good grades = good college = good job / happiness, is it true? - Page 6 - Mothering Forums

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#151 of 176 Old 03-09-2010, 04:54 PM
 
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Ouch, I think you're unfairly lumping large universities in with small, liberal arts type colleges especially. The two are so completely different from one another, and while I agree that large, state run-universities often fall into this sort of broad, sweeping generalization it is the antithesis of the education I received at my beloved, small, liberal arts school. My college professors were also passionate about encouraging critical thought and personal enrichment through the learning process. My school was also passionate about providing scholarship programs to kids who couldn't afford to pay full tuition, and I was one of many students who benefitted from those scolarships.

Then again, this whole discussion is kind of weird to me. I grew up in a rust belt town where poverty was common and the unemployment rate was well into the double digits, out of my HS graduating class of 186 kids maybe a dozen even went to college (and that class started out with almost 500 kids freshman year.) So for me, college really was one of the only ways out of that life. Sure, I could have tried a much more indirect route out of there, pulling myself up by my bootstraps and all that. But college not only gave me the skills and credentials to do more with my life, it opened up my eyes to a world I never would have known about if I hadn't attended college.

I guess maybe it's easier to discount the financial stability that can come from a college degree if one came from a more middle/ upper class background than where I grew up? My husband grew up far more privileged than me in an upscale suburb with friends who had similar backgrounds. They were much more flippant about the value of higher education, but IMO they were only able to skip out on higher education because their families could afford to support them after they finished high school. Now many of them are going back to finish their degrees while having to balance that with jobs and familiies and having a really hard time with the juggling act. Because they have finally found that their career prospects were limited by their lack of a college degree and their parents finally cut them off financially when they started to reach their 30s.

At the end of the day the financial security that I was able to achieve as a result of my college and graduate education has greatly improved my quality of life over what I'm quite certain I would otherwise have experienced without them. So while I don't think higher education is the only route to personal fulfillment and/ or economic success, I think it can definitely do a great deal to help one along to that goal.
I can really relate to what you said and its something I have often wondered about. I grew up working class and at times poor, I'm talking not enough to eat...there was one point in my childhood when I was 10 we lived in a homeless shelter. In my family education has provided options, I may not earn as much as I like but I have choices that my parents never had without an education. I saw how good jobs came and went for my parents hence we sometimes were ok and sometimes had nothing. I have had some hard times but to be honest my hard times are better than anything I had as a kid and I have had far greater options professionally.

Yet I have noticed many of my friends poo pooing college yet in most cases they come from families that were pretty comfortable financially and even now with the exception of maybe 2. the majority of my friends are pretty comfortable now as adults. Yet with folks I know who grew up similiar to me we may see the flaws and problems of college but very few of us are anti college.

I wonder how much class and upbringing play a role in how one views college for their own kids?

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#152 of 176 Old 03-09-2010, 05:09 PM
 
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I can really relate to what you said and its something I have often wondered about. I grew up working class and at times poor, I'm talking not enough to eat...there was one point in my childhood when I was 10 we lived in a homeless shelter. In my family education has provided options, I may not earn as much as I like but I have choices that my parents never had without an education. I saw how good jobs came and went for my parents hence we sometimes were ok and sometimes had nothing. I have had some hard times but to be honest my hard times are better than anything I had as a kid and I have had far greater options professionally.

Yet I have noticed many of my friends poo pooing college yet in most cases they come from families that were pretty comfortable financially and even now with the exception of maybe 2. the majority of my friends are pretty comfortable now as adults. Yet with folks I know who grew up similiar to me we may see the flaws and problems of college but very few of us are anti college.

I wonder how much class and upbringing play a role in how one views college for their own kids?
Well, just to throw in other perspectives. We grew up working class. We were never homeless, but we frequently were short on food to eat. My parents were actually paying a mortgage, but many people would have called the place a hovel. (Admittedly, this was a long time ago, but they bought it for $7,000. I loved that house.)

I don't object to college for those who want to attend, but I have absolutely no expectation than my kids will go...or not go, for that matter.

And, honestly - I've known lots of people with degrees who have had crappy jobs, too. I know there's a statistical difference, but there are a lot of factors at play.

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#153 of 176 Old 03-09-2010, 08:06 PM
 
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I don't control my kids. Yes, I can influence them, and I can educate them, but I can't control them. Especially with regards to such a major life decision as whether or not to attend college. Saying that they don't meet my expectations and framing it in such a way makes their perfectly legitimate decision a reflection on me.
I have no intention to control my children. But I do believe that it is in their best interest to attend college, or get a post-secondary education of some sort. No question. Of course they're free to make up their own mind about the subject. My kids are still fairly young. But so far, school has been a pretty good fit for them, they enjoy it and do well. My kids enjoy intellectual pursuits.

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I'm curious... Those of you saying that your children WILL attend college, do you also intend to pay for it?
I'm not saying that my kids WILL absolutely attend college, but I do expect that they will. And yes, I do intend to pay for their college educations. We've been saving since each child joined our family. My parents paid for my undergrad degree, and it was one of the most valuable gifts I've ever been given.

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#154 of 176 Old 03-09-2010, 09:41 PM
 
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So there seem to be a range of viewpoints on this thread, best expressed as:

a) I'm working class and I didn't go to college. I didn't want to and no one should have to, least of all my kids. And if they do want to, they can pay for it themselves

b) I'm working class and college was my ticket to a better life. My kids are buying that ticket, too, with my help.

c) I'm middle class, college was an expectation. I went, I hated it and I'm not putting the same expectations on my children. I guess I'll help them if they want to go, but frankly, they can use the money for whatever career option they think will make them happy.

d) I'm middle class, college was an expectation that I never questioned it. I went and don't regret it. I expect my kids to go to college and I'll do everything I can to help them pay for it. If they refuse to go, they can support themselves.
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#155 of 176 Old 03-09-2010, 09:52 PM
 
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OK, I didn't read all 8 pages of replies, so if this is repeated somewhere, I apologize. I did read Zinemama's summary of responses though, and thought I should add one more.

I grew up working/middle class, went to college/uni because everyone told me it was the ticket out of minimum wage jobs and to financial freedom, but instead discovered that social realities were way more important than a degree. I was a single mom when I went to university (I have a graduate degree, btw), I am solidly a Gen Xer (yup, historical placement makes a difference too) and my parents did not have the money to pay for my education so I had to take loans. I graduated with a large debt into a small labour market and had the additional pressure to feed and clothe my child -- she could not wait until I found the right job; I had to take the first job. So: graduate degree and the most I've EVER made is 40k/yr. My husband, on the other hand, did not finish high school, nor did he graduate college. He did not have loans to pay, his parents helped him with his first job placement,and until now, has only ever had to support himself. He regularly brings in 100k+/yr.

Education is valuable, but more for expanding your horizons than for padding your paycheque.
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#156 of 176 Old 03-09-2010, 10:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
So there seem to be a range of viewpoints on this thread, best expressed as:

a) I'm working class and I didn't go to college. I didn't want to and no one should have to, least of all my kids. And if they do want to, they can pay for it themselves
hmmm...that somewhat resembles my stance, but I'm not sure whose viewpoint you're talking about here. Nobody should have to, and my kids or otherwise is irrelevant - it's just that my kids are the only ones being affected by my view of it. What I wanted to do has nothing to do with it, either.

If ds1 changes his mind, and decides to go to college/university, we'll help out, if we can. I have a small account put away for that. If we can't, then he'll have to find a way to make it work.

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#157 of 176 Old 03-09-2010, 11:57 PM
 
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I just finished reading this whole thread. I agree that college doesn't necessarily ensure happiness but it gives a whole lot of people more options. For me college has been a mostly positive experience. I enjoyed college and I LOVED grad school. Having the degrees has helped me get a job I really like. The most valuable part of my job is not the money (although I do enjoy my salary) but the flexibility -- I can choose my own hours most of the time.

I agree that a person's happiness stems more from their own personality. If you are a person who is content with fewer options, and there are a lot of people like that and that's just fine, and you don't want to go to college then absolutely do not go. College is too expensive to not enjoy.

My DH does not have a degree and he makes about 3 times more money than I do BUT he is highly skilled and does beautiful work. He also has several Trades licenses. He has taken college classes but only one's that he's chosen and enjoyed. I think that without any college, you are more likely to make a higher salary if you have skills. Most of the time, an unskilled HS graduate will not make a great salary. That's fine if the person is satisfied.

I have no regrets about college and have many happy memories. I agree with the poster who questioned the concept of college being a "waste" and instead argued that we are all the sum total of our experiences. I will encourage my DD to attend college but will not insist.
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#158 of 176 Old 03-10-2010, 12:54 AM
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Going back to the OP, I really think the biggest problem with the equation is the implication that if you don't get good grades and go to college that you will never be happy.

I was thinking about this a little more, and I feel like the people on the "my kids are expected to go to college" side really aren't working the same type of emotional manipulation that's talked about in the OP (and which was the case for me). I was led to believe that I could never amount to anything if I didn't meet my parent's expectations to go to college. I think that's different than saying "College would give you a lot of options and possibly a leg up in the world, so we think you should strongly consider it. We have funding available if that is your choice."

I don't know. I guess I can kinda see both sides of it. I personally think that the decision to go to college should be up to my kids, but I will certainly encourage them to look at all the options thoroughly before excluding any one of them. Maybe that's the same thing?
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#159 of 176 Old 03-10-2010, 01:44 AM
 
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b) I'm working class and college was my ticket to a better life. My kids are buying that ticket, too, with my help.
Yep. My folks barely made ends meet with no college and three kids. Dad was a salesman. Mom was a medical assistant.

My hubby and I both have a college degree. His earns him so much money in income that I haven't had to struggle to stay home with my kids the way so many seem to.

So yeah, unless my kids come up with some very convincing other options... its off to college they go. I'll pay for the first four years. I'll be getting a job soon to help with that as the youngest enters high school next year.
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#160 of 176 Old 03-10-2010, 02:14 AM
 
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So yeah, unless my kids come up with some very convincing other options... its off to college they go.
I don't get this. So, they don't have any convincing options, and they don't/won't go to college. What next? (I'm not saying this will happen. I just don't get the "they will go" thing. How on earth can a parent enforce that?)

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#161 of 176 Old 03-10-2010, 02:21 AM
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I don't get this. So, they don't have any convincing options, and they don't/won't go to college. What next? (I'm not saying this will happen. I just don't get the "they will go" thing. How on earth can a parent enforce that?)
IME, there was emotional abuse involved. I think that's why this whole topic irks me.

And again, from my anecdotal experience, the kids whose parents "made" them go by paying for it were the ones screwing around and getting drunk every night. Not saying every kid does, but there is some value in making the purchase of your education yourself. Not saying I won't help, but I'm not going to foot the bill for whatever ivy league college they decide to go party at.
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#162 of 176 Old 03-10-2010, 11:42 AM
 
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Super interesting thread! I'm enjoying reading it, and hearing different people's experiences! I'll throw in my own 2 cents, for what it's worth:

As far as encouraging good grades, I am in favor of that because I plan to encourage my children to do well in any endeavor they undertake. I do not plan to encourage mediocrity or poor performance. I think the value of school can come not just from the promise of college and a good career, but from the gratification of doing well at what you're doing right now. I hope to instill a work ethic and a sense of achievement in my child(ren); I don't know if I'll succeed, but I would like for them to take pride in their work, and strive to do well.

I see that many people here are anti-public schooling. I am not, though my daughter is only 1, so maybe I'll change my mind in the future! If her school isn't working out for her, we will be open to alternatives. As for college, I agree that it's very important as far as providing options. But I don't know if it's always a good idea for people to go to college right out of high school. Sometimes they need some time to mature, and learn about the real world, figure out what they want to study.

I know plenty of people who didn't go straight to college, or who dropped out and went back, or who dropped out, and I know a person can do extremely well (read:be happy in their job/life path) without formal schooling. But you have to have a drive, a strong work ethic, and an innovative personality. I think those are definitely things to cultivate in your child, no matter what career path you want them to follow.

I just want to encourage my children to do the best they can, and to go after their dreams. I think education plays a huge part in that - but that's probably because of my background: I, with my bachelor's degree from a small state college, am one of the least-educated of my friends and family. I know there are always exceptions, but I don't think you can go wrong if you encourage your children to do their best. Even if they don't always want to. Because sometimes the things that we have to work for are the most meaningful of all.

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#163 of 176 Old 03-10-2010, 01:10 PM
 
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I don't get this. So, they don't have any convincing options, and they don't/won't go to college. What next? (I'm not saying this will happen. I just don't get the "they will go" thing. How on earth can a parent enforce that?)
I think the implication is that if the kids want to continue being financially supported by their parents, they'll go to college.

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#164 of 176 Old 03-10-2010, 02:06 PM
 
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I think the implication is that if the kids want to continue being financially supported by their parents, they'll go to college.
Ah, okay. That makes more sense to me, although I still don't get the "have to go to college" thing. My mom didn't financially support me, either. The deal was, we were in school, or we were paying rent. But, there was never any suggestion that we "had" to go to college. It was just clear that there was no other way we'd get a free place to live.

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#165 of 176 Old 03-10-2010, 02:22 PM
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Huh. I think I just got the short end of the stick then, because I "had" to go, but I also had to pay my own way.
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#166 of 176 Old 03-10-2010, 02:25 PM
 
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Huh. I think I just got the short end of the stick then, because I "had" to go, but I also had to pay my own way.
Hm, good point. This is something to bring up with my dh. He wants dd to go to college but doesn't want to pay any part of it. He may not have put those to facts together.

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#167 of 176 Old 03-10-2010, 02:34 PM
 
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Huh. I think I just got the short end of the stick then, because I "had" to go, but I also had to pay my own way.
FWIW, if I had gone, I'd have probably had to pay my own tuition - but I would have had free room and board as long as I was at school. That counts for a lot.

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#168 of 176 Old 03-10-2010, 02:56 PM
 
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i have not read the whole thread but is the object happiness.

happiness has nothing to do with school or job or money.

it is a frame of mind that can be achieved at any time if you are willing to.

i really have no expectation out of my child. i kinda see that as my responsibility. what she does. and i am not pushing education on her at all because of her personality. seh loves learning. she thinks out of the box. doing peace corp for a couple of years in another country - perhpas a developing country will be of more value to her than an education.

but definitely education opens up more options, more opportunities.

however is it worth it at the cost.

if you are doing it taking out student loans. if you do a degree you did just to have a degree and then go back to school later to get another one - you qualify for no grants or aids except student loans.

for me it is. but it isnt true for many of the students. when they struggle to find jobs, with huge balance weighing on them. esp. if they are not doing something vocational like nursing or engineering but a degree in english or anthropology or whatever. sometimes their loan situation forces them to take what is offered rather than what they want to do.

however inspite of the lack of employment there is still a huge dearth of specialised labor. many posts are still being unable to be filled because they just cant find the qualified people.

are students too young at 18/19 trying to decide their majors? or even at 20. some know , but most of them dont. yet there is a pressure that they should know. community colleges have certain number of units forcing you to choose by a certain time. should we then insist on work after school and then go to college?

is college the way out? nope!!!

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#169 of 176 Old 03-10-2010, 05:17 PM
 
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Here's my take on it. (I have been reading this thread on and off for a few days)

It is our (my DH and I) job to raise future competant adults.

I hate this whole idea that we are raising "children". No, to me we are raising people whom will soon become the backbone of society and the working class (whether blue collar or white or filthy rich).

My children of course will get a "childhood" with play and imagination and fun, but they will also be learning how to fend for themselves as adults. I am utterly tired of hearing how 20 year olds are just "kids". No they are adults. Unfortunately many times we are treating them like "kids" and then we complain when customer service sucks and "this generation is rude or lazy"...

The only expectation I will place on my child is that they "be themselves". I don't care if that means they go to universary, collage, go backpacking, or whatever. As long as they are being themselves while doing it.

Both my own parents and my inlaws have no degrees and all do very well for themselves. My MIL went back at a later date and got her ECE and my father did a few night classes here and there (maybe 5 in total?).

I had a fantastic job that I loved doing for 9 years. There were a few hands on training courses for it but they were fun. And I took them while I was still in highschool. I got great grades at a phenomenal highschool, I graduated with a 3.94 GPA and was 2 credits short of being able to graduate a second one of myself

And at a time where there was an extra influx of students entering into Uni/Collage I got into a top rated school... And I went, for a semester...

I didn't know what I wanted to do. My parents were willing to pay for half and let me live at home rent free while I was in school. I decided to work full time, drop school and move out. Best thing I ever did. I was 18 when I moved out and have not ever been back.

The job I worked in had people from all ages and lives. And honestly when many of them HAD degrees or a couple degrees (or in one case 4 degrees) and they could still make more money and were happier in the same job I was working at... well that made my choice for me.

I might go back to school at some point but it would never be for an open ended degree. If I was going back it would be with a purpose and a specific type of schooling. And my good grades would mean nothing at this point. Instead I would be applying as a "mature" student.
Dh didn't go to school although now he is working through schooling for his trade. He does wish he started sooner but he didn't know what he wanted to do until that point.

I wasn't taught how to budget, or be an "adult" and I didn't have a "practice" place to do it. And I survived, actually I thrived.

What's my point... DH and I believe if we set our children up to be successful at being adults and having the right tools in their pocket from the time they are young, then they WILL be able to successfully choose what is right for them and be able to thrive in whatever that is.

Money does not equal happiness. Good grades doesn't mean you are smart, or better or happy. And a good job doesn't mean you make lots of money.

Will I be happy and supportive if my children decide to go to Collage? Sure! Will I be happy and supportive if my children decide to follow their own choices and dreams? Most definately!

Life is so much more than school. And there has been one tidbit that has been bugging my the entire thread... Are not 10 of the top 11 self made millionaires Collage or High school drop outs

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#170 of 176 Old 03-10-2010, 05:28 PM
 
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are students too young at 18/19 trying to decide their majors? or even at 20. some know , but most of them dont. yet there is a pressure that they should know. community colleges have certain number of units forcing you to choose by a certain time.
That's another thing that bugs me about formal education. DS1 has chosen courses that jump all over...choir, drama, art (at various times), sciences, Spanish (he dropped French as soon as he could), woodwork, electronics, "conditioning" (heavy exercise PE class), Civilizations, psychology, etc. Because he's taking all three available sciences (including both Biology 12 and Chemistry 12) and a language, he could get into university if he wanted to. But, why? Why woudl it be different if he'd taken an office or computer course, instead of Spanish? What difference would it make if he'd been able to drop math a year sooner (he's decent at math, but he doesn't like it at all)? Why all the weird requirements and credits and crap? It's all about jumping through hoops and filling random requirements that frequently make no sense.

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#171 of 176 Old 03-10-2010, 08:56 PM
 
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You ever have someone who adored high school gush at you that "It's the BEST time of your life!!!"?
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#172 of 176 Old 03-10-2010, 09:23 PM
 
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You ever have someone who adored high school gush at you that "It's the BEST time of your life!!!"?
No, never!

But your question reminded me of how Anne Lamott says that no decent adult ever had a good time in middle school.
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#173 of 176 Old 03-10-2010, 09:29 PM
 
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No, never!

But your question reminded me of how Anne Lamott says that no decent adult ever had a good time in middle school.
Hah! Man is that true. Whenever someone starts telling me about their high school exploits, I always back away slowly. If high school was the greatest time of your life, something went wrong.

Thinking on this topic, I wouldn't force my kids to go to school, but they've grown up surrounded by academics, I teach at a university, their grandpa was a professor etc etc. If they didn't go to university, then thats fine, but they have to get a job, pay rent or move out. I will only fund them if they are students, which means that since my DH and myself expect them to attend university, we will find a way to pay for it.

And I'm going to try to articulate something here, bear with me. I especially want my daughters to have college educations. I just feel like, I don't want them to be stuck if they get into a bad relationship or marriage, and having a college education gives them better job options. No one can take that diploma away from them.
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#174 of 176 Old 03-10-2010, 09:46 PM
 
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You ever have someone who adored high school gush at you that "It's the BEST time of your life!!!"?
It was one of the best times of my life....not the best but one of them.
I met my husband there, my closest friends in my life are friends I made there.
So yeah I liked it. Hubby and I had positive enough experiences there that we are moving back to the area so our son can go to school there. (In the country there is only one highschool)

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#175 of 176 Old 03-10-2010, 09:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
You ever have someone who adored high school gush at you that "It's the BEST time of your life!!!"?
Yes - when I was still going. I replied, "it's a good thing I don't believe that, because, if I did, I'd shoot myself". She didn't believe me, but I was absolutely serious. Losing Aaron was worse. The breakup of my first marriage was worse. High school fits in somewhere really close to c-sections and miscarriages, in terms of misery.

It took me about 10 years to get it through my head that high school really was a good time for some people. Until I was almost 30, I believed that was just a coping mechanism.

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#176 of 176 Old 03-13-2010, 06:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just stumbled on a great post about this very topic!

http://www.whiteoakschool.com/camp-c...en-thread.html
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