I was raised in the 80's, not by my parents, but by life. I came from teen parents who had no support in turn they couldn't support us, or our choices, life did, but it didn't. Life, I guess we should be thankful because life made us "tuff", but what would life look now if we had the support and income to go directly to college out of high school, experiencing college and going through the rites of passage from our first frat party to our first overnight in a co-ed dorm, and so on. Instead what we got was the "life of hard knocks! But maybe that wasn't bad. Or, was it.
Fast forward 40 years and I raised my kids as a single parent with no college education. I was a waitress for decades, divorced and uneducated. I worked hard and took care of my kids, one who was autistic. One day I was filling out registration papers for my kids and had to apply for assistance, again, but this time it was different - the question asked the highest education level completed by parents and while I graduated high school, I was mortified! Why?
All my life I saw my fellow classmates who were able to go to college, jealous because I always wanted to go and determined because I wanted my kids to know and understand how important college was and how it could change our lives, but sadly that wasn't the answer.
College isn't the answer for everything, or everyone. I am 49 years old and am still in college, trying to figure it all out and trying so hard to find that right thing to be able to make it in this world! For my kids, now adults, the autistic still struggles, with everything. I found that having supportive services at the beginning would have made life different, in good ways for him, but now he is struggling to find his way. He has a few years of college under him, but what we are finding are the lack of services still to assist him. My youngest, she is working for a medical organization and is doing well, she temporarily dropped out of college, but plans to go back, like so many. Why is it so hard to stay in college? Motivation? Understanding? Support? Finances? Answer is yes! Yes to them all.
What I've found that money motivates, sure, we all know that right, but today what does that motivation look like? Is it a college graduate earning a 6 figure salary or a non-grad working in a trade making 6 figures? Wow, have you ever thought about that? Bottom line is what works for you is what works for you and YOU need to find a support circle to help you be you!
I've found that no matter a college grad or trades-person if you are happy and in a supported atmosphere doing what you feel best to do, then you are in the right place! And you should be applauded!
I am in my 7th year of college, going through menopause and empty nest! I have a masters degree and am working on the 2nd because the first one wasn't good enough... .not good enough! Why do we let the "man" tell us it's not good enough and respond to that? Again, support system!
Whatever you are doing, trade or higher ed, do you! Do you! Do you! Whatever works for you is your path!