We don’t need to belabor the point that this generation of teens is tired, depressed, and burnt out. You already know that. If you’re a teenager, you may be experiencing it yourself. And if you’re a parent, you’ve probably watched your teen struggle, adjust, then perhaps struggle some more as they’ve grappled with the turmoil of the past 18 months.
In addition to the usual stress of high school and a highly competitive academic landscape, teens have endured the uncertainty and inconsistency of COVID and its aftermath. In a recent Pew Research Survey of thirteen to seventeen-year-olds across the country, seventy percent of those surveyed cited anxiety and depression as a major concern. In fact, that measure placed the highest, above any other concern, including bullying, drug abuse, and teen pregnancy.
Nevertheless, time trudges on and teens still are confronted with that nagging, intimidating question, “What are you doing after high school?” And if they don’t have a plan, or theirs doesn’t fit the norm? Well, it can be all the more daunting to transition into the next life stage.
Now more than ever it’s important for parents and teens’ to openly communicate about desires to pursue alternate routes to a traditional four-year college. As parents ourselves and educational consultants who have worked a combined thirty years with teens and tweens, we urge parents to be flexible and open-minded when it comes to the post-secondary school plans for their teens. Four-year college is not for everyone, and attending certainly does not have to follow high school directly.
We have outlined some of the most popular alternative choices below, but we encourage you to be open to whatever your teen presents to you and also to help navigate this new path alongside them (if that’s what they want.) Continue Reading at College Confidential.
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