Son Waiting a Year Before Going to College

sameboatJanuary 25, 2012

This seems to be a safe place to express my disappointment. My son just informed us he will not be going to college next year but he has decided to wait a year. I'm afraid next year he will decide not to go at all. He has a job and is saving for a vehicle. He's a good student but doesn't enjoy school. He goes to a voc/tech school and has a job in town working in the field he wants to be in so I am grateful we sent him there. My hope for him was to learn the management part of business so he could possibly run his own business someday. Of course, being a kid, he prefers to work on the machinery which at this point in his life is "fun". I get that. But I don't want to regret not pushing him. I don't want him to ask me one day why we didn't insist he go to college. A lot of kids wait a year now before going to college. I'm just afraid it won't happen for him. DH says we have to let him make the decision for himself. This is tough. Especially when I see his friends know where they're going, what they're going to study, etc. Neither my husband nor I finished college and we are middle-class, blue-collar workers. I want more for him. Just sharing a mother's disappointment anonymously.

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Have discussions with him. Share about how you want him to take this opportunity to learn more about managing his own business. However, having said that - it's HIS life. It sounds to me like he's doing well working, being responsible, and he did well in school. In some countries, kids are encouraged to take a year off after high school to travel and see the world before they decide what they want to do with the rest of their life. Many, many kids go to college and waist money partying and not taking the opportunity seriously. I went for one year, quit for a year (over a boy - don't ask), then went back and got my degree. My brother didn't go to college after high school. He went to work, got married, had a couple kids, THEN went to college and became an electrician. He makes good money and takes good care of his family. University studies aren't for everyone. Actually you are forced to take many hours of general ed. classes that often don't even interest you. Believe me. It is hard to study for something that you don't even care about. The important thing is that he gets some kind of education or skill development after high school so that he is marketable and can find good employment and advance in his career. He can take classes later if needed or desired. Just keep the lines of communication open.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 3:16PM
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I know how you feel. I can see both sides of the story. I have a 21 year old daughter and she went to a community college for 3 years, but never took a full load. Only 2 or 3 classes a semester. And I was weary about that. I wanted her to go full on head strong into nursing school. But just like your son, she never really enjoyed school at all. She was never a straight A&B student her whole life. And now she has informed me that she is taking a semester off from college due to the stress she is under at school. Courses are tough-they don't play around. And I think she feels the difficulty level is over her head. And I am guilty of pushing her. I know it, but also like you- I want her to do big things, better than what I did.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 4:36PM
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Thank you both for your input. I thought I'd pop back in here to see what others were saying and I do feel better. He's a good kid, has been promised a full-time job and a pay raise from the company he did his co-op with. He's happy.

I never finished college myself. I dropped down to part-time status after a couple of grueling years and withered out after my mom died and I struggled paying for college on a waitress salary (I had no idea how to get financial aid or even applied) fell in love, found a decent job and started saving for a house. Then life happened. We bought a house, had two children and finishing college was the last thing I wanted to think about. I feel like if someone had pushed me early on I could have a much better paying job now that my kids are older. So I feel like I have failed him in some way. I shouldn't feel that way, though. And I know it. He'll be fine.

The truth is I'd rather be poor than go back to school myself. I hated it and I'm too exhausted with life now to even think of going back for myself!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 10:10PM
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I know so many people who went to college, dropped or flunked out, then later realized what they wanted to do and then were interested in studying. There is no way you can force anyone into college and what a waste of money!!! Let him know you expect him to go to college, and not get stuck in a low paying job, but sometimes that is the very thing that will spur him on.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 11:58PM
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