View Full Version : What are your kid's plans after graduation?

01-15-2015, 03:18 PM
What will your kids do after they graduate from high school?

01-15-2015, 07:17 PM
I expected my older kids to go to college and worked hard to provide a good college prep curriculum.

Life had other plans.

My first grader wants to be a Scientist or a Renaissance Man.

He'll probably need to juggle a few part time minimum wage jobs, add more water to the top ramen, and have the right attitude to make that happen, but who am I to kill his dreams?

01-15-2015, 07:22 PM
My daughter right now says she wants to wild animal vet, or at least do something involving their care. So I figure she'll need to go to college. She's 10 though, so things can always change. She has a savings account for secondary education, so she'll have something to start with.

01-15-2015, 08:33 PM
I don't care what he does as long as he's happy, healthy and can pay his bills. I suspect he'll probably go to a community college first and then maybe go on, we'll see.

01-15-2015, 08:51 PM
I'd rather he go to cc and finish a two year degree, with the option to transition to university, than invest a huge amount of time and money in university right away. He'll have more freedom to change his mind about a course of study that way, I think.

He's gotten some cc credit already with dual enrollment, and hopefully by this summer he'll have a total of 22 credits. He's got 15 so far. I kinda wish I could keep him from graduating so he could keep doing dual enrollment. It's hugely cheaper than it will be in college (150 per class vs. 200 per credit in our cc system), but there are a limited number of classes available.

01-15-2015, 09:17 PM
For the three oldest - "I expect my kids to go to college, and work hard to provide a strong college prep curriculum." Oldest will start next fall, Ds12 wants to study English literature and then playwriting, and Ds10 wants to be a physicist. I would be very, very surprised if any of them decided not to go to college.

For our two youngest, it's too early to tell. Both have fairly mild special needs that affect their learning but not their intelligence. While college is not off the table, we'll have to be open to other options as well.

01-15-2015, 10:46 PM
It's too bad I could only choose one option. While I fully expect her to go to post-secondary, I'm really not sure yet which school or program will be right for her. At the moment, I feel that getting through high school will be quite enough to worry about. She's planning to go to the local high school in September, although I think she'll do some of her courses at home. We'll see.

01-15-2015, 11:33 PM
Depending on the day, it's either policewoman, teacher, violinist, or luthier; or some combination.

At 6 y/o, really, who knows? Which is pretty amazing.

01-15-2015, 11:49 PM
When Elle was six she wanted to be a baker. She was obsessed with getting all the Wilton cake decorating equipment..lol. What did Santa bring you? Some new piping tips and a box of fondant? How exciting! LOL.

Then she shifted from baking to cooking in general...gourmet cooking...and started watching cooking shows like a maniac. Martha Steward, Bobby Flay, Iron Chef, and her God of all Gods....Alton Brown. She fell madly, madly in love with Alton.

What would you like for Christmas little girl? An Alton Brown cookbook, an immersion blender, and some wood chips and a box to make a fish smoker!

Yep....weird kid.

Thing that fascinated her most about Alton....is that he explained all the scientific processes behind how to cook things, and those explanations were pretty rooted in chemistry and physics. (cooking is SO many cool things....biology, math, chemistry, physics, art.....)

Looking back, Elle believes all her time in the kitchen was her way of creating an elementary laboratory. At the end of the day....the variables are different, but it's a shockingly similar process to create a new recipe....regardless of whether it's a it's for a comfort dish, a industrial adhesive, or a new pharmaceutical. It's creativity, exact process, prediction, documentation, and a fundamental understanding of the reactive elements involved. Trial and error. Cooking:)

01-16-2015, 01:49 AM
MNDad....embarrassingly, I had to look up what a "luthier" was. (hope I'm not the only one. A luthier is someone who is a craftsman of stringed instruments, who can repair them, build them, etc) For some reason I thought it had something to do with horses? No idea why.

Anyway....I have learned something. Always a good thing. Thank you.

01-16-2015, 07:13 AM
Pretty boring here. College for dd (creative writing/journalism) next fall, and college for ds (computer programming) the following fall.

01-16-2015, 07:51 AM
I had to look up what a "luthier" was. For some reason I thought it had something to do with horses?

Funny, because just the other day, I had to look up "farrier" which does apparently have to do with horses. (I suppose you'd say they're like the podiatrists of horses.)

DD is funny because she's been talking for months about converting her playhouse into a string instrument shop when spring finally comes to MN. (Fortunately in MN, that's a long time off - so I've got a reprieve.) She's put together books of music she's written. wants to make instruments. etc. but I'm still scratching my head about how to either really make it happen or gently adjust her expectations. She's so earnest.

Anyway, enjoying not only all her projects now, but also the expectation that someday when she figures out what she wants to do with her adult life, we can say: "Yep, I could see that..."

01-16-2015, 07:59 AM
MNDad, that IS an issue, isn't it? My DD is also 6, and has MARVELOUS ideas all the time about things to make/build/concoct. It is a difficult line to walk to question what she is planning so we can decide if we will support it or gently redirect. If we always just said "Sure honey!" our house would be a total wreck all the time. Our approach now is to subtly grill her on how she plans to do what she wants to do, what supplies will she need, etc. This has worked well, as she is happy to talk about her projects. I'd say at least half the time we move forward and let her do what she wants to do. :)

DD is still obsessed with horses, and in fact, farrier is one of her top choices at the moment for what she wants to do. :)

01-16-2015, 09:46 AM
MNDad....embarrassingly, I had to look up what a "luthier" was. (hope I'm not the only one.

I was going to Google this when I was done, so you saved me a Google.

Last May, we visited Kennedy Space Center. I used to visit there on a monthly basis since most of my growing up was in the area. My grandpa worked as an electrician for NASA, working on the launch vehicles for the Apollo missions and moved on to other projects when Apollo had wrapped up. Anyway, My 9yo is now convinced he wants to work on either launch vehicles or some form of robotics. That trip to KSC cost me an amateur telescope, that he begged me for, that we have already outgrown, but have enjoyed a new way of spending time together.

From a financial standpoint, I hope my boy chooses community college. He is more than welcome to live here if he attends school locally. Between my wife and I, our total college loan debt is higher than our mortgage, and we really want our boys to avoid that situation.

My 3yo right now loves jumping off the backs of sofas and off of our dining table. I would rather not think about where his interests may turn.

01-16-2015, 10:27 AM
" My DD is also 6, and has MARVELOUS ideas all the time about things to make/build/concoct. It is a difficult line to walk to question what she is planning so we can decide if we will support it or gently redirect. If we always just said "Sure honey!" our house would be a total wreck all the time."

Starkspack, I think you've just hit the nail on the head as to why my house was a wreck all the time. LMFAO.

Between when Elle was 6 and 12....my kitchen was a nightmare. The kid used every pot pan and utensil in the house...she was an insane force to be reckoned with...and an even insaner one to teach to use the dishwasher properly. LOL. We ate a LOT of really weird meals. But hey, I didn't have to cook very often and eventually she got really good....like crazy good....at making many, many dishes. 80% stuff I would have never thought to attempt. (Several that have made their way to our regular rotation)

01-16-2015, 10:43 AM
I too wish I could choose more than one answer, because I doubt there are many people in my generation or after (I was born in the early 70's) who are naive enough to still believe that all you have to do is go to college, get a degree, and your life is basically made. That may have worked for the baby boomers, but that was also in a time when a high school diploma was a credential that could get you a job, although not rocket scientist, and a relatively small percentage of the whole population went to college. When everyone goes to college, it stops being an advantage and becomes a new requirement.

Since I come from a family of people with graduate degrees and careers in academia, research, or tech, it's a strange thing to consider the possibility that these days at least, it's all a racket. But I count myself lucky that my kids are still young enough that we can keep and ear to the ground on emerging developments in the whole college scenario. I had super high test scores, and so expect that if I don't flub it with homeschooling, my kids should also have really high test scores and be on the AP track at the high school age, or go straight into college a few years younger than is --or was-- traditional.

But I also want them to hedge their bets and learn a trade as young as possible, something that can pay the bills and keep them afloat, that isn't easily outsourced, or that they can travel to other places and still find a job, at. Because putting all the eggs in one basket these days, seems like an even worse idea than ever before. Used to be that college degree was the only basket anyone needed, but not so, anymore.

Time will tell. If my oldest becomes an academic juggernaut in her teens, capable of entering any college or university she wanted, it would STILL not be an easy or straightforward decision, due to the enormity of the debt required to go to those places. A substantial scholarship or full ride to a second-tier institution would probably trump mere admission to Stanford, I'm sorry to say.

And getting some practical work experience at something they could do without hating it, as a safety net, before they go off to college, (if they go!) seems smart, but how? I guess it's no longer possible to apprentice to anything if you're not yet 18. So community college for what used to be OJT, particularly if that community college is free (per Obama's intentions) seems like another thing to consider.

Great conversational topic for us here! Hoping to hear more of everyone else's thoughts, now and in the future. This is a very important thing to most of us, wondering how we can prepare/help our kids prepare for self-sufficient adulthood. It's not so simple as it was for the Baby Boomers, who knew that all you basically had to do was X,Y, and Z, and out pops your nearly-guaranteed decent standard of living.

01-16-2015, 10:54 AM
I chose "college prep with college expectations" because like Crunchynerd that was the expectation for ME. Even my great grandmother had a college degree. But like she said it's de rigeur now, not exactly an achievement.

In reality though my kid will be 11 at the end of the month and frankly I have NO IDEA what is really in her future. She says science. I say good, let's go with that. I won't discourage her. I expect she'll take college classes in high school, knock some of them out of the way.

I hope she has a gap year to mature a bit.

And I am not really worried about the expense of college. Of all the debts to have, investments to make, college is a worthy one if you actually study.

01-16-2015, 01:31 PM
+1 @crunchynerd.

Nobody is going to hand my 7yo an education on a silver platter and I don't want ton see him wind up like one of the ladies in his ddc who essentially had to put her kids in day care and go back to grad school because she couldn't pay her student loans and the only way to defer them was to take out more of them.

I consider it my responsibility to teach him how to get his own education, even if he has to "steal" it by hiding in the bushes outside HAAAAAAAAAH-vud on a warm day so he can hear the lectures through an open window.

I also consider it my responsibility to teach him that he will NEVER be a "minimum wage toilet scrubber" no matter what happens, even though he may well be an intelligent self-taught Scientist and Renaissance Man who scrubs toilets for minimum wage so he can afford top ramen and Science books.

01-16-2015, 01:40 PM
I have a friend who has a masters degree from a very good, hard to get into college. He's 50 years old and makes his living delivering pizza. This is his choice, he wants to do this. It gives him time to partake in his numerous hobbies and enjoy his life, unlike many other people I know who are slaves to their jobs.

I have a Bachelor degree, but sometimes I wish I hadn't spent the money and time to obtain it. I almost think I would have been better off learning a trade.

01-16-2015, 03:19 PM
According to Dmitry Orlov, during the collapse of the Soviet Union," A lot of people, more and more during the "stagnation" period of the 1980's, felt nothing but contempt for the system, did what little they had to do to get by (night watchman and furnace stoker were favorite jobs among the highly educated) and got all their pleasure from their friends, from their reading, or from nature. (http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/062805_soviet_lessons_part2.shtml)"

Night Watchman and Furnace Stoker both sound like good, honest, ethical ways for a Scientist or a Renaissance Man to get top ramen money.

01-16-2015, 03:21 PM
He is planning to go to Mars, or to build spacecraft to send others to Mars. (I'm not keeping it a secret that I'd prefer the latter.)

I feel that I have a responsibility to get him ready for college, even if he later changes his mind and wants to do something else that doesn't require it--it's probably harder to go the other way around. I don't want to get him ready to be a race car driver (!) or Santa Claus (?) only to have him wish he'd had enough math to do engineering.

I can't say I really profited financially by going to college (unlike my DH), but wow, my brain needed that. I can't imagine not having done it. My parents always assumed I was going, although they hadn't finished degrees themselves and they couldn't help pay for mine.

Among my younger siblings, one completed college and is rocking a career; one couldn't afford to finish and has a job; one had no interest in enrolling in college but eventually did a technical school, and is rocking a job; and the youngest is not into high school yet.

01-16-2015, 08:37 PM
I want to pass on some thoughts about why I feel "better" colleges are WORTH fighting to get into.

For us, it came down to money. Like a lot of folks, we're not the Rockefellers. We'd put away a modest amount of money for Elle for college (about $15K...we opened her savings account when she was a baby and grandparents helped a little), but every four year school she looked at....tuition+board= 20K-25K.

Might as well call it a hundred thousand dollars for four years of school. How do you pay for $100K worth of college with $15K?

This is the part where the better/best schools comes in.....they actually have FUNDING and Scholarships.

Elle applied to Western Michigan University, Central Michigan University, Michigan State University, and University of Michigan.

We knew she'd get accepted to Western and Central....because they take anyone with decent grades and scores. She was accepted, but they offered her only about $3000 per year in aid.

We thought Michigan State would be more competitive, but that she'd still pretty easily get in because of her STEM merit and high class rank....we figured they'd offer her more. Wrongo. They they accepted her, but only offered her $3000 per year in aid!

We thought University of Michigan was a long shot....because they are VERY competitive/selective. She got accepted....but I told her...don't get excited, they're the most expensive school. Maybe if you do two years in community college and transfer there....we can figure something out...but that's a LOT of money.

And then their financial aid letter came!!! Holy Crap....NIGHT AND DAY compared to less selective schools. They gave her $12,000 in GRANT money, AND they got her a scholarship from an awesome Jewish couple in NYC for $5000 per year for four years, AND gave her $2,500 per year in Work Study (she works a lab job for $10/hr. to earn this...works about ten hours a week.)

So even though it costs about $25,000 per year to go there.... Elle's out of pocket cost is only about $6,800 per year.

Working her local lab job over the summer, she'll make about $2500....which leaves only $4,300 out of pocket. Hubby and I are chipping in $2,400 per year (just $200 per month). The other $2000 will come from her college savings. This year, she got another scholarship for $2000 from a local group and didn't have to touch her savings.

She'll graduate debt free BECAUSE she got into a top tier school.

If she went to the second best school in the state...she would only get $3000 in aid per year....would have an out of pocket cost of $19K per year. Between her summer work and our contribution, she'd be short $14K per year. It would eat up her savings in one year. The other three years, she'd need loans....and would end up graduating $42K in debt.

THIS is why places like Stanford and other Ivy League and Public Ivies are so attractive and competitive......because if you get in....they have the means and connections to help you. It was never a status thing for us.....was all about getting her a great education with as little debt as possible.

If you've got a kid who has a serious academic drive and makes the scores....don't shy away from the fancy schools...sometimes they are your very best bet financially. Ain't easy to get in...but it's worth it.

Also...college kids should work summers, IMO. If they've got expenses, they're adults now. They can work to help cover them.

01-16-2015, 08:45 PM
CrazyMom, that's how the Colfax boys wound up at the Ivies. Apparently Grant was a difficult teenager, because I made an offhand comment about my kids being "No Grant Colfax, but...." to the wrong person and she misunderstood me, thought I was a personal friend of Micki's, and corrected my misunderstanding.

My now-adult kids were every bit as worrisome in their teens as Grant and gave me every bit as many grey hairs as he gave David and Micki. :P

01-16-2015, 09:41 PM
It's not hard to see why the Colfax's tried for Harvard. Harvard has so much money that 70% of their kids pay less than $12,000 per year. They consider people making up to $150K per year....as having "need based income".

And of the 30,000 or so kids who apply to Harvard every year.....only about 10 are homeschool kids. And they LIKE kids who have that hook.

Why NOT dream big?

I actually discouraged Elle from applying to U of M....thinking it was pointless to even consider. I was so skeptical. Her Calculus teacher encouraged her to apply. Then her Biology teacher encouraged her to apply. Had they not.....Elle would never have applied.

Thinking about it now...that would have been pretty sad.

My advice to everyone.....fill the transcripts with tough classes if your kid can handle them. Do an ACT prep class...get the best scores possible.

Apply to the two colleges you think will most likely work.....and then apply to two or three wildcard colleges than you don't think they have a prayer of getting into. You might waste a little money in application fees....but if they get in? The difference in what you pay out of pocket will astound you.

10-13-2015, 05:34 PM
My daughter started community college classes at 14. She is 16 now, an 11th grader. She has been taking 2 classes per semester but next year for senior year will go full-time with 4 classes. She will transfer to a university after senior year. The school district pays for her college courses so it's been a nice way to rack up college credits for free. By the time she graduates high school she will have about 55. I was always so worried about high school and college when she was little but it's been a total non-issue making that transition.