Many students in our personal circles are heading off to college. Are you ready? (I can’t even thing about it without getting teary-eyed.) But more importantly are they ready? I am not referring to the stuff for their dorm rooms, clothes or books. Are they ready to make great use of this time, opportunity and investment? Do they know what they are pursuing and why? One statistic states 84% of students are undeclared. Taking just a moment to play this out in my quirky mind, I can imagine a student having the following dialogue with their parents.
Student: “Hey Dad/Mom, could I have $15,000 for the next 4 months? And by the way I am going to be asking this again each semester for 4 years. BTW, that is the minimum if all goes well and I beat the national average of 67% of students taking more than 4 years to finish. Just saying.”
Parent: ”What are you going to use it for?”
Student: ”To take classes & live.”
Parent: “What classes and why?”
Student: ”I’m not sure yet, just going to go with the flow.”
Parent: ”Sure, I’ll write the check. Here you go, have fun.”
Obviously, a bit tongue-in-cheek, but it has a thread of truth. I am blessed to deal with many exceptional teenagers whom I love dearly! Yet, with few exceptions they really don’t know why they are going to college. It is simply what everyone else is doing…soooo…if everyone else jumped off the bridge would you want your student to join in?
Please don’t read what I am not saying. (That is one of my business partners lines that takes a minute to digest.) College is great, it is hugely beneficial and can set a solid foundation for the future, if it is done with intention.
Taking the time to assess interests, skills and values of students before selecting a major is critical. There may be more than one area of interest and the student could be intentional in talking with people in each arena before investing in tuition, classes, books and the dreaded exams! You can play a key role by looking back over their lives and recalling what projects, experiences and situations they thrived in and what areas were draining to them and consequently drained you.
Say your student wants to be a nurse because they love helping people At the same time, they do not excel under high-pressure, lots of detail and in a fast-paced environment. Probably not a good career selection for them. But what if that same student was passionate about music and could pursue a music therapy degree. Hmmmm. In this amazing world, our opportunities are limited only by our creativity in applying our natural gifts and talents to our career selections.
I urge parents to invest in their students during high school to intentionally discover their unique gifting, talent and purpose for their career and ultimately their lives.
For all those students going off to school…make decisions you want your children to make some day. For the many I know personally, Georgia College, UGA, Georgia Tech, Furman, Georgia State, Georgia Perimeter, Georgia Southern, Alabama, Auburn, Presbyterian, Kennesaw, UNC Chapel Hill, Vanderbilt, etc. are beyond blessed to be getting you as students! Love you guys!! So proud of you!! GOD bless each of you!! (Here come the tears.)
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