DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: Even though I have always done well in school, I have never loved it. Most of my friends have never seen any other path than the one that leads to college and even advanced degrees, but that’s just not for me.
I applied to five different schools, mostly to please my parents. I was accepted by all, and the one my parents were most excited about offered me an awesome scholarship. It’s everything my parents wanted, but not what I want.
When I told them I declined the scholarship and have no plans to go to college, at least not for now, both my mom and my stepfather flipped. My dad and stepmother were less upset about it, but they still were not happy.
It isn’t like I do not have a plan. I have enrolled in an online software engineering program, the first two semesters of which I am able to afford thanks to money left to me by my granddad. I did extensive research to find the best program, and even worked with my guidance counselor to figure the best next steps for me. He offered to meet with my parents and myself to discuss my choice, but I think it would not make much difference to them and their idea that I am making a big mistake.
Why don’t they get that I know what I am doing? --- I’VE GOT THIS
DEAR I’VE GOT THIS: I believe most parents have their own projections of where they see their kids heading after they finish high school and beyond. It may be a matter of allowing your folks some time to let your gameplan sink in.
What I believe has a good chance of helping, although you’re doubtful, is to set up that meeting between your parents and your guidance counselor. Your counselor is a lot closer to the current realities of the job market and the array of post-high school options than your parents are likely to be. Hearing from a professional educator and counselor might tip the scales in your favor with your folks. At the very least, it’s possible they’d be more convinced you did seriously consider your options and are pursuing an entirely valid course that feels right to you.