17-Year-Old Wants to Skip College


College is not for everyone, but it definitely has its advantages. How can you graciously explain both sides of this to a child who just doesn't want to go?

Q: Our 17-year-old son doesn't want to go to college because he hates school, says nothing interests him, and that going would be a waste of our money. He plans to get a job instead. How should we handle this if he still hasn't changed his mind by the time he graduates from high school?

In the first place, college is not for everyone. Secondly, most community colleges have plenty of older folks who didn't go to college but have belatedly realized that a college degree is the ticket to a better life.

At this point, you might suggest to your son that he look into career opportunities through the military, but it's probably fruitless to try to change his mind. However, I would tell your son that you intended to support him through college until he was employed, but since he's skipping college, he will need to get a job and then begin supporting himself. If anything is going to open his eyes to the advantages of continuing his education, emancipation will.

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