Wednesday, 30 August 2017

#52Stories, Week 25, Describe your family legacy regarding education. Do you come from a long line of scholars ? Were you the first to earn a degree ? Are you forging a new legacy with your own children ?

Be the best that you can be.

I would say that was an underlying motto in the family. Dad had a degree in Engineering, Mum studied while we were at college to become a teacher – she had studied nursing when she left school.

There wasn’t any pressure to go and get a qualification or go to university. If that was what we chose - well and good, if not – no matter. In the 70’s you didn’t need a qualification or a degree for the majority of jobs. If you did many workplaces trained you as you worked – apprenticeships and the like. If you weren’t interested in a trade, or nursing, or teaching, or doctoring and dentistry – you just looked for a job doing something you could “just do”.

To work in the bank or insurance you just needed to show an aptitude and demonstrate a good work ethic, not like now when it seems you almost need at least a BA to look at the positions vacant. If you had studied shorthand or typing that would assist you into an office role in most cases, and accounting might have helped you into a junior role in an accounting firm.

I took languages at college – Latin and French. They didn’t really get me anywhere. I had thought when I was 13 and had to choose course options that maybe I might do Law – and that Latin might be handy. But plans change. To be truthful I have never known what I want to do when I grow up !

Teaching ? Nursing ? Almost I did Home Science to become a dietician – how much different would life be now ?

But no – no formal qualifications – and I have done okay. Sometimes I think what if ? But what if might have changed my whole path and there are definitely some things I wouldn’t want to change. So.

I’ve been a bit the same as a parent – it takes time to work out the path you want to take in life. The pressures are different and today’s youth a made to feel they need a degree to do the most menial jobs, and that if they aren’t academically amazing, then they are at the bottom of the pile. Who are we then - parents with no qualifications – to lecture our children that that must have this degree or that ? To encourage them to embrace lifelong debt in their early 20’s and beyond.

So far it has worked for me. For myself and as a parent - I think.

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