Author Topic: Gap year pre college?  (Read 5827 times)

gatortator

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Gap year pre college?
« on: June 01, 2015, 04:48:28 PM »
Did anyone here take an intentional gap year between finishing high school and starting college?  I think it is somewhat common in other countries compared to the U.S.  If you did-- why and what did you do with the time?

Would you want your kids (if you have them) to take a gap year before starting college?

gatortator

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Re: Gap year pre college?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2015, 05:03:57 PM »
I am in the U.S. and I did take a gap year.  I won a full scholarship to be an exchange student in Europe during my senior year.  I finished up my high school graduation credits early and off I went to another continent for 11 months.  It was one of the best decisions I made in my life so far. 

At this moment, I hope to persuade my kids to also take a gap year.  I don't expect them to do the same experience as me but I would like them to get out of the classroom for a little while and experience something of their choice independently before reentering vocational school or college.

Just curious if others have given thought to this or experienced it themselves.  Thanks!
« Last Edit: September 25, 2015, 09:36:47 AM by gatortator »

sol

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Re: Gap year pre college?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2015, 05:07:11 PM »
Between college and grad school.  Before college, I was totally not ready to go out into the world on my own.

At the age of 23, though, I spent a year travelling and sometimes working and usually being irresponsible, on six continents.  Those are mostly stories I can't share here.

As for whether or not I would want my own kids to follow in my footsteps, I'm still conflicted.  It was certainly a life-altering experience for me, but maybe not in the way that parents hope for their children.

milesdividendmd

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Re: Gap year pre college?
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2015, 05:26:57 PM »

Between college and grad school.  Before college, I was totally not ready to go out into the world on my own.

At the age of 23, though, I spent a year travelling and sometimes working and usually being irresponsible, on six continents.  Those are mostly stories I can't share here.

As for whether or not I would want my own kids to follow in my footsteps, I'm still conflicted.  It was certainly a life-altering experience for me, but maybe not in the way that parents hope for their children.

Sounds like a memorable year.

Spill the beans....

nanu

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Re: Gap year pre college?
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2015, 06:26:07 PM »
My story is a bit different (military service between high school and college), but as someone who's graduating from college now,
I can tell you that most of the kids get to college way too immature and unprepared to live on their own.
As such, I truly think a gap year in the real world, outside of the familiar school & home environment, can really do some good for a lot of them.

I also think that at least for some kids (especially those from more well-off/privileged homes) a gap year where they volunteer or get to know people from
different backgrounds and socio-economic levels can possibly ground them a bit (otherwise every time their iphone is slow it's the end of the world... #1stworldproblems) and would help expand the tiny bubble a lot of kids grew up in.

sol

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Re: Gap year pre college?
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2015, 07:07:45 PM »
Sounds like a memorable year.

Spill the beans....

Stop by sometime and drink about five beers with me.

kpd905

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Re: Gap year pre college?
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2015, 07:30:31 PM »
I had 6 months off between college and grad school.  I chose to work full time making $10 an hour.  I regret doing that and wish I had hiked a big chunk of either the AT or PCT.

mathstache

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Re: Gap year pre college?
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2015, 07:34:40 PM »
I spent many gap years... and it all worked out. One perk was that I qualified for more financial aid as an older student (around 24 in CA you don't have to claim parents salary on FAFSA). When I started going back to school I was more focused and willing to learn than I was straight out of high school. I also recommend the cheaper community college to begin with as you have to do general education classes anyway.

milesdividendmd

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Re: Gap year pre college?
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2015, 12:42:50 AM »

Sounds like a memorable year.

Spill the beans....

Stop by sometime and drink about five beers with me.

Deal and deal.

Alternatively, next time you and yours are in PDX stop by and I'll make you the cheapest craft cocktails imaginable.

okonumiyaki

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Re: Gap year pre college?
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2015, 01:27:33 AM »
Yes.  For various reasons I left school at just 17, and so felt too young to go to college.  I worked as an apprentice engineer for 8 months, then travelled around India and Japan for 4 months.


gooki

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Re: Gap year pre college?
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2015, 02:51:17 AM »
Would you want your kids (if you have them) to take a gap year before starting college?

I'd strongly encourage my kids to take a gap year.

Dee18

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Re: Gap year pre college?
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2015, 10:54:26 AM »
I took a gap year between college and grad school and traveled around the world. I really think 22 was the perfect age for that.   My daughter just graduated from high school and is going on to college now.  She plans to travel a while after college and has already begun saving for that.

Lis

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Re: Gap year pre college?
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2015, 11:10:46 AM »
Gap years were not common when I graduated high school (2008). Where I'm from, you graduated high school and went straight to a four year school. I didn't even know there was an option to not go to college straight from high school - for me, it really wasn't. No one I know went straight to community college - a few people dropped out of their 4 years and went there as they figured out what they were doing. A handful dropped out and went to trade school. I don't think anyone went straight there form high school.

A good friend of mine took a gap year for a variety of reasons - her father pushed her to apply to colleges that were out of her league and she wasn't accepted to any. Her parents had a nasty divorce years prior and were blaming each other, she was recovering from anorexia and felt herself slipping towards it again (a way of control that she lacked when her parents were in the process of divorcing), and she was overall miserable. She took a year off and worked at a shelter for homeless gay men in a nearby city. She said after working there and seeing what these men had been through and what they were going through, it opened her eyes and helped her see what was really important in life. She ended up going to a good 4 year after that, graduated, and is doing just fine. We lost touch, but she pops up on facebook every once in a while.

I think going straight to college was the right path for me, and I'm far less judgmental about gap years than I was (hindsight is 20-20!). A few coworkers have kids the college age that are struggling, and they as parents feel as though they 'failed' (that really is my areas mind set).

CheapskateWife

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Re: Gap year pre college?
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2015, 12:04:04 PM »
I have a step son who is graduating this week and I WISH he would take a gap year, if for no other reason than to just figure out who he wants to be, before committing to a college course of action that he's not really sure about.  Naturally, there is his mother pushing college right away, but that might be out of fear that he will never move out if she doesn't get him into college (this is a real possibility come to think of it). 

Didn't take one, wish that I had; but would have lost a military scholarship.  It seems to me that many scholarships are tied to the idea of senior year in high school immediately followed by freshman year of college.  I have yet to see a scholarship application that allows for a gap year possibility.

Exflyboy

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Re: Gap year pre college?
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2015, 12:11:26 PM »

Sounds like a memorable year.

Spill the beans....

Stop by sometime and drink about five beers with me.

Deal and deal.

Alternatively, next time you and yours are in PDX stop by and I'll make you the cheapest craft cocktails imaginable.

The idea of an MD offering to supply a cheap cocktail is slightly disturbing....;)

sol

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Re: Gap year pre college?
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2015, 12:14:56 PM »
I have yet to see a scholarship application that allows for a gap year possibility.

All of my graduate scholarships were happy to defer for a year, but college scholarships might be a different story.  I applied on the normal timeline and was accepted/approved at the normal times, then asked to defer for a year because I had these other plans.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2015, 12:59:10 PM by sol »

Retire-Canada

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Re: Gap year pre college?
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2015, 12:32:13 PM »
Did anyone here take an intentional gap year between finishing high school and starting college?  I think it is somewhat common in other countries compared to the U.S.  If you did-- why and what did you do with the time?

Would you want your kids (if you have them) to take a gap year before starting college?

Nope. I finished HS a year early and joined the army so I'd get a pay cheque and a free university education.

Rural

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Re: Gap year pre college?
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2015, 05:04:57 PM »
I have yet to see a scholarship application that allows for a gap year possibility.

All of my graduate scholarships were happy to defer for a year, but college scholarships might be a different story.  I applied on the normal timeline and was accepted/approved at the normal times, then asked to defer for a year because I had these other plans.


I gave up a full ride to avoid a gap year, but that was kind of a weird situation. I had two full ride offers, one to a state school and the other to West Point, but I was too young to sign at West Point for another year (had to be 17). I probably would have waited if that had been my only funded option, but since it wasn't and I didn't want to put things off by a whole year (seems like an eternity at 16), I didn't. I think I'm not sorry. Would've been a different life (and I'd've been a different person) for sure.