I never want my kids to feel like they are forced to follow down existing paths in life just because others around them pressure them into doing just that.
- I respect that their teachers want the best for all of them, but you can’t teach kids that a college education is the immediate ticket to success and happiness in the world.
I saw too many of my friends in high school follow this advice to a fault and ended up with thousands of dollars worth of college debt without a degree to show for it. They either dropped out as early as freshman age, or later on. It’s particularly tough when you spend six years chasing a degree and never end up graduating like a few of my family members. When my kids got to high school recently, I told them to explore every opportunity that comes their way. I also push them all to have at least one hobby outside of their school work. This isn’t just for their mental health, but also to see if they have any latent skills that can be nourished and turned into a possible life path. My brother learned in high school that he loved working with machines and motors, but wasn’t particularly enthralled with cars. Going to trade school was life changing because he took a class on heating and cooling systems and was immediately hooked. My brother has been in the HVAC industry for 25 years now and isn’t showing any signs of quitting. He earns a healthy salary and feels fulfilled everyday with what he does for his employers and clients.