I don’t usually think too hard about my kids’ getting into college or being prepared for a career. When the time comes, it’ll work out.
I am confident in this because of the realities of American opportunities, and because of knowing many people who have found success non-traditionally. In fact, I know very few people besides myself and my graduate school friends who took the traditional route to their success.
My dad, for example, dropped out of college to go into the military, and owned a business for 20 years. At age 50, he decided to sell his business and get his teaching credential.
He got his degree, taught for two years, then decided that wasn’t going to work, because he had to support his new wife and children. So, at age 54, he worked as a foreman for a large building company, without any prior experience in the field. At age 58, he decided it was too much physical labor and was too damn cold Colorado to be out in the snow every winter, and trained to be an AutoCad transcriber.
My dad is a great guy, and I love him. But he’s not a superman. He’s a normal guy who made the decision to follow his dream. And he could. Because this is America, and we have lots and lots of ways to reach our goals. (I have a lot of critiques of the US, but the opportunities here to pursue a new life are something I am greatly appreciative of.)
So, my kids. They won’t have any problem getting to where they want to go. They won’t be lost if they don’t do the A->Z trip that most kids take. In fact, they’ll probably have even more chance of success because they aren’t trapped by that path. They are growing up without rails, and therefore, without limits.
I was inspired to post this because I saw these two questions on AskMetafilter today which proves, once again, that success comes in many forms, and is always available to us.
Becoming a dentist at age 30 with no science training whatsoever.
Getting into grad school for economics with a 3.2 undergraduate GPA in architecture.