From the Times, a not too judgmental story about the gap years that kids are taking after college to travel, do community service, work outdoors, etc:
"These are not necessarily unfocused people who are putting off launching,"
says a careers office guy from Harvard. "Often they have a plan and they have three or four things in mind that they want to experiment with." Cultural patterns have changed, too, with fewer people getting married immediately after college and fewer taking jobs with companies at which they expect to work for their entire careers, said Lisa Severy, director of career services at the University of Colorado.
The mind-set for many students is "you get your degree and then you think about what you might want to do," she said.
Of course, the story assumes that these kids are headed back to graduate school within a few years. It would be nice if they found at least one person who decided she wants to keep being a potter in New Mexico.
My friend Colleen Kinder wrote a whole book about this, called Delaying the Real World.