The next option to consider in our College Decision discussions is the Junior College. We happen to have a sufficiently sized one in our area, so there are a wide variety of classes that are offered there. This would obviously entail living at home and commuting. As someone commented on the last post, why not go to JC and work, then go to a four year school? This is definitely an option we are considering.
The pros are, first and foremost, the lower cost per class. Obviously no room and board issues, either, but there would be minimal commuting costs. This option would allow her to, hopefully, find a job (a tough thing to find around here) and work part time while taking classes. This is an especially realistic option if she can't decide what she wants to study. No sense spending a lot of money to figure it out. Go to the JC for two years to take the basics and try to figure out what she wants to definitely major in before going on to the four year school.
The cons are mainly the social ones: living at home, no real campus life experience, etc. Also, she's taken one class there already and the book was just awful. We've heard stories about the kind of events that are promoted there as well as about some of the other teachers and classes. I guess it just irritates me that we have to pay money to get fed junk!
The fourth option I have listed in my original post (take a year off to volunteer and discern) might cause a lot of people to gasp. It is SOOO counter-cultural. Fortunately we are used to that. This advice was given to me by a friend of mine who knew Fr. John Hardon - a very holy man whose cause for sainthood is before the Vatican. His advice to high schoolers was to take TWO years off and do some volunteer work and discernment as to what the Lord was really calling them to do. I really like this idea. Fr. Hardon was a very holy priest, I have to believe that he knew what he was talking about.
The pros are that Ms 17 yo could really take some time to discern her vocation in life. The two years would be a time of maturing, so that when/if she did go to school, she would probably get more out of it. It could be fun to pick something you really enjoy doing and volunteer doing it for one or two years.
The cons would be that she would have to make sure that she actually did something, and not just let two years slip by while she was trying to discern what to volunteer for! Also, unless she were able to volunteer and still take a part time job, there would be no income.
Some very practical and good options listed here! Definitely a lot to think and pray about. The next time I'll touch on the work only option and then wrap things up. Till then, thanks for following along.