Saturday, August 04, 2007

Maybe I Need a Mentor

Really, I'm starting to get a little...oh I can't think of a word that applies exactly. Maybe flummoxed? Discombobulated? Anxious? Grouchy? At one time or another all apply to how I'm feeling about getting the kids ready for college. I simply don't know what to DO! What's the first step? How does one even choose a college to look at? A major? Even a course of study?

Jordan is getting frustrated because it seems his friends (at least the ones who have similar goals to his) are starting to zero-in on at least a general area of study. "Something to do with physics" one says. Or from another "I'd like to work with computers". Poor Jordan feels scattered and lacking focus and frankly, I'm sure it's MY fault. I haven't given him enough experiences to choose from and THAT'S why I need a mentor because I can't give him experiences that I don't even know exist!

One friend's just come back from a 6 week trip to Mexico. It was a special program provided by a local college that he was able to find out about, apply to and was accepted for. I, hick-at-heart that I am, didn't even know that such things existed OR how to go about finding more of the same.

Another has had a job for the last year working with computers...writing programs, grading websites, building simple video games, etc. A perfect fit for him and a great launching point.

But my son, for instance, is interested in public speaking and law. HOW and WHERE do I find experiences for him in this area? Where do I even start? He's also interested in history and music. But neither of these seem to appeal to him as a career choice although they might if I could conceive of how they'd be used in the "real world". I wish there was a BIG list of careers and we could go down and check ones that sounded good to him and then begin looking for local folks who actually did that sort of thing to ask them questions about their work. THAT would be helpful, but does such a list exist? I have no idea!

Yes, I think I might need a mentor...a homeschool mom who has gone before and can be our guidance counselor. But who has the time or inclination? I'm back to square one because I have no idea how to FIND someone like that! "Excuse me. But would you like to be at my beck-and-call prepared to sacrifice time with your family in order to invest in mine?" Uh...I just don't see it happening.

Oh, I have several internet friends I can ask this and that to (and frankly, I'd be completely lost without them rather than just mostly lost!), but I need someone local who is familiar with the programs and opportunities here. *sigh* We have a large homeschool group in my state, but it seems most of them either drop away in high school OR their greatest ambition is to bake the perfect bread or, in the case of the young men, have only ONE area of interest, most of which are in no way a fit for my son (computers, medicine, etc). We just don't seem to fit.

And I envision a similar problem coming up for my daughter. She's such a free creative and artsy. Most of the homeschoolers around here do not look favorably upon a female like her. She's too bold and vivacious for their tastes. I can envision her being an author or a theatre major. If it was the year 1965 I'd see her wearing fringe and beads and singing "all we need is love" while painting her walls with rainbows and tie dying her t-shirts!

She is a musician as well, but, while she enjoys the music she plays, the people she plays with tend to be very stuffy and uptight. I might even call them "snooty" if I couldn't think of a better word, which I cannot. They wouldn't even consider listening to Superchick or Skillet when there was Vivladi to consider.

It seems I find out about opportunities AFTER they've passed us by. I'm completely out of the fact...I don't even know if a loop exists! How do others seem to know about this stuff, but I do not? I'm always late, it seems.

Back on my knees. It's really all I can see to do right now. :)


Gumbo Lily said...


I do hope you find that mentor, but if not, staying on your knees is best. One thing I have learned is that my child's future does not wholly depend upon me. I can only give him/her *this* much, but God can give ****THIS**** much and more, even in the poverty of my knowledge and skill.

Here is something to consider. There are so many kids (probably the majority) that begin college without a clue about what their major might be. But to begin is good. Once started, your child will likely find areas that he is interested in as he goes about his general studies, and as the year or two goes by, he may easily begin to see what it is he wants.


ohiofarmgirl said...

Okay Michele, take a breath here and clam down. I know you are nervous..been there done that.... does your state have post secondary education? That is how I started my daughter into the world of the college student...I had her take a class that I knew she would enjoy....and let her have some success before she jumped right in.
Also, do you have a local HS group that you are connected with...does your library post some of the opportunities that you are talking about? Call the nearest college and get on their mailing list! Just a few ideas that I can think are doing will all work out for the'll see! Dianntha

BessieJoy said...

Aw....Michele! I hope you're feeling better. The Lord will lead you as you stay on your knees...I just KNOW He will! My heart feels for you!