I posted earlier in the summer about the teen's decision not to attend a four year university mainly due to cost. (You can catch up here.) Since that had been the plan all along he was at a crossroads about what to do instead & weighed his options with a lot of thought.
I never really thought about it before now but what pressure to decide your future by the time you graduate. Hell, I'm 34 years young and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.
The only option that was not on the table was going straight to work. Working a dead end job for minimum wage is not something that we wanted for him. Obviously.
There is a very nice community college nearby that he could have attended for two years and then transferred to a four year university to finish his bachelors degree. That would have been a much more affordable option for us so we even offered to pay community college - no loans necessary & of course he would live at home. We'll call this Plan B.
Plan C was joining the Army. I know, I know. I was vehemently opposed to this option from the start because...well you can imagine why; however I was keeping an open mind.
So the teen embarked on a fact finding mission arranging a meeting with both the college counselor and the Army recruiter. His dad went with him to the recruiters office & they talked for hours. Literally. The teen decided to take the test that tells them which job he is better suited for.
During that week we did a lot of talking weighing the pros and cons of both options. The guys told me everything the recruiter had talked to them about including the GI Bill, aka when they pay for college. They talked about the Army band and the band on each post.
Then he took the placement test. And did really well. After the test he meets with the recruiter again and is offered a job at this time. I knew that. It's standard procedure and we all agreed it wouldn't hurt to listen and then take a few days to think it over.
In the meantime I thought he was still leaning towards community college. That meant being at home and being closer to his girlfriend. The only downside was he wouldn't be able to continue to play and study music while he was there.
The next week the teen and his dad went back to the recruiters office. Again they were there for hours. When the teen finally called me he said that S was on his way back to the office and would call me later. I asked about the meeting; the teen said he was offered the job he wanted and we would talk about it later.
S finally called me that afternoon and I immediately started in with the questions. Then he dropped the bomb - the teen had enlisted.
I FUH-REAKED out.*
I was under the impression it was a meeting and that we would discuss it before any decisions were made. Apparently the teen had a different view of it all and had been doing a lot of thinking on his own. After I calmed down a little S was able to tell me more details. I sighed (heavily) and said "well it's only for two years." To which S replied "He signed up for four years."
And I FUH-REAKED out. Again.*
So to summarize the teen has enlisted in the Army. For four years. And I'm dealing.
He doesn't actually leave until January so I'll have time to get used to the idea before he leaves.
And then I will FUH-REAK out. Again.
*FUH-REAK is putting it mildly. Very mildly. Very, very mildly.