This is the wall I have just hit with my daughter. She is extremely bright, and for 3 years now, I have told her that I will help finance a degree in any of the STEM fields. She has now decided she wants to go into PR work so she's going for a Communications degree (which I refuse to pay for). The one university that had promise in terms of level of education + no debt is Yale. If she got in, they give grants and don't do student loans. But of course, they don't have communications, so she's looking at UW-Madison AND living there (about 35 min commute from my house). The housing/meal plan/etc is approximately $19K on top of tuition/books. I told her good luck with all that debt. She's lost her damn mind but you know what, I'm of the mind of not letting her come crawling home when she can't find a job and is only eating ramen and pork and beans. We had a blowout last night where I explained that I have been there, done that, and she'd be smart if she learned from me. She tried saying I didn't have a science degree (which is where I'm pushing her) and I explained that STEM stands for science, tech, engineering, and mathematics and she needs to put her shit in reverse right quick.The problem is that young women think they have the same out their predecessors always did: if plan A doesn't work out, you can always get married, right? Well, in addition to the carousel issue, what man in his right mind is going to take on the debt that tends to go hand-in-hand with an educated woman? Especially if she's already proven that her expensive education hasn't given her the ability to pay it off on her own!
It has not been pretty and you know what, she's gonna have to take the hard route. It's gonna suck for her.
She is currently paralyzed with indecision because I think she was under the impression that I'd fold and give in on her wishes to go into a squishy field. When I reaffirmed that I would only help finance a STEM field about a month ago, she sort of lost her shit and she's dithering and is considering the local branch of UW a few blocks from our house to get the first 2 years in cheap. Except even then, instead of driving less than a mile from home, she wants to live in the dorms they may be building and blow any grants or scholarships on that crap. I'm having none of it and there were tears and screaming and freaking out last night. The "girl thing" is on my last damn nerve right now. Welcome to the real world. Screaming and crying ain't gonna get you far and just like me, people will judge you as emotionally unstable. Get your act together.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Women and education
This mother's comment helps illuminate the challenge parents are facing with regards to the difference between their children's expectations, particular those of their female children, and current reality.