University is not for everyone

Graduation people jumpingMy daughter is finishing school this year. She has enjoyed school, but like most 18 year olds, she is more than ready to leave. She has a clear idea of what she wants to do next. Her dad and I are right behind her and will support and encourage her dream. The trouble is, she is receiving minimal support from anywhere else because shock, horror – she doesn’t have any interest in going to university. Why is this such a problem? Her friends, her friends’ parents, her aunts and uncles all seem to struggle with the idea of her not wanting to get a degree.

When did this happen – this insistence that the only way to success and happiness is via university? Is this the case everywhere, or just where we live? In the past, you needed a degree to be able to do certain careers. The current attitude is that it doesn’t matter what it is, just get a degree. No wonder the drop out rate is so high. No wonder university graduates are no longer guaranteed a job when they finish.

My daughter is constantly being asked about her back-up plan. She is being told over and over again to at least apply to go to uni and defer for a year. And although she can see the path she wants to take, that’s not good enough for people around her. University is not free. It is not easy to get a degree if you are not interested in the course you’re studying and it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll walk straight into a well paying job. So her dad and I will continue to help her defend her right not to attend university, just as we will support her if she changes her mind down the track.

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