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Ds gap year between school and uni- not doing anything

(40 Posts)
flupi Sat 21-Oct-17 17:45:13

When my ds announced he was deferring his uni place to next sept., I thought great, he can do a bit of growing up, get some work experience or volunteering. Something. He's not doing anything. He's perfectly happy, personable, helpful, friendly, a great lad apart from he's not working in any capacity. My opinion up to now is surely it's a good thing to learn to work with other people, learn some new skills. My friends keep asking what he's up to and suggest we stop any money that he gets, gym membership etc. My dh is getting very annoyed and I find myself wondering who's right and is there another point of view out there that could justify him chilling for a year? I guess my question is AIBU to nag him to do something or should he be able to float around for a year?

acquiescence Sat 21-Oct-17 17:53:23

He should absolutely be doing something. I would agree that you should not be giving him money and paying for gym membership etc.

Ilovefoodtoomuch Sat 21-Oct-17 17:59:09

My daughter has just started Uni, when we were a bit unsure of which uni she wanted to go to and whether she wanted to live in or travel daily, she considered taking a gap year to decode exactly what she wanted to do. She actually came to the conclusion (and this was her decision entirely) that she would not take a gap year, as she felt that after a year out of education, she would really find it hard to get back into the swing of it. Even though she could have picked up more hours at her part time job, she just didn't want to do it, and risk then not following Uni up. Also getting used to earning a full time wage it would then be difficult to go back being a poor student lol.

He will get far too used to lazing around, maybe a job will make him appreciate money as he's actually worked for it. And if he doesn't get a job then he needs to volunteer somewhere.

You'll be doing him no favours if you let this continue

Aquamarine1029 Sat 21-Oct-17 18:00:18

Allowing him to lay on his arse is sending him a terrible message. He should be working out of the home and doing lots of chores within the home. Do you honestly think it's reasonable to be fully supporting a young adult simply because he doesn't feel like getting a job?? How lovely for him. Mummy and daddy give him money, buy his food, provide a comfortable home, pay for his internet and phone, and all he has to do is breath the air. He needs to join us in the real world and get a work ethic. You enabling him like this is doing him no favours.

recklessgran Sat 21-Oct-17 18:05:32

Fair enough if he took the summer off but yes he definitely should be working by now. Have you actually asked him what he is intending to do with his gap year?

honeyroar Sat 21-Oct-17 18:21:34

My stepson initially did this. His mum paid for him to go and stay with her brother abroad, and he worked for him for three months, then he came back and his mother demanded that we paid child maintenance for him while he fared around. We thought he should get a job and pay board (got a bit slated on here at the time!). A few months later he worked in a local bar for the next six months and was a carer for his grandparent until he went to uni (when we started paying him money again). I feel like he wasted his year out, he could've done so much. I'd have loved to have seen him do a ski season or something, but I guess it's his life (although not if his mother has anything to do with it). He has settled back into studying though, I think he adores it and was a bit bored on his year out (all his friends went off to uni).

Love51 Sat 21-Oct-17 18:27:19

Everyone is entitled to laze around.
Personally I wouldn't fund it for them.

If course there are exceptional circumstances when I might, but I wouldn't consider it lazing about if they were, for eg, recovering from serious illness, being a carer, doing an internship (much as that last one makes me shudder)

fretfulsmarties Sat 21-Oct-17 18:30:33

Cut him off financially. No spends, no gym, no treat food, no mobile phone. Basic meals and nothing else. Point out that you might also take a year off and in which case where is his food, gym, electricity, hot water etc coming from?

Lazy git.

IamalsoSpartacus Sat 21-Oct-17 18:34:18

did he have to give any reason to the uni as to why he wanted to defer?

formerbabe Sat 21-Oct-17 18:38:36

What a waste of time! If he worked for the year, he could save up quite a bit which would be very useful for his time at uni or just some savings for the future. If he decides to go ahead with this idea, he should get food provided at home and nothing else. He'll soon get fed up!

HopelesslydevotedtoGu Sat 21-Oct-17 18:41:38

My dh didn't do much during his gap year through lack of motivation - although he did more than your ds, he had a part time job and spent the summer abroad - and he really regretted the missed opportunity to do more with the year.

When your ds goes to uni everyone will be talking about the great stuff they did on their gap year, some will have saved money, others travelled, learnt new skills. I think he will regret spending the whole year hanging around.

Are any of his friends doing anything fun that he can join?
Is he interested in travel, or as he likes exercise something active abroad like a ski season (can work alongside skiing), scuba diving or trekking gap year programme for a few months?

My parents agreed to contribute towards my gap year travels as long as I earnt money too, which motivated me to find temporary jobs and work really hard. I would prefer to put money towards a big experience like this rather than gym membership etc

psychomath Sat 21-Oct-17 18:51:46

I had the best part of a year out between my undergrad and my Masters - I was halfheartedly looking for jobs, but mostly struggling quite badly with mental health problems. It hasn't really held me back career-wise, although I'm not exactly doing anything high-flying (my choice), but it did make me feel rubbish. Once I got back into uni and afterwards got a job I felt much better. So I wouldn't be overly stressed about his long-term prospects unless he's generally a spoiled git, which it sounds like he's not, but I would be worried about the effect on his general wellbeing and work ethic if he's just sitting around all the time. Did he give a reason for deferring when he first said he was going to?

And of course, if you're not able/willing to fund him doing nothing then that's entirely fair enough - I don't think anyone in their right mind would think that was unreasonable.

Theworldisfullofidiots Sat 21-Oct-17 18:52:48

When he goes for a job they will ask him what he did in his gap year and some jobs ask for evidence to explain gaps in employment history. He needs to do something or it may hinder his job chances post uni.
I know as my dh had a year off because of illness that ge had to explain.

JaceLancs Sat 21-Oct-17 18:55:00

I wish I had been able to take a gap year! I was burnt out by the time I got to university - it felt like a roundabout of study study study and I just wanted to get off - sadly I didn’t have that option so ploughed on and did ok but I do empathise
For my own DC neither took a gap year but I would’ve supported them if they did - I wouldn’t necessarily have expected them to work full time but p/t and or volunteering would’ve been fine

Carebear1357 Sat 21-Oct-17 18:56:39

When I was 18 I went abroad and learnt a language from scratch fluently. It set me up for uni. I was ready to go, as I'd had a break from education and I had gotten used to living away from home. It was wonderful and I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

flupi Sat 21-Oct-17 19:06:59

Thankyou for your replies. I do agree - I just wondered if there was an alternative point of view that I was missing- on the lines of there's so much pressure in life- we are all so busy busy- stressed - that maybe to have a chill year was not such a bad thing?

PerfumeIsAMessage Sat 21-Oct-17 19:09:58

Get him down to apply for some Christmas packing jobs pronto.

BoucleJacket Sat 21-Oct-17 19:19:07

Are they holding the place or will he just be applying next year?

Oversubscribed courses sometimes won't give a place for the following year and some even frown on gap years unless it's for working in a related field.

And if he does nothing it will look bad on his application for university and jobs.

Aquamarine1029 Sat 21-Oct-17 19:42:43

...there's so much pressure in life- we are all so busy busy- stressed - that maybe to have a chill year was not such a bad thing?
Come on now. Yes, of course life is busy and can be stressful. That is part of living and no one is immune to it. Of course everyone deserves to have some downtime - when they've earned it. It's reasonable for him to "chill" for a YEAR? That is totally outrageous and setting him up for a lifetime of bad habits and lack of motivation. He made an adult decision to delay his education, now he needs to act like an adult and help to support himself and contribute to the family while he lives in your home. Maybe not by paying rent, but definitely with household responsibilities. Allowing him to duck out of any responsibility is like allowing him to regress to being 10 years old.

BackforGood Sat 21-Oct-17 19:52:27

I agree with everyone else. He either needs to be working, and saving up to help himself when he goes to University (or spending some on something useful like driving lessons); doing something such as travelling to expand his horizons; or volunteering / gaining experience that will help in a future career.
'Sitting round on his backside' would not be something I'd be funding.

HotelEuphoria Sat 21-Oct-17 19:57:13

He is taking the absolute piss and he is setting himself up for a life of CBA.

Stop the support, stop the money, stop the gym, he needs to get a job. Absolute jokes.

Fruitcorner123 Sat 21-Oct-17 20:00:47

Why on earth do you even have to ask this question? You are giving him a free place to live and presumably feeding him as well as gym membership and i am guessing a phone contract? Are you also giving him an allowance? Does he do his fair share of chores? Its your job to prepare him for the adult world. He is an adult with absolutely no responsibilities what on earth is the point of this year? If it's preparing him financially he should be earning and saving, if it's preparing him emotionally and in maturity he should be taking on certain responsibilities. There is no scenario where not working for an entire year is going to help him.

I would cut back significantly on your spending on him so he is forced to get a job. If you were feeling kind you could warn him and give him a month to get himself sorted.

Usernamegone Sat 21-Oct-17 20:11:37

I can understand an 18 year old wanting some time time to chill as schools is just relentless nowadays. However, most finish their A Levels in mid June and won't start Uni until mid September so there is three whole months to chill and decompress (if he had started uni in September) He has now had 4 months chill. All he need to do is get a PT job doing something to fund his social life and spends. Ideally some voluntary work in a area that interests him. Neither of which will be anywhere as taxing as A Levels and will most likely be a lot of fun.

IfYouGoDownToTheWoodsToday Sat 21-Oct-17 20:27:56

We're pretty generous with our DDs, we've always given them quite a bit of money and always paid for things like car, insurance, phones etc. Both had gap years but there was no question that they would have to work. Dd1 didn't go travelling so had savings when she went to uni.
Dd2 saved all her work money and went travelling for 6 months.

How can anyone think it's ok to do nothing for a whole year?hmm.

wannabestressfree Sat 21-Oct-17 20:32:25

Even if he did bar Work he would have lots of down time. He absolutely needs to be doing something!

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