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In May 2018 I sat in The Constitutional Hall and watched my first-born niece graduate high school. I was proud of her, but I was more proud of my big sister. She had gone through years of stay on top of my niece about her school work. For my sister, it was one kid down one more to go or at least that's what she thought. Here it is August 1, and my niece has no idea what she wants to do with her life. My niece was never the most influential student in high school. She was a part of ROTC and had plans to go to the Navy after high school. We all thought this would be best for her. I had witnessed my sister consistently popping up at my niece's school, sit in her classes, and pay for summer school to make sure she stayed on the path of graduating high school one day. After a while, my sister's constant struggle to keep it up grew to exhausting. Then my niece got a boyfriend and changed her plans about going to the Navy. It was a complete shock to her mom because this was all she ever talked about doing. A time old story of when we allow a young man to distract us from our goals. Hell, we all have been there before.

Love doesn’t pay any bills. Goals, determination, and knowing what you want out of life pay bills. As her cool Aunt, I had to step in and give her the tea of what it is to be a responsible adult. I took her with me to a women's round-table that I did for 96.3 WHUR. I surrounded her with female doctors, producers, and podcast creators on the Howard University campus. I let them share their story on how they got to where they were in their careers. Once we finished the interview, I asked her what she thought, and she had nothing to say but “It was okay." I was floored. Have the unrealistic goals of social media tainted young women into the believing that they don't have to work for what they want out of life? Are young women pushing their goals to the side to be in hopes of being in a relationship with a man? What is it that is making these young ladies put themselves last at such a young age?

When we were driving up Georgia Ave in Washington D.C., I merely asked her how did she want to live her life? I pointed out the window towards some half a million dollar lofts "Do you want to live in something like that?" She shook her head up and down while smiling. Then I drove a few more blocks up and pointed towards the hood and pointed. She shook her head no. " If you want the more exceptional things in life you have to put in the work. Nothing comes for free. Put yourself first and be a goal crusher, boys will always be there. Take care of your responsibilities before anything. You will legally be an adult soon. Certain things will be passed over to you." I replied. It is a scary feeling to put so much into your children and have to step out the way to make them more accountable for themselves. As a parent, we can provide them with all the guidance in the world, but it is up to them on what they choose to do with their lives. Everything has a time limit. Time is not forever. I hope that young adult will put as much effort into becoming something that they do into monitoring their social media accounts.

Do you have a high school graduate? If so did he or she know what they wanted to do with themselves after high school or where they more interested in being on the scene? Leave some advice down below on how you got through this. My son is a freshman, and I need all the information I can get!

Thanks for reading,

Geri Ash

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