It seems as though we put so much importance on how our students do on the ACT, what their GPA is, what sport they play on Varsity, and where our students go to college. I remember myself at 17. Was I defined at 17? Did I even know who I was or where I was going?
We choose schools and plan a future for our children, but they are still forming as individuals and too much importance on who they are at 13, at 15, at 17, and even at 19 may mean they are boxed into a plan that may lead to years of confusion and an inner struggle for identity.
Back to me…I went to the local university, had too much of life going on, and I ended up with an abysmal GPA. While I was failing classes, I learned a little about who I really was and what my interests and goals were…and were not. I went on to Northwestern graduate school and am now at the U of I at Champaign doctoral program.
Nothing in my past could have predicted where I am now. I know we do so much for our students and our children hoping to plan a great future. I think research would show that enough students surprise us so that we simply do not have the data to support writing plans in stone for them.
Breathe, and let life take its course. If you have been nurturing, and you have been listening, and you have been sharing yourself with your child and your student, the decisions they make will be their own, but a part of you will be revealed in their strong and sure steps forward.