Should I Tell My Kids NOT to Go to College?

Whoa! How is that for question to get some attention? I guess you do have to realize that my daughters are five and two, so I have a lot of time to really explore that question.

As I have be developing Project:IDWIL and having to deal with finding a new job, I have had plenty of time to think about what I can offer the world as far as "work and contribution." One thing I have noticed is that an individual who is TRULY confident can apply his or her skills in a meaningful and lucrative way. But the trick there is that you can't fake that confidence.  And obviously, the confidence without skills and the ability to apply those skills isn't enough either. Something I noted in a different article I wrote was that with the recession and our continual population growth, the educational system doesn't quite work these days – as students come out of primary and secondary educational institutions, they are "dumped" into a workforce that just doesn't have room for them. No matter how great their skill set or knowledge base may be, they are having to compete with older folks with more experience. I am no expert in this field, but it is an observation that I don't think many would argue with. Project:IDWIL may not be able to solve this problem, but this does give me a chance to talk about a bigger vision of "what could be" from the Project:IDWIL point of view:

The environment in which Project:IDWIL would be most at home is one in which our communities and cultures are created by the skills and services that it’s individuals contribute. This is in contrast to the culture we live in today that has pre-designated “needs” in which individuals are shaped and train to perform.
— Jake Simon, creator of Project:IDWIL

That's right, I just quoted myself. I am a little embarrassed, but I guess it is one of the advantages you have when you are the one who owns the blog.

Now I realize that it is a bit "head in the clouds" to think this way, but you have to have some sort of vision of where you would like to go before you can go there – plus, why not make that vision a cool one where everybody is happy? Someone might easily pose the question, "Well if everyone is doing what they wanted to, then there won't be anyone around to do the stuff that no one wants to do, right?" I guess that my short and quick answer would be something along the lines of "I don't particularly LIKE taking out the trash, or cleaning out the disgusting stuff from the shower drain, or unclogging a toilet, but because I love my house and my family, these things get done – for the benefit of my community (i.e. family)." So, my position is that if you build and participate in a community in which you love to be in, you do whatever the community needs, not just what you're good at.

Okay, so that his big picture stuff. Getting back to the original question, I have to say that I don't know that college is the only and perfect way to go, especially since I don't know what things will be like once my daughters are of that age. To prepare for that question, I hope to leverage the Project:IDWIL philosophy, and help them develop into individual artists/professionals/lovers-of-life. By doing this, my hope is that they will have built themselves into unique individual experts that could provide whatever field might need them talents that could not be found anywhere else.

header image attribution to flickr creative commons: UniversityBlogSpot