So what I am about to say I think is going to anger some of you, but as my kids get older, if appropriate I might say to them, “It’s ok, you don’t have to go to college.”
I want my kids when they become adults to be happy, successful, and do something they enjoy. With that being said, college might not be the answer. As I have mentioned many times in the past I value education. However, I do realize not everyone fits in the same box or mold. Some career choices a four year degree would not be helpful. For instance, to become a beautician a BS or BA degree would not be beneficial.
Then there is the other side of it. In today’s high pressure for children to succeed we have forgotten one important thing, not all kids are built for college. In recent years we have begun to put unrealistic expectations on our children. Not only does not every profession require a college education, but not every child is built for it. Today’s standard for education is quite frankly unattainable for some. In some ways I feel as though we are setting up our children to fail. To make every child feel like he must go to college when maybe that is an unrealistic road for him to take is not right. I think it’s very important to push our kids to try hard, however we have lost sight on the fact that not all kid’s definition of success means college. In doing this, we have set our children up for failure and disappointment instead of finding an appropriate avenue for them that they can achieve at. Furthermore, we have created a feeling that may reside in our children if they do not go to college it is shameful
I read an article recently that said the freshman college dropout/flunk out rate in the last 10 years has gone up 30%. Part of it I believe has to do with social promotion (which is a discussion for another day) but the other part has to do with the fact that nowadays it’s assumed that everyone goes to college whether equipped for it or not. As parents I think part of our job is to help our kids focus on an attainable goal for them. Just as not every kid likes the color red, or likes chocolate cake, not every kid is meant to be a doctor. That in part is what makes the world go around. Our differences are how we learn new things and develop new ideas. If we were all meant to do the same thing then not only would this world be a very boring place but there would be no individual. We need to embrace these differences and help our children achieve what is best for them.