High School Graduates & Letting Go 

Do you have a high schooler graduating this spring? Congratulations! This is a euphoric time accompanied by a lot of choices and decisions – college, work, trade school, etc.

For some graduates, the path seems clear, at least for now. If I go to this college, major in this subject, then I’ll land this job. Or, If I take this job, work this hard, then I’ll advance up this ladder.

I wish it were this simple. But it’s not.

I wrote about this in What Trumps a College Degree. All three of my children graduated from college with degrees they’re not exactly using. All experienced some degree of disappointment and discouragement. The discontinuity between degree/training and work has been a recurring topic of conversation with us.

They successfully made the transition from what they had expected to where they are now, but to do this required a big thing of each of them. They had to let go. I’m pretty sure it didn’t happen all at once, but it did happen, at least gradually. And ultimately, it won’t be the last time they’ll need to let go in order to gain or enter into something new.

This happens (or will happen) to all of us. It’s just a matter of time.

If we can’t or are unwilling to let go of something, it’s likely we’re over-invested. If that’s the case, we may find ourselves working in a job that after 20 years, we hate. We may end up in a co-dependent relationship that’s sucking the life out of us. We may find that the relationship we have with our adult children is driving both of us crazy.

Would a “letting go” conversation be worth having now with your high school student? Maybe. These kinds of talks tend to be academic when they take place ahead of time.

The parable of the “The Monkey’s Fist” just might stick and make a point that will be retrieved later in their life. While there are many variations, the story line is pretty similar.  Here’s one version I found posted on the Grand Rapids Real Estate Musings website:

 There’s an oft repeated tale about how certain hunters in Africa catch monkeys.  It can be very difficult to corral these intelligent creatures, so hunters have used a more inventive method…trapping a monkey by enticing him.  A small jar is placed at the base of a tree with nuts or other items which may attract the monkey’s curiosity.

The opening of the jar allows the monkey to place his hand in, but when he tries to withdraw it, he is unable to do so without letting go of the contents of the jar.  Believe it or not, some monkeys will stay there with their hand in the jar until the hunter comes back to trap them!  They are trapped because they are unwilling to let go of something they are doing which is working against them.

Teach your children the necessity of letting go.

That’s the tip of the week!

Curt Bumcrot, MRE

You may not feel equipped to teach every high school level subject –and that’s ok! We have qualified teachers who teach full credit courses in English, math, science, and electives here in Oregon City! The class schedule and course offerings for the 2018-2019 school year are now available on our website.

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