lingo and process that goes with being in the Quality Assurance team where she provided editing, review and research in a job that will pay for most of her first year of college. Working at the same company as her dad has enabled her to have a clear understanding of how hard he works, and what he does. That says a lot because when we've asked several friends of hers what their parents do, they can barely utter a few guesses, they really have no idea at all.Continued on the next page