It’s a strange feeling knowing that there are people in my kids lives who have more immediate influence on them than I do. Though my boys didn’t often seek out my advice when they lived at home, I had more of a sense of the things they were thinking through or struggling with and found opportunity to invited myself into their lives.
Now their professors and their peers, their work supervisors and their roommates are the ones who prod them, challenge them, comfort or counsel them. Oh, on occasion we’ll be included on a major decision, but sometimes I feel like I’m the last to know. And actually, I don’t have most of the answers so I’m really thankful for the community at Messiah.Letting go, Picking a major, independence | Comment (0)
I’ve known a few people who as children seem to know at a very young exactly what they want to do with their lives, and every step they take is focused in the direction that leads them to their unwavering goal. It makes a beautiful story, but I think that’s pretty rare, actually.
My own children’s dreams have morphed through the years. When he was eight, Alex wanted to work for Lego even if if meant moving to Denmark. For a few years in high school, he planned to become an architect. But after a few drafting classes where he was successful but bored, he decided he wanted to go into graphic design. He’s in his third year as a studio art major at Messiah, and we think he’ll graduate as one. And we think he’ll be happy working as a designer. Will he do that his whole life? Maybe.
Andy, on the other hand, never really seemed to think about the fact that someday he’d be a grown up and have to get a job. His passions included friends and sports. As he approached his college years, we tried to help him think about what kind of career would suit both his natural abilities and his passions. Adventure education? Lots of activity and interaction with people. Elementary education? Hanging out with the young at heart. Youth ministry? Playing and caring, and NOT sitting at a desk.
He remained unconvinced, and we, as parents, felt a little bit of panic because we knew we didn’t want him working at a job he didn’t find satisfying, but we did want him working at a job! Then as we once again talked through the long list of possible majors at Messiah, we came across one we didn’t know much about, sport management.
Bingo! Connected to the world of athletics which he’s passionate about, in a field that’s growing all the time, in a college program that has fantastic opportunities for internships and practical experiences. We felt as though we had found the answer. So far so good!
Being undecided for a while isn’t such a bad thing. It may, in fact, beat thinking you’re sure and then finding out the major you selected is not the one you want to pursue after all. It’s been a process for our children and for us. We know our kids well, and can help them identify strengths and abilities that may point toward a particular career path. But they’re the ones who will have to live with the decision.
Parenting a young adult is not easy. But it is exciting!Filed under Picking a major | Comment (0)