Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Why College Matters

This morning I had a conversation with my baby girl's uncle about public schools. We were talking about school ratings and how they came to be. His belief is that the schools who have low ratings are in impoverished areas whose families are working to survive and not teaching the kids that school is important. These kids aren't motivated to go to school, they aren't being taught that school is important by their parents, brothers, sisters, and relatives, and if they have no hope for college they wouldn't have the finances. Yes, the government would help them, but most don't even have the hope. His argument and tyrant struck me. I had never thought about the background behind how these schools came to be rated so low. It hit me that out of my entire family, and Brando's family, we are the only ones who think college is halfway important.

After reading this comment tonight on a savvysugar post, "Unless you're studying something that specifically is required for a career path -- like computer engineering -- your major really has very little impact on the jobs you have after college. It's all about the skills you developed and the different internships/clubs/jobs/volunteer work you have to put on your resume.", I realized how important it is that we encourage that vision in them. Brando is of the belief that you don't HAVE to have college. Which is true. We are making it without it. BUT I told him, think about how MANY more experiences you could've had. He might've ended up in the same place, but he may've been able to develop some of his passions and interests along the way such as photography, programming video games. Heck he might've even discovered more. Doesn't mean they would've been his career, but he would've had the opportunity to develop them along the way.

I want this for my kids, this opportunity for them SO bad. I told him tonight we HAVE to encourage them and make it a way of life. Our family certainly isn't going to and that's why we need to be so much more intentional about it.

5 Comments:

Lindsay said...

Good for you!! (lurker here, coming out of the woodwork)

Wow, I can't even imagine coming from a family where college was anything less than 100% expected. My high school graduation was a complete non-event (because "everyone" graduates from high school). It was a tiny bit annoying to me at the time, when people I knew were getting big parties and gifts. But it makes a lot more sense to me now.

And while both the boy (video game programmer) and I (aerospace engineer) chose career paths that required a certain major, by far what I valued most was the _rest_ of the college experience. Colleges have amazing facilities and benefits that students get to take advantage of that they wouldn't get anywhere else (at least not nearly so easily). It's also where I got to meet an incredibly diverse set of people I never would have met in the tiny little town I grew up in.

There are just SO many benefits to school in general and college in particular. Good for you for deciding to pass that on to your kids. They'll thank you for it. :)

Lindsay said...

Also, (hijacking your comments today, apparently) I cannot possibly overstate the importance of being able to live by yourself and having to manage your own finances while you're still in a "safe" environment - money mistakes won't crush you like when you're an adult!

emmaelizabeth said...

I grew up always knowing I wanted to go to college. That was never a question as to if I went, but more- where I was going. However, my parents have always kinda let my brother and I do whatever in life. (not that we're horrible rebellious kids who run amuck... because we seriously were the most well behaved kids)I think they let us figure it out for ourselves because we're both super responsible. My parents never went to college and never really told us we had to go. It was more- if you want to go, you're paying for it yourself. I think they realize how important it is, but just want us to be happy- college or not. Anyways.. where's my point here? Not sure. It's a little lost, but I think parents should definitely encourage college. It really does bring many more opportunities in life. My brother is currently regretting not going to a 4year school instead of his tech school. He feels he's missing out. Anyways- it's always nice to have the option of college and not being pressured into it.

Ashley said...

AMEN to this! I wasn't pushed or pressured at all... or even asked by my parents about college. Thus, I ended up in the workforce early on and while I'm heading towards making a living helping college students transfer into the corporate world from college now (based on all the skills I had to quickly develop to survive in the workforce), I missed out everything college had to offer, including developing hobbies I barely have time for now or traveling, etc. I'm now trying to finish my degree on top of a full-time career and it is NOT easy.

s said...

Fantastic!

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