Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-13-2019, 02:39 PM
Urbanredneck is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 7,798

Plus's and minus's of taking a year off after high school


What is your thought on a high school senior deciding to take a year off after his senior year and just working before going on to college?

He basically says he's just sick of school.
  #2  
Old 09-13-2019, 02:48 PM
Voyager's Avatar
Voyager is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Deep Space
Posts: 46,539
What is he going to major in? Is he going to forget all the material by the time he does go to college, and be behind his classmates?
What is he going to be doing for the year?
On the plus side, if he is really all that sick of school will he even make it through college? If he gets a decent job, and wants to keep it instead of going to college, there might be a tuition savings.
So it depends on the kid.
  #3  
Old 09-13-2019, 03:21 PM
Just Asking Questions is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 7,378
He can spend some time learning about the grocer's apostrophe.
  #4  
Old 09-13-2019, 03:29 PM
Rough Draft is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 360
Speaking as a high school graduate (no applause, please), I can say that in theory, it's a terrific idea.

On the other hand, as a college graduate, I can say that my college years were the most rewarding and fun of my life. Starting down a path that might lead permanently away from higher education would have been a terrible thing for me.

Also, the idea that working at a high school graduate-level job is better than continuing your education is a highly debatable proposition.
  #5  
Old 09-13-2019, 03:31 PM
Rough Draft is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Asking Questions View Post
He can spend some time learning about the grocer's apostrophe.
That would definitely be one of the upside's of the experience.
  #6  
Old 09-13-2019, 03:31 PM
DSeid's Avatar
DSeid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 22,653
Better to go to college with the mindset that is ready for it.

If that’s right away wonderful. But if not? Work. Get some life experience.
  #7  
Old 09-13-2019, 03:32 PM
peccavi's Avatar
peccavi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: South Bay, SoCal
Posts: 306
Has he been accepted at any universities? Universities these days usually allow deferment of enrollment for a gap year, so I would encourage him to apply and get an acceptance before just taking the year off.

My niece took a gap year with no ill effects. Her mother (my sister) let her know that she was expected to do something, whether it was working a job or just an interesting activity. She ended up interning at a local public radio station, giving music lessons, and traveling around to visit friends who were attending colleges on the West Coast.

I can't say if it was better or worse than going into college immediately, but I don't think it was wasted time.
  #8  
Old 09-13-2019, 03:36 PM
silenus's Avatar
silenus is offline
Isaiah 1:15/Screw the NRA
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 51,646
Does he already have a full-time job? If not he's wasting his time. Gap years tend to turn into gap decades.
  #9  
Old 09-13-2019, 03:41 PM
dalej42 is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 14,556
No idea where he’s going to school. I’m fine with a gap year, but I’d suggest enrolling in summer semester for the following year and taking a couple of classes then. Summer semester enrollment is fairly common these days where I went to college at FSU. The students get familiar with the campus, college life, and what a college class entails.
__________________
Twitter:@Stardales IG:@Dalej42
  #10  
Old 09-13-2019, 03:42 PM
KneadToKnow is offline
Voodoo Adult (Slight Return)
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Charlotte, NC, USA
Posts: 26,578
Not everyone is cut out for scholarship. Let him do what he thinks he needs to do. He might decide he doesn't need college; he might decide to become a professional student rather than face the real world again.

The important thing is, he'll be making his own decisions and living with the consequences, which is something a lot of people today don't start doing until they're in their mid-20s.
  #11  
Old 09-13-2019, 03:42 PM
QuickSilver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 19,048
If his head isn't in school, I would not force him to go. Consider letting him take his gap year or two but taking a class or two in community college just to keep his head in studies so he doesn't completely fall out of the habit. Those are credits he can use if/when he decides to apply to college. It might even help him decide what he wants (or does not want) to focus on when he does go back. So yeah, work, bit of school. Not a terrible option. Even a great one for some.
__________________
St. QuickSilver: Patron Saint of Thermometers.
  #12  
Old 09-13-2019, 03:44 PM
DSeid's Avatar
DSeid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 22,653
My gap year over four decades ago had me serious about my education when I started college the following year.
  #13  
Old 09-13-2019, 03:46 PM
bump is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 18,431
I'd say that being sick of high school doesn't at all equate to being sick of college. They're sufficiently different both socially AND academically that I'd be willing to bet that most of the issues that would frustrate a high school senior aren't really there in college. The classes are aimed at more mature people, with (generally) less bullshit and busy work, there's no standardized testing, there's no requirement that you be there, the rules are in large part, the same as being an adult, and most colleges and universities are big enough that you can find your own particular niche and not have to deal with popularity, or being 'cool' or any of that.

I'd almost say that he should go for a year, THEN decide if he wants to do something else.
  #14  
Old 09-13-2019, 03:56 PM
Thudlow Boink's Avatar
Thudlow Boink is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Lincoln, IL
Posts: 27,583
Not that it's the right choice for everyone, but I think that taking a year off is a good idea for someone who's "sick of school" (although as per bump's post above, it'd depend on what parts of school he's sick of).

I've seen cases where a year or more of extra maturity and "real world" experience make a person a better, more responsible, more motivated student.
  #15  
Old 09-13-2019, 04:26 PM
thorny locust's Avatar
thorny locust is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 1,277
FWIW, I wish I'd done that.

I don't know whether I'd have wound up going to college or not, if I had. But, if I'd taken a year or three and then gone to college, I'm sure I'd have gotten a whole lot more out of it.
  #16  
Old 09-13-2019, 04:32 PM
Fretful Porpentine is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Bohemia. A seacoast.
Posts: 6,481
I think taking some time off if he's sick of school is a good idea. The college freshmen who don't want to be there tend to be the ones who crash and burn, wasting money and / or semesters of Pell Grant eligibility. College will always be there. He may as well wait until he's in a good headspace to take advantage of it.

Pretty much the only disadvantage is that he may have to re-learn subjects that are "use it or lose it," like math or foreign languages, but that can be dealt with by taking a course at a community college while working.
__________________
Live merrily, and trust to good verses.
-- Robert Herrick
  #17  
Old 09-13-2019, 04:55 PM
Hari Seldon is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Trantor
Posts: 13,065
My brother took not one gap year but 5, 4 of them in the Air Force by which time he had discovered the joys of reading (science-fiction, but it was reading) and the lack of joy of a mundane job. Although he was in the bottom quintile of his HS class and the top quintile of college boards. The sum being 6 got him an entree to Penn State (but not the main campus) and he finished near the top and discovered his life's work.

I think the only possible answer to the OP is, it depends. For my brother it worked great. For me, going straight worked well.
  #18  
Old 09-13-2019, 05:40 PM
Velocity is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 15,389
I'm all in favor of it. By that point, you've had school nonstop for a 10-12 years. You need a good break to step back, think about things, etc. One friend recommended that people work a minimum-wage job for a couple of years in between high school and college, in order to make them appreciate the difference that a college-income level job could make for them in the future.
  #19  
Old 09-13-2019, 06:25 PM
TriPolar is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: rhode island
Posts: 40,700
A minimum of one year of work should be a requirement for going to college. It is certainly not "Time Off", it's work. College is time off.

Last edited by TriPolar; 09-13-2019 at 06:25 PM.
  #20  
Old 09-13-2019, 06:33 PM
nearwildheaven is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 13,001
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fretful Porpentine View Post
I think taking some time off if he's sick of school is a good idea. The college freshmen who don't want to be there tend to be the ones who crash and burn, wasting money and / or semesters of Pell Grant eligibility. College will always be there. He may as well wait until he's in a good headspace to take advantage of it.

Pretty much the only disadvantage is that he may have to re-learn subjects that are "use it or lose it," like math or foreign languages, but that can be dealt with by taking a course at a community college while working.
BINGO!

My brother and I both took gap years before it had a buzzword, and we've never regretted it.

I worked at Target, where you see everybody, and a lot of people were really shocked that I was doing this. "What did your parents say about it?", that kind of thing. They were supportive for all the reasons mentioned above, and a lot of those people came back at Christmas and told me that I had done the right thing and they weren't returning for the spring semester. Our sister took a semi-gap year halfway through, although a major reason was because she got in trouble with her credit cards and our parents refused to bail her out, and she ended up graduating a semester "late" by filling in the gap with summer classes.

Last edited by nearwildheaven; 09-13-2019 at 06:35 PM.
  #21  
Old 09-13-2019, 06:44 PM
Teddie is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: UK
Posts: 85
Our daughter is 15. We’re in the UK. She’s doing her GCSE’s. Will then go on to do her A-Levels age 16-18.

After that she wants to go to university. Uni is 3 years. I hope she’ll go straight to uni and get her degree done and dusted.

If she chooses to have a gap year between A-levels and uni then that’s her choice, she’s an adult and can make up her own mind. For me I’d rather she cracks on and uni gets her degree...but as much as I can advise her and give her my opinion ultimately it’s her choice
  #22  
Old 09-13-2019, 07:11 PM
P-man is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Washington, DC area
Posts: 1,788
I took a gap year long before it was a thing, in the early eighties. I hated high school, and decided I was done. I soon found out that there was nothing out there for someone without a college degree and no sales or mechanical aptitude. I didn't like college either, but I didn't find it difficult and sleepwalked my way through. Same with grad school, although I didn't dislike it quite as much. Our older son no doubt wishes he took a year off, as his freshman year was a disaster. He went back spring semester last year, and at least passed all his classes.
  #23  
Old 09-13-2019, 07:11 PM
Aspidistra is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 5,600
There's research on this.

Bearing in mind that it's a pro-gap-year website, but the research cited is proper academic work.

There's also what not to do
__________________
Science created the modern world. Politics is doing its best to destroy it.
  #24  
Old 09-13-2019, 10:12 PM
Urbanredneck is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 7,798
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aspidistra View Post
There's research on this.

Bearing in mind that it's a pro-gap-year website, but the research cited is proper academic work.

There's also what not to do
I like your last link.

Take a year off but only if they have a plan and set goals.
  #25  
Old 09-14-2019, 12:17 AM
neutro is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Redmond, WA
Posts: 152
If someone dislikes school they aren't going back after a year off. You lose momentum.
  #26  
Old 09-14-2019, 06:25 AM
FairyChatMom's Avatar
FairyChatMom is online now
I'm nice, dammit!
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Southern Merrylande
Posts: 41,967
I went straight from high school to college and hated it - and before I got there, I was really excited about being accepted at my first-choice school. I dropped out, joined the Navy, and immediately spent a year in various training commands. But it was different because I felt like there was a real point to what I was doing.

And after a few years, I discovered that my original college goals weren't what I really wanted. I went back for an engineering degree. The gap years made all the difference in my career path.

As a result, I see no problem with a gap year or two. We don't necessarily know at 18 what we really want to do with our lives. I certainly didn't. And face it, some people shouldn't waste any of their time in college. You can be a perfectly productive member of society without a degree.
  #27  
Old 09-14-2019, 06:39 AM
Manda JO is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Posts: 11,436
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
I'm all in favor of it. By that point, you've had school nonstop for a 10-12 years. You need a good break to step back, think about things, etc. One friend recommended that people work a minimum-wage job for a couple of years in between high school and college, in order to make them appreciate the difference that a college-income level job could make for them in the future.
Except that if you don't make them live on that income, the lesson won't mean much--and it's hard to do. Full time minimum wage jobs are hard to come by--they like to keep people under 30 hours, so that they don't have to offer benefits. They also give you unpredictable hours, which makes having, say, two 20-hour week jobs pretty complicated. You end up in a weird income band where it's not really enough to live out of the house, especially not legitimately--you can't afford the deposits you'll have to pay, you can't afford insurance, you can't afford a car. And even if someone pays those things, you're going to struggling. I mean, even if you are taking home $8/hour, that's less than a thousand a month. $500 for half a shitty apartment, another $100 for utilities . . . that's not much left to eat on. Unless there was a real reason to think a kid needed a dose of reality, I think it'd be hard to let your kid live live like if you were living in comfort--so you'd supplement things.

On the other hand, if a kid lives at home and isn't paying for housing, utilities, or food, that same $1000/month is an insane about of money for just covering personal expenses. You can live like a king on that.

A generation ago, this was pretty good advice. With a roommate, you could manage on minimum wage salary. But the math doesn't work out anymore.
  #28  
Old 09-14-2019, 08:26 AM
P-man is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Washington, DC area
Posts: 1,788
Quote:
Originally Posted by neutro View Post
If someone dislikes school they aren't going back after a year off. You lose momentum.
Sometimes you just have to realize it's the lesser evil. If you don't have any aptitude for the trades it can be brutal. I hated school, but college was my only path to a decent living. Our son came to the same realization. He's having a tougher time, because he doesn't have my ability to BS my way through assignments and has to fight the temptation to just blow them off. Fortunately his younger brother is one of those who hated high school but likes college.
  #29  
Old 09-14-2019, 09:30 AM
pulykamell is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 47,944
Quote:
Originally Posted by Urbanredneck View Post
What is your thought on a high school senior deciding to take a year off after his senior year and just working before going on to college?

He basically says he's just sick of school.
I think it's a fine idea. If you're not ready, take that gap year. Or if you just want to get some other life experience for a year, go for it. Obviously, it depends on the individual, but if my kids, when they reach college age, explain they want to take a year off before attending college, I can't see myself objecting.

Personally, I wanted to take a year off between sophomore and junior year in college. I was just completely psychologically and emotionally burnt out. I was a straight-A student in high school, but I had some hiccups sophomore year and just needed some time to reset myself. My parents were dead set against it, and so I finished off fall quarter junior year with ho-hum, but not disastrous grades, but when winter quarter hit, I ended up on academic probation.

I had enough. I was going to take that break, damn whatever my parents said. They were confused. Mom was crying. Dad looked deadly disappointed. It was hard to explain that I was going to finish off college, I just needed time to reset myself. For me, it worked. I returned winter quarter the following year (so took more like 2/3 of a year off) and finished off the rest of my college years with the best grades I've ever had there. Went from a 1.8 my academic probation quarter to a 3.7 afterwards and never under mid-3s since. And that gap (2/3) year was instrumental in getting a job abroad right out of college. And instilled in me a renewed sense of confidence. Now, YYMV, of course, but I went in with the attitude that I needed a "reset" and it was never on my mind to not finish college, no matter what others may have thought. That said, college isn't for everyone. If someone finishes that year and decides college isn't for them, why not trade school or something else rather than flushing money down the college toilet because that's what people are expected to do?

So, from my perspective, taking a year off is just fine.

Last edited by pulykamell; 09-14-2019 at 09:34 AM.
  #30  
Old 09-14-2019, 09:39 AM
Inigo Montoya's Avatar
Inigo Montoya is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: On the level, if inclined
Posts: 16,144
Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus View Post
Does he already have a full-time job? If not he's wasting his time. Gap years tend to turn into gap decades.
Not saying it doesn't happen but I've not seen that.

My oldest barely graduated HS and decided she wanted to explore a career at Papa Johns. After a year of running her own store she decided she'd had enough of the business and turned her eyes toward nursing. Enrolled in a state college at 21, got a 3.8 cumulative in her distribution classes and a CNA certification, and has applied to a few nursing B.S. programs. While she's waiting to hear back from the B.S. programs she's getting her CNA experience out of the way with a job that starts Monday.

My youngest dropped out during her senior year of high school to become a drunk. A year after we got her wrung out and rehabilitated she decided it was time to get her GED and go to college to study humanities: studio art (like her mom), medieval literature (like me), philosophy (like her), and some sort of mathematics sorcery. Loves it and is doing well so far.

I went to college right after HS and did poorly my first two years because I lacked the maturity to hold myself accountable. I woke up at around age 20 and crushed it with a 3.8 for the last two years.
__________________
Y'all are just too damned serious. Lighten up.

Last edited by Inigo Montoya; 09-14-2019 at 09:40 AM.
  #31  
Old 09-14-2019, 10:44 AM
pulykamell is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 47,944
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inigo Montoya View Post
Not saying it doesn't happen but I've not seen that.

My oldest barely graduated HS and decided she wanted to explore a career at Papa Johns. After a year of running her own store she decided she'd had enough of the business and turned her eyes toward nursing. Enrolled in a state college at 21, got a 3.8 cumulative in her distribution classes and a CNA certification, and has applied to a few nursing B.S. programs. While she's waiting to hear back from the B.S. programs she's getting her CNA experience out of the way with a job that starts Monday.

My youngest dropped out during her senior year of high school to become a drunk. A year after we got her wrung out and rehabilitated she decided it was time to get her GED and go to college to study humanities: studio art (like her mom), medieval literature (like me), philosophy (like her), and some sort of mathematics sorcery. Loves it and is doing well so far.

I went to college right after HS and did poorly my first two years because I lacked the maturity to hold myself accountable. I woke up at around age 20 and crushed it with a 3.8 for the last two years.
Yeah, in my college there were a number of students in my dorm that took a gap year between high school and college, and they seemed fine. They actually tended to do better academically than the rest of us, but I admit it's not a random sample (as I didn't meet the kids who didn't go back to school after a gap year, of course.)
  #32  
Old 09-14-2019, 12:12 PM
BrickBat is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: US
Posts: 492
Quote:
Originally Posted by bump View Post
I'd say that being sick of high school doesn't at all equate to being sick of college. They're sufficiently different both socially AND academically that I'd be willing to bet that most of the issues that would frustrate a high school senior aren't really there in college. The classes are aimed at more mature people, with (generally) less bullshit and busy work, there's no standardized testing, there's no requirement that you be there, the rules are in large part, the same as being an adult...
Was going to say nearly the same thing, but you beat me to it and stated it more articulately.

While I was aware going to back to school that this time it was voluntary, and largely on my dime ( student loan ) all the above came to me as quite the epiphany. I was very glad I didn't take a year off because I think now that I'd have "lost the momentum" another poster referred to. This new found "freedom" ( which included freedom to fail ) made all the difference in the world for me. For whatever reason, I did academically much better than I did in HS.

I didn't want to be poor like we were during a good part of my upbringing, and now I had a shot at being able to get a good paying job in a field I liked, and so, there's no way in the world was I going to fuck that up because I was sick of school. ( which I was )

Last edited by BrickBat; 09-14-2019 at 12:13 PM.
  #33  
Old 09-14-2019, 01:31 PM
Alessan's Avatar
Alessan is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Tel Aviv
Posts: 24,753
I started college 4 years after high school, which is pretty standard here. Personally, I felt I was doing it at just the right age - old enough to do it properly, young enough to enjoy it.
  #34  
Old 09-14-2019, 01:35 PM
nelliebly is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Washington
Posts: 1,781
What in particular is he sick of and why? If he thinks of school as an endless exercise of jumping through hoops, a minimum wage job might convince him to go back to school, but he'll hate every minute and may not finish. If he's curious and wants to learn but is sick of the pressures and unsure what he wants to do, a gap year might be just the ticket.

You've expressed concern in another thread you started that a conservative kid might get harassed at college. If you've shared a belief that colleges are liberal bastions that conservative students have to grit their teeth and get trough by force of will to get a diploma, could that have played a role?

And one more thought: Has he visited any college campuses? It was visiting campuses and attending one session of a class that motivated me to go to college.
  #35  
Old 09-14-2019, 01:39 PM
Voyager's Avatar
Voyager is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Deep Space
Posts: 46,539
Might an option be going to college for a year and then taking a year off if the kid still wants to. One of the great things about college is that you get away from home, which a kid might not want to mention as a reason. I turned down a free college in commuting distance to go away and it was a great decision. So did my daughter (not free, but not expensive) and it was a good decision for her also.
One advantage is that the kid would have to get decent grades to make this work, which might be an incentive. By the time he gets done with the first year, and has made friends and done well, taking a year off might not be so appealing.
  #36  
Old 09-14-2019, 01:52 PM
Icarus's Avatar
Icarus is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: In front of my PC, y tu?
Posts: 5,312
At the top level, what do they want to do? If they want to take a year off, say yes, that's a great idea! Otherwise, they would likely feel like going to college is something they are doing because someone is making them do it, and that's not a good motivation. At that age, they need to experience making their own life decisions. Be encouraging, emotionally supportive, and provide gentle guidance.
  #37  
Old 09-14-2019, 03:49 PM
msmith537 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 27,645
My question is how does one get exposure to things they might actually want to do in life by taking a "gap year"? The benefit of college is that you get to take classes in different subject matter and meet new people besides the ones you just spent 4+ years with in high school. I'm guessing no one is interested in spending their "gap year" living with five people in some crappy walk-up apartment, trying to scrape the rent together each month working as a waiter, bartender or barista.
  #38  
Old 09-14-2019, 03:59 PM
Thudlow Boink's Avatar
Thudlow Boink is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Lincoln, IL
Posts: 27,583
Quote:
Originally Posted by msmith537 View Post
My question is how does one get exposure to things they might actually want to do in life by taking a "gap year"? The benefit of college is that you get to take classes in different subject matter and meet new people besides the ones you just spent 4+ years with in high school. I'm guessing no one is interested in spending their "gap year" living with five people in some crappy walk-up apartment, trying to scrape the rent together each month working as a waiter, bartender or barista.
Sometimes, the point is getting exposure to things you don't want to do (like living with five people in some crappy walk-up apartment, trying to scrape the rent together each month working as a waiter, bartender or barista) to motivate you to do well in college.

And sometimes the point is to take some time to get un-burned out on classes and reading assignments and problem sets and research papers and tests and all that.
  #39  
Old 09-14-2019, 05:21 PM
pulykamell is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 47,944
Quote:
Originally Posted by msmith537 View Post
I'm guessing no one is interested in spending their "gap year" living with five people in some crappy walk-up apartment, trying to scrape the rent together each month working as a waiter, bartender or barista.
When I was in my late teens/early 20s, that actually would have sounded just fine (and my circumstances were even worse than that at some point in the gap year, with me living in conditions where there were eight to one in a house and we bathed maybe once a week--but that was the volunteer part of the gap year). The point was to make a mental break from school after a spectacularly shitty performance, and it worked to reset myself. Granted, everyone is different, of course, but I like the idea of a gap year overall. I wish I had taken it earlier, when I thought it was right, rather than waiting an extra 2/3 of a school year to do it.

Last edited by pulykamell; 09-14-2019 at 05:22 PM.
  #40  
Old 09-14-2019, 05:45 PM
Bill Door is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 5,091
Working for a year will probably earn the student enough money to interfere with any need based financial aid programs. Those need based programs allow a student part-time work without too much penalty, but a full-time job will put him over the earning threshold to qualify for aid. My children went to college a couple of decades ago, but from what I remember of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form that's how it worked. If the family income is already high enough so that isn't a factor don't worry about it, but I'd look into it.
  #41  
Old 09-14-2019, 06:42 PM
RickJay is online now
Charter Jays Fan
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Oakville, Canada
Posts: 41,613
There just isn't enough info in the OP.

Everyone's different. For some people a gap year is a great idea; for some a terrible idea. For some it really doesn't matter. Depends on finances, what kind of job there is to take, a lot of things.

Going directly into university after high school was one of the worst decisions of my life; I was not interested in university at all, in part because all my decisions were pointlessly rushed, and I was in the wrong school, in the wrong program. I'd have been way, way better off taking a year or two off to work. But I know people whose gap years turned into disaster, too.
__________________
Providing useless posts since 1999!
  #42  
Old 09-15-2019, 03:50 AM
Filbert is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 5,649
Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus View Post
Does he already have a full-time job? If not he's wasting his time. Gap years tend to turn into gap decades.
On the flip side of that, my mother refused to let me take a gap year (which are pretty common in the UK). As a result, I didn't want to be at Uni when I went, had no interest in what I was studying (I'd picked it on the grounds that I was being forced to pick something, not because I wanted to do any of it) and dropped out after one semester.

Instead of taking a year's gap, it was nearly 2 decades later when I went back, but this time I want to go and it's going pretty well, thanks.

I actually don't regret it at all, but I probably wouldn't recommend it. I suspect, as I would have been applying for deferred entry, that if I had been allowed to take the gap year I wanted, I would have stayed and likely graduated, but it was a lot harder to go back after dropping out (maybe more in the UK system).
  #43  
Old 09-15-2019, 04:14 PM
Urbanredneck is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 7,798
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Door View Post
Working for a year will probably earn the student enough money to interfere with any need based financial aid programs. Those need based programs allow a student part-time work without too much penalty, but a full-time job will put him over the earning threshold to qualify for aid. My children went to college a couple of decades ago, but from what I remember of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form that's how it worked. If the family income is already high enough so that isn't a factor don't worry about it, but I'd look into it.
Oh, didnt know about this. Thanks for the advice.
  #44  
Old 09-15-2019, 04:33 PM
TruCelt's Avatar
TruCelt is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Near Washington, DC
Posts: 11,500
I've known three kids who did this. All three sat around doing nothing until they were in an unbelievable funk they couldn't get out of without professional help. One spent the time working up such a load of anxiety about college that I doubt she will ever go, which is a crying shame.

Trying to decide between college and trade school? Take a few college or trade school classes to see what it's like. Or apprentice to the trade you are considering.

Thinking you want to just start working and earning some money? Then be looking for a job full time and reporting occasionally on your progress/attempts.

But don't, don't, don't, let him sit around playing video games and eating cheetos. Endless Summer is not good for human beings.
  #45  
Old 09-15-2019, 05:50 PM
48Willys is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Western Colorado
Posts: 845
As others have said, We are all different, & we all react differently to the same situation in life.

I encouraged my kids & I still encourage my grand kids to take some time off between HS & college. My youngest boy never did go to college & he is doing well. He is working as a construction supervisor.

I took 4 years off & it was the best decision for me. I did not lay around the house & goof off. I loaded my car up with all my worldly possessions on graduation day & after the ceremony, I fired that hot-rod up. I crossed the state line before midnight. I did not return for over three years.

Yeah, home life really sucked. It was no better when I returned, but now I knew that life does not need to be that way. I also knew it was them, & not me, that caused the problems.

I worked at many jobs for short bits because I wanted to educate myself about the world around me & how other folks lived their lives. I also wanted to decide what I wanted to do with my life. Not just what career I wanted, but also what kind of man I wanted to be. Between jobs I did a lot of reading, thinking, hiking, fishing, & other tourist type of things. I rode quite a few steam trains then. I still do, I just like them.

Did I want to be a Hippy? Redneck? Working man? Yes these two are different. "Professional"? I tried the "Office Life" there was just too much politics for this country kid. I tended to speak my mind without being concerned about what others think. I try to give folks some thought these days, but some days I just do not care.

I am fairly mechanically minded & I am a big dude, I sought out the tough jobs, partly to prove to myself that I am quite capable of taking care of any hard job that came my way. Also partly because they paid very well.

I have worked in the timber industry, the ranching and the farming industries, as well as all kinds of construction. I discovered that I enjoy the hard physical labor as long as I get to use my mind as well. I often ended up being the foreman because I chose to think about things.

In the end I decided to go back to school & get a degree in aviation maintenance. I was very motivated, as I knew what I was going to accomplish & how I was going to get to that goal. It helped that It was my money that was going to paying for it. I had a plan & I worked that plan. I earned an Airframe & Powerplant Mechanics, (an A&P), license issued by the FAA, as well as an AAS in aviation maintenance. This Has fed my family for over three decades now. Success.

When life allows, I am going back for a BS in both Mathematics & Mechanical Engineering. Life has been tough lately, so I am only taking one class this fall.

I have never been convinced that a college degree is needed in this world to get ahead. I have worked with many self-educated engineer. They are getting older & most of them have retired by now, but these folks know their stuff!

The bottom line is that these kids are adults now & it is time for them to make the decisions for their lives. The key here is to help them make good decisions & then to support them in their decision. I do not mean to pay for ones you think are bad, but to be there for them.

IHTH, 48.
  #46  
Old 09-15-2019, 10:13 PM
Voyager's Avatar
Voyager is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Deep Space
Posts: 46,539
Quote:
Originally Posted by 48Willys View Post

I have never been convinced that a college degree is needed in this world to get ahead. I have worked with many self-educated engineer. They are getting older & most of them have retired by now, but these folks know their stuff!
I'm not surprised most of them have retired. When I went to college, 50 years ago, there was a lot less to learn and while I got good basics in computer science and digital design it would probably be possible to pick it up in books with access to some mainframe to run programs. But we know a hell of a lot more now about how to program, and most engineering jobs would need training on sophisticated and expensive mathematical packages.
Anyone can write code on a PC today, and run it, but that doesn't make you good.
Someone smart enough to self-educate could probably breeze through college.
  #47  
Old 09-15-2019, 10:50 PM
kenobi 65's Avatar
kenobi 65 is online now
Corellian Nerfherder
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brookfield, IL
Posts: 15,740
Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
I'm not surprised most of them have retired. When I went to college, 50 years ago, there was a lot less to learn and while I got good basics in computer science and digital design it would probably be possible to pick it up in books with access to some mainframe to run programs. But we know a hell of a lot more now about how to program, and most engineering jobs would need training on sophisticated and expensive mathematical packages.
Agreed -- I know two people (my cousin, and a friend) who have had very successful careers in computer programming, despite neither of them finishing college. Both of them dropped out of college when part-time jobs in the industry quickly became full-time jobs, but for one of them, that was 1972, and for the other, that was 1985.

Even if a person was able to self-educate themselves in a technical field these days, they would probably never make it past the initial screening process. There are far too many jobs for which a bachelor's degree has become table stakes to simply be considered, even jobs that wouldn't have required a degree a couple of decades ago. In answer to 48Willys, I agree, a college degree *shouldn't* be required to get ahead, but hiring practices have changed dramatically.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 09-15-2019 at 10:51 PM.
  #48  
Old 09-17-2019, 06:33 AM
Urbanredneck is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 7,798
Quote:
Originally Posted by 48Willys View Post

I took 4 years off & it was the best decision for me. I did not lay around the house & goof off. I loaded my car up with all my worldly possessions on graduation day & after the ceremony, I fired that hot-rod up. I crossed the state line before midnight. I did not return for over three years..
Great story. Thanks for sharing.

Question: How did you line up or search out jobs?
  #49  
Old 09-17-2019, 10:11 AM
kenobi 65's Avatar
kenobi 65 is online now
Corellian Nerfherder
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brookfield, IL
Posts: 15,740
Quote:
Originally Posted by Urbanredneck View Post
Great story. Thanks for sharing.

Question: How did you line up or search out jobs?
FWIW, it sounds like 48Willys graduated from high school decades ago (as he notes that he has advised both his children, and his grandchildren, to take time off between high school and college). While he clearly took charge of his own destiny and future (which is absolutely admirable), the avenues that he used to find jobs back then may well not be particularly relevant to an 18 year old today, and the sorts of jobs he found may not exist anymore, or may not be open to someone without a degree.
  #50  
Old 09-21-2019, 08:08 PM
PoppaSan's Avatar
PoppaSan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: West shore Lake Michigan
Posts: 2,370
San son #3 got a summer job where I work last year after graduating high school. End of summer he wasn't sure of what or where he wanted school so he went full time at work. I advised him that since the economy was really good and he was earning 3X minimum wage with full benefits, school could wait until the economy sinks and/or he knows what and where to go to school. He is working now on changing his shift so that he can work and do school starting next semester. He chose to go into an automation repair program that one of the tradesman said he had a degree in. (Somebody has to fix Amazon's robotic warehouses.) 3-4 years of part time schooling plus working full time and he'll have a degree and school mostly paid for. Near the end, he should be able to get into the maintenance dept and get his employer to pick up the tab for the last bit. His chosen career path was not an idea to him before he took time off.
__________________
This place is beginning to feel like a tin foil hat convention.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:40 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017