The U of You

 

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the perceived value of college degrees. It made me think about my own college journey.

I was the first person in my family to graduate from college. When I entered school, I started as a biology major but quickly realized that my path to becoming a doctor was a long and arduous one. I ended up changing my major to political science and graduated with honors.

I thought I wanted to get into political campaigning but again it wasn’t meant to be. I eventually found my calling as an educator at age 23. I had been working outside of my degree for two years beyond graduation when I realized I would need to go back to school part time to get my teaching certificate.

I realize now that my high school career really didn’t prepare me for discovering who I was or what I wanted to be. I knew that I needed to go to college because that was the expectation in my household. I ultimately believe that it was the right path for me, but I really wish that I would have had more opportunities to discover my passions in order to really find myself.

Maybe a gap year would have served me well. Maybe more chances in high school to explore various career options would have been beneficial. Maybe internship or apprentice programs would have helped me. Or maybe I just wasn’t meant to discover my path until I was meant to discover my path.

I write all of this to say that we need to give our kids the chance to discover themselves. Let them figure out who they are and what they are passionate about. It may involve college. It also might not.

Whichever path is right for our students, let’s help them enroll in the U of You. Give them the chance to find what they enjoy. Give them the experiences that will help them find out what they are good at. Let’s create multiple pathways for students that don’t funnel all of them to four year college programs.

Every student deserves the chance to find out who they really are and where they want to go.

Let’s give all of our students the chance to attend the U of You.

Let’s help them find out where they belong.

 

Rich