Sunday, March 21, 2010

A College for All?

Most high school juniors - or seniors in the first semester of their last year in school- are routinely asked my adults: "So, where are you looking at schools?" I admit it, I ask. But sometimes I stop myself and rephrase, "What do you think you'll do after high school?" Because not every kid takes those steps towards a college or university. Some take a "gap year." A few just go right into a job. Maybe their parents can't afford to pay for college. There are those who decide to pursue an art they are passionate about (acting, music, etc.) Or, they join the military.

I am sensitive to this because my oldest went off to Marine Corps boot camp a month after high school graduation. He and I both endured our fair share of wide eyes, some shocked and confused, when the "where are you/where is he applying/going to?" questions came fast and furious, and the answer was: "the Marines."

My second oldest when to college, but it was not a traditional ivy-covered, four-year institution. He knew where his passion lay - recording music - and his guidance counselor found an accredited school where he would - and did - four years of college in two, graduating with his Bachelors at age 20!

Now my daughter, a junior, is starting the college quest. Kind of. She's not an A student, more like a C. Or C-ish. And she too is not sure she wants a "traditional" school. Yes, I get a little uncomfortable when other parents inquire after rattling off the names of very good, great and popular colleges, and I stammer or change the subject. Or, I simply say what my daughter told her dad and I: "There's a college for anyone; why do you think it's a reflection on you if I don't go somewhere 'good'?"

Out of the mouths of babes.

Think about it: Are you going to think lesser of someone you have thought highly of, when they in passing mention the college that they attended?

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