Tutor Icon  Request A Tutor
Gap Year

Gap Years

Gap Years: Advice for stranded parents.

 

My eldest sister was the first to broach the ‘gap year’ question. It wasn’t easy, she picked unlikely candidates at first. War-torn African countries topped her list, followed swiftly by areas of the Americas known better for their ‘coca’ than their health and safety records. After much negotiation she picked a more conventional route, and had a blast.

 

When it came to my turn there was no question of a full withdrawal of cooperation, I had been planning my year out from the age of 12 and there was no way parental angst was going to get in the way. And angst it must be.

 

To be told by one’s offspring that they are going ‘travelling’, for much longer than a school term, in far flung and unknown parts of the world with one or two of their equally silly school friends (if you’re lucky) must be far from ideal. Even enlightened parents, glad that their children have the drive to explore the world, will no doubt shudder at the thought of them actually getting on a plane, with nothing but a bag full of deet and steri-strips, to frankly anywhere.

 

It’s true, there are many moments in one’s travels that parents should probably not hear about (well at least not immediately). I once woke up in Thailand to shouting outside my bedroom window at 4.30am. Observing small fire balls and smoke billowing from the next door building I woke my friends, “grab your stuff, next door’s on fire”. I know you’re supposed to leave bags, but when it’s all you’ve got that theory goes, well, out the window. Fleeing our rooms we ran down stairs due to be engulfed in flames from the adjoining inferno. Safely out, with only a washbag missing (stolen by an unscrupulous fireman) we looked on as our well-worn guesthouse was hosed down. I called my parents later that day, looking back on it as yet another thrilling story to be told. They were not quite as thrilled.
The story of the burning guesthouse is probably not that comforting to soon-to-be-abandoned-parents. But it should be. What I mean is that there will be scrapes, some quite serious, but that your child will probably be ok. Hardly convincing.

 

We can never be sure of how safe a situation is. I would personally take the perils of a burning guesthouse over the minefield of being a 14 or 15 year old girl at an all girl’s school, for example. Fires tend not to care whether you’re wearing makeup or not, and have very little idea who won Britain’s got Talent. Children face risks all the time, and rightly so. Going travelling just transfers these risks on to different places, and most people love the challenge of the change. By the time we get to 18 most of us know that wandering down dark alleys alone is a pretty bad plan, and accepting lifts from strangers unlikely to end happily. Remember this, your child has a brain (no matter what size) and when released in to the (much) wider world will, in all likelihood, use it. You just have to let them.

 

The one piece of advice I would give to any parent would be not to worry. This I know is impossible, so I move on to my back-up. Try to morph your worry in to concern, not panic. Encourage your child to be responsible, and yet still enjoy the amazing things that distant travel has to offer. In my experience you can’t stop them going, but you can influence how they go. Get involved in the preparation, help them plan their trip, buy their bags, suncream, and rehydration salts. Most of us can put up with carrying full first aid kits around several continents just to appease our parents, even if that ‘sterile needle set’ remains, many years on, perfectly untouched.

 

Be in touch by email, phone if you can, but don’t panic if a week goes by and you haven’t heard anything. You will, and it will be all the more exciting when you do, as in that week so much will have been seen and done, and you will be the first one (maybe second after the ever-present travel diary) to be told.

LETS STUDY FOR YOUR EXAM TOGETHER

 
Melodie Argi
Melodie Argi
08:14 18 Oct 19
Tavistock tutors is by far the best tutor agency is London. The tutor selection is of the highest quality. Handpicked from the British intellectual elite in all sorts of disciplines. The staff is wonderfully helpful as well as being extremely attentive to feedback.read more
Henry Smith
Henry Smith
22:27 17 Oct 19
I have been employed as a tutor with Tavistock Tutors for over 5 years. I tutor mathematics and also help people with job preparation for different career routes (cv, cover letter, interview preparation and online test prep). They are simply a wonderful team of individuals who work collectively and strive to deliver the best possible service to both clients and their tutors. They work doggedly to achieve results. They are particularly honest and their feedback to tutors on how to improve is tailored, concise and always highly constructive. Even after 5 yrs, they only put me forward as a tutor if they think I am the absolute best they can find otherwise they are honest with me and explain why I was not put forward. I think this transparency is a huge reason for their success and keeps the best tutors on their books for years. Their communication on what a client wants is also clinically precise and effective and the team go out of their way to provide potential interests/passions of the client to help the tutor prepare accordingly for the lessons and nurture that interaction. Simply the finest agency and I have tutored with some of the best. World-class tutors and utmost confidentiality with respect to their clientele. I cannot be happier to work for them, a dream job with a team whose capacity for kindness, empathy and boundless intellect never ceases to amaze me. Their work ethic inspires me to relentlessly push myself to be a better tutor with their encouragement and constructive feedback.read more
Albert Tam
Albert Tam
20:50 17 Oct 19
Best tutors in London! Great experience and amazing customer service. Highly recommend, my tutors were all fantastic and a huge help. Really recommend Tavistock Tutors as I never had to worry about not getting the highest quality tutors unlike other agencies and online tutors.read more
I ME
I ME
16:13 17 Oct 19
I’ve used Tavistock multiple times and they never disappoint! I used them for myself secondary school, whilst at university and even now whilst working. Their service is second to none as are their tutors. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to better themselves academically or personally.read more
STAVROS MOUSLOPOULOS
STAVROS MOUSLOPOULOS
13:22 06 Oct 19
Why most reviewers have one contribution, namely to the Tavistock Tutors? High standards ? Mate get a real job rather than living off other's qualifications. Reality Check (See photos attached - that is the owner “looking for me” 1.5 years after leaving London and while my name and photo was on first page of Tavistock Tutor website...)read more
Jonathan Aaron
Jonathan Aaron
16:39 01 Aug 19
Amazing experience, the tutor was reliable, knowledgeable and reasonably priced and the company was both professional and reliable. Definitely will be using them again!read more
David T
David T
16:34 01 Aug 19
I used Tavistock for some Corporate Finance and Financial Modelling training at my firm. They were extremely helpful and the trainer, Simon, was of top quality, experience and charged a fair price. Thank you!read more
Olivia Pluss
Olivia Pluss
11:05 13 Jun 19
I had a fantastic experience with my tutor Elena and Tavistock Tutors. They were very well organized and made the entire experience so seamless and easy for me. I passed my assignment with great marks and the experience was much less stressful than if I had tried to complete the assignment without Elena's help.read more
J Mathews
J Mathews
11:27 22 May 19
My child used Glenda for HL biology. Glenda was outstanding. I would not hesitate to recommend her. Extremely intelligent, always prepared, knows how to teach/very helpful, and also just a nice person. Also, I would use Tavistock again for sure because we had such success with Glenda.read more
Alan Radford
Alan Radford
09:34 09 May 19
Tavistock Tutors were a delight to deal with, and highly professional at all times. They provided my daughter with an excellent tutor at very short notice - after my having approached them on a Thursday urgently requesting a tutor for that weekend. Tavistock Tutors immediately gave the matter their attention; they appreciated the urgency and responded quickly and efficiently, and helped to set my daughter up with exactly the right sort of tutor. Fantastic!read more
Sophie Taieb
Sophie Taieb
12:55 29 Mar 19
Very happy with Tavistock tutors services. They provide a wide range of tutors, from all backgrounds and for all types of needs. My uni son needed some help in research and methodology. We found a perfectly suited tutor in less than 3 days. He is very knowledgeable, punctual, open minded and brings the support needed to my son. I would definitely recommend Tavistock tutorsread more
Next Reviews
 

How to memorise quotes – (great for closed book exams!)

Memorising quotes can be a crucial element to your GCSE and A-level exams, so mastering the skill can be essential. Being able to use quotes in your written responses is a sure way to get marks fo...

How to choose quotes to learn for English GCSE

We know that learning quotes for a closed-book exam can be daunting, difficult and boring – especially when you’ve already been studying the text for an entire year. In our article ‘Do I need ...

Do I need to memorise quotes for English GCSE?

With the new GCSE specifications released in 2015, most English Literature GCSE exams have now become closed-book exams.

But what does this mean?

This means that in your exam, you won...

Call Now Button