In January of last year, I wrote Graduation Caps and Gaps. I included some discussion about life after K-12 schooling and following paths and passions. I referred to a few other related posts written by others. I also discussed the “gap year” in that post. Somewhere in between that post in January and June of last year, our own 2 adult children had decided, with our support, to take a “gap year” before post-secondary and graduate studies. We, individually and as a family, have been reflecting about the past year and its outcomes. We used the list of the benefits of a gap year which I provided in my January post (although the full article I linked is not accessible now):
- experience the world of work in a real way
- become more mature
- become more independent and experienced in your decision-making
- clarify your study and career future, and make new or more informed decisions
- work with people from different walks of life
- experience different types of workplaces
- learn new skills.
We feel quite confident that the past year of work and life experiences has provided our daughters with these benefits and more. However, the year was not without some doubts that the choice was the best. We may not even realize all pros and cons until a later time. But now we are looking ahead to the planning and tasks that come with heading back to school and moving. It seems to be the right timing again and comes with some renewed excitement. It has mostly worked out for our family, but I am not saying that it would be the right choice for all. There is a lot to consider, eg.: knowing and listening to your children, the family situation, the opportunities in the community, personal goals, etc.
I thought this article (provided by a university in the UK) was another good one on the topic, Take a Break? The pros and cons of a gap year, but a search for “gap year benefits and disadvantages” will prompt a number of articles and resources.
(photo credit: me ~ taken during a family trip to Vancouver)