Sometimes I speak with students who have accepted the admission offer from a college but are not looking forward to attending. There are many reasons this could be true. Maybe it wasn't their first choice college. Or maybe it was and they are having second thoughts about going to college far from home. In any event, it is important to let them know they don't have to go.
In most cases, the only thing that happens if they don't go is the loss of the admission deposit. And, if there is a good reason to decide not to attend at this point because of changing circumstances or health an exception might be made. It is worth asking. Also, a student can ask about deferring an acceptance for this fall to the fall of 2017. That way, there is no risk of starting the admissions process over. They will still have that admission offer. They can decide later to decline it in favor of other options.
Students who start to have misgivings about leaving for college can make other plans including:
- staying home and completing a few semesters at community college and examining other options for the next year
- taking a gap year to get experience related to the intended major of the student
- working full time to save money for college and gain experience
- doing mission work
- participating in an internship
It is possible to set up an international or in-country or in-community gap year experience. There are companies that specialize in arranging such adventures and students and parents can design their own.
Every student is on his own time trajectory. There is no rule that this year's graduating seniors have to start college this fall. Part time community college and part time work or a GAP year are all options. The best choice is what is right for the student at this point in time.
Being sensitive to student concerns can avoid an academic term that ends with grades that don't further their plans. Taking a few terms to grow and learn in other ways is a sensible option.