"Mom & Dad: College Isn't for me, and I Don’t Want to Waste Your Money.”
I’m in a Facebook group of parents for my daughter’s college. A mother anonymously posted a message from her child saying she doesn’t want to continue and wouldn’t say this if she felt she could do college. In what I do, it absolutely broke my heart. There is something about “October” when first-year students hit reality. I post the “Mom and Dad: I’m Failing College” in November/December because those conversations begin to happen around the holidays. In October, they’ve normally had their first couple of big exams and may not have done well. Or even failed. Now what?
I’ve written many articles about what can cause students to struggle. Feel free to search my Resource page on my website. What I felt was important to share is how critical it is to listen to our children when they are telling us their truth. I’m not talking about kids who are just having a bad day or self-doubt due to an issue that will pass. I’m talking about kids who muster up the courage to vocalize their deepest fears and ask for help.
The college journey is not for everyone. Learning comes in many different forms. Formal lectures during the first couple of years can be so frustrating for young adults who need “hands-on” experiences. Kids may not understand why they are attending psychology when they have no interest or intent of pursuing that mandatory course.
This is why I’m so massively passionate about formal career counseling and testing. Each child needs to know there is a place for them in the world of work. High schools provide almost zero career exploration…just ask any young adult or their parents. So, how in the world do we expect 18-year-olds to make the biggest decision of their lives when all we talk about is college, not careers. It is an investment, I 100% understand this. It’s an investment of their time to complete the 5 hours of testing. It’s an investment of the 3 hours of one-on-one counseling with me. It’s an investment of money by parents. The investment can happen early or after a crisis has happened which results in dropped classes or worse, dropping out of college. Or worse, a mental health crisis that directly relates to a student feeling their failure and defining the rest of their lives.
The parent in her post ended with, “The big book of parenting didn’t go over this in class”. Not only did we not get the chapter in the parenting book, but we also often didn’t talk about the chapter needing to exist. No parent wants to admit their child hates school and wants to leave. But please know there is a path for everyone. I sincerely, and authentically mean it. I’ve seen it over and over again in my practice. My hope is they find what excites them sooner, rather than later. And we give ourselves grace as parents as we ask for help from a career professional.
Reeder Consulting: College and Career Paths is a specialist in the career development field and the #1 career counseling company in San Antonio, TX working with clients in all 50 states. We help individuals engage in career and aptitude testing to process information through meaningful conversations and give clarity to the stress of career decisions to Proceed with Confidence. www.reederconsulting.com