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If your children finished high school, but didn't go to college...what did they do instead?

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If your children finished high school, but didn't go to college...what did they do instead?  

 

All answers welcome.

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My dd did 3 semesters of college and took a mental health break with our full support. She moved back home temporarily and got a PT job within a few months. We offered to pay partial rent so she could afford her own apartment by her new job, and we did that for a few months until she got a FT position with the company. She has been there 8 months now and is doing great. She's still adjusting to being responsible for her own housekeeping, but she is excellent at her job and is learning a ton of life skills there. She plans to go back to college when she has a better idea of what she wants to study, but I am not putting any pressure on her. Honestly, she needed to work. She has a regular schedule, does something she's good at, gets lots of positive feedback from work, and can leave it all behind at the end of her shift. College was not a good fit for where she is in her life right now.

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I had one who bounced around for awhile.   now, he's in college.

 

I have a nephew who dropped out of high school.  he's a computer nerd and makes very good money.

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I had one who bounced around for awhile.   now, he's in college.

 

I have a nephew who dropped out of high school.  he's a computer nerd and makes very good money.

 

I am glad you mentioned this. Mine is still bouncing (finished 2 years) but cannot decide what to major in. :glare:

This gives me some hope.

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None of my kids went to college immediately.  The first spent his first year post high school traveling around the world on his bike.  Then college for two years, then off to pursue some dreams and get married, then three years later returning to college to finish up.  Just graduated last May!

 

#2 went to a type of immersion school in Central America for a year, met her future husband, decided to go to university down there, got married, went back and forth between here and there (taking semesters off now and then) throughout, and just graduated last year as well!  Now she and dh live in our state.  :)

 

#3 went to a non-credited school in France for a semester after high school graduation, traveled half a year, and then began college the following year.  Also graduated last year!

 

#4 has chronic pain and other health issues so chose to put off the college route, maybe forever...  She's a musician and travels here and there and gets part-time jobs here and there, and is also a big support to various members of our family whenever necessary.  (She spent half a year living with our dd in Central America, for example.)

 

#5 attended a Bible school for a year and then began college after that.  She's still there.

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My dd24 was working full time at age 17 and just getting her to finish her high school requirements was a huge hassle. She didn't graduate until she was 19. She worked in the food industry as a server and made decent money but not enough to live on her own. Then she moved into her boyfriend's house where he lived with his parents so she still didn't have to pay anything other than her car expenses and cell phone. Then she got recruited for an office job. She's making really good money there but still can't afford an apartment on her own. She and her boyfriend are currently living with friends while they save money. Her boyfriend is in and out of college and can't make up his mind what he wants to do so that puts dd's plans on hold. But that's another post. :)

 

Ds20 went to college for two semesters, taking two classes each semester. He did extremely well but hated every minute of it. He was off during the summer. When school started again, he begged on the first day to quit. I made him go to his classes the first two days to see what each one would be like, thinking he could drop a class if he thought 3 was too much, but he hated them all. He was so completely stressed out. So we made a deal with him. He could quit college but he had to get a job of some sort. Oh, he's on the spectrum which does affect things. He got a PT job as a night grocery stocking clerk making minimum wage plus an extra .65 cent per hour shift differential for working the graveyard shift. There is no way he could support himself with this job, not even working full time. He has no skills so we don't know what other job he could get. Oldest dd could get him a job with her company but it's all telephone work and dealing with people and scheduling all day. Ds, as an Aspie, just can't handle that. What we're hoping for him is that he finally tires of working a min. wage PT job and agrees to get further education, even at a technical school to learn a trade. He does say he'd like to live on his own some day but he has what I call a pipe dream and I don't know how long it's going to take him to realize it's just not going to work out without further education or a pot load of money.

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My oldest, age 23, is a mechanic for a farm implement company.  He had no formal training other than having trained himself through years of working on things.  He is making good money, has benefits, and will have his home paid off in another 3 years.  Most importantly, he loves his job and life.

My youngest, age 21, has learning difficulties and does not have a steady job at the moment.  He likes to work on things and fix small engines and will do small jobs for people and we are lucky that we have the facilities to allow him to do this.  He has fixed several small "junk" mowers and sold them on Craigslist.

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My middle son (now 21) went to college for a year, but was completely unmotivated and basically flunked out.  He wound up getting a seasonal summer job at a marina working the dock.  That winter he got a job at the restaurant at the marina as a dishwasher, got rehired the next summer as a dock worker, then they took him on full time and now he runs the marina's store!  Turns out he is much more motivated by work than school!

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I have wondered what I could contribute here.  My own kids aren't going through this.  Oldest is part time at Community College and we hope he will finish someday, the other two are younger.

 

But,

 

Could she maybe look at a certificate program of some sort?  If she can't finish, she could do it again next time.  For example, my birth sister did an 8 week training at the local CC to work in insurance (don't know the official title).  She has done that for 15 years now.  

 

Maybe she could look at the local CC and see what certificate/short term programs they offer and do something along that line for now.

Edited by DawnM
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My middle child started at CC after failingbto get into 4yr college. He flunked out (didn't go), and then needed to go thru more drama to get his life together. After several years and many jobs, he found the love of his life, got married and had a baby. He finished certification to become a personal trainer and is building a clientele. I could say more, but he's responsible for the dissemination of information about his life now.

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Not there yet (oldest is in college, though he's struggling a bit,) but #2 is talking about going straight into the fire service after graduation. 

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Just want to say I appreciate this thread.   

 

My oldest is at community college, not quite full time, and really uncertain what to do.  He is interested in the mechatronics program at the state technical university but we're not sure he can manage the math.   I'm not sure what will happen. He is a natural for the military but takes ADD meds which disqualify him.  He has a part-time job cleaning and doing odd jobs at a welding shop.  

 

My youngest is a senior this year and wants to have a career in art.  She has been accepted into the art department of two universities based on portfolio review (still needs to apply to the schools) but is hesitating. She hates school, and pretty much always has.  She said she doesn't think she wants to do more school after she graduates in June. She has a part-time job at a cafe.

 

Surrounded as I am by high-achieving college-bound kids (here on this board, and in real life) it is nice to hear of some people who are not necessarily jumping right into college.

 

(I delayed college myself, in a way.  Went for 2  years as a business major at my dad's insistence. Loved the general ed classes, hated the business, so dropped out and went to work; eventually worked my way into career-level positions at a high-tech company, and finished my degree in English at night when I was about 32.)

 

 

Edited by marbel
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I can think of several alternatives to college:

 

Fire/Police Academy

Peace Corps/AmeriCorps

Military Enlistment

Vo-Tech Certification

Apprenticeship Program

Teach English in Foreign Country

Edited by Kinsa
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My oldest went back and forth to Europe until she was 22, at which point she received a 4-year, full ride to college and graduated at age 26. My second went to Cosmetology School.

Edited by laughing lioness
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Our oldest went to college for 2 years but realized she didn't really know what she wanted to do with it, so she left school, got married, and got a good job. Her husband had severe health issues so she wouldn't have been able to continue anyway because she was devoted entirely to his care. Now that he has passed, she has taken some time to heal up herself and she knows what she wants to do and is positioning herself to jump back in. So proud of her!

 

All that to say...college is not for everyone--and that was something I was reluctant to recognize. But it's just not. Also, not everyone knows exactly what they want to do the moment they leave high school. I sure didn't, and I wasted time and money trying to figure it out while staying in college. I'm really learning to be flexible in my thinking on this, because I definitely wasn't before.

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My eldest joined the military. My second is going to take a year off to volunteer in his desired field. He wants to make sure it's what he really wants to do before "wasting his time and money".

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My oldest, age 23, is a mechanic for a farm implement company.  He had no formal training other than having trained himself through years of working on things.  He is making good money, has benefits, and will have his home paid off in another 3 years.  Most importantly, he loves his job and life.

My youngest, age 21, has learning difficulties and does not have a steady job at the moment.  He likes to work on things and fix small engines and will do small jobs for people and we are lucky that we have the facilities to allow him to do this.  He has fixed several small "junk" mowers and sold them on Craigslist.

 

We know someone locally who does small engine repair/renovation out of his home. It's been a side job, focusing mainly on lawnmowers, snowblowers, and rotatillers, and he's really good. I don't think he's ever advertised--it's all word of mouth. 

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Military, cable tv technician, self employed lawn care or apprentice in a relative's trade are the options my sons' male friends have taken. The gals are doing front desk at various businesses or food service at a school....we are rural so not a whole lot of options.

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My DH and his brothers worked full-time for a few years before they got tired of their menial jobs.  Then they all went to college at some point in their twenties.  They were just sick of school and wanted to be done at the end of high school.  Then they realized that what they really wanted to be doing - all computer related - they couldn't get hired without some type of degree.  Off to college they went.  The good thing was they were motivated, knew what degree to pursue, and continued to work full-time (they were all single, no children) while pursing their degrees so graduated with no student debt.

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Both of mine did 3 semesters of college each. Then they bounced around....one made some pretty poor choices while bouncing around.

 

Now the oldest is a locksmith learning the trade skills from an experienced shop owner.

 

The youngest went to culinary school--is a chef now and working the line under a chef at a restaurant.

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My kids aren't to this point yet but my siblings and I and our spouses all took the no college or delayed college route. We were all also homeschooled and most of us lived at home until marriage for practical reasons. Here's what we all did/are doing.

 

DH- 1 semester of college, EMT cert, worked an assortment of part time and full time low wage jobs until we were engaged then began working as an EMT, left EMT for higher paying janitor position, left that to become a Police Officer (in our state the academy is fully paid for by a department that hires you and pays your salary while you attend. Then you work for them when you graduate.)

 

DH's brother - 3.5 years of college followed by a medical transport job while attending tech school. Now works as an aircraft mechanic and supervisor at his company.

 

Me - Piano teacher since 15yo, married at 19, still teaching piano, college plans when the kids are older

 

Brother #1 - worked for a painter and contractor before started a couple of his own contracting/painting businesses, volunteered on the fire department, joined the Army Reserves, spent a year in Iraq, now in sales, currently sells roofs. He's great at sales and enjoys it. SIL is a SAHM who has helped with brother's bookkeeping when he had his businesses and briefly had her own photography business.

 

Brother #2 - worked for contractor, started business with brother #1, worked his way through tech school, currently works as aircraft mechanic and supervisor at his company. Got his Associates degree a few years ago. SIL worked full time at a mom and pop shop until they had kids.

 

Sister #1 - part time job, a few flute lessons, a few house cleaning jobs, companion for an elderly woman that later turned into full time companion/caretaker. Now SAHM.

BIL began apprenticing as an electrician in high school, still works for the same company.

 

Brother #3 - worked for painter, volunteered on fire department and received tons of free training and certs (EMT, hazmat, scuba, fire 1, fire2, CDL), paid position with troubled youth program, concrete work, now works for a carpentry/cabinet making company, would like to work for fire department full time. SIL - worked for a catering company and her parents greenhouse and flower shop, now is a SAHM with an Etsy store and babysits.

 

Brother #4 - full and part time jobs for companies older brothers have worked for, currently working part time in retail and attending college on a full music scholarship but planning to drop out after this semester and go to trade school - probably for HVAC

 

Brother #5 - worked full and part time for companies older brothers have worked for, currently working in grocery meat department, may be getting an apprenticeship as a meat cutter, a few classes away from on-line Bachelor degree, not sure of his future plans - something with performing arts maybe?

 

Sister #2 - graduated high school in May, currently working two part time jobs, still figuring out what she wants to do, has a missions trip planned for the summer.

 

In addition to the things I listed above, there was more volunteer work, missions trips, and traveling. There are lots of options out there for kids who aren't ready for or simply don't want to go to college. :-) Of siblings and siblings-in-law that I listed here, all of us who are married own our own homes but one (and they're looking to buy in the spring), and one even paid cash for their house. We all live modest but comfortable lives with one primary income (a couple of us wives supplement in small ways), and most of us are even debt free except mortgages. :-)

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My oldest got a series of jobs, bought a vehicle. He built houses the first summer into fall, then got a job logging at which point he moved out of our house and in with friends. He went to the local university college for a six-week equipment operating program, then got another job logging. At that point he lived with friends in the city, near campus. Then he got a job doing landscape construction (installing irrigation, retaining walls, etc.). Did some snow plowing in the winter. Moved into a home with an older couple who's family have grown up, rents a room. (Living basically on campus with friends when you're trying to go to work every day was not working well.) He does all his own cooking and laundry. Now he's back to construction again. Goes fishing, hiking, camping, hunting. Helps lead youth group at his church. Watches netflix, attends local hockey games. He's got a pretty good life. He's not sure he wants to stay in construction forever. If he found a trade he was passionate about, he would probably pursue school for that. Right now he's in third-year school of real life and is learning. A lot. We're so proud of how he's matured and grown.

 

ETA: During the first year and half or so, he made some pretty poor choices, too. It was so hard to watch him learn from the school of hard knocks, but he did.

Edited by KathyBC
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All of mine went straight to college but we have lots of friends and relatives who didn't.

 

Some went the vo-tech school route, welding and lineman certs. One nephew tried school but hated it, now working as a artist for a computer gaming company. He paints the backgrounds for games. Lots of friends have gone military. We have several friends who are doing apprenticeships with electricians. One nephew is working at Wegman's. Several friends have served their LDS missions straight from high school. One friend in WY went straight into working for the railroad--he does the run from Laramie to Rawlins. We have a friend who is working a plumbing job until he's old enough to apply to the state patrol academy. However, eventually, he will have to get a degree. We have a close Scout friend who dallied at our local uni, but now is in a different town, with his CNA, working on his LPN. Dh works with a lot of guys who never went to college, driving dump trucks and buses. Dh is a bit overqualified with a master's...  :lol:

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Only one of mine has graduated, but he has not gone to college. He worked full time first for Chick-fil-a and then for Target while living with his uncle and grandmother.  He joined the Navy just over a year ago at age 20 and loves it.

 

I'm curious about something, though.  For all those with kids who took time off, traveled around, went to Europe, etc., how did they pay for all that?  Did you continue to support your kids while they traveled and such?  I don't have money for that kind of stuff, so if either of my younger two decide not to go to college, he/she will be required to find full-time employment and start working towards supporting themselves.

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My oldest is my son. He was working as an electricians apprentice and going to community college during his last bit of high school. Then he joined the Navy. He enjoys it and it's offering him good job prospects for his training if he decides to not re enlist.

My oldest daughter is going to our local community college and working retail. She is doing her prerequisites for nursing school.

My middle daughter plans to start college ASAP she wants to teach. I'm concerned because she has big dreams of how she wants to do things- but doesn't realize between testing and politics she will have her hands tied.

My youngest is 13- not quite sure which direction she will take.

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My 3 oldest are done homeschooling and the 2 oldest (22 and 21) work at a grocery store and have since they finished.  They technically didn't graduate because they were unmotivated to do all the work and we didn't have a foreign language requirement completed so they are probably going to get their GEDs.  I try not to feel like an utter failure most days.  Our 3rd oldest (19) thought she'd just take the ACT and head off to college, but her math score--after getting straight As in Teaching Textbooks through all of high school--prevented that.  It was a pretty major blow to her.  She says she wants to be a programmer, but she doesn't spend any of her time working towards that so I have no idea. 

 

I know that our young adults will click with something at some point, but they seem so anxious and afraid to do ANYTHING that it makes me sad.  I'm trying to encourage them because they are smart and talented, just have very little motivation.  Ds does know that he wants to be an electrician or in some sort of repair/work with his hands career and my dd is SO talented in digital art that I wish I could physically compel her to get a portfolio together (LOL)...but with a GED will anyone even look at her?  *sigh*  Sorry to be a downer.

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Eldest ds attended, did not graduate from college.  He is a job coach for the developmentally disabled.  Other ds has no interest in college.  He is a lifeguard/rotating employee for the city.  

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DS is 8, so I don't have any kids that are there yet, but I have a number of people in my life who didn't go to college. 

 

Friend 1 - did 8 years in the coast guard and then joined the local electrician's union as an apprentice. He got his journeyman and masters electrician licenses and now works for himself. He enjoys the work, is good at it and makes a good living. 

 

Friend 2 - didn't go to college because his self esteem was low and he didn't think he'd be able to cut it (he would have been fine). So he laments not going when he was younger, but has always had good jobs working either in tech support or customer service for communications companies. He's worked for cell phone and cable companies and is currently in a very stable management position for the cable company in his state. 

 

Friend 3 - Firefighter and EMT

 

Brother - dropped out of college with 2 (!!!) classes to go. He started his own painting business and did ok ish. He's married now with 2 kids and is a stay at home dad. He loves being a stay at home dad and it's working out great for their family. 

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5 have finished h.s.

1 went to college ASAP.

3 bounced around at various jobs, then one went to college for a year, served a 2 year mission, more college, military for now.

One of those is now married and stays at home with a little one while spouse works.

One is working but will go to college this fall.

One has health problems that she claims stop her from moving forward. I call it no motivation, lack of confidence, fear maybe. And very stubborn.

 

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 I'm curious about something, though.  For all those with kids who took time off, traveled around, went to Europe, etc., how did they pay for all that?  Did you continue to support your kids while they traveled and such?  I don't have money for that kind of stuff, so if either of my younger two decide not to go to college, he/she will be required to find full-time employment and start working towards supporting themselves.

 

I did go to college, but I financed a summer in France at 18 by getting a job through an au pair agency. I used my high school graduation gift money to buy my plane ticket and then the stipend from the au pair job to replenish my savings account (needed it to pay for college). Room & board was part of being an au pair.

 

Just make sure that if your child does want to become an au pair that the agency is legit. My dad was so concerned it might be some sort of trafficking ring luring naive American girls that he talked to someone at the local French consulate to verify the agency was fully licensed and above-board.

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My oldest is the only one this age and she did go to college right after high school.

 

I have a sister however who started working full time in retail right after high school.  She did make enough to support herself and worker her way up a little bit, but after a few years decided she wanted to try something else.  So, she applied for a job with a financial company in their call center.  Doing that she made more than the retail job, and worked her way up to be a training manager.  She did that for several years, got married at some point.  Once she got had my nephew, she became a SAHM.  My nephew is now 10, going on 11, and my sister owns her own cake shop.  it's been open for about 8ish years now. 

 

My brother tried to go to college right after high school, but it didn't go well.  He did some satellite installation for one of those companies that contracts with Dish Network, and was able to support himself with that.  After doing that a few years, the company went under, he started working at Fed Ex as a package handler.  Met his wife there, they had a couple of kids.  While working there, he got his pilot's license (not to fly commercial planes or anything, just whatever that basic first level is.)  Then, he started back at school for a degree in aviation management and he is now working for a regional airline using his degree.  But, all together, it took him like 15 yrs to get to that point.

 

My DH did not go to college after high school either.  He went directly to the army.  After a few years in the service, he left full time military an d did reserves for over a decade, and worked full time at a prison as a guard.  He did that until after we got married, then he spent about 5 yrs working in a call center.  He actually left the prison guard position specifically to work at the call center so that he could start going to college, he was like 34 when he started college.  It took him 9 yrs to finish but now he's doing something he enjoys and he's making more than he ever believed he was able to make, more than double what he and I were making together when we both worked full time.

 

My mother never went to college, she worked full time at a bank right after high school.  She became a SAHW and SAHM once she married my dad, and did a series of mommy part time sort of jobs on and off while we were growing up...things like selling tupperware, some work at home stuff for a market research company, that sort of stuff.  Now, she co-owns the cake shop with my sister, but only actually works there very part time, mostly doing the books and filling in when there isn't another employee available.

 

I have a couple of aunts who also didn't go to college until much later after having gotten married, having kids, etc.  And my grandfather went directly to the army, was stationed in the pacific during WW2, and didn't go to college until he was in his late 30s, he was 41 when he graduated with his electrical engineering degree.  He turned 89 last month, and he STILL consults with the company he retired from years and years ago.

 

Now, on the other hand...I went to college right after high school, graduated in 4 yrs with a teaching degree, taught for a very short time, and haven't had a full time education related paying job since. 

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So it's not just me? That's a relief.

 

My youngest son I think of as my Peter Pan.  He has done some community college, gets great grades, but loathes it.  Every semester I do all the paperwork, get him registered and pay the bill.  But I am feeling done with it until/unless he makes the decision to get after it.  He is not registered for the upcoming semester.

 

Has a pt job, but not something that will grow or give him great marketable skills.  And he is good with it.  I am worn out having the "so what's the plan" conversation.  The answer is always along the line of "I like to work with my hands, fix things, not sure what, hate school, I don't know".    Says he would like to have a shop and "fix things".  What things?  He doesn't know.  And that isn't even touching on the expense and difficulties in owning a small business.

 

He is truly a lovely young man, but one of the big reasons we homeschooled was anxiety.  That is much improved, but still exists and things off schedule or out of the comfort zone bring response that shows me we are not as far from the anxiety as I would hope.  Also on spectrum, so social interactions have expanded, but are still limited by choice/comfort.

 

Soooo...now what?  I am asking him to research options.  Technical school?  Apprenticeship?  Even unpaid internships to explore new areas would be welcome.  But, as I said, he is good as is, so unless I push and push it is not going anywhere.  

 

This thread is comforting to me, and reminds me that there are many paths and he has to find his.  Just not happening in the timeline I would like.

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So it's not just me? That's a relief.

 

My youngest son I think of as my Peter Pan.  He has done some community college, gets great grades, but loathes it.  Every semester I do all the paperwork, get him registered and pay the bill.  But I am feeling done with it until/unless he makes the decision to get after it.  He is not registered for the upcoming semester.

 

Has a pt job, but not something that will grow or give him great marketable skills.  And he is good with it.  I am worn out having the "so what's the plan" conversation.  The answer is always along the line of "I like to work with my hands, fix things, not sure what, hate school, I don't know".    Says he would like to have a shop and "fix things".  What things?  He doesn't know.  And that isn't even touching on the expense and difficulties in owning a small business.

 

He is truly a lovely young man, but one of the big reasons we homeschooled was anxiety.  That is much improved, but still exists and things off schedule or out of the comfort zone bring response that shows me we are not as far from the anxiety as I would hope.  Also on spectrum, so social interactions have expanded, but are still limited by choice/comfort.

 

Soooo...now what?  I am asking him to research options.  Technical school?  Apprenticeship?  Even unpaid internships to explore new areas would be welcome.  But, as I said, he is good as is, so unless I push and push it is not going anywhere.  

 

This thread is comforting to me, and reminds me that there are many paths and he has to find his.  Just not happening in the timeline I would like.

Look into electrical/mechanical maintenance. DH also hated school, even though he's crazy smart, as a teen and although he tried College it wasn't really the right fit for him back then (he now wishes he'd at least gotten his AS).  He did some machining then fell into industrial maintenance. It required him to think and use his hands in just the right amount.  He's been doing it for years and has slowly moved up the ladder (which would have been MUCH quicker with that AS degree).  He just this year took a lateral move into Engineering.  He's a Tech Specialist which means he does the same job as the Engineers but doesn't have the title.  Thankfully his company values real life knowledge as much as education when it comes to pay.

 

As for my kids, they really don't have much of a choice about going to College.  It's so cheap here that there's no excuse to not go.  I have set it up where they will have enough credits to graduate a year early if they want to take some time off or they can be "5th year" year seniors and do work-study, travel, etc. but the scholarships here won't let you take too much time off (DD may take 1/2 of Senior year to travel with me or her sister or do an apprenticeship type thing to see where her interests lie).

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Will pass on the electrial/mechanical maintenance idea!  Thank you : )

Small engine repair can be an amazing income in the right place. If you live where there are snow blowers, snow mobiles, atv's, chainsaws, a good person can do super well.

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I did go to college and got my Bachelor's degree right away after high school, as did DH, but I thought I'd chime in with what we did post-college because a lot of it could be done straight out of high school.

 

After college, we got married. I, despite having a degree in history rather than early childhood education or the like, got a job as a full time nanny to support us. (It probably did help that I had a college degree and also that I had some daycare experience in college, but it wasn't necessarily crucial.)

 

While I was supporting us as a nanny, DH was going to school for historic restoration and preservation. Not a Master's, exactly, and a college degree wasn't necessary, but it was a very useful program for his career. (His college degree is related but not crucial.). Nothing wrong with going to a trade school instead of college!

 

After he was done with school, we moved so that he could start his career. I got a job as a real estate agent's assistant and got my real estate license. No college degree needed there!

Edited by happypamama

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If your children finished high school, but didn't go to college...what did they do instead?  

 

All answers welcome.

 

My daughter hasn't finished high school yet, but I am pretty sure she won't be going to college (or what we call university in Canada) after high school; which is fine with me.  She will have a decent uni-prep education when she's done, and she's very smart; but she is just not interested at this point in going to university.  She has also had a very rough two years (all of 2015 and 2016) personally, and she just wants to finish her required high school work (we are trying to plan for her to finish early, since she's an October baby and she's antsy to be done), start working, travel a bit and maybe go stay with my sister down south for a few months, see a bit of the world and have some new experiences.  She's very artistic and sociable. 

 

So I had a look around at our community college system (different from CC in the States), and found a few one-and two-year programs I thought she might like, that would train her to do some jobs that would pay her more than minimum wage and would probably help her find a job easily.  She can live at home with us for free while she does a program. So right now her plan is to do a one-year program to be trained as a Continuing Care Assistant (I guess it would be like what nurses aids used to do?).  There are tons of CCA jobs advertised around here, and they pay about 1.5 to 2 times as much as minimum wage.  She's not terribly excited about it, but she realizes that the pay is good, that she'd be around people all the time, and that it's hands-on which she loves.  She also sees that if she can work at something like that, she'll also have time and money to do some of the traveling she wants to do.  Maybe take some art courses or radio/television courses for fun.  And she knows she doesn't have to make a career out of it forever - it's something right now that she can do for a few years until she figures out something else she might want to do.  Or, she can keep on doing it for a long time if she wants.  She even said the other day she knows it's a base for possibly becoming an LPN or an RN someday, which surprised me (because RN's here need a BScN).  Who knows?  We're just thankful that she is alive right now and that she has some plans and hope for her future.  I'm not bothered at all that she's not interested in university, as long as she's alive, happy, engaged in something, and working towards supporting herself (which she is very motivated to do).

 

Our oldest went to college for 2 years but realized she didn't really know what she wanted to do with it, so she left school, got married, and got a good job. Her husband had severe health issues so she wouldn't have been able to continue anyway because she was devoted entirely to his care. Now that he has passed, she has taken some time to heal up herself and she knows what she wants to do and is positioning herself to jump back in. So proud of her!

 

Oh my...I am so sorry to hear about her husband!  I remember you talking about when they got married!!

 

Edited by Colleen in NS
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Oldest started degree and trade classes for a/c tech. He does construction and roofing. Middle DS is a manager for a local bbq place the owner pays well and gives very good bonus' and benefits. Ds has a love/hate relationship with the industry. On one hand he sees managers supporting families and working at bbq place is their life and DS does not see this for himself. Then there are days he'd like to run his own store or manage another part of the company. Until he decides he attends college and is working on his college degree.

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Oh my...I am so sorry to hear about her husband!  I remember you talking about when they got married!!

 

 

Thank you. Yes, I was super worried when she wanted to get married so young and she stopped going to college, but looking back....SO thankful that he was part of our family for 2 years. It was a really special season of life.

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I can think of several alternatives to college:

 

Fire/Police Academy

Peace Corps/AmeriCorps

Military Enlistment

Vo-Tech Certification

Apprenticeship Program

Teach English in Foreign Country

I think the point, if I am not mistaken, was that her daughter is not physically able to do full time school right now, so most of these would also be off the table.  

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Our oldest went to college for 2 years but realized she didn't really know what she wanted to do with it, so she left school, got married, and got a good job. Her husband had severe health issues so she wouldn't have been able to continue anyway because she was devoted entirely to his care. Now that he has passed, she has taken some time to heal up herself and she knows what she wants to do and is positioning herself to jump back in. So proud of her!

 

All that to say...college is not for everyone--and that was something I was reluctant to recognize. But it's just not. Also, not everyone knows exactly what they want to do the moment they leave high school. I sure didn't, and I wasted time and money trying to figure it out while staying in college. I'm really learning to be flexible in my thinking on this, because I definitely wasn't before.

 

 

I remember when he passed away.  How is she doing now?

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Thank you. Yes, I was super worried when she wanted to get married so young and she stopped going to college, but looking back....SO thankful that he was part of our family for 2 years. It was a really special season of life.

 

If it helps any, what I remember is how excited you were about her wedding!  :)

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I thanked you furthur up for starting this thread, but will comment now :)

 

We aren't there yet, my oldest plans that head straight to college, but my next one won't. She has very severe LDs & won't be graduating with a diploma/ comparable to public school degree/ nor get a GED. Some community college classes may happen at some point, but probably not a degree.

 

Her current plans (at only 14, so I'm sure they'll change, but thought I'd mention them here as examples) are to: keep volunteering at Childrens room in library, hoping it will turn into part time work (low pay, but she'd love it), teach classes part time at her dance studio, & maybe work in childcare. While living at home. (Forever?????).

 

Oh, & she'd be a full time summer camp counselor if only summer was year round ;)

 

She's going to do our local vo tech program for childcare or cosmetology (she does like makeup & hair and does them for theater too), plus, cosmetology is a " real" job ( according to her).

 

I'd like her to be able to get a nurse's aide certificate (pays better than childcare!), but here you need a high school diploma for it, which she won't have.

 

Other local kids we know who haven't gone on to college are mostly doing farm work or construction, or small engine repair/ lawn places.

Edited by Hilltopmom

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I think the point, if I am not mistaken, was that her daughter is not physically able to do full time school right now, so most of these would also be off the table.

Yeah, I saw her other thread AFTER I already posted this, but I decided to just let it stand in case anyone else was reading the thread and looking for ideas. I do realize these ideas aren't very helpful in the OP's exact situation though. :/

Edited by Kinsa

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DS21 just squeaked out of the public high school by the skin of his teeth in 2014. He started working part time at the local supermarket during his senior year and has been steadily getting more hours ever since. He now works full days, 4 to 5 days a week. He picks up any extra shifts he can get and occasionally talks about getting a second job. He's saving for a car and is talking about getting his own place (though he can't really afford it yet).

 

FWIW, this is a local supermarket chain, owned by a local family, and it is an institution around these parts. Many people work for the company their entire lives, and are rewarded with profit-sharing bonuses and are treated like family. 

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I have friend whose DS started working at Wegmans. He graduated 2012. He's been full-time for a few years and has been through their meat cutter (butcher?) training program. He continues to take whatever training they offer. It appears he's been picked out as an employee to move up their system. He was chosen to help open a store last year.

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I remember when he passed away.  How is she doing now?

 

The first year was so, so hard. The second year a little easier. She has a really good job and now wants to go back to school, but the degree she wants isn't anywhere close to home. But she is resilient and compassionate, and probably years ahead of her time. Thanks for asking!

 

 

If it helps any, what I remember is how excited you were about her wedding!  :)

 

LOL, thanks! I remember excitement, but I also remember a lot of concern about her being so young. Now I'm just thankful for a richer life even if things didn't turn out the way we would've wished.

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