A few years ago in a major article I wrote that people need to be reminded that education is not an entity; it is not some thing one goes somewhere to "get." Instead, it is an elusive goal, and the pursuit of it is a perennial endeavor. As Henry Adams confessed, speaking really for all of us, one can diligently spend one's whole life in the enterprise and still feel uneducated. Alexandre dumas might have comforted him "One's work may be finished," wrote Dumas, "but one's education, never."
Of course, during their years of "schooling," the concern of young people --and their parents or guardians -- is school or college or graduate school, etc. But that concern need not, indeed, should not be exclusive. There are so many complementary educating opportunities, as I suggest in the essay, "A Complete Education." And educational opportunities, i.e. "gap year" possibilities beyond graduation. And one should keep in mind, the great John Dewey's reiterated remarks about the educating force of experience and society itself.
Thus, how wrong were friends of mine, parents of two elementary school young people, who departed for a vacation without the kids because "They are too young to get anything from the experience." Unfortunately, what they missed out on getting were the building blocks of subsequent experiences.
Al of this is the concern of a seasoned educational counselor/consultant, whose immediate focus may be particular: a child who is not content or not adequately learning, a family's desire for a more fitting school; an immediate problem, perhaps a boy in girl in trouble; a high school student with lofty college ambition; or a young person -- or an adult -- who wants to take some time out.
Whatever the specific issue, always of ultimate concern is the developmental issue: beyond what is to what can one become..