BB2C Parent Perspective: Beth Maidens Part 1

In her own words...

"What do you want to be when you grow up?" That is a popular question we ask young kids. As teachers and parents, we don't ask if they have considered things such as training, student loan debt, salary, or potential growth in that particular job industry. Not when they are young, anyway. Typically, we save that for the beginning of the teen years when pressure really starts to mount on their changing brains and hormones. We expect them to be able to process all those factors and make decisions. Some kids are ready and some kids are not.

My daughter knew from a young age that she wanted to be a teacher. She is dyslexic and has always wanted to help young children learn to read who may struggle like she did. Because I am a teacher, she knew how to make her plan from beginning to end. That was really the easy part. Her main decision that she struggled with was where to attend college. We told her that we would pay 100% of her tuition to any school. She, however, would have to take out loans to help cover the cost of room and board ($40,000 total) if she chose to attend a school further away. She considered many options because education degrees are common at most higher learning institutions. I was surprised at the peer pressure to choose a school further away as opposed to one closer to home. People were shocked that she would not experience the "college life" by leaving home. They would tell her not to give up as if she had no choice and settled on a lower choice. We told her it was simple. Look at the big picture. When did she value freedom the most?  During or after college?  If she had wanted to pursue a degree that was exclusive to only a few choices, that debt would be understandable. She chose to start life with no debt and the freedom to make decisions a few years down the road. She began her sophomore year yesterday and has not regretted making that choice.