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Does College Still Matter?

Posted on October 19, 2013 at 4:35 PM

 

GraduateOur children do everything we ask of them, they do well in school, get into college, earn their degree, and then without warning the bottom falls out. What do we do to help them over the difficult patch?

 

I am the mother of a 28 year-old who has obtained her bachelors and masters degrees; and is currently considering pursing a doctorate. In January my youngest will be off to university after obtaining her associates degree at a local community college. I am extremely proud of both of my girls and any person that chooses to continue their education. But the question that is prevalent on my mind today is - does college still matter?

 

Why?

 

Yesterday I was in the presence of a young woman who was feeling down about her current situation. Hearing her speak words of discouragement and defeat left me wondering what can we do to help encourage our youth in these trying times of unemployment, underemployment, political infighting, and massive cuts in funding to those in need.

 

What this young woman shared that touched me in that “motherly spot” was that she did everything her parents asked of her. She did well in school, went on to college and earned her degree, went to work to become self-sufficient, but for what? In this turbulent job market she can’t get a job in her field of study. She applies for entry level positions only to be told she is overqualified because of her degree, but under-qualified due to lack of experience. To add insult, she runs into old classmates and friends, some who didn’t even stay in school long enough to earn their high school diploma, yet, they are working in positions that once required a college degree…and earning more money than her.

 

She went on to share that she was a good daughter, not being promiscuous and getting pregnant with a child she couldn’t support. However, today that seems to be working against her because being a single person with no dependents and no disability automatically disqualifies her from any assistance. “We live in a country where not having goals is rewarded and high-achievement is a curse,” she said with all the weight of her disappointment bearing down on her.

 

During moments like this words of comfort and encouragement seems pointless. Sort of like telling someone you’re sorry for their loss during their time of bereavement—it means nothing and is often annoying.

 

She could move back in with her parents until things get better, she could return to school and further her education, maybe seek a degree in a specialized field. In her mind, moving home should be a last option, returning to school means more student loan debt, and yes she could consider a new field but who’s to say that it won’t be obsolete by the time she is handed her degree.

 

When people are in that place where they just need to get out all the emotions they are feeling inside, it is best to just sit back and let them vent. Everything she was feeling is valid and I have no doubt that in the end she will figure it out and land on top. She may need to return to school, or even relocate across the country or across the world. But the conversation itself left me thinking, as parents and society in general, how do we prepare our kids for the possibilities of a harsh future, while continuing to promote higher education.

 

Let me know if you have any suggestions.

 

Peace & Blessings,

 

Tracy

 

Tracy L. Darity is the author of three novels, He Loves Me He Loves Me Not!, Love...Like Snow in Florida on a Hot Summer Day, and the Red Bear Society. To learn more, visit www.TracyLDarity.com

 

 


 

Categories: Misc. Musings

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