What To Know When Your Teen Is Considering a Gap Year

What To Know When Your Teen Is Considering a Gap Year

Date Published: December 21, 2020

Many students often consider taking a gap year before they continue with their tertiary education.

As a parent, there are a few things you need to know before you agree or disagree.

What You Need to Know

Here is everything you need to know about your child taking a gap year:

  • The workforce: Matriculants might decide to enter the workforce in this gap year, either directly or indirectly. This might give them an idea as to what career they would want to branch into. 
  • Excel or tumble: By taking this gap year, your child will either excel and find their passions and what they want to do, or they will flounder and not continue with their education at all. 
  • Wasted time: If not structured properly, a gap year can be a waste of time and money. If you are considering that your child takes a gap year, be sure to help them structure it. 
  • Peer pressure: Often gap years can be a result of peer pressure. If matriculants see their friends doing it and taking a break from school, they might feel compelled to do the same. 
  • Confused: Your child might, however, actually be confused about what they want to study and need a bit of work experience to help them decide. If so, help them structure a gap year so that they can test various career paths. 
  • Save: Gap years could be a great opportunity for parents or students to work and save up money for tertiary education. If your child is working to pay their own tuition, this could be a great lesson in independence. 
  • Career assessments: If your child is still confused about their career journey, have them take a career assessment or aptitude test to see what they will be good at and enjoy. 
  • Lost momentum: A gap year means that your child might in fact lose momentum and not want to further their studies. After being in school for 12 years, they are used to studying and therefore are prepared for university or other tertiary institutions. 
  • Determining your career: As a parent, you must keep in mind that a gap year cannot make or break a career. The success of your child will be determined by their drive, support and work ethic.
  • You can do short courses: If your child starts a gap year, they can still study short courses or part-time courses whilst they are taking the break.

Author: Andrea Frisby 

Published: December 21, 2020

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