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Woman won't let 18-year-old daughter take gap year to model, 'you need college now.'

Woman won't let 18-year-old daughter take gap year to model, 'you need college now.'


It's only natural to want to protect your kids from the dangers of a predatory and unstable world.

But once they reach adulthood, it's up to them to figure out how to navigate the chaos, even if they're still young and naive. Sitting back and letting a young adult child call their own shots can be painful and conflict-inducing, especially if you see a freight train of potential pain and disappointment coming their way.

The alternative, however, is to keep the reigns so tight they eventually stop coming to you for guidance and advice.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she's wrong for telling her daughter she can't go to NYC to become a model before enrolling in school.

She wrote:

I (44F) have a daughter (18F) and a son (15M). My daughter was “scouted” by a modeling agency when she was 15. Since then, she has been doing modeling jobs, including local ads and even fashion shows. She has walked in shows in New York and Paris. The money is minimal, but my husband and I put it all into a savings account for her college tuition.

When she was a kid, she always wanted to be a software developer like her dad. She had stellar grades in high school math, physics and in April was accepted into a prestigious computer science undergraduate program at a great university. We were all overjoyed for her. She accepted the offer and everything.

Today, she told me and my husband that she wanted to defer admission for a year and “focus on modeling”. Her agency has been pressuring her to relocate to New York City because there are more opportunities/jobs there. I was adamant that she enter school in September instead of moving to NYC to model.

I told her she would be wasting a year of her life when she could be spending her time getting her degree. She argued with us further and said that now she’s 18, she will use her savings to move to New York. I told her those savings were for her college tuition, not for her to waste paying thousands in rent and accomplishing nothing. She said “Its not like you guys can’t afford to pay for my tuition yourselves.”

My husband thinks we should let her do it, and start school next year. I am strictly against it. I think it will be a waste of her life and most importantly, I will worry for her safety. She is 18 but still so naive. AITA for putting my foot down on this matter?

People had a lot to say about the post.

garlicparmbreadknot wrote:

You should let your daughter pursue what she is passionate about, especially if you have the financial means to send her to school a year later. The money that she saved from modeling, while minimal, is money she earned. I understand that she once wanted to be a software developer, but I used to want to be a marine biologist and now I’m a personal trainer🤷🏻‍♀️

As we grow and develop, sometimes our mind changes and I think it’s really important for young people to chase those opportunities even if there’s a possibility they won’t work out. I understand that you’re reluctant, my parents made me miss out on a lot of opportunities like that when I was 18/19 and now I am 24 and I resent them completely.

I feel unfulfilled and like I’m constantly settling for a life I did not want. I did not get to pursue my dreams and I think it ruined my relationship with my family. Whether she succeeds or fails with modellng, trying and not succeeding is better than not trying at all. It’s her life and her goals, as a parent, you should be supporting them in anyway you possibly can.

Every parent worries for their child's safety, regardless of what city they’re in. NYC has a ton of opportunities and instead of assuming she’ll accomplish nothing, have a little faith in her. It’s very disheartening to see a parent so doubtful of their child. College will always be there.

pinkunder wrote:

YTA. People regret the things they don’t do. Even if it doesn’t work out, it’s a life experience she needs to experience. She will resent you for the rest of her life if you don’t let her explore this opportunity.

robot428 wrote:

This is 100% correct, especially because it's not like college is going away - if she defers she won't even have to reapply. I don't understand why they would stop her from doing something she's passionate about that she can probably only attempt now while she's young. Lots of people take a gap year.

VogonShakespeare wrote:

YTA. My mom forced me to go to college a year early against my will and even though I’m nearly 30 now and have truly come to see the wisdom in “you’ll understand when you’re older” about most of our teenage me arguments, it’s the one thing I’m still bitter about. It cost me a lot, in more ways than one. Let your daughter model for a year.

It’s not like she’s telling you she never wants to pursue her other dream, she just wants to pursue this now while she can. She can always go to college later, but models have an “expiration date” in the fashion industry, unfortunately.

Moulinrougefan1 wrote:

A year is nothing. If it doesn’t work out, she can come back and continue with her degree. YTA.

It's unanimous: OP is TA if she tries to control her daughter's gap year plan, even if some of her concerns are valid.

Sources: Reddit
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