Wednesday, March 26, 2008

on the other hand...

...in many, many cases, the growing up experience has not one thing in common with applying to colleges.
A friendly email from a reader responding to my column on Sunday reminded me gently of that fact. And he was right. The world is full of talented, skilled, energetic, creative, accomplished, successful people who have never stepped foot on a college campus.
Reading the email served as a reminder to me that my own perspective is not the only perspective. (Yes, I write an opinion column and as such, it needs perspective, preferably my own. But I appreciate people pointing out the obvious from time to time - something along the lines of: "Hey genuis! Did you ever consider ____??" Many times, I haven't.)
The school year is coming to an end for thousands of high school seniors who will graduate and begin their lives as working adults. Maybe they'll follow up on some training they began during their high school years and become skilled tradespeople, working with professonals who will continue their education, on the job.
Maybe they'll take a job in a restaurant, a retail store, a medical facility or in a business setting, and learn how to do the job at hand.
Not one of them is checking the daily mail for acceptance or rejection letters. Not one of them composed an essay about their unique talents and why they should be accepted in a university. And not one of them is taking on many thousands of dollars of debt to continue their education.
To them I say congratulations - welcome to the workforce - and believe it or not, no matter how much you looked forward to graduating, you will miss those carefree high school days.
http://www.mcall.com/news/opinion/oped/all-james3-23.6320510mar23,0,7686104.column

2 comments:

Kathy said...

Renee -- I was one of those people who went straight into the workforce after high school. No waiting for acceptance letters for me. My father ran a successful small business on a high school education, and neither of my parents thought college guaranteed future success.

However, after gaining employment at a university, I took quick and full advantage of the tuition benefits offered me. I absolutely knew that I wouldn't be able to get very far without a college degree. So while not every child goes to college at the age of 18, it's not an idea they should sweep under a rug forever. Sooner or later, they'll find out it's not just a worthy pursuit; it's an investment with high dividends if they make the most of it.

renee said...

I think your point is a good one, and one that gets lost in the frenzy of senior year these days. Not everyone is prepared or ready at age 18 to enter another educational setting directly from high school. And since many employers to help with tuition reimbursement, working and getting help with the costs through an employer could be the best choice someone makes.
Thanks for your comment.