"Broadening your Horizons"

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
"Broadening your Horizons"
234
Fri, 04-04-2003 - 8:41pm
Okay, I've been scanning through the posts below, and this is something that has grabbed my attention. There are those here who seem to believe that you can only broaden your horizons by going to college or joining the peace corps or military. It also seems that doing so as a young person (directly out of high school) is preferable.

So, I'm curious about how people feel these things actually "broadened their horizons", and how that has benefited them in their lives so far. I'm also curious how you feel this has benefited you more so than someone who might have opted out of college/military/peace corps.

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

Pages

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 9:58am
I agree, to a degree.

When I went to college, also at 17, I moved five hours away and went from an urban enviroment to a rural environment. I went to a private school with 80 students to a university with 16,000. I also met people from all walks of life. I learned from and studied with brilliant people. While it wasn't the only thing I did, I devoted 4 years to intense study, most of which was fascinating and a joy.

I also had a lot of friends who had a different experience. They went to a college less than an hour away. While they lived in a dorm they came home on weekends. A large group went to this school and they stuck together. For them, socially, college was four more years of high school. These were smart kids who were bored and turned off in high school. In college they continued to do the minimum work possible. I don't think their horizons changed a bit.

Like anything else, it's what you make of it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 10:20am
Oh, I definitely see your point. When somebody refers to going to college, that can mean any number of things. Most of the kids I graduated from HS with went to the local college and lived at home. In the 4 years following HS, they earned a degree, just same as I did, but I don't think we had the same experiences. There were also kids at my college who never left campus, except to go home every weekend, and they didn't have the same experience as I did, either. I can only speak for myself: I know that my horizons were broadened by going away to college after HS.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 12:09pm
Did you accidently post your response under the wrong post? I've gone back and read CLW's post twice, and I don't see anything either sad or pitiful about it. I'd just be interested to know which post you thought was sad and pitiful.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 5:41pm
So far it is working for us, from when they were little our DDs have been hearing "when you go to college", DD1 is a sophomore at college, DD2 will start next year and DD3 (13) seems to be college bound.

But I don't think that it is a matter of not letting them think that there are no other options but rather showing them that college is the best option. DH and I both come from a blue collar backgoround so our kids know that there are other options, but they also know that a college degree helps open up the options.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 7:13pm
No offense, but I don't think that sort of parenting would suit me at all. It sounds very proprietary.

"IMO, it's a matter of not opening the door to letting the kids think there is any other option."

What if university isn't right for them? What if there's something else they really really want to do? What sort of obstacle will I be putting in their way? How much guilt are they going to feel? I figure life's hard enough for kids figuring out what to do without me adding pressure like that. I also don't feel like I should be planning to have that kind of control over an adult. My own goals as a parent is to provide choices, and enough faith and self knowledge as my kids will need to follow their true vocation in life, even if those choices don't meet with my approval.

pax

Jane

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 8:33pm
I think it's both sad and pitiful that CLW's only means to a fulfilled life is to do everything. Frankly I can't think of a better definition of hell than to do everything.

Fulfillment comes from within; not outside yourself. If you can't be fulfilled if you haven't done everything, you can't be fulfilled. Period.

that's sad.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 12:29pm
Oh spare me. So you are perfectly fullfilled. Good, you're great at lying to yourself then.

Doing as much as you can and accepting what can't be changed is one thing.

Pretending that you could not have done more - more in whatever way you choose to define it - with your life, than you were actually able to do given your own circumstances and choices, is denial.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 11:04pm
Who cares if we "could have done more"? I could have had more children, and would have LOVED that!!! But it wasn't in the cards. Doesn't make my life any less fulfilling! Just different is all.

Further, I could have gone to college, stayed in the military, continued working (yes, with no degree) making $45-48K a year, or whatever else. But I didn't. I chose the path in life that most fulfilled me.

This morning I sat down and wrote a letter to my sister b/c I was terrified of surgery today, and what they may find, etc. One of the things I mentioned in the letter was for my sister to make SURE everyone (my kids, grandparents and husband) knew that my life has made me sooo happy, and I could NEVER have asked for more in it or from it. Being a SAHM has fulfilled me more than my career did, more than college would have (or possibly will in the future), or that the military could EVER have offered. That is ME. Being a mommy and wife and driving a mini-van is fullfilling to me. Sure...I could have taken a different path, and chosen something else, but I didn't, and that has been very fulfilling for me!

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 04-09-2003 - 6:59am
Narrowing options or fulfilling a dream? It's a matter of opinion. It depends what you want out of life "right now".

For what it's worth, I had all of the experiences you had at the university before I went to HS. I lived in the city, so there was a good mix of people from all over the world. There were a few kids who were born outside the U.S. in elementary school, but there were a lot more in JH and HS. I realize that not everyone grows up in a culturally mixed area. I'm just pointing out that not everyone needs to go to college to meet Jewish people? Heck, a lot of them are Jews. ;-) How many of the students come from immigrant families with 2 faiths? They certainly don't need to university to experience diversity.

And you can get a job anywhere and meet people of different faiths and from other countries. If you're from white-bread, middle class America and really want to be exposed to people who are different from yourself, get a job in a large factory. You will definitely be the minority there. :-)

IF you decide to be a sah right out of HS, go to story hour at the library. You'll meet the people who were in university a few short years ago.

Not going to college isn't the oposite of broadening your horizons. Sitting in your little community and never leaving it is.

I find it kinda funny that someone who I think must be sorta close to my age would describe meeting and going to class with a Jewish person as "broadening" experience. That is just so foreign to me. You really didn't know any Jewish people before college? Never met anyone who spoke English with a foreign accent?

I see the college *education* as broadening, assuming it's a good university or college. We all know that a lot of kids graduate as narrow-minded as when they went in, only they've adopted the opposite stance. :-)

Why do you consider choosing to have children limiting? I've never felt that my son limited me. He was a free choice that I feel *incredibly* lucky to have been able to make. I didn't have him right out of HS - I did go to university didn't graduate) - but if I had had my druthers, I would have had him a few years earier than I did. I had him at 25, but don't feel that waiting til then made a huge difference in my life. I would have been just as happy to have had him earlier. In fact, I was just doing other things until I could do what I really wanted to do - have DS. His birth was definitely not limiting. It was a dream fulfilled.

Do you consider your choice limiting because you couldn't have your children while you were in school? Why would anyone who chose to have children consider it limiting, then, if it's what they wanted?

Besides, you can do both. I went to school before ds was born. I lived away from home - another state, and I went to school and commuted. I really can't say that living on campus was anything special.

Joan

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-09-2003 - 7:23am
Once again, I can only speak for myself. :) I grew up in a tiny town in Appalachia which is overwhelmingly white, Protestant and blue collar. In my elementary school, I don't remember anyone who wasn't white and Christian. By the time I got into HS, there were a couple of black kids and a couple of Jewish kids. My youngest brother had a friend whose family was from India. There was a Korean woman in our neighborhood, whose husband was white. Sorry, but that was it for ethnic diversity in that town. Since I had no voice in where my family lived, I did not have the option of living in the city. No, everybody doesn't have to go to college to experience diversity. But I did.

I'm 35, BTW. I've experienced plenty of diversity in the time since I was 17.

Pages