College: In Loco Parentis? Not.

Congratulations on being accepted to college! 

But, now the work begins. During college, each student still needs to seek understanding of their aptitude, collaborating with mentors, to unleash joy and thus more likely realize a lasting economic vitality

However, many students expect colleges and universities to act in loco parentis, in the place of a parent, guiding them into adulthood where upon graduation they will become responsible citizens ready to address complex, global socio-economic and environmental issues essential to the sustainability of humankind. 

Yet, to do so, subconsciously absolves the student from their responsibility to pursue their vision, (which presupposes a teenager has defined their vision, which many have not nor do not). And, parents, doubting their adult children can mature on their own, still seek resolutions for their college-aged children, like finding roommates and tutors, in robust social media group chats.

Many a family malinvest in college, buying higher education as an extended adolescence into one’s early 20’s, a reward for a muted childhood spent seeking such a vaunted college acceptance, where 22 year olds can wake up the morning after college graduation, hungover from a four year binge of YOLO-like imprudence, asking, “Now what?” sparking a quarter-life crisis. 

So, as the saying goes, “There’s no free lunch.” Students need a willingness to conduct a searching inventory of their experiences, ideally started during the college application process, continuing at regular reflection points throughout their college years, with advisors who understand the individual, and counsel with the finesse of experience. 

Then, with greater understanding of their aptitude and purpose, at college, students will confidently consult career service advisors or professors or any other staff whose job is to help 20-somethings to pursue their vision

Parents can then gain confidence that their children are not only utilizing the education purchased with tuition, but are also setting a foundation which can help them navigate life’s inevitable twists with grace, more confident about their inherent talent. 

So, while many a college campus includes all the services, advisors, and opportunities for young adults to mature into adulthood, young adults still need to initiate, traverse, and engage such activities to live their own lives. Otherwise, a college degree is like having a Maserati in the driveway but no driver’s license or even the confidence one can learn how to drive.

To learn more how experts at Creative Marbles Consultancy, a full service educational advisory, help families resolve complex educational concerns to prepare for the complicated labor markets, click

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About Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, Partner of Creative Marbles Consultancy

Jill Yoshikawa, EdM, Harvard ’99, a seasoned, 25 year educator and consultant, is meticulous in helping clients navigate all aspects of the educational experience, no matter the level of complexity. She combines educational theory with experience to advise families, schools and educators. A UCSD and Harvard graduate, as well as a former high school teacher, Jill works tirelessly to help her clients succeed.
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