What to Do if Your Child Isn’t Ready for College

These days it is almost a given high school graduates should plan to attend college after they finish their schooling. The idea of college is promoted because the reality is it is very difficult to get a well paying career to pay the bills without a college degree.

recent high school grads

One of the primary reasons college is promoted is because possessing a college degree has become a competitive advantage in the job market. This is because there is frequently a lot of applicants for jobs and not always enough jobs to go around. Students that head off to college will have that bit of extra to put on their resumes which often gives the edge for being hired.

However, where does that leave the high school graduate who doesn’t want or isn’t ready to go straight to college after graduation?

Not all students are ready to head off to college after they graduate high school. Many parents push college because they want their children to do succeed in life and know from experience that a college degree often makes life easier to find solid employment. In theory these parents are correct, however, is pushing the idealism the right approach?

While some students are pumped up and ready to start campus life, there are others who struggled with school, are burnt out or simply just want a break and as a result, adamantly refuse to go. At this point, it becomes a power struggle between parent and child.

What do you do if this happens in your family?

The best idea is to perhaps offer your high school grad some options, without forcing continued schooling. The worse thing to do is allow your young adult to lay around the house and do nothing. If they are not going to continue schooling, insist on a job or volunteer activity.

As another alternative, for some students an educational traveling experience may help the young adult find their way and decide what they want to do; often upon return from a trip like this, they are ready to think about college.

Whatever option is chosen should be productive.

Often this kind of productiveness is better than forcing college because the young person has a chance to mature and has found themselves.

The problem is pushing a young adult off to college who isn’t embracing the idea or ready for higher education is often a mistake and unfortunately, sets the individual up for failure. Not only failure, but resentment towards parents. In addition to the negative emotional effects, there is the probably wasted money on tuition and fees to consider since forfeited or failed classes are not going to do a transcript any good.

The reality of it is if your child isn’t ready to head off to college, their heart and mind won’t be engaged and in the end, they’ll feel frustrated if they don’t do well. This may be an even bigger deterrent than letting them take some time off from pursuing education.

Six months or a year from now, the chances are the situation will change and present a totally different scenario with an eager potential college student. Sometimes a young person needs a little bit of time, and this can make the difference between a failed or a dynamic college career.