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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Millenial Minds—Midterms or Mortgages?

mortgageYet another mom has checked in with me, informing me that her 20-something child has just dropped out of the college. I don’t know if I’m hanging with the wrong crowd, but this is becoming an epidemic.

I’m personally acquainted with four young people who kicked college to the curb. Then I realized: college-aged kids are much too young to make big decisions on issues like dropping out of college, lol. Three of the former students are pretty smart, with two lacking some college coaching to get the most out of their experience, in essence taking the wrong courses at the wrong times; one sort of fizzled out and could not maintain her focus (boyfriend obsession); and the final student had some overwhelming life issues.Yale-Campus

Sad to see talent go to waste.

But really, a college degree without the concomitant maturity would hardly land one a job. Name it what you will— maturity, discipline, follow-through— it seemed to be missing in the lives of many Millennials ages 20-35. When the going got tough… they dropped out, gave up, threw in the towel and faded away. The path of least resistance, or anything with the highest pay, would catch their attention.

Not that I’m in favor of low wages and long, difficult days. Not by a long shot. Yet, times had changed and those who were willing to arrive early, stay late and give it all they had were few and far between. This generation looked for immediate gratification even if it would cost them one way or another in the long run.

renovateSo I had an idea. Why not give the kids an education of a different sort? Why not exchange midterms for a mortgage on a fixer-upper? See how the Millennials would do with monthly payments, along with learning how to plaster, paint, tile, and switch out old bathroom or kitchen fixtures?

For parents who often feel beholden to pay for college classes, supporting them to the point of enabling failure, it might be time to change perspective and give them the chance of earning some sweat equity. At the very least, it could gain them a decent living on a renovation flip or rental, as well as teaching them valuable life skills such as how to stop a leaky faucet. If they tired of the exercise several years down the road, the student just might identify a different life’s calling and return to college.

Or live in their own high-equity house and sell hotdogs.

Either way, a win-win situation.


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