Wednesday, April 20, 2016

When Your Kid Doesn't Want to Go to College

   I’m going to speak very candidly about this topic. I mean VERY candidly. Like I may swear in this post… a lot. If you’re easily offended now is the time we part ways and there will be no hurt feelings. This is a parenting blog and with parenting comes a lot of pissed off moments and many, many bottles of wine (sometimes something stronger).
   I’ve written about my daughter Dee before. I’ve talked about how proud I have been of her accomplishments in school and just how she’s an all-around good kid.
Dee graduates this year. Like less than 2 months. The rule in our home is once you graduate high school you’re allowed to continue living at home until you a) graduate college or b) have saved enough money and feel you are able to move out on your own (while still going to college). So basically work and go to school and you won’t hear mom and dad’s mouth.
   My husband always throws in option c) go into the military. There has never been talk of an option d). Why you ask? Because we didn’t think option d) was even an option. Option d) apparently is not going to college and working fast food. Ummm who the fuck wants option d)?!?! Apparently my kid does. The kid that graduates in June.
   Jay and I were not prepared for this. We never thought of what we would do if one of the kids didn’t want to go to college. I mean yeah we’ve got 1 maybe 2 we have always thought this would be an issue with but we thought we had time. WE THOUGHT WE HAD TIME!
   That time is upon us now. What to do. What to do. I thought it would have blown over. I’ve hollered and screamed and drank but nothing has seemed to work. Dee is convinced she needs to take time off of school. And do what? How much time? You work 1 maybe 2 days a week! How will you survive?!?! This is all of the shit that goes through my head and flows out of my mouth when I talk to her!

   Ya see the goal has always been for our kids to learn from our mistakes but this is some new shit. She has 2 parents that have gone to college. Hell I just started back this month but that’s a post for a different day.
   What do you do when you know your kid is making a mistake? I worked for years in education. I enrolled students just like her that wanted to “take time off”. It started out as just 1 year. That year turned to 2 then 3 and before they knew it they were on the phone with me telling me their fears about going back to school because they now were in their mid to late 20’s sometimes older and they had some legit fears about furthering their education. The only thing bigger than their fear was the regret they had for not going sooner.
   We still love her of course and we will work it out. How I do not know. After all she’s about to be 18 so we can’t force her to do what we want but I’m sure Jay and I will figure out a painless way to make her see things our way… lol

  Is your kid about to graduate? If so leave me a comment and brag all you want about your kids’ next move. I’d love to hear all about it. I promise I won’t be sitting here sulking into my glass of wine as I read your comments.

Photo credit: drpavloff via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC


  1. In all seriousness, my daughter is graduating in three weeks. YES, I said it, three weeks. I am not prepared for that, really, I'm not. We have had this "college" talk many, many times and it stressed me out so I stopped having that talk. I know that college is important, but how important is the real question. Are you guaranteed a job in that career right out of school? No. Are your odds higher, perhaps slightly, but I really think that in todays working world, it isn't about what you know, it's about WHO you know. Then I also think that it really depends on what each child wants to do after school. Do they want to be a lawyer? If so, then yes, college is mandatory. Do they want to be a journalist? Well then that depends. What kind of journalism? Do you want to be a news anchor on 20/20 or do you want to be a blogger? See, I have a creative, free-spirited child who views school as debt. It isn't school that scares her, it's the amount of money she will ultimately owe that scares her. I don't blame her. $80,000 + is a huge number. Then I think perhaps college isn't for everyone. Some kids love school, others, not so much. Then there is of course, the undecided career. I was hoping my daughter would enroll in a four year college, go experience life on her own, but in reality, she just isn't ready for that big of a step yet and that's ok. She weighed the pros and cons and even though a majority of her friends are going away, she is staying here and is enrolled in community college. This is a fraction of the cost and it will give her the opportunity to continue her education, take core classes and explore what she likes and doesn't like and maybe, just maybe during the next two years she will come to a conclusion for what she plans on doing with the start of her adult career. Now her boyfriend wishes to take time off and work a year before entering college and I have told her that I think that is a bad idea. I think like you that once you're out, you check out and it makes it that much hard to go back. I advised her to have him enroll in community college and transfer those credits to a four year college if he wishes to go that route after a year. At least at that point he is still getting educated and experiencing the college life (a toned down one at that). Perhaps that is an option for your daughter. It may not be a four year, in state or out of state college, but it can act as a stepping stone until she is more confident in her career choice, or college location, or degree.

    This is such a hard stage of parenting. I thought it was hard when they were younger, but now that they are approaching "adulthood", it's so much worse. We love them and don't want them to make mistakes but they are their mistakes to make....we just have to be there when they make them so we can further guide and teach. That's what we are here for! :)

    1. Thank you for sharing that! It really sucks when you can't just make them do something lol Unfortunately we have been over every option... Community college, 4 year college, trade school etc. She doesn't want anything to do with school at all. I know there are some people that get a degree and never use it but I feel it can be of some help eventually. Even if you just get a trade at least you have something. I've had a cosmetology license for 12 years but now I own a clothing line and in school for media communications. We will see how it all works out and I'm sure both of our girls will be ok :)

  2. I worry about this with my kiddos too because school as always been such a huge deal for me... But it isn't for my husband. Hugs mama!

    1. In our house it's a big deal for both of us. We thought it was for her too but kids will always throw a monkey wrench into things. Thanks Joanna!

  3. My youngest will be a freshman in HS in the fall. It's split down the middle with my other kids. 1 got a degree, now lives in NYC. 1 who was a dancer & got injured went back to school & got a cosmetology license. My one who never wanted school in HS: as an adult, got his GED, went to college & got a really good job. My second youngest, went to college then had a baby got married & now is raising a family. It's not always easy to watch every journey especially through rough spots. What we want for our kids & how their journey is. Another option is trade schools, there are so many for anywhere from mechanics to cosmetology to electronics to computer science. I think finding what they love to do is super important to finding their passion & becoming successful. Wishing you the best & a happy future for yours.

    1. Thanks for sharing that Theresa. I went to trade school and got a cosmetology license before ever choosing what I wanted to go to college for. My mom always taught me to have a trade. My husband did the same thing. He went to trade school before he decided what he wanted to be when he "grew up". Sometimes what we teach our kids goes in one ear and out the other.