How would you feel if your child didn’t want to go to college?
Jack Dorsey, the inventor of Twitter is pretty lucky his parents didn’t force him to finish his degree. A student at NYU, he dropped out of college to start a web business based on an idea he had since he was 15 years old.
Would you forsake your child’s education if they thought they could make a living from tweets? Before you answer just look at what Bill Gates and Steve Jobs have accomplished without a college degree.
In New York City, statistics show that less than half of its students left high school prepared for college and well-paying careers. While disturbing, these numbers might just show that higher education is just not for everyone.
The question must arise at some point asking if every child was meant to go to college. There are countless creative individuals who never attended college but are successful and happy. There are also many people who finished college and hate their careers, who dream of pursuing the very creative endeavors they dreamed about as children.
Like with most parenting challenges, there is no clear cut answer.
Honestly, it would probably disappoint me if any of my children didn’t get a college degree. However, I’d like to think that if they were really passionate about something, an idea or a job, that I could be understanding enough to let them take some time off as long as they did go back. To me college is not just something you do to get a job. College is about critical thinking and exploring ideas and concepts and I think it’s too good an experience for my kids to miss.
Yet I want my kids to pursue everything they are passionate about because life is about experiences. As a parent I want the best for my child, but I also am not in charge of their life.
And anyone can go back to college later on if their dream doesn’t pan out. Look at James Franco. He can’t stop himself from piling on the degrees and he certainly doesn’t have to do so with all his notoriety and success. I think when you instill a love of learning and creativity, that is the best gift you can give. Then (as scary as the thought may be) you can step back and let them take the reigns.
Would you ever let your child skip college?