Generally speaking, in the past when students graduated from high school, they went to university or entered the workforce right way. This is no longer always the case. Many students now choose to take a gap year and explore other options. Deciding whether or not this is wise is subjective but for many it can be positive.
On the one hand, taking time off allows a person to broaden horizon to see and experience new cultures, to peak his or her curiosity about new places. After all, not all things can be learned in the classroom. We can grow and mature from the challenges of living abroad. Besides, it also allows us to appreciate aspects of our own culture that we previously took for granted.
However, on the other hand, there is the risk that taking time off may cloud the student’s mind by presenting him or her with too many options. The desire to go back to school after being in society may become less appealing and this could negatively impact their long-term job opportunities.
In the end, I feel that it comes down to what the individual wants to achieve in life. There is no “one size fits all” prescription. Personally, if I had the resources, I would make every effort to experience new places and challenge myself in new ways, but also commit to a university education afterward.
To summarize, we must be careful not to make this into a black and white issue. Instead, parents and children should do their best to discuss what course of action suits them best.