Teens Taking a Year Off Before College

Do you think it's a good idea for our son to wait a year after graduating from high school before enrolling at the university? He's very responsible in a number of ways, but we're concerned about him losing momentum. What should we do?

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 told us 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 God is calling him 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 high school. The most important thing at this point is to uphold your son with love, support, and gentle guidance in whatever he decides to do. If you need some help in this area, call us. Focus on the Family’s Counseling staff would be more than happy to speak with you over the phone.


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