Permit me a proud auntie post! We just found out tonight that our oldest nephew (dh's only brother's oldest son) got accepted into community college! He applied last fall for a general media studies program (to start this fall).
He is 20 & has been working since he graduated from high school (when he was still just 17) -- currently on the night shift at a warehouse for $11 an hour. He's not especially academic minded, but neither is he interested in learning a trade (much to his blue-collar father's dismay). He is actually quite artistically talented, & says he wants to be a film director (!). This was the first real interest that he's shown in going to school (for anything), so we were all hoping & praying he would make the cut.
Dh & I figure that, if he has his heart set on a film career, at least this is a step in the right direction -- & maybe it will open his eyes & his mind to other possibilities. At the very least, he will have some new experiences and meet some new people.
We are planning to help him with his expenses, & will do the same for his younger brother when he finishes high school. They're the only two nephews we have, & nothing would give us greater pleasure than helping them get a good start in their adult life. Obviously, we would likely not be in a position to do so if we had our own children's education to budget for. I consider it another silver lining in the cloud of childless/free living...