Since when did it become a "thing" to expect your parents to fund a "gap year" abroad? It certainly wasn't a thing when I was 18. I had no gap year, there was no months-year-long trip through a foreign country, getting to know myself, meeting people, riding the rails, eating out, etc. That would only be for heirs and heiresses, not for a normal person. Nope, it was straight into college and work-study for me, until my junior year when I was accepted into a study abroad program in France. Funded by myself, and my student loans. I worked hard in France, taking courses in french and immersing myself in the language and culture, becoming fluent and learning to live within a very small budget. I overshot that budget a few times which resulted in some very hungry weeks eating apples and portioning out my Gitanes to last. (Quelle horreur que j'ai fume! But thank goodness I don't smoke anymore.)
The reason I bring this up is because my own 17 year old daughter seems to think it is a thing now, and that she ought to have a year abroad, perhaps in South America, doing all of those fantastic things I mentioned above. I was pretty aghast when she first mentioned it, and have since told her unequivocally that if she wants to travel before college, she will have to fund it fully herself. By getting a job and saving, or by getting a job abroad, or by getting some kind of financial aid. There just isn't any alternative, and honestly I don't think high school students really deserve to have an all-expense paid trip somewhere on our dime. Havent' we done enough at this point? Raising them, paying for all of their clothes, their extra curricular activities, nursed them though countless illnesses, driven them thousands of miles, been on time, been loving, stayed home to be with them, ETC? Where is MY GAP YEAR?!!!
So, that is where we left it. I haven't heard much from her camp which tells me that a. she is still in denial or b. she is still in denial.
But come a year from June, she will graduate. And whether she goes straight to college or joins the Peace Corps, becomes a nanny, or gets a job, that year will be my gap year. I'd rather spend it in Europe, but I'll take what I can get.