"Next year, she will enter as a more mature, thoughtful student."
Lucy worked extremely hard in high school and we felt a pause would be re-energizing. She had a few jobs which taught her some new life lessons and allowed her to make some money. She also got to explore her passions --in her case studying theatre and working at a baboon orphanage in South Africa. She also got some downtime to think and read and relax. I am confident that when she goes to Harvard next year she will enter as a more mature, thoughtful student than would have been the case with no gap year. I was hesitant to have her travel the world, sometimes alone but she needed/needs to learn to do that. While she was concerned about being a year behind her high school friends, I think that won't be an issue and she will make new friends as well as keep the old. I highly recommend the gap year and will encourage my other high school aged children to consider it when the time comes.
Karen F, mother of Lucy G