Forget the gap year ... get yourself a job!

Kate Livingstone. New background.
Kate Livingstone. New background.

Battle lines have been drawn up. Both sides have taken up their position and are firmly entrenched ... but I’m determined to win this fight!

I’m sure many parents of university students have faced the same scenario – son or daughter completes three or four years at university courtesy of the bank of mum and dad then announces that they intend to take off for the next year “finding themselves”.

Yes, you’ve guessed it. Son and heir Gary will – hopefully – finally graduate this summer after four years of study. Add to that six years at high school and I’ve been keeping him for quite a while.

Now I’ve never complained, okay only occasionally when he is really annoying me, because I’ve always wanted to support him and his ambitions.

He loves sport and since sitting his Standard Grades made it clear that he wanted to study the subject.

While his gran and others of her generation criticised his choice, suggesting did he not want to be a doctor or lawyer, I agreed that with people having more leisure time, it was a growing industry where hopefully he would get a job on completion of his degree.

But that’s when all the strife began.

I’ve been busy looking at all the job adverts in the papers and online, cutting them out and printing them off before leaving them in a pile for him – only to be told he’s planning on taking a gap year!

That’s right, swanning off around the world on an extended holiday for at least six months rather than looking for a job.

To say I’m not happy is an understatement.

I’ve tried to point out that by the time he comes back there will be another group of newly-qualified students looking for work, but he just shrugs his shoulders.

His argument is that he will get the ‘wanderlust’ out of his blood before settling down, but I’m not convinced.

Of course, what I’m not saying is that I’ll worry about him the whole time he is away. But I’m afraid that goes with the territory of being a parent, no matter how old they are.