Q&A: Taking a year off from school

Q: Do you think it’s a good idea for our son to wait a year after finishing secondary school before enrolling at the university? He’s very responsible in a number of ways and has very specific plans for his studies and future – but says he wants to take some time off.  We’re concerned about him losing momentum. What should we do?

A: Apparently you’ve done a great job of raising your son. He sounds like a thoughtful, intelligent, goal-oriented young man. Given what you’ve said about his level of maturity and keen sense of personal responsibility, we see no reason to be concerned about his desire to take a year off from school.

We’d even suggest that there are a number of constructive ways he can use the time. He can work in order to earn a portion of his college tuition. He can expand and build upon his formal education by traveling or getting involved with community service. He can think about life and ponder his goals and figure out what he wants to study in college. All of this can be an important part of growing up and becoming the person he was created to be. As for “losing momentum,” chances are that he’ll be even more motivated to dive into his studies after a year-long break – especially when he realizes that many career choices won’t be open to him without a college degree.

Again, in light of what you’ve said about your son’s track record to this point, we wouldn’t be too concerned about his plans to take a year off. There are many successful people in the world who didn’t go to college right out of secondary school. The most important thing at this point is to support your son with love and gentle guidance in whatever he decides to do.

© 2018 Focus on the Family.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.

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