Wednesday, 27 July 2011
Have you ever been in a situation where employment or education was the deciding factor in sustaining your relationship?
Sometimes it's due to layoffs, other times laziness, and in special cases, it's the result of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety (and its varying effects which can include agoraphobia), or bipolar disorder. There are various reasons why a person may be out of work temporarily or for long periods of time. While I can't speak about the severity of mental disorders since it varies from person to person, I can understand how having a case of agoraphobia where you need safety zones to feel comfortable may affect your employability or will to attend classes.
The possibilities are endless, but there's a constant pressure in our society to succeed and "become someone." Sometimes it's parental pressure, other times it may even be your significant other putting you on the hot seat. As soon as you've graduated from high school, it's expected that you move out, move on, and go to college so you can have a home, support a family, and become independent.
In high school during your senior year, you may get college recruiters coming in to sell you on their school. It's their job to make this school sound desirable so they can attract students with high GPA's and phenomenal test scores. Even still, the more interest they're able to produce, the better. It doesn't matter much if you know what you want to do with your life at the time; they want your money and the students with the highest scores in order to improve the university's public image and statistics where .1 of a percent is a big deal.
Most universities offer a variety of courses for students to take (general education is normally required, which is a souped up version of high school), but in many cases, high school graduates rush into college without having a specific interest. What needs to be understood is that college isn't specifically made for 18-year-olds, and you can attend college at any point in your life. Why gamble away thousands of dollars only to fall into debt if you're not sure what you want to major in? Go to college when you feel you're ready, not when you're being pushed into it.
I believe that a number of students who major in "undecided" have a higher chance of dropping out because they have no passion or drive to study or even attend classes. College becomes more of an experiment in socializing, except you're paying thousands of dollars to do it.
Some people are lucky enough to know what they want at the age of 18, but for the majority, it's unknown even up to the ages of 30 or 40 in some cases. However, there's a negative perception of people who don't attend a college or work a job because they're seen as unproductive and lazy; just another growth that needs to be lobbed off of the face of society. This, in turn, affects relationships and how much worth a partner is deemed to have.
For those who have been laid off, especially in our current economic climate, it's tough finding another job even with a college degree. There's so much competition in certain fields that finding a job can become an almost impossible task for some. If you have a partner in this situation, you need to understand that they're a victim of our economy, and their self-confidence may lower after losing a job, which can prevent them from continuing the search. Make sure to constantly encourage them, and let them know that there will be an opening eventually. You can even go out of your way and help him or her send out resumes to potential employers. Craigslist is always a great tool to use in finding a job.
If you're suffering from a mental disorder, it's always great to seek a therapist either for one-on-one sessions, or group therapy. Having contact with others in similar situations or tackling the subconscious may help improve your situation. Taking medication on top of therapy is the suggested method of fighting mental illness, but I understand that some are opposed to the idea of medicating and feeding big pharmaceutical companies. If your partner is a sufferer, please have patience with them and help them seek out therapy along with medication. With mental illnesses, you need a lot of patience and love.
Money can become an issue putting a strain on the relationship, which directly correlates with the disdain felt by partners when their significant other isn't working or attending school. It's even worse in cases where there's a family and a home to sustain, but in such cases, it's possible to take out a loan or even borrow money from relatives or friends until you can get back up on your two feet. It's an individual effort and it's worth it if you're in a great relationship or have a family. You don't want to put your child in a position where they're disadvantaged and grow up in a single-parent home while having to deal with the consequences of your decisions later on.
That aside however, I strongly advise against having a child unless you know you're financially stable and have a job steady enough to support a kid. Prevention goes a long way. This is of the utmost importance so you don't end up in a compromising situation like I detailed above.
As far as we can scientifically tell, there's only one life to live, and you should find your own path instead of giving in to societal norms. Partners should be more forgiving in cases where layoffs or mental illnesses affect a person's career and economic situation. College will always be waiting for you; don't believe that you're ever too old to attend. You can put yourself in a better situation if you avoid the debt and work jobs which don't require a college degree until you know what you want or have some money to pay your way through college.
It's also possible to seek a career counselor or even inquire about jobs when you're around relatives and friends. Reading up on different jobs online can help give you a clearer understanding and in the long run, possibly help you decide on a career choice based on what interested you the most. Many students change majors at least once in college, which goes to show you that being sure of yourself beforehand can be more productive.
Have you ever been faced with this situation? Which side of it were you on?
Nunez Love Doctor.
Certified with a PhD in... Nothing.