DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: I have been working construction jobs since the summer I graduated high school two years ago. I make decent money, even though it may not always be regular, but it’s enough for me to live on.
Both my older brothers went to college and, honestly, they make less than I do, but my parents keep pressuring me to go back to school and get a degree. I don’t need a degree to do what I am enjoying doing, but how do I get them to back off and let me be? --- NOT COLLEGE MATERIAL
DEAR NOT COLLEGE MATERIAL: A lot of people believe a diploma is a measure of success that can’t be replaced or done without. In your case, however, you already have a strong argument for following your current path ─ you’re making enough to support yourself. That you truly enjoy the work is a huge bonus.
Even though college may not be for you, keep an open mind about possibly taking technical certification or licensing training at some point in the future. Master craftsmen can command more money, and if you ever decide to start your own company, the credential could go a long way, and it might even make your parents more comfortable with your career choice.