Day 17: Beyond the Books

If you’ve been reading this series, you know that I am a believer in making life better by learning new things and listening to those who have “been there, done that.” Little C needs to know that her father and I want her to pursue some kind of higher education beyond high school.

Notice I didn’t say “her father and I want her to go to college.”

We both spent our college careers at the University of Illinois, and each graduated in four years, he with a Technical Systems Management major and Crop Sciences minor, and me with an Agricultural Communications major. That’s where we met and fell in love, and made lifelong friends and many, many memories. For us, a four-year degree from a top agricultural school was the right choice for our chosen careers.

Little C's first trip to the U of I campus - about two months old, for my sister-in-law's graduation.

Little C’s first trip to the U of I campus – about two months old, for my sister-in-law’s graduation.

We don’t know yet what livelihood Little C will choose. If she needs a Bachelor’s degree to be successful. we’ll support her at the school she likes best that offers her program of study. If an associate’s degree, or a master’s, or even a doctorate is the right path, we’ll encourage her as she pursues her passion. If a technical school or apprenticeship, with hands-on training, will best prepare her for success, we’ll help her seek out opportunities.

As long as she is willing to put in the time and effort to prepare herself for a career that can support and fulfill her, we won’t force her into the traditional 4-year degree if that’s not the best choice. And as much as we’d love another generation of Illini, we’ll allow her to choose any school she likes, as long as she’s willing to explore scholarship options and maintain acceptable grades.

My parents were very hands-off with the college selection process, not pushing me toward any school or area of study, simply supporting me as I discovered what was right for me. I greatly appreciate that and plan to do the same with Little C.

Little C, my little farm girl, your father and I want you to pursue higher education in whatever form that takes to best prepare you for your future.

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