Should We Encourage Our Kids to Go to College?

Should we really be encouraging out kids to go to college?

daughter-going-to-collegeAs a child,  my mom wanted me to make good grades. Her main focus was to make sure that my grades were good enough to get me into college.

We didn’t have the finances to pay for college. So she wanted to ensure I could get enough scholarships that I could go anyway. Her strategy worked, though I was not valedictorian, or even salutatorian.

My grades along with a tennis scholarship earned me a four-year ride to the local college. What did I do with that ride? I got off at the first pit stop.

Not My Cup of Tea

College was not for me. As a fresh high school graduate I didn’t have any idea what I wanted to do with my life. I didn’t have the focus or  drive that I needed to make 8 AM classes work. As I struggled though trying to figure out what it was that I wanted out of life, I learned some valuable lessons.

Lessons that I have never seen on any college curriculum.

Being from a small town, and a sheltered family, I traveled. As I traveled I learned. I learned that there are other ways to live than I had known.

Cost Prohibitive

Consider the rising cost of colleges. The unstable state of the economy. Looking at these alone college may not be something your family can afford.

If you do not have the ability to pay for college without the use of student loans, your child is starting out their adult life in debt.

Often even if they work themselves through college the income they acquire is simply enough to cover living expenses. Odds are that income is not enough to cover tuition.

Most college age kids do not have any idea what they want to do with their lives. Shoot I was WELL into my 20’s before I knew. Even then I changed my mind again and again.

Even if they figure it out as they go through general education courses, they have paid thousands of dollars to figure that out.

It is a common thought that if you want to be someone you have to go to college, if you want to fit in you go to college. I want to challenge that idea.

Not ALWAYS Required for a Good Income

There are more and more instances of young people finding their own way without college. I have a friend whose 15-year-old is earning a very nice income because she took up a camera and started taking photos.

In many areas now college education is not required. Learning things like graphic design, writing, medical coding, virtual assistants, or even coaching doesn’t require a traditional 4 year secondary education.

Take each child’s talents, desires, and aspirations into account before you start making the push for them to choose a college.

They may surprise you and choose to go because they want to become a doctor, accountant, engineer, or a lawyer. But they are the only ones who can do it.

You can’t do it for them. So by all means encourage them. But try not to make it an obligation. If you do, they may wind up putting you in debt trying to do something they weren’t sold on in the first place.

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Born in Kentucky, I am a wife and mom to 1 son and 2 daughters . I have an ink pen obsession, as well as a love for all things planner. I have been married for 10 years to my high school crush. I am a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

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