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Is it more important for kids to go to college or to do something they're good at?

I see a lot of people who cram the idea of college down their kids' throats even if the child is not ready for it, whether it's an academic issue or a maturity one. When I go to school, I'm surrounded by kids who are only going through the motions, surfing facebook the entire time they're in class, and skating by on C's or dropping the class at the last dropdate. Some of these same kids would probably thrive working retail or learning a trade - they have no interest in the subjects they're (not) learning, but they do have other interests. Wouldn't those kids be better off elsewhere, or is it more important to hammer them with college until they give in? Is traditional "college" education really required, or have we just brainwashed ourselves into believing that because going to a voc school or working up from a sales clerk position isn't "classy" enough?

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NotPanicking

Asked by NotPanicking at 6:42 PM on Jul. 26, 2010 in Parenting Debate

Level 51 (421,172 Credits)
Answers (37)
  • I agree. I don't think college is for everyone. It certainly isn't the only way to be successful either.
    Bezu

    Answer by Bezu at 6:45 PM on Jul. 26, 2010

  • This is why we should have apprenticeships again. little Johnny is interested in plumbing,send him off to work under a plumber,he can work his way up in the ranks.they sit in college the 1st year cramming stuff in they won't remember past the finals,and its stuff that doesn't even pertain to what they're going for! I think you're better at what you do when you worked your way up to your position doing the job and learning it right there in the trenches.
    butterflyblue19

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 6:47 PM on Jul. 26, 2010

  • I did not push my son into college. I don't exactly regret the decision, but so many of his friends are gone/moved on, they'd be juniors in college this fall....my son did take some online classes, getting a certificate from Berklee College of Music, but he's kind of lost at home. I wish he was able to pick college/ away for himself, so he could have that experience. But what's the sense of my pushing and him hating it and me spending any money on something that I know he does not want to do???
    kjrn79

    Answer by kjrn79 at 6:47 PM on Jul. 26, 2010

  • i think you make a very good point. if you force a kid to go they will not take it seriously and wont learn anything. and i would not want to pay for my kid to go, just to have them fail or drop out.
    jennifer588

    Answer by jennifer588 at 6:47 PM on Jul. 26, 2010

  • It depends on what they are good at,lol.
    Wil they succeed off thier natural talents? Will they make enough money to survive and to live the life style that they wish to live?
    I personally would not push my children either way...rather, I try to nurture thier own ideas. My son is only 10 years old but we've often had the conversation "what do you want to be when you grow up?". I let him know his options, I give him differnt ideas of things that he may never have thought of...one reason being is that NO ONE ever talked to me about those things as I grew up. If I had only knew...maybe I would have made better choices.All in all..I dont think I knew I even HAD a choice.
    Anyway...whatever they decide to do, I will support.
    kimberlyinberea

    Answer by kimberlyinberea at 6:48 PM on Jul. 26, 2010

  • I told my DD's that if they want to go to college they will have to pay for it themselves.
    louise2

    Answer by louise2 at 6:48 PM on Jul. 26, 2010

  • Me personally.

    It's important for a child (for anyone) to do what not only they are good at, but what would/does make them happy.

    I wouldn't care if my son were living on a beach on some island, in a grass hut, fishing .. As long as he was happy and able to take care of himself and (if he chooses to have one) his family. He has chosen the route of education though, with a very clear plan and goal. And I support him in those plans/goals.
    I've always encouraged my son to do what he wants, follow his dreams, do what and pursue what will make him happy.

    Not all kids/people are cut out for college, for some it's a complete waste of time and money. This is one reason why I really think that our education system in this country could benefit from changing into a vocational or academic track system over what is in place now. Much like the systems in much of Asia and Europe.
    pixie_trix

    Answer by pixie_trix at 6:48 PM on Jul. 26, 2010

  • i think you are correct..not everyone is cut out for college/higher. that's what makes our world great; everyone is different, with different skills/levels of physical/mental strength, interests/passions/etc.! the insistence of higher ed is somewhat class-oriented (no pun intended). on one hand, you have those who are born into trades/family businesses..some get degrees, while others don't. on the other hand, you have those whose families insist on college ''or you'll never get a good-paying job!'', and those who don't because ''you don't need college..as long as you got this month's rent, you're ok!"
    i hate seeing young students waste college money (scraped-by savings, scholarships, grants) because a parent insists, or they don't have any better plans. i think most of that mindset comes from lack of good parenting, and not instilling learning as a means of getting ahead, or being individually responsible for their future.
    dullscissors

    Answer by dullscissors at 6:55 PM on Jul. 26, 2010

  • I dont think a 4 year school is for everyone, and some times after high school a kid isnt ready to jump RIGHT back into school. This is what they made tech schools for. Feel it out, gain some independance! dont break yourself trying to pay for and education only to drop out! I will push my child to achieve the best that they can!! But thats it, Im not forcing them into college, I see NOTHING wrong with being a mechanic plumber whatever, thats a 2 year degree to make MORE Than im making now! And i agree with Pixie, or school system needs to do a bit more adjusting for those who are on a different track!!!
    sweetstkissez22

    Answer by sweetstkissez22 at 6:55 PM on Jul. 26, 2010

  • I expect my son to finish high school. Yea i'd like him to go to college but I think it's a personal choice and he needs to decide for himself.
    Alexsmom04

    Answer by Alexsmom04 at 6:56 PM on Jul. 26, 2010

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