Graduating high school and moving towards the next big step in life – college – is a major event for many people. And while I was prepared for the stress my daughter would have to go through at that stage, I underestimated how it would hit me personally. Turns out, this is quite the stressful ordeal all around, and you have to be prepared as a parent if you want things to go smoothly. This applies in the long run as well – the last thing you want is to have doubts on your mind once you’ve sent your kid off to college!
Understanding Your Child’s Desires and Motivations
The most important thing for me in the beginning was to understand exactly what my daughter wanted to do, what she was good at, and what her future would look like. We had a serious discussion about her passions and motivations, and it was pretty clear that she was set on a technical path for her studies. Which I certainly didn’t mind – but I would have supported her in any choice regardless. However, there is something to be said on that front as well…
The Mainstream Paths Aren’t Always the Safest
… and that’s the hard realization that not all career choices are viable. Just because a person is good at something doesn’t mean that it makes sense to dedicate several years of their life – and many thousands of dollars – to pursue that path, only to end up realizing that there is nothing worthwhile in that field. I was prepared for this conversation as well, and was thankful that things didn’t come to that. Because in the end, I felt that it was my responsibility to ensure that my daughter was clear about her future prospects, but on the other, I felt terrible about the idea of discouraging her from something she wanted to do. She wants to prepare for PMP certification in Dubai after completing her bechloers in computer science.
Choosing the right college was no easy task in itself, even after we had decided on a specific career path. After all, there’s no shortage of institutions offering the most popular degree programs. This was also something that I decided to let my daughter guide me on, but I still gave her plenty of important pointers.
Fostering Creativity with Caution
I also realized that she has some creative talents that she still wanted to pursue in some form, even if it wasn’t directly related to her studies. I knew the importance of this in her life, and did my best to support her and even motivate her to pursue those interests. Because in the end, we only get one life, and it’s very disappointing to look back and realize that you could have done so much more with yours, but were prevented from doing so. Thankfully, that was never the case with us.
I’m still anxious about the whole thing – I likely won’t ever stop being that way. After all, she’s my precious daughter, and I always want the best for her. I’ll support her all the way in her current studies, and will give her all the help I can in finding her first job afterwards.