Many students think attending college is the only way to a better future and having a stable life.
Some students come to college to get a degree even though their parents never received a college education.
” I came to college to have a better future and job security,” said Richard Dixon, 19, a sophomore general studies student from St. Petersburg, whose parents never attended college.
Students also come to college for different reasons, but can still reach their ultimate goal.
“Students should come to expand their horizon, meet people from different socioeconomic groups and to learn how to get along with others,” said Karen Parker, academic adviser and instructor of college orientation.
“The main goal is to ultimately get a good and high-paying job.”
Some students are the first in their families to attend college and want to do more with their life.
“I’m the first out of my mom’s kids to try and do something and go get a better education rather than working at Winn-Dixie or something,” said Johnnie Moore, a 19-year-old sophomore general studies student from Miami.
Moore said his parents never attended college either.
“My mom got her GED; she ended up working in fast foods and working her whole life without a degree. She is a product of the system,” he said.
Even though some students’ parents were successful without a college education, times have changed.
Getting a job these days is harder than a few decades ago, and some students feel they are helpless without a college education.
“I didn’t see any other way to get training,” said Charles Hayes, 23-year-old political science student from Pensacola.
“My parents got lucky, they entered the job market when it was looking for minorities in the ’60s.”
“The goal for students is to get a job, make sure they’re independent and make sure they can care for themselves financially,” said Delores Dean, director of the C.C. Cunningham Career Center and adjunct professor.
“To just better themselves in terms of being more mature and more intelligent.”
Even though some parents did not attend college, they wanted their children to attend so they would not have any problems establishing themselves in the working world.
“They were thinking the same way I was thinking; there’s no job opportunities now, like it was then,” Hayes said.
“They gave me no choice: either go to college or the armed forces. No ‘just kicking it.'”
Some parents do not want their students to go through the trials and tribulations they faced in the working world.
Ultimately, the parents push their kids to attend college.
“He didn’t want me to follow in his footsteps, (he got laid off),” Crystal Johnson, an 18-year-old freshman pre-dentistry student from Miami, said of her father.
“He wanted me to have a strong educational background. In case something happens, I can find another job.”
Some parents are unsure if their children will to go to college because they are not confident their kids would survive.
“My mom was proud, but she was hesitant; she wasn’t sure I could make it,” Moore said. “She still feels I’m not going to make it and it’s going to be hard because I have no support.”
Some teachers feel college is for most students, not that many don’t fit in.
Dean said she hopes that there are very few students who feel college is not for them and believes only 1 percent do feel that way.
Still, there are other options besides college students can pursue to do with their life.
“They should go to trade school or the military; everybody should do something,” Dean said.
Contact Royce Wynn at firstname.lastname@example.org.