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Old 29-12-2008, 16:56   #1
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Cruising with College-Aged Teen

As time is getting closer for our planned departure of 2009 we (mostly my daughter) is starting to reconsider previous plans. My now 17 year old daughter had planned to go to college after graduating high school but being a typical young adult has no real idea what she wants to do for the rest of her life and is having second thoughts (I can't say I am disappointed). She is now seriously considering going with us on our cruise for at least a year to see some of the world and hopefully get some focus on her future.
So my question is how many older teens are really out there cruising? What are her options for a social life? and how many kids have tried to knock out on-line college courses while coastal cruising out of the US?
We have been living on board for 2 years now so she knows what she is getting into as far as living aboard but cruising will be new to all of us and I would hate to feel that I was isolating her rather than broadening her horizons.
Any insight would be very helpful.
Jackie
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Old 29-12-2008, 17:15   #2
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Jackie - Most European and Aussies take a year off after high school. It is very therapeutic. However they usually do it on their own and I suspect that what they learn in the year off is that it sucks to be poor. Great incentive for uni.

Taking a year to go cruising with mom and dad would be right at the top of my list, especially if the parents are financing!

Seriously, though. Only you guys know your daughter. A year off could be a great thing. I do know that forcing them straight into college when they are not prepared to do it results in a year of bad grades....
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Old 29-12-2008, 17:56   #3
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Thank you for the support Dan.
I have heard that a year off after college is common in Europe and other parts of the world but here in the US it seems that college immediately after HS is just expected even if they may not have direction yet. More than one person has already raised an eyebrow at her recent desire to go cruising so the encouragement is appreciated.
Jackie
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Old 29-12-2008, 18:10   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackiepitts View Post
So my question is how many older teens are really out there cruising? What are her options for a social life? Jackie

We ain't seen none 17 years olds, but for 1 unhappy 15/16 old.

Nicolle is 26 (yesterday!) and she finds it pretty hard finding people she can talk music and nail polish with.

However, your daughter will find it an amazing experience not to be missed! There would be no better 'gap year' for a young person than to go cruising.

Jackie, you may need to be especially cognisant of her need to be alone / explore herself / socialise in ways you wouldn't allow at home.

With digital cameras, web cam, email and internet in every port her friends are only a moment away.

After a year she will at least have met many adults from various walks of life bith cruisers and locals. She will then have the best chance to decide what she would like to do

Mark

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Old 29-12-2008, 18:40   #5
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Happy Birthday Nicolle!

My wife's birthday is Dec 22. Josh's birthday is Dec 28th.

Expensive month is over - Yay!
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Old 29-12-2008, 18:41   #6
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We cruised the South Pacific with our kids while they did their high school by correspondance, and they intermittently cruised with us while they were in college. They had a great time.

Cruising at college age is a good way to become a citizen of the world. The only real danger is that they will like it so much that they will experience an extended adolescence and not want to return to college or the real world of earning a living. I personally think it's worth the risk of a failure to launch and an extended adolescence.

Here's what my son learned cruising around the world with us:

David's Journal

If your daughter want's to do it, I say go for it.
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Old 30-12-2008, 09:51   #7
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Alot of great stuff in David's Journal so I forwarded the link to my daughter. I am sure this will give her alot better idea of what cruising life will be like. At this point she seems excited about going. Now I just need to keep her away from boys until we leave
Thanks for all the great advice!
Jackie
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Old 30-12-2008, 10:03   #8
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it is quite common for kids here to take a year out and then go to Uni,my friend who is a Uni Lecturer says that the kids that take a year out are generally the most motivated,they spend a year travelling and doing bar jobs etc and come to the decision that getting qualified is a great idea
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Old 30-12-2008, 10:11   #9
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I think your daughter is making the wise decision. College will always be there. A cruise with family exploring the world, and culturees may not? She gets my vote to cruise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.....i2f
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Old 22-05-2009, 05:20   #10
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I don't have any kids myself, but I remember that when I was 17 spending a year holidaying with my parents was the last thing on my list!

Still, if she's keen, I think it will be a real eye opener to the rest of the world.
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Old 23-05-2009, 01:22   #11
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When I was 17, many years ago, we went on a round the world cruise, the family uprooted and changed a house for a sail boat and away we went, in the Marquesas, there were several other vessels that had near our families ages folks, and we had a very good time interacting with the other sailing families, and it certainly changes the perspective of the young ones. I think it tends to make one focus outward and not so much inward, you begin to realize that the world does not revolve around yourself. It was a life changing event and I would not trade that experience for anything.
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Old 23-05-2009, 02:18   #12
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I don't have kids myself, so probably have no right to an opinion, but if you and your daughter are close enough that she herself suggests spending a year cruising with you for a whole year, than I think that sounds absolutely wonderful.

As someone said, the English and many Commonwealth countries have a tradition of a "gap year" between school and university, where the child is given a chance to have some adventures and learn something practical or impractical about life. I think this is a great institution which can really broaden the child's horizons. On the contrary, we Americans hurry through our education in lockstep, many of us work during the summers, as if life is only about achieving the most practical goals as quickly as possible. I think this is wrong! What could be better for your child than a year of life at sea, where there is so much to learn, none of it less valuable in my opinion than what she would be learning at college.

The only downside that I can see is that she will arrive at college, a year older than her peers, and as a real adult who has been at sea and knows how to steer in a storm, how to heave to and set a sea anchor, and carry real adult responsibilities, who has been spending her time with adults for a whole year, and her peers will seem absolutely childish to her.

As to her social life -- I can't really tell you anything, but in my experience cruising is not a very solitary endeavor. On the contrary, she will get to meet lots of people from different backgrounds and of different ages. If she is somewhat starved for contact with people of her own age -- surely that's not the worst thing in the world and she will be able to compensate for it. If you ask me (and again, I have no right to an opinion), I think on the contrary it could be very healthy for her to be spending her time with you and with people older than her. She will learn that way not to take as seriously all of the social conventions and herd mentality of teenagers.

I say go for it!!
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Old 23-05-2009, 06:59   #13
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Just be sure she does not see the question posted in the cruising with "CHILDREN" section!
Steve
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Old 23-05-2009, 08:24   #14
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Steven has a good point. At 17 -18, she should be a full member of the crew and have the same responsibilities as any other crew member (watches, knowing all the essential navigation and communication systems, etc).

I think time off after high school is an excellent idea -- how many kids know what thy want to do with the rest of their lives at 18 years old? Once she gets into college, she will be taking classes with people of various ages (not just 18 year old incoming freshman), so starting at 20 or 21 instead of 18 is really not relevant.

I sure wish I had taken a few years off before I jumped into college (all those many years ago).

BTW -- congrats on raising a child who, at 17, thinks it a viable idea to spend time cruising with you. You must have done something right.
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Old 23-05-2009, 13:31   #15
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a view from the other side

I teach college frosh during the fall quarter of each school year. Half of them have absolutely no idea what they hope to get out of college, and tend to view it as a four-year party with a $45,000 per year cover charge. This is especially true among "undecided" majors. In every class I teach there will be one or two students who took time off after high school for whatever reason. Almost invariably these students tend to take their studies more seriously. I'm guessing this is because they are far more likely to understand why they're attending college.
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