A first great Call to Action Meeting in Georgetown last night with 25 concerned community adults opened conversation on the topic of pressure. Pressure youth feel, whether internally or externally to succeed; to do well; to never fail; to get to Harvard. All expectations, whether real or perceived create a narrative youth feel they must live up to. What are we doing as adults youth look up to to bring reality to these perceptions?
Are all students going to go to Harvard? No
Are all students going to go to college? No
Are there many different life paths that can lead to a successful, fulfilling, happy life? YES
If we know the answer to be YES, why are we afraid to have that conversation with the youth in our lives? How might we be impacting them by not discussing alternative options to college? What about technical schooling, a year off, a community college, an internship to leads to a job? All of these can lead to success if the youth is interested and engaged. We don’t make all students try out for the basketball team or be in the school band because we know youth have different interests and strengths. Why then are we trying to fit all students down one path to college?
This TIME article dives into this important topic and offers some enlightening ideas and perspectives. A must read.