Employable, profitable, steady. Isn't that what most people would want their kid's course of study and career trajectory to be? For my eldest son, that path lasted less than the first semester of his freshman year and I couldn't be happier.
In honor of the graduation season and new endings and beginnings, I'm revisiting the big decision my high school senior made last year and how it progressed through freshman year of college. How might it apply to you?
Oldest male child was good about doing his pre-requisite computer science schoolwork and taking his graduation requirement courses. He played in his Big 10 College's marching band and was noticed as an asset early on. He auditioned to play percussion for the theatre club and was selected to work on two musicals. Other kids started to wonder out loud why the heck he wasn't a music major. I guess it got under his skin.
By early November, there were conversations with professors in the arts school and before winter break, the ONE spot being vacated in the music program was a percussionist's. Eldest male child auditioned and GOT IT!!
I'm not writing this to brag. I want you to read and recognize what happens when you stop denying your DNA.
What transpired next shouldn't be a surprise.
He was sleeping in practice rooms, he was at rehearsals, he was in eight performance groups and had class, he was traveling to NYC to see his professors perform or to get to sit in the orchestra pit on Broadway or to follow someone he respected to a gig.
He was back to eating, breathing and living MUSIC! We could barely get our son to answer texts! I was never happier to not see him or hear from him. (OK, maybe that's a lie, but you get what I mean)
I share this as an appeal. Whether you are guiding a young person during graduation season, graduating yourself, or looking at the next horizon for yourself, please don't give up on what you are wired for. Are we all going to make a living at this very thing? Maybe not. However, I can tell you that you'll need the essence of your wiring to be somehow satisfied, so don't blow it off. Include it. Somehow!
And, in case you think my kid is impractical, I'll let you in on something. He chose music education over being a performance major so he has something to fall back on, if needed. Not my doing. His alone. I don't think he'll need a plan B, but it's nice to know he understands it's worth investing in it as an option.