Monday, August 16, 2010

The Argument for NOT Rushing Into College… (Hey, It’s Not for Everybody…)

Seven Reasons Not to Send Your Kids to College

Previously, I told you about Becca’s campaign to be homeschooled. Well, what I should have learned is that I shouldn’t try to “make” Becca do anything, education-wise. (Now, that doesn’t mean that I don’t still win some of the arguments. But she definitely has a say in her education choices!)

It started with the “I want to be homeschooled” notes around the house. Then, when she was older, I tried to enroll her in Florida Virtual School.

We know MANY homeschoolers who take advantage of FLVS (and are very happy with the program). But Becca just wasn’t having it. After going several rounds with her about it (“Yes you are.” “NO, I’m not.” “YES, you ARE.” “NO, I’M NOT.”), I gave up. Then some wise friend said, “Why are you arguing with her about it? It’s obviously not her thing. It wasn’t my kid’s thing either. It’s basically public school, but at home. And Becca isn’t cut out for public school.” (Paraphrasing here…)

Again, we’re not knocking school. But, just like homeschooling isn’t for everybody, neither is public school.

What amazes me is that my kid had this figured out before I ever did…

The same thing happened with college. I assumed that Becca would dual enroll when she reached 10th grade. Boy did I assume wrong. (Picture the same conversation we had about FLVS…only a couple of years later.)

Obviously I’m not one to learn lessons easily.

But I’m not the only one who puts pressure on my kid. It seems these days that EVERYBODY assumes that dual enrollment is the next step in education.

But what if you don’t know what you want to do with your life? Do you just go, and hope that you’ll figure it out?

I think Becca should test out the waters, real-time, and see what she wants to do, career-wise. I keep telling her that you should wake up every day, happy that you’re doing something that you love. And who says that college is going to prepare you for that? Maybe she should take advantage of the many invitations she’s received (thank you, foreign exchange student programs) and travel the world…

So, the question is, does a college education really prepare you for your future (or your future career)? How many people finish college and end up working in a job that they hate (or in a totally different field)? How many people end up starting their own business or going in a direction totally opposite from their education?


  1. We also tried FLVS for a week. It was not what my son (Max) or I expected and he did drop the classes.

    Max has just started duel enrollment at BCC and is only taking two classes. He has no idea what he wants to major in so he is just going for his general AA right now. I can understand your point on duel enrollment however, I really wanted to ease my son into "College Life" at a community college before he goes on to University. This gives the student a "feel" for what is expected of them in higher education.

  2. EXCELLENT point (about easing in to college life). Makes a lot of sense. I really appreciate your input!

    ~ Linda

  3. I did not go to college right after school and I think too many people DO rush into it. My husband went right after school and did not last very long. I know I was more attentive and ready to learn. My husband and I both believe you should go out and explore your world. Take a year an have fun doing what you want. As soon as you are ready to go "back" to school...go. :-)

  4. "What amazes me is that my kid had this figured out before I ever did…" LOL, Linda ... you are a slow learner ;)! Education has nothing to do with college. Education is the ability to acquire new information and skills and apply them to everyday life in ways that are relevant and meaningful to the individual. There is a myth in America that by completing 4 years of college, you are buying a "better life" via a "better job" (read white collar and deadly boring). Ask anyone who has "made it" and they will tell you: the only way to a fulfilled life is through your dreams - there are no shortcuts. The pursuit of dreams may, or may not, include college. The learning in college is this: "if you jump through all these hoops (75% drudgery), then you will be rewarded with a well-paying job (also 75% drudgery)." Huh? Really? And also: other people's opinions of you matter more than your own opinions of you. No thanks! Trust your Self and your daughter. Our children are so much more intelligent than we realize. Supporting her autonomy to choose is THE greatest gift you could give her ... and flings the door wide open for her to explore her passions, dabble, daydream, work her ass off and find her path in this big ol' wonderful life.

  5. Thanks for your input, ladies! It's nice to know that other people understand what you're going through, even if you're going against the "norm" (or what people expect of you).

    It reinforces that what I'm doing for my child is "the right thing." ;o)

    ~ Linda

  6. After (public) high school, I went right to community college (BCC), got my AA, then took a semester off!! Somedays I wish I had taken more time off, but others, it was just the right amount of time...i think i just wasted some of it :P

    Both of my younger brothers were 'advised' by our parents to go to at least BCC, then whatever...neither of them finished... One of them is now finishing BCC (several years after), and the other one is in massage school and loving it! BOTH of them had to experience life first, finding their interests/passions.

    I would suggest, if college is not an interest for your homeschooled child, encourage them to become a sort of apprentice to someone they admire, or the job they want, or something like that. Isn't that wast was done 100+ years ago anyway? Child labor laws - are good to have - but totally screwed that one (apprenticing) up...

    Or traveling is always good...Peace Corps or missionary trips or saving up a couple thousand dollars and pick a country and go for it ;)

  7. Wise words, Eva. Thank you! I keep encouraging Becca to travel... We have friends in several countries (including Spain, France and Israel) who would love to host her!

    I like that apprentice idea as well...

    ~ Linda

  8. Dylan is 17 now and did not take advantage of dual enrollment, which i was disappointed about. It's free college! But... its his life. I cant tell him what to do. I just trust that he will find his true path. Its a little scarey, yes.
    I highly recommend they travel before college.

    I think it was something Martha sent out that someone wrote that on line colleges would be big in the near future and many colleges will eventually close. Interesting.

  9. I understand that feeling, Kathy... I was disappointed too. And I wonder if Becca doesn't feel a little bit left behind with some of her friends going to college.

    But, I've realized that I have to let her make her own path...

    I guess we'll see what the future holds!

    ~ Linda