This post is by Mrs. Joanne Zarlinga for the CBR Student Blog Contest.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
People start asking their children this when they’re as young as 10 years old or even younger? Well I just turned 42 years old and the answer to that question has changed quite a few times since I was 10. So I thought I’d offer a little motherly advice to my fellow college students both traditional and non-traditional.
I am currently a non-traditional student at Walsh University in Ohio. Non-traditional just means I go to school at night. I have always been a nontra. Even when I was 19 years old I went to Cleveland State University at night because I worked full-time during the day.
Whether you go to school at night or during the day, whether you are young or old, whether you are male or female, my advice is the same. The following 5 points will help anyone making a decision about college.
POINT 1: Determine what you like to do and what you’re good at. If these are skills that can translate into employment opportunities, YIPPEE!, now you know what to pursue as a career. If there are no college degrees for what you want to do for a living, DON’T GO TO COLLEGE. For Pete’s sake, save yourself a lot of time and money and start building you’re career through experience and marketing yourself.
POINT 2: If you want to go to college for a Business Management degree, don’t bother. It’s a waste of time. Go get a job at any restaurant chain, department store, or Walmart and tell them you want to be trained for management. They’ll be happy to oblige and you just saved yourself thousands of dollars. ONLY go to college for a skills specific degree such as Accounting, Engineering, Physician, Teacher… you get the idea. Any generic, liberal arts degree is a waste of time and money if you’re expecting a career from it. The education may be great for your personal growth, but you can learn that stuff for free at home without the bias of the college prof tainting the information for you.
POINT 3: If you are undecided about college and you are at least 18 years old, MOVE OUT on your own. Get a job and figure out that you are responsible for your own care and future. Being spoonfed at home until you are 30 will not bring you a happy, satisfying life. Being handed anything squelches our desire to accomplish anything and it may even destroy your confidence in yourself. I’m not saying this will be easy but I know it is worth it. GROW UP. We are adult a whole lot longer than we are children. Learn to enjoy the freedom to make your own decisions and your own mistakes.
The key to success here is to live ALONE. Pick out your own place, your own furniture, food, etc., and DON’T let anyone move-in with you. Our society has become to co-dependent it’s ridiculous! People text non-stop all day! I haven’t that much to say to ANYONE. Turn the phone off, go home and BE ALONE once in a while. You’re going to be you forever so you might as well get used to you.
POINT 4: If you already have children, college may not be an option in your life right now. You have been honored with the privilege of loving and teaching another human life. This needs to be taken seriously and fulfilled graciously. REMEMBER, this child did not ask to be conceived. The decision to have sex ALWAYS carries with it the responsibility for the life it may create. Any life changes you have had to make since the child’s birth should NEVER be construed as negative, or believe me, the child will know and be hurt by it. If you changed your life to care for your child, you are to be commended. That truly was a mature decision, Thank You.
It is also especially important that you NOT live with your parents with your children. I know many people reading this will say I’m a nut and it’s too hard to make it and they NEED to be at home with their parents. I couldn’t disagree more. It will stunt your maturity and confuse your children to have Grandma and Grandpa in authority over Mom or Dad. My parents abandoned me when I was 16 and I had to quit high-school and work full-time, find a place to live and buy a car without any help. It is possible. You will have to live within your income which you might not like, but it is possible and in the long run you’ll be much better for it.
POINT 5: Be aware that in 10 years your desires and goals will be different than they are today. So be prepared. ALWAYS live within your means and save some money. A good goal is to save 10% of your income. Then, in 10 years, if you want to change careers you won’t have any debt and you have some cash on-hand in case you need to take a pay-cut to do the new career.
Whatever you decide to do for a living, whether you HAVE to do it to put food on the table or you LOVE to do it because it’s a perfect match to your giftings, make it a reflection of who you are. Are you a kind, respectable, honest person, or are you a whiny, complaining jerk?
What do YOU want to be when you grow up?