Do you remember being seventeen and having to make the big decision on what to do after grade 12?
For some, this is a point of anxiety. Up to that point in your life, all the main decisions were made for you – get up, go to school, maybe engage in an after school activity, play video games, text your friends, raid the fridge and repeat. (As you guessed, I am making a reference to today’s generation not mine).
Then all of a sudden things start to change as you reach the age of eighteen and near graduation – not necessarily in that order. You can drink, maybe you have your driver’s license, decisions need to be made on post secondary education, looking for a part time job, and how to be responsible and accountable. When we discuss these items with our boys at home, the response I get is always – “Oh my head hurts, why do we have to keep talking about this?”.
But that is where the real learning begins. What do you want to be? This can be a tough decision given that “65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist.” I feel for those kids when the time comes to make a choice.
At eighteen, how many have a clear picture what their post-secondary and career path may be? There are some who discover their passion early in life, but for those still searching, just making the initial decision can be mind boggling. Is it fear of the unknown? This is my challenge as a parent, to help provide a path for them to make that decision, but not make the decision – all with a sense that admission deadlines are looming.
We are early in that process in our house, and I can see that it will become increasingly frustrating (mostly for me) the longer it takes for them to make a decision. While the actual decision may not be their true calling, it’s one of the first steps that they will make as young adults, in taking control of their destiny.
And along the way, I have something to learn from this process as well – patience!