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College years provide financial limits and awkwardly walking a thin line

Generally speaking, when those kids go off to college, they're on the finals steps of their journey toward independence. But, for a good little while, what most of us are in for is what I like to refer to as The Awkward Years. Or ... How I Almost Went Broke AND Had a Nervous Breakdown Sending You Through College.

The going broke part requires very little explanation. The truth is that for those of us who are OVER the financial limits for college assistance, and for whatever reason are not enjoying scholarships, practically have to sell our first-born to get through those four years. (In fact, I'd consider selling my first-born, if I wasn't busy trying to pay her way through college.)

See what I did there?

Anyway, college is expensive, as is the college experience. Sure, we want the kids to get a great education, have fun, make lifelong friends and learn who they really are and what they really want to do. But go ahead and squeeze a part-time job in there, will ya?

So, back to The Awkward Years. They're awkward because they're out from under our wing, making decisions on their own and galavanting all over who knows where, yet I'm still financially supporting them.

Hence the nervous breakdown part. They're too old to ground and too young to cut off. They're still yours and all you can do is go along with most of what they're up to. They've got grand ideas that you yourself helped instill in them, and it's probably not a good idea to squash their dreams at this point.

But a reality talk, on the other hand, is always in order. Here's a thought or two:

1) Money isn't everything. Having said that, you need to hurry up and start making some. I know you may not know exactly what your Life Purpose is right now, but go ahead and get a job and start earning an income while you're pondering your options.

2) Pick your battles with yourself. Sometimes people can get so twisted up with what they should be doing that they never get anything done. Give yourself a break, consider carefully, and take some action. If it doesn't work out, you can change your approach.

3) Seek wise counsel. Sure, your friends are smart, and possibly going through many of the same things as you. But go outside your circle and seek out people in the professions you're interested in or contact people in the areas you'd like to live. It will surprise you how much people, even strangers, love to share and help others, especially when it comes to selling you on their way of life. It validates them to make you want to be like them.

4) Do not underestimate your own value and what you have to offer. Set your sights for the moon, for your dream vocation, then just start walking down that path. Be assertive and innovative. That's what people are looking for. If it's meant to be, doors will open to give you a better look.

5) If things don't work out, you have two options. Never give up, AND/OR change your approach. You have to decide if and when it's time to give up on an idea, but don't be afraid to change your approach. It will all take you where you are meant to go.

6) Finally, don't fear the future. How many times lately I've heard "I don't want to be a grownup!" Count your blessings that you've had a great childhood. We helped give you that, now get out there and give yourself a great future.

You can do it!

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