I have written many many posts about Michelle’s quest to choose a college major. If you’ve been following along you will have heard that she’s considered everything from Graphic Design to Botany to Religion and is back to Graphic Design. You also won’t be surprised that she’s waffling on that again right now.
This indecision seems normal to me. She’s young. She has a lot of living still to do. And she still some growing up to do. All I can say is thank goodness she’s had the freedom and the support to explore any area that caught her interest and thank goodness she still has the freedom and the support to do this. Kids all over the country are a lot less lucky than she has been. Kids all over the country are being forced to declare a major in 9th grade.
A 14 year old choosing a major based on her limited life experiences? A 14 year old choosing a major based on her parents’ ideas about what she should be when she grows up? A 14 year old choosing a major based on what she THINKS she likes today but probably won’t like four years from now because she’s a KID and kids ideas change. That’s why they don’t vote when they’re 14. That’s why they don’t drive when they’re 14. That’s why we don’t kick them out of the nest when they’re 14.
I’m completely in favor of encouraging the kids who DO know what they want to spend the rest of their lives doing. I’m completely in favor of offering a wide range of educational opportunities for kids to choose from and then allowing them to narrow their focus if that’s what they really want to do. But forcing them to choose? What happens when they change their minds?
How will these kids jump from being English majors to being Computer majors? Will they be allowed to opt out of the Art track and into the Health Science track? What will their specialized diplomas look like if they are allowed to jump tracks? And how will those specialized diplomas effect their ability to change tracks once they get to college?
I’m not amused by any of this.