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What’s next for Gymnast…


Please join me in congratulating my baby boy, Gymnast, on completing the requirements to graduate high school. (He is graduating a semester early by choice. It wasn’t our original plan but when all factors were considered, we decided this was the best move for him.) I thought I would take this opportunity to fill you in on his plan…

He has thrived in working almost full time since this summer when he turned 17. He worked while he was in Texas when he was staying with my parents and siblings. And then returned and found a new job here. The freedom of having his own income has been very empowering, isn’t it always!?!

Generosity has been very evident in how he spends his money. But he has also been very smart with a very focused approach to saving.

His goal for the next seven months is to save for a move to Texas. He is not sure what he will do once he gets there, but he knows that is where he wants to be. And has known that for a while. I 100% support his move.

Right now, he has no plans for school. He will have to find his path on his own. And we have talked extensively about what he will need to do if he does decide he wants to further his education – out of state tuition, direction and so much more. He’s got a good head on his shoulders, but other than location, he is not sure what is next.

Any guidance for how to launch a young person who doesn’t have a clear purpose or direction would be greatly appreciated!


  • Reply Walnut |

    There’s no harm in working for awhile while he figures out what he wants to do. There are lots of options and can always pick up a degree, certificates, etc. later on. If you can talk him into community college for some basic classes (even online) it never hurts to do a semester of algebra, English comp, speech, etc while school habits are fresh. One at a time is better than nothing.

  • Reply Elizabeth |

    It’s so hard to determine what you want to do with the rest of your forever life at 17. Moving to another state and finding a full-time job are great starting places. Talking to new adult friends and trying different types of jobs are great ways to narrow down the area you want to focus on someday. Usually, young people (well, myself and most of my friends) eventually decide they want to make more money and pick an education and career path that way. I’m sure he will land on his feet.

    • Reply Hope |

      Yes and yes. And I’m very glad he is moving. This tiny town is not the future I would choose for any of my kids at least while they are younger and most especially my bi-racial and black children. Knowing him and the town he has chosen…it’s a wonderful fit. And he is very directionless so finding his own path is the best route to take. He knows I will be here to help, guide and support should he choose to go back to school for a trade or degree.

  • Reply Andrea |

    What kind of jobs has he been working? What has he liked or disliked about them?
    Does he have any interest in trades? Electricians are in high demand–my BIL works for a utility and they are constantly recruiting all types of positions; plus the more standard household work. If you can develop a niche like expertise with solar installation, battery storage units, or ev charger installation–there is a lot of federal funding for those coming down the pike and there will be huge demand for a skilled workforce that this country currently doesn’t have.
    Same with things like plumbing and HVAC thinking about things like tankless water heaters, heat pumps, etc.
    Many of these trades have paid apprenticeship programs . For example:

  • Reply Julene |

    I always told my girls that living life is learning too. If you work to earn money to pay rent, bills, and live well you are learning. You are growing. You learn along the way that you need a skill to take you farther and into a higher paying job with more benefits. Some people (one of mine included) need to experience life to learn, she cannot just hear it and decide. It’s working out well. She sometimes laments that she isn’t as far as others and I remind her that she’s right where “she” should be and she is, in fact, learning a lot along the way. Congratulations!

    • Reply Hope |

      Love this! And yes, wholeheartedly agree. Each of my 5 have chosen different paths and each is working through things in their own way and time. I 100% support that and they know that. Now it doesn’t mean that they don’t hear my “guidance” on occasion, some more than others. But certainly, the life lesson is much more powerful than anything I could force on them…and we get to maintain a positive and supportive relationship versus one of resentment.

  • Reply Katie |

    I would advise him to go make an appointment with a workforce consultant at your closest Job Service center. They can help him create a path and will have a pulse on the job market, opportunities, know of good employers and of programs/funding for training. It’s unrealistic to think he won’t need some kind of education in the future to have a career path, instead of just landing entry-level/low-skill jobs. They can help him navigate all of it.

    • Reply Hope |

      Believe me, we have done all the things. And I agree with you…
      But some children must forge their own path. He is one of those. I will be here prepared to help/guide should he need me. But for now, I know I need to support his chosen path.

So, what do you think ?