What's the best thing to do?

(16 Posts)

I have a dilemma that I'm really struggling with and I was hoping for some opinions.

Ds1 is 17. He's just done a year at college and has done really well. He's been working 30/40 hrs a week in a job he loves, for the last month or so.

He now says he doesn't want to re-enrole at college and he can get a guaranteed 35hrs a week at work. On the one hand, if he doesn't want to be at college, he won't do well. On the other hand, he can still do 30hrs a week at work and do his last year at college.

I'm worried he'll be closing off his later options but he's in an industry where, rarely, you can work your way up.

I said I would speak to him properly next week about it to see his point of view (I'm away atm), but I really don't know what to think.

ssd Thu 15-Aug-13 09:18:10

he sounds very mature, trust him.

Eyesunderarock Thu 15-Aug-13 09:22:21

I'd let him decide what he wants, education is a life-long possibility and he can choose to go further at any age. Was he studying something linked to his work, or that he planned to go further with?
But he's been doing 30+ hours a week and college? That's very impressive at any age, but especially as a teenager. Does he manage a social life and friends as well?
I'd let him work, at least a year.

Thanks ssd. He is for the most part. We still have the odd toddler tantrum though. grin

He hasn't combined 30hrs with college yet. This is a summer job but they want to keep him on. He wants to be a chef and his job is in a kitchen.

He's never been academic but this year he's loved being in college. He does keep up with his social life and has a small group of good friends. He also has a lovely girlfriend who is on his course.

I agree that education is a lifelong thing but it's so much easier at this age, logistically I mean.

Eyesunderarock Thu 15-Aug-13 10:00:45

It sounds like either choice will be a good one, what a fortunate position to be in!

Eyesunderarock Thu 15-Aug-13 10:01:48

Would his workplace compromise for a year and let him work part-time?

JenaiMorris Thu 15-Aug-13 10:08:40

Do apprentice chefs still have day release to attend college? That might well be an option.

It's great that he's so keen. I know catering has a bad rap, but I spent a long time in the trade and know lots of chefs. Some have stayed and made good careers that way, others have moved but used their skills to fund their way through completely unrelated degrees.

A good chef with a good reputation is rarely out of work, ime.

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Thu 15-Aug-13 10:09:54

I think if the course qualification is relevant to the job, I would strongly encourage him to see the benefit of finishing it now, but ultimately let him decide.

The trouble is, from our perspective a year is nothing, but a 17 year old sees it as a loooong haul.

College and part time work would be ideal.

As an afterthought, could someone he works for have a word.

Eyes they have offered him part time so he could do both.

A year does seem a long time when you are 17 and I know when I was that age nothing would have stopped me growing up.

I think the problem I'm having is that I really want him to finish college and give himself the best chance long term. However he has worked so hard that I think he'd give work his best shot and so I can't really argue against it iyswim.

I do realise that either way is not a disaster but I just want the best for him.

Thank you for the replies. It's really helping me think this through so that I can really listen to him rather than being clouded by my own thoughts.

It helps to get a bit of perspective.

flow4 Thu 15-Aug-13 11:31:24

IME, passion is the best motivator. If he loves what he's doing, he'll do well. I'd let him choose.

mumeeee Thu 15-Aug-13 11:44:32

Let him choose. He might be able to do a day release college course from. work or may be he'll be able to go part time. Tell him to discuss his options with college and his manager at work. It would be very hard to combine 30 hours working with his college course.

JenaiMorris Thu 15-Aug-13 12:22:55

I can think of a few places I've worked with very nice (sometimes!) senior and head chefs who are quite paternalistic and good at taking young'uns under their wing.

Maybe suggest your son talks to his boss, if he/she is approachable. I'd want to do that as his mum, but suspect that would be mortifying!

Thanks for all your advice. I have talked to ds and he's going to go full time in work. There's no point trying to make him do college if he doesn't want to be there.

flow4 Fri 23-Aug-13 09:07:00

Well done, One. smile Remember there are always other opportunities if he changes his mind.

JenaiMorris Fri 23-Aug-13 10:26:55

A few years full time, low paid work was all the incentive I needed to go to college and then university as a not-that mature student, aged 20.

I was also hugely envious of my friends who moved away to study and were having a blast. When I was 16-18 and working while they were at sixth form I was fine - spare cash and no school. But visiting them when they went off to Oxford or Manchester or Glasgow and met interesting people, studying interesting things I was envy

You and your son sound very sensible - I'm sure it will all work out well. There's no need to do everything in life to a strict timetable and it's pointless studying just because it's expected imo.

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Fri 23-Aug-13 10:36:14

Good for him, and well done you.

He sounds like he'll be fine whatever he does smile

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