Financial Independence: The transition begins in high school

By General Education Advice

I recently saw Mary, a mother of four, whose children went to a combination of Xavier and Mercy.   “Thank you for helping my children become financially independent!”

It was a curious thing to say to those who were listening.  But I knew what she meant.

The percentage of young adults transitioning to financial independence has been decreasing each year.  It seems that it is not longer a given that students from Connecticut’s leafy shoreline suburban community will be able to support themselves in their twenties.

Mary and I discussed her very different children.  I knew Ryan when he in the Essex school system.  I worked with him on his application to Xavier when he was attending John Winthrop Middle School.  He needed some help brushing up in math as he took his entrance exams.  Easy to work with – like many first borns – he also was a model student when I worked with for SAT prep and college counseling.  Katie, the second child, was similar but needed more direction related to her college major.  Pete was more focused on athletics than studies and Patrick was more focused on social life than studies.  For both, I worked on motivation, getting better grades, and selling the notion that working now would help them have freedom and fun later.

Now all of her children are in their early-mid twenties and have full time jobs.  Many of their peers do not.

In most every case, it’s not as if a thriving college graduate suddenly could not find employment.  Instead, most did not transition to college successfully – choosing a mismatched college or not doing well enough in high school to gain admission to a college of their choice or not having the work habits to perform in college.

Future success starts now.