We live in a time full of unique opportunities thanks to the internet. Whether it’s an international business selling clothes or freelancing as a web designer, your kids have plenty of career choices available to them that don’t require them to go through college and university, potentially putting themselves at a financial disadvantage due to student debts and other stressful situations.
However, that’s not to say that the education system is dead.
In fact, the situation is far from it. The education system can still provide your children with a fantastic career provided that they avoid the negativity and stick to studying their passions and using their educational opportunities to network with others in the industry. This could lead to finding a job as soon as they graduate from university or even connecting with friends that they start businesses together with. There are countless opportunities that stem from going to university and college, but there’s just one problem that they might face; they might end up hating it.
Attending college and university is definitely not all fun and games and even if you’re a hard-working individual, there could be countless distractions that impede you from working. As a result, your child might end up despising their time at college or even grow distant from it due to other influences that steer them away from their initial goals. While they might have other passions that they want to chase, it’s clear that university and college can both transform your child–and not always in a positive way either.
So to help you out, we’ve put together a list of tips that will help you make college a little more comfortable for your child.
Talk about college and university to your child at an early stage
You want to speak to your child as soon as possible about college and university. We suggest that the ideal time you start this discussion is around the halfway mark in high school. This will help give them time to think about the possibility of college and university and if they want to continue their studies or choose a different path in life such as starting their own business, studying through other opportunities or even establishing themselves as a freelancer in a certain industry. There are many options to help you create a better future for your child, so make sure you speak about college and university to see if it’s something that your child wants. Succeeding at college involves being fully aware of the challenges that your child will face. If you want to prepare them, then speak about college and university at an early age so that you both know what you’re getting into.
Don’t force your child into it
While going to college and university is seen as very normal and even prestigious if your child makes it into an Ivy League college, it might not be what they really want. A lot of children will have conflicting thoughts about college and university and not all of them want to go through years of study just to have a career. Some of them could be inspired by entrepreneurs, some of them might want to chase their passions in a freelance career and others might have sporting talents that they want to pursue as a career choice. Whatever the case may be, never force your child into going to college because it will completely negate the purpose of attending it.
Stop caring about prestige
One of the big things to get out of your system is prestige. While a lot of parents (especially if you’re from a wealthy or prestigious background) do care about prestige and attending an Ivy League school, it actually doesn’t matter nearly as much as people think. It’s incredibly expensive to attend those kinds of schools and while there is a bit of evidence that it’s easier to find a job and have a successful career if you graduate from one, the statistics are dwarfed by the actual subjects your child studies and the industries they’re in. For instance, an engineering degree or STEM-related career choice will earn a higher salary than a psychology or art major from a private Ivy League college. In other words, stop caring about your child’s reputation and start caring about what they actually want to study in life.
Don’t pick a college that’s too far away
Another big concern is distance. While many children enjoy the idea of spreading their wings and going to a college that’s a lot further away so that they can become independent, being extremely far from home only causes problems in the future and it makes it more expensive. More and more students as of late have started to pick colleges and universities that are local for a number of reasons. For starters, it’s less expensive to attend a local college because there are no boarding or travel fees to worry about. Secondly, they’re closer to home which means they’re familiar with the area and always have their parents if they need help. Lastly, the quality of education doesn’t fluctuate as much as people would like to think, meaning that a course in the same subject between two different colleges will likely be the same or at least very similar.
Support them the entire way
Lastly, we have to ensure that we’re supporting our kids in their decision to attend college. Even if it’s expensive or if they want to attend a college that’s incredibly far away, you should be supportive of their decision as long as they’re not downplaying the effort, money, and investment involved. The last thing you want is to receive a phone call 2 weeks into their course from your child telling you that they want out. Make sure you’re supportive of their decision but don’t ignore all of the challenges and problems that could occur as a result of it.