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I'm wondering what other people think about this. When I was little, I was told that getting good grades means you get into a good college which means you get a good job / are happy. Have you found this to be true? Why or why not? (This sounds like an essay question. Sorry!)<br><br>
I was very good at being a student, but it has not translated to career success for me. Things I became good at included:<br><br>
- Doing what I was told<br>
- Studying<br>
- Turning things in on time<br>
- Sitting quietly / being a good listener<br>
- Working hard<br>
- Learning about a wide variety of things<br><br><br>
What I did not learn that would have been good for career success:<br><br>
- Thinking on my feet<br>
- General people skills / *networking*<br>
- Making decisions for myself (for example, I chose the completely wrong major in college)<br>
- How to take approprate risks / speak up<br>
- Becoming an expert/specialist at something<br>
- (Also I know now that work experience is much more valuable than school experience when looking for a job)<br><br><br>
I feel like I am really good at being a student, but that hasn't necessarily translated into being good at a career. I'm not sure what I will tell my kids when they get older. Should I try to encourage them to go to a highly rated school (as I did), though it doesn't necessarily translate into future career success? Do I emphasize that high school grades are important? Or college grades? I'm just a little confused about it! Obviously if they choose to be doctors or something, grades and colleges really are important. But it seems like in many industries, it is not so much. And are there other ways to teach the things not taught in school or are they personality things? For example being shy/quiet was good for being a student most of the time, but I think being more outspoken/social is better for career success. Not sure that can be taught?<br><br>
Looking forward to your thoughts on this!
 

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I think it depends a lot on whether you have a job you like. Could you be a legal secretary/paralegal/personal assistant? The skills you mentioned as what you learned in school would be very useful there. (Edited to add: also technical writing.)<br><br>
Today's bachelor's degree is yesterday's high school diploma. A 4-year degree has lost a lot of value. You've really got to have a graduate degree or years in the business to get a really well paying job (my friend who never went to university is now a property manager for class AA buildings in DC and is the sole breadwinner for her family).
 

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the flaw in that equation is that it assumes money=happiness. while having enough money makes life *easier*, it doesn't make it happier. I did study hard, go to good school, get high powered career. I didn't know happy until it hit me in the head when my first child was born. I wish I could get paid to be a mom. But, I think the best advice is find your passion and do what you love really well and hopefully the money will follow (you can also minor in accounting or nursing and have the ability to pretty much get a job anywhere in some capacity- given the current state of the economy maybe this makes the most sense?)
 

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I didn't find the good grades=good job equation to be necessarily true. I got good grades in the subjects I was interested in (English, history) and bad grades in the subjects I wasn't (hello, my old nemesis math). I did have a successful career because I stumbled on a profession that <b>suited my personality type</b>. I was a great project manager because I'm organized, can deal in minutia while seeing the larger picture and I'm fairly good at telling people what to do in a way that makes them feel like it's all their idea (also helps in having a happy marriage).<br><br>
Unfortunately, all of the above had to be thrown out the window in my new career as a SAHM. I am now learning how to enjoy chaos, focus only on the present and deal with someone whose demands must be met IMMEDIATELY (actually, not so different from a lot of the VP's I worked for).
 

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I don't think the equation is true. I don't think money=happiness. And I think a lot of people can be very happy and make decent livings in jobs that don't require college degrees (carpentry, plumbing, etc), and therefore don't require good grades. I do think that for most people a happy life includes finacial stability. And for most people that requires some sort of skill set, and therefore the persistence and organization to aquire the skill set.<br><br>
Catherine
 

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I don't think any part of that equation is true, and I certainly don't think the whole thing is.
 

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I'm actually answering your question a little differently, because I am a HS guidance counselor and sort of answer this question all the time.<br><br>
I'm focused on the first part of your equation. Getting good grades = good college = good job. And I can say, quantitatively, that the better you do in school, the more doors are open to you, the more opportunities you will have the chance to access, the more avenues you can explore to discover your own happiness.<br><br>
One of the worst part of my jobs is watching kids shoot themselves in the foot, year after year. They are intelligent (or could be intelligent), but don't apply themselves and get focused on the wrong things (friends, a crappy PT job, cell phones and text messages, the drama of HS), and scrape by. And I tell them, year after year, semester after semester, that they need to bring their grades up and why. And they tell me "Yes, yes, yes" and don't change anything.<br><br>
Then they sit down with me for a senior meeting and they say they want to go to [State University] and I have to be the one to tell them, "Sorry, with a 1.9 GPA and a 17 on your ACT, there's no way you would be accepted."<br><br>
I'm oversimplifying the process, but that's the jist of it. Every year I have a kid cry in my office when I show them the college admission data and they see how far short they fall. So for these kids, junior college is their ONLY option for higher ed, which is not a bad choice at all, but I HATE when it's someone's ONLY choice.<br><br>
But.... with better grades and with not going to a kegger the night before your ACT... you have more choices!! You can go to junior college, or you could go to a public university, or a private college, or in-state, or out-of-state.... Not to mention you have more chance of getting free money to help pay for college, which ALSO opens doors.<br><br>
The better you do in school, the more options you have after graduation. The more options you have after graduation, the better chance you will have the freedom and flexibility to find your passion and, in turn, success. ANd probably money as well.<br><br>
P.S. There is a ton of data illustrating the difference in salaries of HS grads vs. bachelor degrees vs. masters degrees. So from that standpoint, college is a must.<br><br>
P.P.S. As I read over my post I realize that I sound like college is the only option. Totally false. However, every professional in my field would agree that while COLLEGE is not required for "good" jobs, some type of post-HS training absolutely is. Maybe an apprenticeship, maybe a certification, maybe a degree, maybe even on-the-job education.... whatever. But everyone needs to be prepared to participate in some type of training program to be prepared for the 21st century workforce.
 

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DH got good grades in high school, he never went to college, he has a job he loves.<br><br>
I did crap in high school, awsome in college and am currently a SAHD.<br><br>
We both love our jobs, we are not strapped for cash and we are happy.<br><br>
We are happy because we love our jobs. We are not strapped for cash because we both saved during a time when we had the ability and added a few investments to the mix and live frugally.<br><br>
I know people who did as bad in high school as I did and live more then comfortably. I know people who did great in high school and college and university and are still struggling to make ends meet. I know people who have money who are happy and those who have money who aren't, and people who are living paycheck to paycheck that are happy and those who aren't.<br><br>
So really, it's all just bull if you ask me.
 

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I don't think it's true at all. I am trying to "unschool" myself in that way of thinking so this is a very interesting conversation for me.
 

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I don't think money = happiness...but...it sure helps. I am coming from the perspective of someone who got good grades in high school, got a scholarship to a good school, and then got kind of carried away with my social life and partying and lost track. I ended up with a lame liberal arts BA from a not-so-good school, and it has practically no contribution to my hire-ability. So I have not had very good jobs, and before I had my first child I even had a mind-numbing, depressing job that I mostly hated.<br><br>
Now that I have one child in school, I am pushing her to accomplish what she is capable of, which is good grades. I am also planning on telling all my kids that it's worth it to jump through some hoops and it's important to learn how to study because a good degree opens a lot of doors.<br><br>
My parents talked a lot about doing what made you happy, and while they expected us to get good grades, they didn't talk much about why. And for them, that worked. My dad went to college for fun, got pretty close to graduating but didn't, and led a very successful life in a field that doesn't require a college degree. I have not had that experience, and I think that it's going to be even harder for my children to get a life that is rewarding.<br><br>
My husband is a carpenter, and while he enjoys a lot of it, a lot of is also menial, back-breaking and tedious. And, IME, there is a dearth of stimulating conversation in most blue-collar jobs. Not always, of course. But I think a good degree increases the chances that you will find interesting, thoughtful people to work and socialize with, and that you will have the language and understanding to better appreciate your life. And if not, at least you can afford some good therapy, right?<br><br>
One more thing about having money is that it really helps you be healthy, if you want to. You can afford state-of-the-art health care, for example.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>HipGal</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15150913"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm wondering what other people think about this. When I was little, I was told that getting good grades means you get into a good college which means you get a good job / are happy. Have you found this to be true? Why or why not?</div>
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No on the getting a good job. I was told that it didn't matter what my major was, that what employers were looking for is that people had critical thinking skills, the ability to learn, manage different tasks and such. I was raised with the idea that if you got good grades and went to college, you'd get a good job. I graduated from college in 1988 and it was not a good time in the economy. I ended up working retail, and honestly it seemed to be the kiss of death to finding work later on. Friends who graduated both before and after me had some similar experiences, and only ended up getting good jobs when they went back to school for a particular course of study (computer science).<br><br>
I was listening to Talk of the Nation one day and they were talking about what a hard time the 2010 college grads were going to have in the current job market. They had several guest commentators, one of whom said optimistically that he thought employers would understand that the economy wasn't great and that employers would be considerate when looking at less than stellar resumes, resumes with underemployment or large gaps of no employment. I was kind of jumping around in the kitchen, screaming at the radio. And finally one commentator came on and said that previous history with these situations have not shown that to be true.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Viola</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15151585"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">No on the getting a good job. I was told that it didn't matter what my major was, that what employers were looking for is that people had critical thinking skills, the ability to learn, manage different tasks and such. I was raised with the idea that if you got good grades and went to college, you'd get a good job. I graduated from college in 1988 and it was not a good time in the economy. I ended up working retail, and honestly it seemed to be the kiss of death to finding work later on. Friends who graduated both before and after me had some similar experiences, and only ended up getting good jobs when they went back to school for a particular course of study (computer science).<br><br>
I was listening to Talk of the Nation one day and they were talking about what a hard time the 2010 college grads were going to have in the current job market. They had several guest commentators, one of whom said optimistically that he thought employers would understand that the economy wasn't great and that employers would be considerate when looking at less than stellar resumes, resumes with underemployment or large gaps of no employment. I was kind of jumping around in the kitchen, screaming at the radio. And finally one commentator came on and said that previous history with these situations have not shown that to be true.</div>
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Yes, I heard that article as well. It was fascinating and depressing.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you, everyone, for your insight. This is a really interesting conversation!<br><br>
I guess what I'm pondering is not so much whether I should expect our kids to go to college, but is it necessary to do super well, push themselves, etc in high school to get into the "best" college they can in order to be successful? Like in high school it seemed to really matter what college you got into, but in the workplace it seems it really doesn't matter at all, kwim?
 

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I think home life is tied strongly to school performance (given average intelligence). If a child is secure at home, secure in their relationship with parents and siblings, they have more mental energy to focus on school and therefore do well. If things are rough at home, mental energy is spent worrying/trying to fix things and less is spent on school. So I think that is a direct relationship for some kids.<br><br>
Down the road, though, I think grades have less effect on life than in the school years. Just because someone does well/bad in school, I don't think it means they're going to do well/bad in the work arena <i>if they are doing something they enjoy.</i><br><br>
I'm trying to impress upon my younger sister (22yo) that she doesn't need to go to college to get a good job (she works at Target and hates it). She just needs to find something she enjoys and does well.<br><br>
Jenn
 

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Good grades= more options. Degree= more options. Options give you the chance to be happy. Nobody like the feeling of being trapped, even if they do have a good life.<br>
If at 16, you discover that your passion is, say, carpentry, a good apprenticeship becomes more important than good grades. But 15 yrs later when you break your hand/ can't find work you'll really appreciate that you finished high school and used your scholarship for that 2 year gen ed degree, because it gives you more options.<br>
I was very successful in school. But I didn't have the drive or support to pursue scholarships, and really couldn't afford college. Joined the Army instead. I can't use my education or job experience, but I met my husband, and started a chain of events that is leading me to my calling. Luckily, his income gives me options, but MY good grades have done nothing for me.<br>
I will encourage my kids to get a both an education that looks good on paper, and a real world education. Beyond that, happiness is up to them.
 

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I think it is a great gift to get your children to understand the need to earn good grades and take the tough prerequisites like calculus etc. It isn't necessary and some late-bloomers who figure out their passion later will do amazing things but why not be prepared for anything, and not have to spend 2 years completing prereqs to get started.
 

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I'm not as stuck on "smart, sensible kids go to university" as I used to be. I was th geeky kid at school who felt my entire future would swirl down the drain if I stooped to the level of a B. I did well in school and at Uni, but here's the rub... I did well at Uni because I was studying things I was good at and passionate about... which happened to be English and film. And in terms of employability, a BA in English and Screen and Media Studies is worth about as much as a Girl Scouts cooking badge. But if I'd tried to do something more careery-businessy, like accounting or management, I wouldn't have done well because <i>I wasn't good at those things</i>! So... whatcha gonna do. At least I had fun. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I worked my way through Uni in menial jobs, had a brief stint doing something fulfilling but low-pay, then got married and had a baby. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> Now I do a bit of freelance writing - and to be honest, my English degree didn't really contribute to that in any measurable way - but I find I'm limited (apart from lack of time due to SAHing with a toddler) by a lack of business sense. According to DH, who started up a business which looks like it'll be successful (entirely self-taught, never went to Uni, I might add), it's ALL about business sense. And marketing, and branding, and moxie, and a bunch of other attributes and concepts which are just... not me.<br><br>
Soooo, I'd say that if you want to succeed in business and entrepreneurial stuff, you need a lot of horse sense and drive and things which are probably not best taught at Uni. if you want a job that requires skills you need a degree for, well, duh - you need a degree. But I'm always puzzled by the parents on this board who say My Kids Are GOING to College like the alternative is dying in a hotel bathroom full of heroin. It isn't. it's not even necessarily a good investment of three-plus years and thousands and thousands of dollars. I wouldn't encourage my kids to commit to three years' hard labour and an enormous chunk of coin <i>as the default option</i> in life... seems kinda insane, actually. If they want to go, sure, but not just because that's what Good Kids Do.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mntnmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15151702"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Good grades= more options. Degree= more options. Options give you the chance to be happy. Nobody like the feeling of being trapped, even if they do have a good life.</div>
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That's so simple, and so true, at least for us.<br><br>
I did not know what I wanted to do at 18, but I applied and I went. It took me 4 years to figure my dream job, and if I didn't go to college, these would be my consequences:<br><br>
* I cannot possibly do what I love without a degree, so my dream job would be out of reach<br>
* I would HAVE to go to college anyway, if I decided to pursue it, only I would be 4 years behind on the career path<br>
* I would end up living for the past few years less comfortably than I have<br>
* I would not have the financial security, if something happened to DP<br><br>
Only one out of four points address materialistic side of things, yet all of them are essential to making me feel empowered to do what I want in life. Okay, I can't afford to travel much, in ten years I went only once. But! Because DP and I have degrees, we were able to send DSD on a super duper trip with her class, EVEN though DP was unemployed for a year. And as we become more secure, we are actually starting to make travel plans for this year, and that's exciting. Do I have to have a degree to go to Italy? Well, all statistics show that higher degree allows higher earnings for an average person, so I guess that's a yes.<br><br>
That being said... DSD is about to turn 17, and her choice of career, for now, has nothing to do with 4 year degree. We told her right away, we will ALWAYS support her decisions and passions, but she is setting herself up for limited choices, or having to go to school later in life, when it is harder .<br><br>
I don't know about the rest, but my dream job at 17 was quite different from what it actually turned out to be. College allowed me to figure that out, while advancing my worth on the job market.<br><br>
Does doing what I love and having confidence that I can provide for my family help my happiness? Yup. I wouldn't be here without a degree.<br><br>
P.S. I do think that personality and upbringing have a lot to do with the kinds of things we are good at, school is just a tool to me. Just my 2 cents.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mntnmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15151702"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Good grades= more options. Degree= more options. Options give you the chance to be happy. Nobody like the feeling of being trapped, even if they do have a good life.</div>
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I agree. It's all about having more options, and there is no gaurentee of happiness.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>HipGal</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15151691"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I guess what I'm pondering is not so much whether I should expect our kids to go to college, but is it necessary to do super well, push themselves, etc in high school to get into the "best" college they can in order to be successful? Like in high school it seemed to really matter what college you got into, but in the workplace it seems it really doesn't matter at all, kwim?</div>
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No, you don't have to get into the "best" college to be successful, be happy, make money, do well. Not. At. All. I know people who are deliriously happy (and successful) who have not had one day of college, and I know people who were miserable at Harvard and are now underemployed working retail.<br><br>
However, I do think it is important to "push" your kids to do as good? well? as their abilities allow in high school so that they have OPTIONS when it comes to post-HS plans.<br><br>
The reality is that a lot of careers require a 4-year degree and beyond. I would rather my child be overprepared or overqualified than underprepared or underqualified.<br><br>
And then if he wants to be a mechanic or a plumber or a garbage man or whatever... if that's what makes him happy... more power to him. Lord knows we need good people in all of those fields just as much as we need good doctors and lawyers.
 
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