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Old 04-30-2015, 12:03 AM   #41
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I'm late to this party, but I was VERY much like your daughter. I was an excellent student in high school, was very active, had broad interests, and absolutely no idea what I would study in college.

I ended up at a state university on an academic scholarship (after a year abroad as an exchange student). This university had a program called the University Exploratory Studies Program. It was a program that allowed you to take any class at the University without declaring a major. You did eventually have to declare a major, but you got to try out a lot of different subjects first. The real beauty of this program was that if you were UESP enrolled you could take all classes at the University that you were qualified to take, even if you were a non-major and the class was for majors only.

It was fantastic. I got to take a ton of interesting classes; the program provided a counselor to work with me so that I kept my academic options open (they actually said this -- "let's talk about taking classes that keep your options open") and at the end of my two years in UESP I was able to declare a major that worked very well for me -- and graduated in that major with two minors and a certificate that I would never have discovered without the program.

As your daughter looks at colleges, you may ask to see if any have a program like this. Many people use community colleges for this approach, but that wasn't the right choice for me -- our local community college didn't have the academic breadth or depth that I really needed at that time.

Here's a link to the program I went through: UESP Home | University Exploratory Studies Program | Oregon State University

By the way ... I don't work in the field I majored in. My major was useful, but the real gift of college is the gift of exposure to new ideas, new people, and the development of my critical thinking skills and sense of the world.
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Old 04-30-2015, 05:24 AM   #42
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Wow, that sounds amazing. Wish they had a program like that where I went.

Makes so much sense to me too: learn alot, find your niche by sniffing a bit more. Not for everyone, granted, but really cool.

Bet it would prevent alot of dropouts and regretted career choices.
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Old 05-06-2015, 03:38 PM   #43
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Tell her this story:

My BIL got an undergraduate degree in microbiology from an Ivy league school, where he met my sister. He started grad school in microbiology, became a professor's assistant as part of that program, and loved teaching so much that he got his Masters degree in Education instead.

Fast forward 20 years: he is now the principal of a high school. (And, yes, he did teach for a number of years in between, but still....).
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Old 05-06-2015, 05:06 PM   #44
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My sister and I were products of public schools in a middle size city, and we both went to the same state university in the '60's and '70's. My mother went to work to put us through college, and we never thought about taking out a student loan.

The students of today don't have the luxury of having $192.50 per semester tuition. We could screw up, change majors, take 6 years to get out and it was no big deal. I was also trying to stay two steps in front of the draft board as I had no desire to be walking point in Vietnam for the U.S. Army Infantry.

Kids today don't have the options we had. With better private colleges costing $55K per year per student and public university tuition around $10K, ole Mom's going to be going financially backward trying to bankroll Billy and Betsy's college career.

Students without any idea of their future vocation need to go into a general curriculum for the first two years--and then it's decision time. When Mom's sweating bullets to pay $900 tuition for that Music Appreciation class (public college), there's no time for the student to meander through the different departments.

As you can tell, I'm not a fan of student loans. My best friend put 2 kids through top private primary and secondary schools ($400K), and then put the pair through fancy universities in The East--$450K. And that's after taxes. The daughter went to Houston to be a physician, and she graduated this week. The son, come to find out midway through college, was a Sociology/Criminology major. Since the Army's OCS classes are inactive, he went into the Army as an E-4 and is now a Ranger being deployed to an unknown location on May 10th. My best friend after bankrolling all of the education sold his big house, and is now renting. All of his friends are retiring, and leaving my buddy working into his late '60's.

I always felt it was my duty to provide my children a decent education through college--like my parents did for me. I never felt it was my duty to put them in the absolutely top private schools while not saving enough money to comfortably retire. I did fine in the business world, and played the stock market successfully. I really thing I would have been happier as an IBEW electrician, however.
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Old 05-06-2015, 07:13 PM   #45
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...........
Students without any idea of their future vocation need to go into a general curriculum for the first two years--and then it's decision time. .........
No, students without any idea of their future vocation need to go to work. Whether that be at Walmart, Starbucks or NASA, they will learn some life skills and when they know what they want to do, they may work a bit harder at achieving that goal.
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Old 05-06-2015, 09:10 PM   #46
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No, students without any idea of their future vocation need to go to work. Whether that be at Walmart, Starbucks or NASA, they will learn some life skills and when they know what they want to do, they may work a bit harder at achieving that goal.
I would say the same thing if they didn't step up on the core courses and do reasonably well. I worked my way thru college counting cans in grocery stores (inventory) and as a lifeguard at the university pool complex. But $2.00 an hour wouldn't go very far with current prices of everything.

But I'm a strong believer that someone will be a better person working their way through college--even if it takes 6-8 years. I wouldn't wish $25K in student loans on anyone. I really hate to see $300K student loans that dentists and physicans often run up. One friend was a Radiologist, and he finally got his loans paid at age 50. No thank you.
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Old 05-06-2015, 10:06 PM   #47
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No, students without any idea of their future vocation need to go to work. Whether that be at Walmart, Starbucks or NASA, they will learn some life skills and when they know what they want to do, they may work a bit harder at achieving that goal.

Hogwash. Most kids who go to any liberal arts college get a degree in something not what they started out thinking they might major in and plenty start without any idea. They figure it out along the way.

Would you really tell your kid they need to be a barista all the lives if they can't make up their mind when they enroll?



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Old 05-07-2015, 07:22 PM   #48
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Would I tell my kid to be a barrista? No, would I tell my kid (s)he shouldn't be an electrition or plumber? Also no.

Why get a Liberal Arts degree with a huge debt if a skilled trade is for you. A parent's dream, perhaps?
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Old 05-20-2015, 06:16 PM   #49
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the real gift of college is the gift of exposure to new ideas, new people, and the development of my critical thinking skills and sense of the world.

+1
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