It’s never too late to take a gap year! Gap year programs are appropriate for recent high school and college graduates and for students who have decided to drop out or take time off. Whether you’re taking a break from school or delaying starting for a few months, young adults look to gap year programs for the same reasons: to provide structured adventure activities, to learn from experiences, to explore personal goals, and to become more independent. 

Obstacles Young Adults Face When Taking Time Off School

Failure to launch is a common challenge many young adults face, especially after taking time off school. Failure to launch syndrome describes a young adult who is struggling with the transition to adulthood after a long duration of dependency without notable progress or motivation. Many students who have taken time off school report feeling less motivated the longer they put off returning to school, which puts them at risk of getting trapped in failure to launch and reinforces a sense of hopelessness. 

Symptoms associated with failure to launch may include:

  • Poor work ethic
  • Low distress tolerance
  • Low levels of motivation
  • Low levels of persistence
  • High expectations of others without reciprocating
  • Failure to take responsibility
  • Lack of vision (for the future or long-term goals)
  • Lack of skills needed for adulthood (basic cooking and cleaning skills)

How to Take Advantage of Gap Year Programming

Taking time off school can be a great opportunity for students to regain motivation to launch if they remain goal-oriented. While they may struggle with motivation and feeling directionless, plans to work on setting and achieving personal goals can help young adults get the most out of the structure of a gap year program.

Some ways to support your child who wants to take time off school include:


  • Explore their interests. Sit down with your young adult and ask them about their passions and career goals. Once you understand their desires, discuss the road to get there. Help them take action and implement a plan to get where they want to go.
  • Suggest other training opportunities. Vocational training, informal apprenticeships, and industry-specific certifications are valuable ways to achieve certifications. These can be very beneficial for your young adult. Help them find resources to look into for this type of thing.
  • Come up with a plan for independence. It is critical that your young adult knows that they cannot rely on you to solve their problems. They should not be comfortable living under your rules indefinitely. Set clear boundaries with them around what your role is as the parent of an adult child.  
  • Listen. This is perhaps the most important thing you can do. Do not put them down for their choices or career passions. Again, you can’t choose these things for them. Be supportive and listen to what makes them happy and help them get there.



What can failure to launch programs for young adults offer your child?

Failure to launch programs help young adults who are struggling to gain the independence needed to move forward with their lives. Young adults are removed from their everyday environment during these programs which helps them step out of the place where they feel stuck or unmotivated and address the issues they’ve been struggling with. Students are given the opportunity to explore new things and learn what motivates or excites them.

Unlike other gap year programs, wilderness programs offer a therapeutic element to adventure activities and life skills training. Students emerge after having taken the time to rethink their priorities, cultivate a deeper sense of purpose, and reconnect with their families in adult parent-child relationships.

blueFire PulsaR Can Help 

blueFire PulsaR is a co-educational wilderness therapy program for young adults ages 18-28. This program addresses emotional, social, and behavioral problems in young adults who are considering dropping out or experiencing “failure to launch” syndrome. Adventure therapy, wilderness ventures, equine therapy, academic opportunities and “family spark” are used to help students open up and look at their life. From there they are able to experience growth and adopt healthy self-management skills. This program is dedicated to helping students regain a better sense of the world around them while addressing their emotions and needs head on.

For more information about gap year programs for college dropouts and struggling young adults, contact us at 1 (844) 413-1999. We can help your family today!


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