Monday, January 6, 2014

New Directions for Steve

This parenting thing is never easy......

As parents of a high school senior, we've been discussing options with our son for awhile.  For years he wanted to be a correctional officer and we were all for that, knowing how professional the Florida Department of Corrections is and what a good career he could have with them.  Then a few months ago Steve began worrying that he might be missing out by not going to college.  ( I think I wrote a blog about it)  With the Department, he could go up the rank with or without a degree.  So we thought about things and talked about things and then he sort of dropped the subject. 

His main ideas were either
1. go work for DOC
2. go to a community college
3. go to St Leo's (Catholic college with a good criminal justice major)
4. go to our alma mater Southeastern

So we worried since Steve had chosen not to do the college track in high school, that that would be a problem.  Well that wasn't the case for any of the colleges we looked at since he has a high GPA. 

Now that it's January, we are getting to the crunch time for paperwork to get in and scholarships to be applied for.

Last night we had a long serious talk and he decided he really wanted to look into the schools, specifically SEU.  Today he filled out his application for Southeastern:)  He should have no issues getting accepted, he met all the criteria.  I also filled out financial aid forms and he is eligible for a large federal grant.  We will be applying for more stuff too.  I basically spent the morning on the computer.  I have to admit this was MUCH easier than when I filled out paperwork years ago  and it took weeks to hear back from the college and from financial aid!  Basically we had a lot of answers within hours!  WOW! 

We are going to a student's day on campus soon.  We actually have a baby sitter scheduled so Jon & I both can go with him.  We are looking forward to doing that with him. 

To be honest, Jon and I both have our BAs but I'm not one to really push college anymore.  Just from the practical side, he could easily make more than his dad within a few years as an officer with overtime, pay raises and promotions.  So financially, it would really make more sense just to jump into a career that he has an interest for without going in to debt to go to college.  I used to think college was the only way to go.....UNTIL  I grew up and saw many people who made more money than us (just speaking from the financial side of things)  that either had trades, their own business or worked for a company. 

I think education is important.  And one thing is true, once you have a degree, no one can take that from you.  But I totally respect people who chose not to go to college. 

And I have to admit, SEU is a very different school than the school I graduated from over 25 years ago.  I've not been happy with the direction it's been going in for a long time although I have wonderful fond memories of being a student there.  So I've not at all encouraged Steve to go there but I do think it's better than the alternatives he has in this area. 

One thing that is very interesting to me is that when he starts in August, it will be 30 years since I started there.....isn't that sweet and a bit crazy to think about?  

I went there with no family support, I was basically an orphan by that time.  I was so scared but so excited to be there.  Who would have dreamed how those first steps to a new life, set things into motion....and now I have a son who is planning on attending there......   It was neat to list on the application that Jon, myself and Steve's uncle Jim were all graduates of SEC:)  Family tradition!

We've always wanted to support our kids in their decisions.  So if he chose to go to work full time, I was all for it and I am all for him going to college if that is what he wants.  We want Steve to feel like he has explored what he wants to do with his life.   I was such a goal setter, I KNEW what I wanted for a couple of years before I went to college. I LOVED every second of college and dorm life Jon was the opposite, he was more like Steve, he didn't really want to go to college.  Then he decided after a long hot summer of working a crappy job that college might be a good thing.  He went to a community college where he didn't really make friends  ( I on the other hand was quite the social butterfly)  then he became a Christian and came to SEC but he never lived on campus or really got into the social life of the campus.  I do believe being part of the social life is good for a young adult.  When I was at SEC, there were a lot of rules.....and I broke many of them LOL but it was a good place to be.  Now I don't believe there is as many rules....but hopefully there is a good atmosphere.

He is thinking about the different majors, he was leaning towards Criminal Justice BUT since that is not a big program at SEU, we are encouraging towards computer/media type majors since that is a big interest of his too.  In my opinion, having a criminal justice degree is not necessary even if you are in the criminal justice field.  If you are going for a BA of any type, it will work in the CJ field. 
I also got an appointment for Selah with the new neurologist that one of our nurses really likes.  She feels he will be very open to work with Selah with some of the drugs that are being used to bring adults out of comas.  When asked why we were making a switch, I told the nurse on the phone what we were hoping for and she was encouraging to me!  So Selah can't get in as a new patient until March but I'm excited that we have an appointment and hopefully someone who will explore with us all the research that is going on for people like Selah!!!!!!!!!!!!

So it's been a big day at the Clanton household.  Sorry I didn't post last night, I was busy and the day/evening just got away from me.  Then we got into a long discussion with Steve...... and I was worried about how he was feeling/thinking about things.  I'm so glad it was so easy today to get a lot of answers quickly about admission and financial aid!  What a blessing, and what a difference from when we were in college.  It seems like I applied for financial aid in like February and didn't' hear until JULY !  Now after you fill it out on line, you get an estimate right then! It really helps calm worries that is for sure!!!!  

So it's never quiet around here for long!


  1. No need to apologize for not posting last night. I mean, c'mon--you've got so much leisure time that you were probably enjoying kicking back and relaxing!! Yeah, right! :) Seriously, live your life and do what you need to do. And thanks for the little 'slices' of Clanton life that you *do* post!

  2. Great for Steven, he will enjoy his own space at college! He will be spreading his wings, I am happy for him!

  3. Steve seems to be a very mature young man; it is great to see how he came to his own conclusion that college is the way to go, especially since it appears he had no real encouragement to do so. He's far too young to get locked into a prison guard career for the rest of his life. Go, Steve!

  4. Steve is given the freedom to chose, we are behind him 100% either way. A correctional officer's job is a very professional one in the state of Florida. I'd be proud of him if he were working for DOC or going to college.....

  5. He appears to be a young man anyone would be proud of. If he chooses to be a correctional officer, then I'm sure he'll do a fine job. I just think 18 is too young to make a career choice without having explored other options, especially if the person exhibits other talents. Best of luck to him.