Friday, December 7, 2012

The College Experience

Is College the right answer for you?

When I graduated from high school I was adamant about not going to college in spite of my parent’s urging. It took a year of me working two or three minimum wage jobs to fulfill bill obligations, with a car that kept breaking down, to realize that education may not be so bad after all.

But I still wasn’t suited for the four year college course. So, I found airplanes. I started flying lessons at age 19 and the instructor scared me so bad that I decided to go work on airplanes and then go back to flying. I never went back to flying.

Enter in the technical college scene. I am very thankful for technical colleges for people who are like me, not really cut out for the formal four year or more institution. Twenty years ago this month I graduated with my Associates Degree of Applied Science majoring in Aviation Maintenance. The two year degree has supported my children and I sufficiently throughout the last thirteen years and lately has even give me the opportunity to travel and take some much needed time off.

All of this to say both my sons feel the same way I did when I was eighteen.

My older son, who is twenty years old at the time of this post, did excellent in high school and tried the four year college career path and found it hard to adapt to. Having worked for a year doing land surveying around the great state of Texas, he saved enough money to go on a six month trip to Mexico to learn land and marine conservation and will be a Master Scuba Diver with experience in a scuba shop when the program completes. In addition, he will have another certificate that shows he has been trained in underwater mapping which is just like surveying above ground. This program will also help place him in a job if that is his wish and if he decides to go back to formal college one day, this experience will apply as college credits.

My younger son, who is nineteen years old at the time of this post, struggled with high school and he ended up finishing high school by taking online courses. To say he was relieved to be out of school is a gross understatement. He struggled to find a job and tried staying with his dad for a while and then with me for a while but jobs are scarce for those with limited education. So that leads me to today.

I am sitting in the parking lot at the student services center at the college that I attended twenty years ago. My youngest son is inside taking a required test and then we will be touring the rest of the college this afternoon. He starts school here on January 7, 2013, to get training to become a welder.

I can not tell you how PROUD I am of my sons. They are searching out what they want to do and the paths that they are taking are going to lead them down the road to success. Even without the traditional four year college course. Now, don’t get me wrong….I have nothing against four year colleges; they just aren’t for everyone and I am thankful for alternative education paths.

Through the years they may go on to something else or they may not, finding satisfaction in the careers they choose now. They might go back to college as I did in my mid-thirties but then again they may not. But, you know, it really doesn’t matter to me because at this moment they are doing what they need to in order to become productive and successful adults.

2 comments:

  1. I agree 100%! And a four year degree is no longer 4 years, it's closer to 5 with no guarantee of getting that 6 figure-income job after college. If students can and choose to pursue that route, that's wonderful, too! I have a 2 year degree and landed a managerial position when I graduated--and I was in my late 30's. Also, I do think it helps to have more than just one skill now to be competitive, personally and professionally, as well. What worked for one person in their 20's may no longer apply in their 40's, so it's always good to learn and be educated in new things. Best wishes to you and your son :) He has the best role model in you.

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  2. Thank you Lelani for commenting :) Glad to see others are successful too with a two year degree! You are too kind with your compliments!

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