Episode 21- Eighteen

The transcript for Ep. 21- Eighteen

So going back to yesterday’s podcast episode about the mom in Starbucks that I was listening to as she was talking about her daughter and she was pushing her daughter into a nursing career, when her daughter didn’t like blood and her daughter did not want to be a nurse. And I think about what we do to our kids, and the pressure we put on them at such a young age in terms of a career decision. And I think back to when I was 18 there’s a song, you know Alice Cooper famous song called I’m Eighteen, I thought back of the lyrics of that song that came out in 1970 and it basically said, don’t always know what I’m talking about, Feel like I’m living in the middle of doubt, like baby’s brain and an old man’s heart, like just completely clueless at 18 and to think that at that time we should be putting pressure on our kids to make one of the biggest decisions, if not the biggest decision of their life, which is to take out hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans and to dedicate the next four, six, or eight years of your life to a certain subject that you don’t know if you’re even interested in, but you have to do it because the clock stop taking on high school and you need to choose now is one of the most ridiculous things that I’ve ever heard of.

Because when I was 18, I was the dumbest that I’ve ever been in my entire life. And there’ve been many moments of dumbness in my life, but I can’t think of a time where I was any dumber than I was when I was 18 and the pressure, and thank goodness for me that I wasn’t good in school at that point because if I was good in school, I would be pressured, I need to go do this now you need to go to this college and the competition is so high that you need to pay for it. And it’s a lot of money and it’s a lot of time. And what nobody ever asked me and we’ll go into this and other things and nobody ever asked these kids is what do you want to do? 

And the answer a lot of times is going to be like, I don’t know. And that scares parents, but it shouldn’t scare parents because they don’t know. And at that point they need to go figure stuff out. They need to go learn and maybe it’s college, but a lot of times maybe it isn’t. Maybe it’s working because guess what? Guess what’s going to happen when you’re done with college. You’ve got to go work. You’re going to have to go work somewhere. So why not work and learn what it’s like to work. Cause let me tell you something. When you’re 18 years old, for the most part and this society, you haven’t worked very much yet. You’ve taken tests, you’ve followed in line, you’ve went to class but you haven’t worked and maybe the best thing is to go and work because if you go and work and you realize I don’t like mopping the floors, I don’t like doing this grunt work at this low of a pay, maybe that’s going to give you the incentive at 21 to actually care about what you’re studying ,to actually give it an effort.

But if you think because the kid’s 18 and you forced them to go to school for something, that they’re going to actually study something and actually enjoy learning it to where they’re going to want to do something with it later. I think you might be in for a big surprise, and I’m not saying this is for everybody, I’m not saying this is an all or nothing black or white thing. There are a lot of kids when they’re nine years old, they know what they want to do. They love it. They study it, they want to, and they know going to this college for this degree is going to make the most sense because it’s like that’s not what, I’m not saying this isn’t for everybody, but I can tell you if you have a kid like me, if you have more of a rebellious by nature kid, somebody that doesn’t follow the norm, somebody that doesn’t want to wait in line, somebody doesn’t want to follow in line, somebody who kind of wants to do their own thing, you really should think about giving them the space to do that.

Because what can happen a lot of times when you force somebody into something, when they’re not ready for it, there’s going to be some resentment. There’s going to be some resentment that they didn’t get to do what they really wanted to do or at least try what they wanted to try. And then that’s going to lead to issues later on. And this idea that at 18 years old, that’s the time where you choose your career. I want to know when that was discovered, when that was made up. Why wasn’t it 16 why wasn’t it 21, why wasn’t it 24, and why is it the same age that every kid is supposed to pick that? 

And I think it’s a travesty that we do to our kids and we put stress on them when maybe they just need to save up a little bit of money and backpack and travel for a little bit and figure out something they actually like doing. Because when you’re in a classroom all day learning certain subjects but not other subjects, maybe you haven’t even figured out what you liked yet. That was my case. I didn’t figure it out what I’d like till I was 22, when I finally was exposed to it. Now that wasn’t something in school I even had the maturity or the access to do. It took time, and I think the put the pressure on our kids for a career. I’m not saying working, I think our kid should be working. I’ve always worked. But the career, the thing that you’re going to do forever at 18 years old, I think needs to completely be rethought. 

Wondered, why do we do this to these kids at this age? Why do we make them choose something that they’re not ready for? Just cause we say it’s the time and it goes back to that song again. I’m 18 I just don’t know what I want. And that’s perfectly fine at 18. You’ve got a long life ahead of you. You’ve got a lot of time to figure things out. And the last thing that an 18 year old needs to be doing is being strapped with a heavy debt burden and a responsibility to a career that they might not want to begin with. Little food for thought on that, I’m looking forward to the angry messages from teachers from that, and I will talk to you all tomorrow.

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