Recently I had the priveledge of re-connecting with a previous student who is now entering college. In our short conversations that many of us have electronically, I asked Mike (name changed) what he had on the short and long term radar for college and career plans.
I was left reviewing my own vivid and memorable 'open highway' of youth, where I looked far and wide down career roads going off in all imaginable and perpendicular directions to my life path: "Be a doctor? Way too much school. Engineering? Too many specifics and details. Marriage and family counselor? Maybe. That's a possibility. Just skip school entirely and find a career path? Not really; I have to go and finish in something"
It might have been the same for you.
Are our kids woefully underprepared to recognize their actual options AND choose a path that will fit their needs, on the emotional, personal, professional and joyful level that we all operate with in our adult lives? I believe so.
Are our kids choosing career paths, with little more than the minimal-fervor they choose any random college job? I believe so.
What separates those adults who move onto financially and emotionally productive lives, that so many of us in middle-income families never saw the open doors towards? I will say its preparation, foresight, knowing themselves-- and a good guide.
Recently, a good friend took a 3 week tour around the middle east. (I agree that it's an interesting time to sight-see, when the likelihood of being blown up or killed is so high in the world, especially there). What made his reported trip so unimaginably joyful, thorough, memorable, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience was their guide. Through friends and some research online, they were able to connect with a gentleman there who had previously lived in the U.S. and who was connected to an immense network of businesses, government and civil organizations there. My friend said the experience there ended up with what should likely have been a typical history book experience and had it turned into a vivid, socio-economic, political, humanitarian, family based-- and true lifetime IMAX theater kind of human experience- all because of the right guide.
The stored potential of the little humans in your life is unimaginable. For crying out loud- Trump is the President of The United States. What will separate them from average and that of a trans-continental launch trajectory in life? What separates them from a typical history book review of the middle east and that of a life changing experience?
Your ability and opportunity to help them experience, navigate, summarize, consolidate and find their talents and natural skills in their childhood is as big as the horizon.
If that overwhelms you a little as a parent, teacher or guardian- maybe that's a good thing. What doesn't scare us or intimidate us doesn't make us stronger or help US grow, OR those young lives we are blessed to have in ours.
Get out your maps and let's get going!