Back to school

barnI’ve noticed something in the last few years of high school
graduates; not all of them are rushing off to college. Depending on
the graduate, I would say this is a good thing. Perhaps even a
display of maturity and understanding of delayed gratification.

In the movie, “Fight Club,” the character of Tyler Durden explains
that at various stages of his life, he has asked his father what he
should do. His father gives him all of the standard answers to
include a four-year trip to college. Durden ends up
making soap for a living.

We don’t let 18 year-olds drink alcohol and, until that birthday, they
are not allowed to make legal decisions for themselves. Yet we
expect them to decide what they will do the rest of their life at age
18. A decision of what college major to pursue will include such
expense for tuition, books, etc. that you must be able to back-up
education with a job to pay for it.

My personal path to education should have ended with me as an English
teacher. I have regrets about this but considering the way government
and some parents treat teachers, I am happy to have the regret
instead of the teaching job. I did try college later but made the
decision based upon which place I wanted to play football, it was an
immature decision.

So what to think about the 18 year-old entering the workforce instead
of becoming a freshman? I think it carries a little risk as parents
can only include their children on the family health care account
until age 26. Still, most kids can work a few years and still
graduate by age 26. The people I’ve found the best at their job are
those who have had a variety of jobs prior to or while going to
school. People with this experience know how to make change, how to
communicate, have better empathy and their employers usually correct
many of their childhood habits.

More importantly, avoiding school until you have some perspective may
set you on a path where you develop the strength of your convictions.
If you decided that you will believe in yourself, follow your own
pathway and live with the results then you will be a man or woman of
courage. With this courage, you can choose the path in life,
education, marriage and work that will make you truly happy. A
conscious decision to not follow high school buddies to college may
also show independence. Finally, college is a great party; delaying
this pleasure in lieu of improved perspective seems mature to me.

Perhaps the twilight Area between high school and college should be
spent on a personal pursuit of fine arts. A basic appreciation of
great authors,exposure to art and fine movies could all be
accomplished with
a Netflix account, a library card and high-speed internet. If
students could broaden their horizons on their own time, perhaps
their college stay would be shorter. These few years of personal
discovery could also help a young person choose the college major
which they would find fulfilling and still make a buck.

If your adult child is still living in the basement, don’t panic.
They might just need a safe place to make a big decision. If they’re
still there in ten years, go ahead and worry.
Finally, it’s all a personal choice. I hope you make the one that
eventually leads you to more education and happiness.

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