Friday 4/17/2020

What do you say when your child comes to you and says, “I don’t want to go to college”? If your first reaction is anger or tears you may need to get a grip. College isn’t for everyone and you need to take a long hard look at who your child is and what your expectations may cost them.

There is a stigma that if you don’t have a college degree, you won’t/can’t be successful and that is just not true. There are people in this world that do not find success in a traditional classroom.

Is it possible that our education system has gradually, over time made it harder and less mainstream to take classes like, auto shop, wood shop, home economics, art, music, etc.? In my opinion the answer is a resounding YES!

What people fail to realize is that these classes allow for the students that find greater success working with their hands to feel fulfilled. There are always employment opportunities for plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics, chefs, HVACR Techs, carpenters and the like.

These professions will not be “fazed out”. It’s not like your child wants to be an encyclopedia salesperson or a telephone operator. People will always need places to live or buildings to work in that require heat, hot water, bathrooms, and lights. They are never going to develop a disposable car so if one thing goes wrong you throw it out and get a new one. People will always need to eat and will constantly be looking for new restaurants to try.

So, when you hear your child say, “I don’t want to go to college”, take a minute a think about where your child excels. Has he or she always been good at taking things apart and figuring out how to put them back together? Were they constantly watching a relative work on a car? Do they find calm in figuring out how something works? Does creating amazing meals make them smile?

Trade school should always be an option. I would love to hear a guidance counselor say, “Would you be interested in going into the trades?” At some point our education system needs to realize that not all people are cookie cutter and pushing everyone into the same mold or to the same level of schooling will back fire and create a shortage of tradespeople to do important, lucrative careers…….wait, it already has!