If you have a teen that’s on the fence about what to do after graduating high school, encouraging her to continue her education can be tricky. And if you don’t have college experience yourself, it can be hard to give your kid guidance.
You may not know what to say or do; meanwhile you probably do know that getting a degree can open so many doors for her. It can be life changing! The most important thing is continuing to expose your child to the concept of higher education through conversations, campus tours, and input from people working in the field she’s interested in getting into. Here are 4 ways to encourage your child to go to college.
1. Give your teen a personality test. There are several out there, but the Myers-Briggs test offers an in-depth look at what brings your child fulfillment. Understanding our personality types helps us to understand what roles we would be best in, and what other personality types we would work best with. Guidance counselors, college advisors, and therapists all have access to the tests that come at a cost, and would be better at administering the tests because they can go over the results with your teen afterward. From there, they can discuss possible majors and careers.
2. Talk to industry professionals. If your teen shows interest in a particular field, especially after taking that personality test, get in touch with industry professionals for the inside scoop. It’s simple to get connected these days thanks to LinkedIn. Ask if the person has advice for your child and if they’d be willing to meet up for a chat. Request a behind-the-scenes tour, so your son or daughter can get a realistic look at what the day-to-day tasks of the job involve. It’s best if your teen can show initiative and do the bulk of this legwork, but you may need to jumpstart the process to show him or her how easy (and beneficial) it is.
3. Start touring campuses. Regardless of what he wants to study, take your teen to check out college campuses. Show him that they’re all different and don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach. See the differences between a community college campus, a state university campus, and a small private college campus. One of them is bound to get a good response. While you’re at it, talk to administration about getting a tour of the dorms if the school has them. Sometimes the idea of dorm life alone is enough to inspire a teen to go to school!
4. Enlist help from potential mentors. Most parents understand it takes a village, especially when it comes to influencing our teens! Talk to aunts, uncles, godparents, coaches, teachers, pastors and family friends who all know your child and also want to see her succeed. Because everyone’s style is different, you never know which is going to be the one to get through to your teen. It’s important to ask for support from people your child actually looks up to.
Hopefully, these four ways would have your child looking at college in their prospective future.