The Norman Transcript

March 7, 2014

What to do to help your senior be prepared for life as an adult

The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Q: We have always told our children that upon high school graduation, they will move out of our home to start a life of their own. The problem is now that our oldest is close to graduation, we have realized that he is not college material.

He has a part-time (minimum wage) job, but we do not think he can support himself on that. We do not want to go back on our word and set a precedence for our other children, but how do we send him out to be hungry and possibly homeless?

— Concerned,

Oklahoma City


Dear Concerned,

If you have been telling your senior this throughout his life, it may not have really sunk in until now. Has he talked to his employer about becoming full time, now that he will no longer be in school?

You say that he is not college material, but taking classes part time at a junior college is an excellent way to transition from high school to a bigger college.  Community colleges don’t require a particular ACT score for admission — only that it has been taken.

Also don’t forget technology centers. Many excellent trades are taught at technology centers, and tuition is free until age 21. Most programs are two years in length and can easily be completed before this age deadline.

His high school counselor should be able to help him get an application. This would be a good time because the enrollment process for next fall is going on as we speak. The program options are so much greater than when we were in school long ago.

Another option for him is to find a roommate. When rent/utilities are shared, an apartment could become much more affordable.

It is definitely time to have a serious conversation with him about his short- and long-term goals and how he expects to reach them. Note the word “he.” You are not reaching his goals for him.

He has about three months to save some money to be able to start his adult life. You and your husband may want to consider letting him stay at home until August. This is when a new semester begins and would give him a few more months to save and get his plans in order. 

As a last resort, we strongly encourage you to charge him rent and require him to pay a percentage of the bills, food, etc. This would give him a taste of being an adult and, often times, helps our kids move out more quickly.

Please send questions to questions.classact@gmail.

com. Sally and Jeannie are certified school counselors with more than 50 years combined experience. The responses presented don’t reflect the views of any certain school district.

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