Expensive class of 2020 – Redeemed reader

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Whatever your plans for this spring were, they were probably messed up to a great extent. Maybe your summer plans too. Homeschoolers don't necessarily attend the big events of the past year, like school trips and proms, but it is difficult if the job as camp counselor is canceled or the summer internship is interrupted. And what about college? Will there even be a freshman class this fall?

When plans are turned upside down, hearts are sad. This is not very profound, but everyone knows the sting of disappointment. However, a unique feature of the current crisis is that it affects the whole world to a certain extent. In the United States, some go through their meager savings like a fast freight, some visit grocery banks for the first time, others see their business hit the ground when it appears to be developing. And some mourn the loss of a loved one who has succumbed to the disease. Although the horrific number of COVID19 is not minimized, both in terms of lost lives and loss of income, there are chances if you train your eyes to see them.

The four-year traditional college track was questionable for a long time. Tuition fees increased year by year (ten times the rate of inflation) and total student debt over a trillion dollars. While it may still be true that a college degree (usually) provides a higher lifetime income, 40% or more of the college enrollment students never finish, but still owe the money. Half a college degree doesn't do anything.

I hope the Americans are beginning to understand that college is not for everyone and was never meant for everyone. At best, it cannot meet the needs of students whose intelligence is not academic-oriented, and at worst, it's an overpriced indoctrination machine. Some of this year's senior graduates would be better off entering the craft both financially and in terms of personal satisfaction. Mike Rowe, the guy with the "dirty jobs", has much to say.

Others, such as a hospital technician or a paralegal, may be trained on a short-term basis for a certified service job. The advantage is a relatively small investment in time and money with a quick payback. (Even if you better research in advance to know where the openings are.)

However, a service job or business does not mean that you are stuck there. In my daughter's homeschool class was a young man who trained as a paramedic for a year after graduation, worked on ambulance trips for two years, and built a successful photo business with the money he earned. Now he is a respected videographer who undertakes projects around the world. (And if he ever works with someone who has a heart attack or is in shock, he knows exactly what to do.)

This little story opens what I really want to talk about: entrepreneurship.

Good workers solve problems. Entrepreneurs find problems to be solved.

That word doesn't necessarily mean starting your own business and making a lot of money – although this could happen. Entrepreneurship can be practiced within a profession or an existing job. It's more of a mindset, a way of navigating through the world of work.

Good workers solve problems. Entrepreneurs find problems to be solved.

A problem that I see in young people, at least as reported in the news and in the cultural commentary, is a waning sense of freedom of choice or the ability to influence one's own circumstances. It may just be that the news media want to play addiction and victimization, or that constant demands on a teenager's attention, especially on the small device that seems to be stuck to her hand, destroy personal initiative. Or it may be that a steady stream of bad news falling from the sky creates a pessimistic, hopeless state of mind. If so, it is a crime.

Everyone has a certain degree of freedom of choice. Everyone has the ability given by God to act in the world. This is how we are created. Some can do more than others due to natural talents or greater resources. But even a foster child in Juvvie has the ability to make something positive out of his life and the world around him. The Network for the mediation of entrepreneurship (NFTE), a non-profit organization based in New York City, has taught its program to young people in prison, some of whom have already started successful small businesses behind bars.

Entrepreneurship is not a particular path to wealth. It is a mindset. No matter how bleak the employment situation looks, there is always a problem that you can solve. No matter how bad the situation, you can always do something about it.

If you don't know what to do with your life, start with it.

If your college plans for fall are derailed, this is an excellent time to take a year off. I'm a fan of gap years anyway – an opportunity to take responsibility for myself by working, volunteering or traveling, or all three. If you don't know what to do with your life, start with it. What problems do you see? What skills do you have to offer? What tendencies can you develop towards skills?

You have time to find out, but now is the time to find out. Come on, class 2020!

Also with Redeemed Reader:

  • Don't miss our interview with Gene Edward Veith about work and calling.
  • in the Call all thoughtsTemple Grandin encourages children to take the initiative by exploring their individual creativity brands.
  • Growing up 101 is a friendly, assignable guide for young people who are starting to take responsibility for themselves. See our rating.

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