“What do you want to be when you grow up?” That classic question is asked to every child multiple times throughout their lives. Whether the answer is an artist, doctor, or a chef, the responses are rarely taken seriously. That is, until around the age of 17, when suddenly children start being treated like adults and need to prepare themselves for the future in a matter of months. Why is our generation so ill prepared for college and adult life, and is there a solution?
Throughout all of elementary and the majority of high school, the future is rarely spoken about in a realistic context. Perhaps an oral presentation on the student’s dream job and maybe some vague information on how college works and that is the farthest extent that most teachers will go to to prepare their pupils. Once secondary 5 rolls around though, young adults are expected to make an incredibly huge decision on what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Even
at that point, school administration doesn’t do an impressive job at providing guidance for this extremely nervous population. Next to no information is given about r-score, very little facts are told about how the credit system works, and barely anything is relayed about alternative routes for many students who don’t see CEGEP in their future. How can we be expected to make this impressive leap when we have no clue what lies beneath us?
As each week passes, students are dropping out of college like the leaves falling from the trees. An alarming percentage of the young adult population drops out of CEGEP before completing their first semester. This is caused by multiple variables. Many students panic when they come to terms with the workload or see their grades drop. Others realize too late they do not like the school or program they enrolled in. To some, the shock of not being looked after like they were in high school is simply too much. Whatever the reason, there needs to be a solution to fix this epidemic of dropouts.
A large majority of my peers feel like high school, and society in general, does not prepare graduates for college life. High school’s controlled environment where the teachers keep tabs on all the students and go out of their way to let students pass, even if they don’t deserve it, hinders the students more than it helps them. Having this false idea that everyone is a winner is extremely toxic because it is a horrible slap in the face when you go into college and get smacked with a failed assignment because the professor did not remind you to hand it in.
Students are also faced with the horrible reality of not being able to make the right decision as to what program is right for their future. Doing a quiz online to determine what kind of person you are a week before you have to submit your college applications is not a good plan. Students need to be finding what path they want to take from a much younger age so they are prepared when the time comes to make this significant choice.
While this issue is not likely to be solved overnight, it certainly needs to be brought to light for the administration. Expecting teenagers to become adults over the span of one summer is unrealistic and there needs to be discussion on how to fix this.
Image Source: Flickr
Originally Published in Bandersnatch Vol. 47 Issue 3 on October 12, 2017