When I was a child it was always understood that I would be going to college. I never even thought about doing anything different. My parents both graduated from college and my dad earned a master's degree in business.
However, by the time I finished my senior year in high school I thought maybe it would be nice to just take a year off. I had been working, going to school, and I'd been in 3 plays, in the space of a year. I was TIRED. At my high school, you could take just a few classes your senior year if you had nearly all the graduation requirements.
My dad took a dim view of my "year off" idea and said simply NO. You're going to college, Dee. End of discussion.
I wish he had been a little less harsh. I was 17 when I graduated.
Michael will be 19 when he finishes high school. I can't be so intractable with him.
This morning, we had Michael's meeting with his counselor to discuss his classes for next year. I won't go into the details, but suffice to say it was interesting. He isn't going to take Spanish again next year but he will take Into to Engineering.
Mike isn't sure he wants to go to college. I think he is just scared of the idea. So I've been telling how much more fun college is than high school. You can go to school just a few hours a day. You get treated like an adult. You take some basic courses, then concentrate on what you like.
I loved college.
I didn't love intense studying of subjects I didn't like, like Math or Science, but overall I loved the experience of college.
Michael is taking some computer courses next year as electives and I hope those will spark his interest in computer type occupations.
I tried to talk him into taking Art and/or Drama, and he wouldn't even discuss it. Oh well.
I was thinking today, what classes did I take where I actually used the material that I was taught, later in life?
One of my favorite classes in undergraduate school was Makeup. I was a Drama major. I had to take the class, I think. It showed me a lot of cool tricks and ideas, and it was great fun. I used it every day for years, back when I wore makeup.
My mother took a lot of interior decorating type classes when she was in school. So our home always looked nice. I didn't realize how nice until I grew up and started going into the homes of people who were clueless about stuff, and whose homes looked very strange.
[I went into a home not long ago where there was an entire room just off the main family room, devoted to cats and their toys. Needless to say, those folks don't have kids. It was a big room though, the Cat Room....]
Logic was another class I continue to use, all the time. It taught me how to think.
I took a class my freshmen year about Key American Presidential Elections. Really hard class. Really valuable. I use the skills of thinking historically and critically about presidential candidates all the time.
Of course, most of what I think is cynical and negative, but so be it.
Michael is already very logical and a deep thinker, but I hope he will choose to go to college. I pray daily he will figure out what he loves to do and do it. I am trying not to force him into any one particular direction, though.
One thing I know about my son is that he is stubborn. More than me.
Here's what I want to say about college: it's where you learn about LIFE. It's a hothouse environment different from the real world but it is a good gateway to the real world. You have to learn how to learn. You have to get along with folks you live with. You have to live on a budget - well, most kids do. You have to try and understand yourself, and how to live your life.
If you're lucky, you make friends you keep for the rest of your life. If you're really lucky, you find your spouse or partner.
It's the one experience where, when you're doing it, you think wow, I want to be done with this, and when you finish, you wish you could go back.
Anyway, here endeth the lesson. I had to post that photo because he's just so CUTE?!