Ep. 190: Should Your Teen Take a Gap Year? with Julia Rogers

Jun 18, 2024 | 0 comments

In this episode, we’re exploring something that is often misunderstood and rarely talked about: gap years. Many parents and students don’t really know exactly what a gap year is or how taking one could be the right choice for them. So today, we are exploring the benefits and considerations of gap years for teens and young adults with learning differences. I’m thrilled to introduce our guest, Julia Rogers, a professional gap year counselor and founder of EnRoute Counseling. Julia is an expert on this topic, and she’s here to shed light on how gap years can be particularly beneficial for those who learn and think differently.

A gap year is more than just a break from academics; it’s an intentional period of personal growth supported by diverse learning opportunities. We have a lot of misconceptions about what gap years really are, so having Julia break it down will provide a lot to think about. Over the past 15 years, the reasons people choose to take a gap year have evolved, and Julia will share some common motivations behind this decision. She will also discuss the unique benefits that gap years can offer to different types of students, including the opportunity to develop social skills and catch up, especially in the post-pandemic world.

The ultimate goal is to guide our young people into a life of fulfillment. Join us as we dive into the world of gap years with Julia Rogers, and discover if this might be the right path for your teen to thrive.

Show Notes:

[3:17] – A gap year is an intentional period of personal growth supported by learning opportunities.

[4:35] – Over the last 15 years, the reasons people choose to take a gap year have shifted and changed. Julia shares a lot of common ones.

[5:59] – The benefits are a lot different for different types of students.

[7:23] – Benefits can also include “catching up” and developing social skills, especially now post-pandemic.

[8:45] – When working with her students, Julia sets three types of goals with them: personal, practical, and professional.

[11:01] – There are endless possibilities of what a gap year could look like.

[12:04] – If a young adult knows they want to be college bound, it is possible to apply and defer, or they can wait till after their gap year to begin applying.

[15:47] – The goal is to guide our young people into a life of fulfillment.

[17:48] – Julia describes gap year programs and what they offer.

[20:16] – What role should parents play in planning or supporting the plan for a gap year?

[23:45] – Give yourself the permission to explore nontraditional plans and paths for success.

[24:32] – There are some reasons that a gap year is not recommended, including certain scholarships or financial aid.

[26:59] – Julia lists the different types of gap year programming opportunities that could benefit students with learning differences.

[29:24] – A gap year is a great time for students to “get out of their bubble.” That means different things for different students.

About Our Guest:

Julia Rogers is an internationally recognized speaker, entrepreneur, and expert in experiential education with over 14 years of experience as a professional gap year counselor. She is the founder of EnRoute Consulting, a socially responsible enterprise aimed at fueling the gap year movement and cultivating a generation of compassionate, driven, and resourceful global citizens.

Julia partners with educators, service-learning organizations, non-profits, government entities and families around the world to develop creative educational pathways that result in young adults being better prepared to succeed in life and work. Julia is a TEDx speaker, a podcast host and President Emeritus of the Gap Year Association, a US-based nonprofit dedicated to the intentional growth of the gap year option through research, standards-setting and advocacy efforts.

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The Diverse Thinking Different Learning podcast is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or legal advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Additionally, the views and opinions expressed by the host and guests are not considered treatment and do not necessarily reflect those of ChildNEXUS, Inc or the host, Dr. Karen Wilson.