The “American Dream”…you know, COLLEGE, cars, jobs, houses, marriage, kids, dog…that’s the dream we are all seduced in to believing. For many kids, this is an acceptable and practical path, but for a lot, it probably doesn’t make sense, and in fact, could be detrimental. In 2016, 69.7% of American High School Seniors enrolled in a university the following year. That’s a very high number of people that are very likely going in to a tremendous amount of debt, and then fall in to the “Keeping up with the Joneses” mentality to stay afloat after college.
Is it smart to condition our kids to go to college, to follow, blindly, the path we followed just because our parents followed it? We all want our kids to be successful, but does the success have to come at the peril of happiness or financial ruin? There are other options, but it takes guts and an open mind to pursue them.
There are tons of vocational and trade jobs available in this great Nation today, but you have to work for them. Mike Rowe is a huge proponent of blue collar jobs (aka Dirty Jobs as he calls them) that seemingly few are willing to take.
Another open minded thinker is Gary Vaynerchuck, who although is very outspoken, is extremely intelligent and thought provoking on this topic of finding happiness and passion in your work, not just following the path to debt like we’ve been conditioned. Even the great Dave Ramsey has opinions on this topic, though he takes a more practical and calculated look (i.e. debt awareness and avoidance). There are also public universities and other schools (compare schools) that may be more reasonable than the flashy ones your friends are going to.
Is college for everyone, NO! Is college for some, YES! The bottom line is, search your heart, try to figure out what your passion is, but be careful in blindly going to college…it could create an empty and burdensome future you may regret.