My undergraduate experience was so much fun! I was able to
join a sorority, travel to different cities to party and I even fell in love
and had babies out of wedlock.
Now, saddled with student loans I can barely pay and no job
offers in my field, I have had to take a long, hard look at what a college
education did for me and how it has impacted the lives of those around me.
Sure, nearly all of my friends boast multiple degrees and hold highly respected
positions as attorneys, doctors and journalists, yet nearly all of them seem
unsatisfied by their career choices, often asking, “Why did I want to do this
As technology advances, the American dream transitions with
it, and we are learning that the most brilliant
minds are self-taught, not trained. With access to a seemingly limitless amount of information, encouraging today’s
child to go to college in order to be a success is the same as giving them a
dollar and asking them to pay the rent; it is simply not enough.
Earning a college education positions your child to go out
and possibly land a "good job." In recent history we raised generations of
workers, eager to commit to the success of innovators if it meant that they
could buy a beer or a new dress every weekend. Maintaining a good job means
understanding the importance of following precise instructions and doing what
is necessary to preserve the institution that financially supports you. Yet,
the freedom fighters, the change makers and the movers of our society have a
passion for self-sufficiency that extends far beyond trading hours for wages.
I suggested that if he wants to go to college for the fun of it he should, but it is not at all necessary.
I am uninterested in raising worker bees, not because I
don’t think they are important, but because I don’t want my children’s
livelihood to depend on someone else’s ability to lead. I don’t want my sons to
be saddled to a career choice they outgrow simply because they do not
understand the magic of invention and creation that leads to financial
My 10-year-old has proclaimed his desire to be a chef since he
was old enough to speak. I suggested
that if he wants to go to college for the fun of it he should, but it is not at
all necessary. After his required education, he can instantly move on to
educating himself in his specialization. In the meantime he should get as
much practice as he can. My 12-year-old son has no clue what he wants to be, and
I think that is perfectly fine. To pique his interests I have been feeding him
Forbes articles about young innovators, encouraging him to try his hand at
entrepreneurship because it is the only real way to learn the principles of life
Yes, college was a marvelous adventure for me; my greatest
gift from it was becoming a mom. The
greatest gift I hope to pass on to my children is the proclivity to step past
old traditions that no longer serve them, and to mold their futures into what
they want it to be—starting right now.
If they want to go to college, so be it, but it is not a requirement in
my eyes. The only thing I require is that they think about their choices and
make a decision based on the lifestyle
they wish to experience. I hope they will choose to experiment and
learn on their own, instead of investing in a formal education. Which will most likely reward them with a
lifetime commitment to making someone else’s dream come true.