So if your kids are close in age to mine then I am sure that the idea of college has crossed your mind. My son had his Kindergarten school pictures and they dressed my son in a cap and gown and he smiled his biggest smile but I thought, the pressure of this is strange.
I graduated undergrad 2010, got my Master’s in 2018 and I am a Special Education Teacher for a public school in Los Angeles, CA. Not sure if it shows but I am a bit skeptical about furthering your education when the school system hasn’t quite caught up to the changes of global competition, our current job market, and the actual learning needs as technology has evolved as rapidly as it has. I pride myself on being up with the times and using the latest research, looking into what other countries such as Japan and New Zealand are doing for their students but college in America is Failing Americans.
So Is College something that I truly want to promote?
I know my student loan balance is ridiculous crazy, and It positions us to provide pretty well for our family with our 2 person income, but I know far too many students who have student loans, are underemployed and then live in places like Los Angeles that make being a “grown up” crazy difficult because rent for a 1 bedroom is over 1600/month and their 19/hour position can’t cut it. Now doing the math this is a salary nearing 40/K but ask anyone who makes this and they will follow up their pay with, roommates, living at home, or maintaining life with credit card balances.
Add on to that, that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is replacing and circumventing the need for personnel and workers in middle level positions ensuring that skilled employment and trade employment may be the way of the future. Student Loan INTEREST revenues are in the Trillions of dollars and Universities and Colleges are popping up everywhere because Distant Learning (AKA online programs) make it possible to get a MBA that you will never use and end up at Home Depot working as a mid-level supervisor. Am I knocking Home Depot? Of Course not. I am not knocking online programs? Maybe. But I am definitely ANTI- underemployment and degrees that don’t yield dividends.
I am opting to not promote college and acquiring a degree to my 5 year old who is counting down the days until Friday and the minutes until 2:30pm. We have to be honest and open and understand that the promise of what we had to look forward to when we were young may not be the ONLY thing to promote to our children. If the BLACK and other people of color college graduates are struggling and barely making ends meets in 2019 what will be the circumstances in 2030. We aren’t certain of what our future will look like in 2020 so I can’t call what Sean, graduating class of 2034 will have as an option and how much it will cost us.
I am for my son’s education. I am for him bettering himself and promoting being his best, living a life of service to others, finding his place in the world, cultivating experiences and friendships with individuals with completely different background, family styles, socioeconomic backgrounds, different ethnicities, and the likes but I truly can’t call it.
I am promoting my son being true to himself, cultivating his passions, finding a problem in the world that he wants to solve, and being a self-directed learner to seek out the answers to the questions that he asks. I am promoting that my son have confidence in himself, what he believes, his values, and his idea of what success, freedom, and service means and how he would want to show it to the world. We are not focused on a destination, leading him to believe that his has to work to get to a place, and the place thereafter, the place thereafter. I am getting him to pride himself in the journey, make pace in this marathon. Life is not a sprint.
College is not a place that he needs to focus on getting to.
We are working on my sons in being present. Focusing on the now. Finding what they like and exploring it until they find something new to breathe life into. I am working on their future being bright for themselves and not based on what I have in mind for them. I am advocating for showing our babies what is out their and trusting that they know better than we about what they are purposed and passionate for.
My mom didn’t make me into a writer or a teacher. I just became one. She didn’t do anything to make me want to become one, I created a path and worked my way to it and she aided me in that. Imagine if we aided our children into what they knew they were purposed for. Abandoned our own expectation of what needed to be achieved in order to be deemed successful. College may be in their future. But not because we required it of them, instead we showed it to them and they made the choice to. But this starts at home. It starts with them. It’s cultivated by us. What about you? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below.
Make Learning At Home Easy,