Seeing parents and teachers pressure kids to get top marks at school and complete their schooling to highest standards to be able to enter the best university worries me.
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They believe this gives them the best opportunity in life.
It’s time to start looking at different ways for school leavers to become employed or even self-made because there are so many over qualified people without work.
When I was younger I believed (maybe brainwashed) this was the way to a brighter future. Most of my friends went down this path and yes all are doing pretty well. But they’re all working 60+ hours a week, hating their jobs, just working the system, waiting until the age of 65 to retire. Pretty boring hey?
I wasn’t one of those kids at school who was going to make it academically. I struggled from the start and I was made to feel like I wasn’t going to make it in life. That worried me a lot as a young person.
There are more and more pressures on young people these days. We need to encourage our kids to become what they want to be without a piece of paper that comes with it.
I left school when I was 15. I have now completed two apprenticeships, travelled around the world and lived in other countries. I now own my own business and a successful one at that. No uni degree, I’m totally self-made.
I hustle every day for my own living and I’m now the envy of my mates who went to uni and got those degrees that were so important.
I’m not saying for one minute that going to uni is bad because you need to if you want to be a lawyers, doctor, accountant etc. Parents need to understand that not everyone is academic. DON’T push kids to the point where they give up all hope. You might think you’re helping them in the long run but really you will be doing more harm than good.
I know my father always supported me with everything I did at school. He knew I struggled, so he always supported me in giving things a go in life: Win, lose or draw.
I now have two small kids myself and if there is any advice for parents not pressuring their kids to go to uni it’s this:
- Find an apprenticeship as early as possible at the legal age of leaving school. Make sure it’s something they are passionate about.
- Don’t be afraid if your child leaves school and just gets a job. Make sure they get a job doing something they love then later on encourage turning that job into a business for themselves.
- If your kids love something, it might be skating, surfing, singing, encourage them with it. If they love it, help them with it. Even while at school.
- Teach them about the importance of saving and investing their money wisely, even if they leave school and get a job. By the time those friends come out of uni at the age of 25 with a Hecs bill of $60k they’ll be a mile in front.
- Get them to read business biographies. I wish I had when I was at school feeling like a bit of a loser, getting fail after fail. Most successful entrepreneurs don’t have uni degrees, they’re self-made.
- Get them to travel as much as they can. Travel is the best education money can buy. No classroom or uni degree can teach you what the world will teach you.
- I know we all love our kids and want the best but let them go a little. Keep an eye on them but let them stuff up now and then. Let them learn the hard way, that’s life. My dad sure did!
Everyone has a path through life and, as parents, we want our kids to have the best one possible. I understand that.
But for me, I know going to uni and getting a degree is not the be all and end all.
I know they will find their own way in life in whatever they do. As parents we should guide them. If they decide on a degree… it’s not what it’s cracked up to be.
Do you have any thoughts on the above? Please share your comments below.