All Children Should Seriously Consider Going College After High School

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The problem. I have had parents come to counseling because their teenager is graduating from high school and refuses to go to college. The parents practically fall out of their chairs when my answer is "Then don't make them go to college." I always recommend that parents try very, very hard to convince their child to go to college, but never force them to go to college. You see, not everyone is college material. College is hard, demanding, exhausting, time-consuming and requires a lot of commitment--not everyone is capable of enduring all of that for the length of time it takes to graduate from college. I have also noticed in my counseling that teenagers who are forced to go to college right out of high school often don't take college seriously enough. Generally in that situation, the teenager treats college like it is just an extension of high school. I have seen students go to college because their parents forced them to, then cut classes, not study, do way too much partying, and get poor grades. Far too often these kids end up dropping out and never finishing college--what a waste of time and money! Now don't get me wrong, I very strongly advocate going to college, but only for people who have what it takes to be successful in college, including having a desire to go in the first place. If a teenager went all through high school cutting classes, goofing off, getting poor grades and barely graduating, then what do you think is most likely to happen if they go straight to college from high school? Besides, you have to consider that teenagers are still young, naive and inexperienced. Most of them think they've got it all figured out and already have what they need to succeed. You can try all you want to convince them that they still have a lot to learn, but they won't believe you because they think they already know what to expect from life. But

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