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#1 of 11 Old 09-10-2009, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dd is in 7th grade. She and her friend are planning to go to different high schools. Her friend wants to go to the tech high school and get a job afterward. Dd plans to go to the traditional high school and go on to college.

Her friend wants them to go to high school together, so she's trying to convince dd not to go to college (dd could go to the tech school and go on to college, but neither of them seem to realize this, and I haven't looked into it yet).

Dd is trying to convince her friend to go college. Her friend said that her parents couldn't afford it, and dd said she could get student loans. Her friend came back and said, "My mom said if I take out student loans I'll just be in debt for the rest of my life, and I don't want that."

I'm beginning to feel like the mom and I are having an argument through our daughters. I've never met the mom.

I'm not worried that they are going to change dd's mind about college. I just don't want to argue with this woman-- I know college isn't for everyone, and if they are not interested in it, that's none of my business-- but I feel compelled to respond to the things her daughter is telling my daughter.

Not sure where to go from here. This might just be bringing up a lot of stuff for me because my parents didn't go to college and didn't discuss it with me at all . . . I'll stop there before I write a novel!

Trish: Mama to Buckaroo , Sweet P :, and Obo Difficult wife of Rick :
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#2 of 11 Old 09-10-2009, 07:56 PM
 
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Can you change the direction of these conversations to,
"The girls have different future plans, how can we support them in maintaining a friendship if they need to go to different schools?"

And plan for them to be in the sports clubs etc next year?

I think talking about the reality of student debt, and how to cope with it, would be a sensible conversation to have with your daughter, too.
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#3 of 11 Old 09-10-2009, 08:20 PM
 
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I'd also remind your dd - and by extension her friend - that if they do well in school they'll get scholarships and won't have to go into serious debt. My eldest just started college at a very good, and expensive, school. Our income is low enough that we're not paying anything; dd got $50,000 worth of grants & scholarships for this year, and only needed a few thousand in student loans to cover the rest.
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#4 of 11 Old 09-10-2009, 08:26 PM
 
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And they are both young yet. And cost should never be the reason to attend or not attend college. Some life paths take you to college, some don't.

My hubby tested well.... so well he was a National Merit scholar and had a free ride to college. I worked two jobs to keep a roof over our heads and with his first real job, I started college. No debt was ever incurred. Where there's a will, there's a way.
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#5 of 11 Old 09-10-2009, 10:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your responses,

Hermionesmum, That's a good suggestion, but I've never spoken to the friend's mom, and the dad seems very uncomfortable with me. I guess I could encourage dd to steer the conversation in that direction.

philomum and sarai18, I totally agree! I guess that's where I'm really struggling. I would *never* try to discourage dd from going to college-- under any circumstances. I'm trying really hard to understand where the friend's parents are coming from, and to not undermine their parenting decisions, but I really want to tell dd's friend, "If you want to go to college, you can find a way! I'm proof!"

I also feel like that would be wrong.

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#6 of 11 Old 09-11-2009, 11:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lunabelly View Post
I'm trying really hard to understand where the friend's parents are coming from, and to not undermine their parenting decisions, but I really want to tell dd's friend, "If you want to go to college, you can find a way! I'm proof!"

I also feel like that would be wrong.
I don't think that'd be wrong at all - you're not telling her what to do, just pointing out that she has options. Maybe if/when you talk with her about it, you could make it clear that she shouldn't flat-out rebel against her parents, but should talk with them about what she wants to do - and maybe offer to provide ideas and info if they don't know what's possible.
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#7 of 11 Old 09-11-2009, 01:30 PM
 
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Sounds a lot like my daughter and her (yes, former) best friend. My daughter (C) wants to go into Marine Biology/Veterinary Medicine. Her friend (J) wants to be a Cosmetologist. They were inseparable until they went to HS. C wanted to go to a specialized magnet school, J wanted to go to VoTech. Which is what each of them did.

And yes, things changed. We can literally see into one another's homes, but the girls don't spend much time together anymore. It happens.

Don't let your daughter sacrifice her dreams.
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#8 of 11 Old 09-16-2009, 02:36 PM
 
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Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#9 of 11 Old 09-16-2009, 02:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lunabelly View Post
Thanks for your responses,

Hermionesmum, That's a good suggestion, but I've never spoken to the friend's mom, and the dad seems very uncomfortable with me. I guess I could encourage dd to steer the conversation in that direction.

philomum and sarai18, I totally agree! I guess that's where I'm really struggling. I would *never* try to discourage dd from going to college-- under any circumstances. I'm trying really hard to understand where the friend's parents are coming from, and to not undermine their parenting decisions, but I really want to tell dd's friend, "If you want to go to college, you can find a way! I'm proof!"

I also feel like that would be wrong.
I think both families, your own and your daughter's friend's family, have legitimate opinions.

While I am encouraging my kids to get a four year college education, and to have the life experience that implies, I don't think that's right for everyone. Your daughter's friend might be unhappy in a university setting, might find much more success in a trade school.

I don't think it's wrong to say exactly what you said, above. But I wouldn't push it.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#10 of 11 Old 09-16-2009, 06:49 PM
 
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I'd just encourage them to stay friends while going to different schools, and remind them that they don't need to make decisions set in stone about colleges and careers yet. Suggest that they come up with a strategy to hang out outside of school hours, instead of emphasizing the whole 'different paths' thing that is preoccupying them right now. They're only in 7th grade!

Over time, if your daughter does manage to maintain the friendship, you can certainly chat more with her friend about higher education. I agree that it may be helpful for her to at least see that someone whose parents didn't support her going on to college did so (you), but I wouldn't bring it up now.
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#11 of 11 Old 09-17-2009, 11:36 PM
 
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I can see both points of view. I finished university 10 years ago and DH finished almost 7 years ago. We are still paying our student loans. DH has a good job but he's not really happy in it. He's considering a career change that would involve going back to school. I'm feeling a little disenchanted with universities in general. So I have a biology degree, what can I do with that? Do I really want to do that? I'm feeling like my time in university wasn't really well used and I got stuck with loans to pay back. I guess the biggest problem wasn't really university but lack of direction and counseling about the best fit for me. I would have liked to go to chiropractic college but knew that if I went, I would have to work for at least 10 years in order to pay back the loans. That would have really interfered with my hopes to be a SAHM. Thank goodness I was wise enough to not rack up any more debt.

I know that one of the main reasons that I went to university is simply because my siblings had gone and I figured that going to university was just what people who got good marks in school did. It wasn't so much about how it fit in with my life plan as that I felt that it was just a given that I would go. I really wish that I had known more about different options out there.

For my own children, I want them to be happy and successful. Success, to me, does not necessarily mean a university degree. If they want to go, I won't hold them back but I will make sure that they understand what it involves before they start paying tuition. I'd actually be quite happy if my children got a skilled trade. An electrician or plumber would come in really handy.

For your daughter, I would probably just tell her that different people want different things out of life. We all have things that we value more than others. It doesn't make one right or wrong and we need to have differences like that so that everyone finds a place where they feel fulfilled.

Gillian - Wife to an amazing DH, Mother to 5 wonderful kiddos.
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