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The point of college? - Page 2

post #21 of 133
LotM - i recommend doing some reading on culinary programs. Most are not worth the money, and the experience can be gained w an apprenticeship. I know one of the local culinary (2yr) schools, which is a national name has become a laughing stock. Nobody local will touch a recent graduate anymore. This blog http://eggbeater.typepad.com/ has some good info on learning on the job.
post #22 of 133

I for one can sympathize with your daughter. She may be making it difficult, but that wasn't at all my first thought. I thought my life would be over (or something, lol) if I didn't go to an Ivy League school. I didn't even want to consider anything else. I don't have any words of wisdom about that. I got over it in my own way and time.

post #23 of 133

I think the value in any post-high school training or education (and I include the miltary in this) is that it teaches a person to think independently, problem solve, develop critical thinking skills, responsibility and so on. 

 

Of course, these skills can be taught at home or learned from parents or mentors but based on what I have seen over the past ten years, young people are coming out of high school with no social skills or work ethic.  We are in a blue collar industry and so, so many young people need their hand held to get get to work on time, to be told it isn't ok to text the day away, keep track of your tools and so on.

 

Completing some sort of post high school program shows they had the focus to follow through with something that will benefit them in the future.  Maybe I shouldn't generalize but I see a noticable difference between the trade school/prior military experience people and the ones with no formal training as it relates to responsibility and skills.

 

Specifically related to college, the advice already given to guide a student to research and investigate life after obtaining that "passion" degree is so important. 

 

 

 

 

post #24 of 133

I think she should think about what she REALLY wants to do. I knew exactly what I (thought I) wanted to do, went to college, majored in it, and never returned to that field beyond some part-time volunteer work. In some ways, I feel it was a waste of time, and on the surface maybe that's true. Having a random degree got me my first job, which taught me that I'm terrible at marketing, but led to another job, which I was also terrible at. BUT, I hated that job and managed to find some little task (employee OTJ training) to distract me from my misery. That led to a lifelong (til DS came along) career that ended up being a lot of fun and quite lucrative. So no, college didn't prepare me AT ALL for my career. But I did gain a LOT of life experience, great friends, and a lot of perspective on the way other people think and see the world. If she's not sure what she wants to do for a living, she might just find it in a class she takes there. Or she might still be clueless when she graduates. You never know. I really don't see how it can be a total waste -- she will get SOMETHING out of it, assuming she puts in any effort at all. Maybe she could consider a double major, music and math, or something else that she's interested in? You never know where that could lead her.

 

post #25 of 133

I am replying without reading the other responses.  I was a singer who considered a classical performance degree and skipped college.  I don't miss singing although there are many, many local classical groups I could join now if I wanted to.   I had already met dh and we would get married and I knew I'd be a SAHM eventually.  It just wasn't important to me.  I ended up graduating high school, working for my dad for awhile until I had my first child 3 years later.

 

No regrets from me.  All of our local Starbucks employees are college graduates who can't find work in their fields...we're talking 3-5 years after college.

 

Having said that dh has a bachelors and masters and like college so I am not against it at all!

post #26 of 133

Ok, in the interest of full disclosure I will say that I have a Ph.D. and I'm a university professor, so I may be a little biased on this issue. winky.gif

 

I feel that college is more than just a piece of paper, no matter what your major. It teaches you to think differently, and to think critically. This does not necessarily happen with self-taught individuals, who are not always pushed to think critically and differently about certain topics. This is a generalization, of course. There are MANY people who didn't go to college who know how to think critically, and many college graduates who do not.

 

This is why many companies and businesses prefer college graduates, regardless of major. College teaches you how to learn. So it doesn't matter what you learned, because moving forward, you know HOW to approach any new learning task, which is what it means to start at a new job.

 

I wouldn't worry too much about kids who want to major in "useless" degrees. I got a BA in English and an MA in literature, both useless. However, I was always able to get jobs, and eventually I decided to go into public school teaching and then higher education.

 

Just my two cents! :)

 

post #27 of 133

In my case, I ended up deciding on a career for which I needed a grad degree. When I finished undergrad, I had no idea this was the way I would go, and had little idea what I'd actually do. But it was good that I had the undergrad degree in SOMETHING because if I'd had to go do all of that before starting my doctoral program, it would have taken an age. An undergrad degree positions a person to get an advanced degree, which these days is often what you need if you want to go into something specialized. OTOH, I'm fully in favor of a gap year for kids who really don't feel motivated post-high school, and of some exploring of what potential jobs are they can consider with their interests and majoring in X or Y or Z.

post #28 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bokonon View Post




I agree, but for applicants with little or no experience, having a college degree shows a much higher level of commitment than 4 years working at the mall, for example.  Most companies would also prefer college graduates because it looks good on their reports.  If a company is about to go public, having a large percentage of their employees with degrees looks more impressive on paper than otherwise.

 

 

I still disagree, not about the PR effect, but the other side of it. There are a lot of assumptions made about people with degrees vs. people without degrees. IME, in the workplace, they rarely pan out the way people claim that they do. A degree shows that someone has put in four years in a college/university environment, which isn't the same as the workplace. Some make the transition well, and some don't. I'd also like to know what lack of commitment is demonstrated by putting in four years of working "at the mall", if it's all in the same place.

 

School, even post-secondary, and the workplace require different things, and the assumption that performance/commitment/perserverance in one place will necessarily translate into the same things in the other isn't founded in reality. It's based on assumptions that have been culturally accepted as facts, even though they aren't. I can also tell you that I've worked for mutliple people who would hire someone with four years of working "at the mall" before they'd hire someone with a degree and less actual work experience, for many jobs, especially entry level. Those people weren't HR - they were hiring for their own departments - and a degree wasn't a necessity, in any way.
 

 

post #29 of 133

I've been on both sides of this.  I have a "passion" degree (visual arts) and a more practical degree (law).  I pursued my passion degree straight out of high school, because there was nothing I wanted to be more than an artist.  I didn't think about employment, money, stability.  Art was something that I excelled at and any other option seemed absolutely boring!  I was fortunate to get a full four-year scholarship for art school, as well as a paid masters program.  That time period gave me a lot of time to grow intellectually and emotionally.  I lived and breathed art.  I'll never regret that. 

 

Well, reality eventually set in when I hit the pavement.  I was able to get a lot of different art-related jobs and ended up doing a lot of low-paying (extremely low paying) gigs in theatre production.  I didn't mind being poor because I was doing what I loved.  It is amazing what a person will put up with in the name of art!  (my musician friends were much the same way).  DH had a decent but low paying civil servant job, but as the years wore on, living check to check and gig to gig started wearing thin.  I decided to go back for a professional degree because we knew we eventually wanted a little more financial stability in our life.  I don't regret that choice either. 

 

There will never be a day when I regret my art degree.  In retrospect I learned a lot about myself and was able to fine-tune a passion.  It may have not been a particularly employable degree, but it shaped me for the rest of my life.  I should also add too that while your daughter, OP, claims she won't teach, reality often changes one's tune on the other side.  I keep thinking back to when I was 16 or 17, and I had a lot of ideas about life.  Putting those ideas into practice was a much different dynamic.  Personally I wish that I had had a mentor (an actual artist) who would have been there to provide guidance pre-college.  Instead I just bumbled along and had to find a lot of things out the hard way.  Finally, I like a previous poster's suggestion regarding a double major.  I know a lot of young people do that now and while it may require extra effort, it may be worth it.

 

I don't know if I answered the question of 'what is the purpose of college' but I guess my own personal feelings is that it serves multiple purposes.  I think the big problem now is that a lot of kids go to college with no passion for what they want to do, or they just don't know what they want to do.  I think as a parent, my goal would be to cultivate my DD's interests and provide her with all the facts (as I know them) in order for her to navigate in the world.  This may or may not include college, but I want her to be able to stand on her own.  If she chooses to do something that is more esoteric, then I want her to be aware of not only the good parts, but the difficulties that she will encounter too. 

 

Edited for spelling (perhaps I should have spent more time fine-tuning my grammer/spelling skills)!

post #30 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by cristeen View Post

LotM - i recommend doing some reading on culinary programs. Most are not worth the money, and the experience can be gained w an apprenticeship. I know one of the local culinary (2yr) schools, which is a national name has become a laughing stock. Nobody local will touch a recent graduate anymore. This blog http://eggbeater.typepad.com/ has some good info on learning on the job.

LotM - i completely second cristeen's point here. 

 

CA is actually thinking of taking away any funding from culinary school.

 

culinary school IS a joke. most chefs tell me that. its much better to intern  or even volunteer as a sous chef. low paying slave labour is better training than culinary school. 

 

post #31 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

I still disagree, not about the PR effect, but the other side of it. There are a lot of assumptions made about people with degrees vs. people without degrees. IME, in the workplace, they rarely pan out the way people claim that they do. A degree shows that someone has put in four years in a college/university environment, which isn't the same as the workplace. Some make the transition well, and some don't. I'd also like to know what lack of commitment is demonstrated by putting in four years of working "at the mall", if it's all in the same place.

 

School, even post-secondary, and the workplace require different things, and the assumption that performance/commitment/perserverance in one place will necessarily translate into the same things in the other isn't founded in reality. It's based on assumptions that have been culturally accepted as facts, even though they aren't. I can also tell you that I've worked for mutliple people who would hire someone with four years of working "at the mall" before they'd hire someone with a degree and less actual work experience, for many jobs, especially entry level. Those people weren't HR - they were hiring for their own departments - and a degree wasn't a necessity, in any way.
 

 


I wonder, though when you talk about working places where they put 4 years at the mall over 4 years of college, what kinds of jobs those would be.  Are they jobs that are actual careers, or are they just jobs?  All things being equal, the person with the degree will get first shot.  Probably almost every time.

 

I do think that good-quality, well-paying and stable jobs are easier to get with at least a bachelor's.  Any bachelor's.  My undergrad degree was in linguistics... Slavic linguistics, even.  Right in the midst of my early career in the field (I was living in Russia), they went and pulled the Cold War rug right out from under my feet.  However, I still snagged a great paying job when I returned to the US because I had A degree.

 

The fact is that if you have a degree, the probability of being paid more is higher.  So, it's not just about obtaining a job, but having a career and making a good living.  The people that tend to think that college is worthless are those who didn't go.  It's a defense mechanism, I guess.

 

Sure there are assumptions made about people with degrees vs. those that do not.  My FIL was a cobbler back in Turkey.  He had a 3rd grade education.  My dh is a PhD, MIT grad, professor of computer science and is quite literally the most intelligent person I've ever met in real life (and I've met a lot of very intelligent people).  My dh says that his father was more intelligent than him.  His dad always wanted to go to school, but he dropped out to apprentice to a cobbler and put his sister, a physician, through school instead.  Education does not indicate intelligence, but it typically directly affects how far you can get in your career.  My FIL was always poor.  His sister went on to make a decent living.  They were of similar intelligence.  I knew a lot of people at the pharma company where I worked that were really smart... but they were on the manufacturing line making $35,000/year instead of being a systems analyst making $70,000 or $80,000 (or more) a year.  The only difference was a 4 year degree.  I worked with a 55 year old guy who was a great sys analyst, but he didn't have a degree and at 25 years old, I was already making more than him.  We did the SAME job (except he was better).  He'd hit the ceiling of earning potential.

 

And I think that some of the pp's touched on this already, but many people FIND themselves at university.  I don't mean socially.  Just the intellectual intercourse that occurs on a campus cannot be duplicated anywhere else.  There is NOTHING like university living, a meeting of diverse minds, a discourse of ideas, and discussions of beliefs.  I went to university at 17 and I felt like I had lived my life with blinders on my eyes until then.  I learned to SEE THE WORLD by going to school.  People who have never been to college *cannot* understand this, within this scope.  Some who do go, don't understand it because they didn't take advantage of it.  But the very culture of a university is completely unique and cannot be experienced anywhere else... for better or worse.

 

If my dd wanted to go to university to study something so obscure as the history of the dulcimer, I would do whatever I could to make it happen.  Whatever she wants to do, I will make it happen, as long as she goes.  Those years are precious beyond compare and worth the money, IMO.  It is important enough to us that even though she is 9, we're already looking at universities when dh has conferences and on trips.  She *is* expected to go to college, though.  We are raising her to expect it herself.

 

post #32 of 133
I think a college degree opens more doors. I am currently working part time and making more money than many of my friends who work full time. My position requires a degree, and, my degree is a liberal arts degree - not field specific.
My dh is looking to change jobs and can't apply for many openings he sees, because he doesn't hold a degree.
However, that said, maxing student loans is a mistake, IMO. like a pp mentioned, there are ways to minimize debt. Attending a community college, then transferring to a 4 yr institution is one way to reduce costs.
In your dd's case, what about pursuing music therapy?
post #33 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post

 

The fact is that if you have a degree, the probability of being paid more is higher.  So, it's not just about obtaining a job, but having a career and making a good living.  The people that tend to think that college is worthless are those who didn't go.  It's a defense mechanism, I guess.

 


well I can imagine people get defensive with that kind of attitude!

Pretty insulting. I may not have graduated college but I certainly don't think it is worthless!! It balances out to be unnecessary and the degree itself would be WORTH LESS to me since my ultimate goal requires no degree nor does it have one.. College has many worths but they are different for each person and a lot of times the worth of college is not enough to make it practical or useful to actually go... My best friend who graduated Suma will tell you to your face it was a waste of her time and money, she wishes she had worked instead. Her degree hasn't helped her get a job at all, obviously her case isn't the norm but it is becoming closer to the norm all the time. I know it is cliche and many disagree but college degrees don't mean what they used to, when everyone around you has a degree you all have nothing. The kid who has been working their butt off since they were 18, has something..

 

I will encourage DD to go to college if she truly wants to but if she doesn't I'm not about to twist her arm over it!

 

post #34 of 133

Another thing that most college degrees teach is how to write.  There are countless jobs that require a degree because the job involves writing reports and writing for grants.

 

I think a lot of graduates are out of work because they are not willing to move for work or want to start at the top earning a million dollars.

 

I also agree that college is not for everyone.  And if it's not for you, you should save the money and pursue something else.

post #35 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post




I wonder, though when you talk about working places where they put 4 years at the mall over 4 years of college, what kinds of jobs those would be.  Are they jobs that are actual careers, or are they just jobs?  All things being equal, the person with the degree will get first shot.  Probably almost every time.

 

I do think that good-quality, well-paying and stable jobs are easier to get with at least a bachelor's.  Any bachelor's. 

 

I'm not arguing. If people want to get those jobs, then they need to know which hoops to jump and getting a degree is one of the hoops. But, there's a big difference, imo, between jumping through hoops, and buying the hoopla. It drives me crazy to see the number of assumptions made about people with degrees vs. people without degrees. The assumptions have become part of our cultural baggage and are rarely, if ever, questioned. By all means, get the degree if that's a necessary hoop for what you want to do, or if you have a passion you want to follow. What drives me nuts is the unquestioning acceptance of all kinds of unverified, baseless assumptions about the differences between people with them and people without them. (And, fwiw, I know many people who share my views on this, and many of them, unlike me, have their degrees - some of them all the way up to a PhD.)

 

The fact is that if you have a degree, the probability of being paid more is higher.  So, it's not just about obtaining a job, but having a career and making a good living.  The people that tend to think that college is worthless are those who didn't go.  It's a defense mechanism, I guess.

 

Oh - just saw this. You'll see that I addressed the idea that it's only people without degrees who think this way in my above post. (I've actually looked at a few people - not all, by any means - that I've known, who have their degrees, and wondered if their stalwart defense of the value of said degree is a "defense mechanism". Different strokes for different folks and all.) I don't think it's worthless, as such. I, personally, would have killed myself (and this isn't an insensitive suicide joke - it's a simple fact) if I'd thought I really needed to have four more years of formal schooling. But, it does have value, in various ways. OTOH, if one is getting a degree just for the money, the burden of student loans, if any, also needs to be weighed. I've never made my life choices based on finances, so that didn't even enter my thinking. I also never, ever wanted a career. A lot of people don't. We need/want a job, to pay the bills, but that doesn't mean we have any desire to climb any ladders or make our mark in the workplace, or even have a passion for a particular field. I worked in accounting, because I'm good at it, but I have no real interest in or passion for it.

 

Sure there are assumptions made about people with degrees vs. those that do not.  My FIL was a cobbler back in Turkey.  He had a 3rd grade education.  My dh is a PhD, MIT grad, professor of computer science and is quite literally the most intelligent person I've ever met in real life (and I've met a lot of very intelligent people).  My dh says that his father was more intelligent than him.  His dad always wanted to go to school, but he dropped out to apprentice to a cobbler and put his sister, a physician, through school instead.  Education does not indicate intelligence, but it typically directly affects how far you can get in your career.  My FIL was always poor.  His sister went on to make a decent living.  They were of similar intelligence.  I knew a lot of people at the pharma company where I worked that were really smart... but they were on the manufacturing line making $35,000/year instead of being a systems analyst making $70,000 or $80,000 (or more) a year.  The only difference was a 4 year degree.  I worked with a 55 year old guy who was a great sys analyst, but he didn't have a degree and at 25 years old, I was already making more than him.  We did the SAME job (except he was better).  He'd hit the ceiling of earning potential.

 

None of that has anything to do with what I'm talking about. Yes - a degree increases one's earning potential, because the people doing the hiring, giving the promotions/raises, etc. also make a lot of assumptions about degrees and the people who hold them. If a person is looking for more money or advancement or whatever, then a degree is the best way to go, in most circumstances. I'm not arguing that. And, incidentally, if you were making more than him, and he was better at the job, then you're actually supporting my views, not debating them. You have the degree, but he's better at the job. So, they give you more money, for providing less value. That's whacked. The fact that it's a culturally accepted approach doesn't mean it makes sense.

 

And I think that some of the pp's touched on this already, but many people FIND themselves at university.  I don't mean socially.  Just the intellectual intercourse that occurs on a campus cannot be duplicated anywhere else.  There is NOTHING like university living, a meeting of diverse minds, a discourse of ideas, and discussions of beliefs.  I went to university at 17 and I felt like I had lived my life with blinders on my eyes until then.  I learned to SEE THE WORLD by going to school.  People who have never been to college *cannot* understand this, within this scope.  Some who do go, don't understand it because they didn't take advantage of it.  But the very culture of a university is completely unique and cannot be experienced anywhere else... for better or worse.

 

I hear this a lot. And, yet, many of the most narrow-minded people I've ever met were university educated. I've also known people who have been to university and say that this is bs. They saw what you're talking about, but didn't perceive it the same way. So...ymmv, but this also isn't a universal truth, and it's one of the assumptions I'm talking about. I can't even understand how one gets to high school graduation without having been exposed to diverse minds, ideas, beliefs, etc. That's life. My immediate circle of friends in high school included agnostics, atheists, Christians, pagans, metalheads (mostly), preppies, punkers, misfits that resist all attempts at labels, an older guy who was an ex-hippie and underground comic artist...people with career plans that included university, and people who just wanted to get out of school (that would be me), conservatives, liberals, centrists, artists, mathematicians, writers, musicians, drug users, drug abusers, teetotalers, virgins, sexually active kids, heterosexual people, gay people, bisexual people, etc. etc. etc. We were all different, and we talked about those things. That's just the way life is, and I can't understand why people think it only happens on university campuses.  I find the idea that people have to be on a university campus to experience these things to be unbelievably condescending. Some of what happens on a campus is the result of age - most of the people there are just getting out of high school, and finding their way through things - but a lot of people that age who don't go to university are doing very similar things, in different ways. That said, if life on a university campus is so unique, that again backs up one of my issues with it - this isn't the so-called "real world" and things don't work the same way they do in the workplace.

 

If my dd wanted to go to university to study something so obscure as the history of the dulcimer, I would do whatever I could to make it happen.  Whatever she wants to do, I will make it happen, as long as she goes.  Those years are precious beyond compare and worth the money, IMO.  It is important enough to us that even though she is 9, we're already looking at universities when dh has conferences and on trips.  She *is* expected to go to college, though.  We are raising her to expect it herself.

 

There are a number of reasons why none of this applies to me, but this falls into the territory of "I can't see any way to explain my stance on this without being really offensive", so I think I'd better bow out.

 



ETA: I didn't answer your initial question. I was talking about entry-level, and somewhat above, positions. They were the kind of jobs that could, and did, lead to careers, but could also be dead-end. They weren't high level (say $35,000-$40,000/year, 10-15 years ago). But, one of the things that keeps coming up in this thread is that a degree is a basic requirement even for entry level jobs, because it shows this, that and the other thing about the applicant. I'm just pointing out that it doesn't always show those things, and is definitely not necessary, except for mistaken cultural assumptions, for an entry-level position.

post #36 of 133

ok to hijack this thread a little...

 

... i am in school myself. i see other students around me. and i shake my head. most of them should not be here... my education experience and theirs are completely different.

 

.. i am hating what college education is turning out to be.

 

i am hating how people are looking at as that is the only option open to their children. 

 

i look at the curriculum, the disinterested students, the burnt out proffs and wonder why. it seems we are playing into the system. 

 

there is no 'education' going on in college. the amount there is going on is outside the classroom if you become a part of the club and become active in issues surrounding you.

 

to me education seems to be more about 'workforce' rather than concern for the human being.

 

let me tell you it leaves me sooo jaded. 

 

a better experience would be perhaps a break for the kids who dont really know what to do. like france that makes people do 2 years army or community work for which many go abroad - sorta like peace corps.

 

definitely a degree will provide you with more buying power in the end, but at a cost.

 

i do not like the focus on science and math. there is sooo much money in that field. in college. with scholarships.

 

there is a 'defocus' from liberal arts subject. so the scientist has no training in philosophy or ethics unless he took them as electives, the pediatrician has no education in early childhood education or culture(anthropology) unless he took them as electives sometimes perhaps even in high school. 

 

mind you this is me talking even more after watching 'waiting for superman'. as much as i was moved by that film i so didnt agree with a lot in it. 

 

i hope my dd will never have the focus of money. i hope she will not have a job as a way to pay bills, but as play. most of the students i see here - many of them dont really care about the subjects. they just want to get a degree so they can make good money. its all about the money.

 

a degree is a way of making sure dd will have the ease to put meat on the table. more than anything i hope she does something that feeds her soul. those are just too many hours - 40 hours a week - just to throw away to put food on the table.

 

i hate what education is now. how big businesses are abounding there and making sure they get their workforce. 

 

with the research in brain coming out - and seeing many kids suffer thru k and 1st - i wonder shouldnt we start K at 7 or 8 and graduate at 20? is it fair to ask kids at 20/21 to choose what the rest of their life is going to be.

 

college is definitely not for everyone. it cannot be touted as a sure shot unless you are only looking at financial gains. 

 

i am getting the experience i wanted out of college because i want to be here. however in my 20s my college degree was kinda a waste of time. i did it to please my parents. i got nothing 'self growth' out of it. instead i get that now as a returnee to a community college waiting to apply to grad school. and it is students like me the teachers want to teach. however students like me are rare to find at 20. 

 

i do not expect my dd to go to college after hs unless she very much wants to. 

 

OP - i would definitely not go bankrupt to pay for Julliard. I would definitely make the attempt but also try at other universities too. 

post #37 of 133

I personally think its important to pick a field that is in demand and going to be more then well I have this degree and now what. While I will encourage our kids that a post high school education is important I am not going to encourage them to do something that isn't going to be achievable for them or something that will not benefit them outside of the knowledge and the idea of just saying I have it. 

 

I also don't think everyone is meant for college. I also think a trade school or military would be better for some people. Even with the military I know when my husband decided to join he went for a job that would benefit him outside of the military. It is important to do something a person enjoys however it should be reasonable. 

post #38 of 133

back to the OP:

 

Is your daughter level headed, frugal and/or independent? Then she will face those challenges in collge, and make practical educational choices because of her personality. 

 

I got a BFA from Parsons (sort of the Julliard of Fine Arts). I wanted to major in painting or sculpture, but chose Graphic Design. Not because I loved the major, but because I wanted to independently stand on my own two feet when I was done, and not starve or wait tables. I have been working and making money ever since. I think because of personality more than actual degree. 

 

Also related, my DSD goes to a good music school here, majoring in opera singing and piano. Yes, maybe another "impractical" major, but I have never seen a 20 yo work so hard. Every weekend she is paid to sing at weddings, funerals, whatever she can get; which increases her experience and pays her bills. Again, it goes back to her personality, her drive, and her sense of being a practical person.

 

I agree with others that your daughter's eventual job may have little or nothing to do with the degree. I ended up testing software, which has nearly nothing to do with a fine arts degree. As crunchy_mommy pointed out, having ANY bachelor's degree (no matter what the major) can be a huge huge help in the job market. In fact I think a bachelors today is worth about a high school diploma 30 years ago. A masters is the new bachelors. The assumptions about people with degrees versus those without degrees is actually irrelevant, if 95% of the people who could be hiring you believe the assumption.

 

Sometimes I still wish I had chosen painting as a major, but then I would not be who, what and where I am today. And, technically, now I am painting again, and have just exhibited 4 paintings in the city art museum, so not bad! Point here being that if music is truly your daughter's passion, she will find a way to keep coming back to it, degree in music or not. And if it is her passion and she cuts herself off from it, or someone else pushes her away from it, she may become bitter, or angry or resentful, or all of the above. 

 

Regarding only Julliard; I'd advise her to apply to at least two other schools, as a backup plan. She can always go to the backup plan and apply again to Julliard the following year. Or in reverse: go to Julliard, decide to switch majors and switch schools. That year will NOT be a waste of education, or of life experience. She will not know if it is possible unless she tries. And if she doesn't try, she will ALWAYS wonder. ALWAYS. And sometimes we have to let them try, even if we are afraid they will get horribly hurt. Better to be hurt, then always be wondering something like that. And sometimes they surprise us, and reach farther than we could imagine. I have a family friend who went there and is now a conductor in switzerland. Just saying, you never know.

 

I don't know you or your DD, so I don't know if she is consciously or subconsciously trying to be difficult, as other posters mentioned, or if she has an internal drive that she must fulfill. I think it is plausible. Many artists have this drive, painters, musicians, writers…. If you told a painter they could not paint anymore, they would take up sculpture, or sneak paints, or find some other outlet, or they would literally go nuts. It's part of their brain. An integral part, as relevant as legs are to walking. 

 

Or maybe she just does not know yet what she wants to do, which seems very logical to me. Most 17 yo don't. Heck, most 35 yo don't! A gap year of work and travel is very popular here, and I think very useful. It is not a waste of time, unless the individual chooses to make it a waste. 

 

Let us know what she decides.

 

post #39 of 133

One of my neighbor's 3 or 4 jobs happens to be working at the mall. She is busting her ass to support her family. I have to laugh to compare my 4 cushy years of college (I recall a lot of free time, reading, socializing, hanging out) with her life, and to suggest that my degree shows any more commitment than her commitment to feeding her family and keeping a roof over their heads.

 

Now the flip side of that could indeed be that if she had a college degree, maybe she wouldn't have to be working 3 or 4 jobs including one at the mall. I dunno. But society sure does have a weird way of looking at things if they think my neighbor's lack of a college degree implies any lack of commitment.

post #40 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post

One of my neighbor's 3 or 4 jobs happens to be working at the mall. She is busting her ass to support her family. I have to laugh to compare my 4 cushy years of college (I recall a lot of free time, reading, socializing, hanging out) with her life, and to suggest that my degree shows any more commitment than her commitment to feeding her family and keeping a roof over their heads.

 

Now the flip side of that could indeed be that if she had a college degree, maybe she wouldn't have to be working 3 or 4 jobs including one at the mall. I dunno. But society sure does have a weird way of looking at things if they think my neighbor's lack of a college degree implies any lack of commitment.

laohaire, you are extremely fortunate to have your cushy job. my awesome ph d proff is busting his ass to support himself. he is still an adjunct running between campuses, getting some classes cut and taking on a 2nd and 3rd job. he wouldnt have it any different but there is a huge possibility that your neighbour could be a college graduate who didnt get lucky. 

 

so the flip side - a college education cannot guarantee you a job. or even a cushy life. most college grads are busting their ass to live the kind of life they would like to live.

 

but yeah i agree with you society is skewed about lack of commitment. 

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