Newsflash: Your kid is a high school senior, and it’s time to start getting real about what happens next. Actually, it was the time last year, but who even knows what happened last year, so we’re going to give all parents a get out of jail free card: you messed up nothing.
If you managed to get your kids to 2022 alive and relatively sane, take the win.
Moving forward though, the world is changing – and America is changing. Rigid thought-lines that used to say ‘graduate high school, get into college, get a job’ are simply not designed to accommodate some people. You need to be able to dial into where your senior is at and then determine if that traditional route is the way to go for them.
Work, College – or both?
Real talk: Student loans are crippling our children before they’ve even had a start at life, and this means that more kids are deferring college for a year or two before deciding which program to pursue and where. It is something of a myth that if your child doesn’t graduate top of their class at an Ivy League school that their future is done for – that is simply not the truth.
Many young kids are opting to work through their final year in High School and then for another year or two to get some real-world experience and to save some money. Other kids are choosing to work through college as well. It’s not easy – but it can be done.
Understand what your and your child’s expectations are, especially if they’re not exactly posting grades that would make them Einstein material. Finding the right school or facility with the right program is far more important than just getting them into any school. Stratus Admissions Counselling can help with the right advice, for your children.
College Applications – Local, or Abroad?
Many American families live with the continued perception that a college education abroad is going to bankrupt them, when the opposite may well be true. For example, did you know that all German State universities are free? And that includes foreign students, and most classes outside of law and other specialties are conducted in English? Find out more, here.
Gap Year (Also known as ‘Experience Year’)
This practice is taking on in the United States, albeit a little slowly. In Europe, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and Canada, the practice is well entrenched in society and it’s something that more American young people are taking on. The benefits of getting a real-world experience abroad while traveling, volunteering, or even working can’t be bought and the memories and friendships that are made will last a lifetime.
There is no law anywhere that says that you or your children have to follow these long-held traditional routes and practices of education – unless, that is something that they want to do. It is far easier to take a gap year between high school and tertiary education than it is to do so after tertiary education.
What’s more, the year away could also reveal new passions and interests that may well form the basis of your child’s ongoing education.