I had one of the most interesting days I’ve ever had in a ten year career as a high school administrator. I actually got to have multiple mentally stimulating AND fun conversations with young ladies during Nutrition and Lunch breaks. This is a stark contrast from my usual job of simply supervising the areas where students hang out, and having an occasional conversation with a group of students. Though I speak to as many students as the opportunity affords, I’m not necessarily actively looking to talk to students during what’s known as “their” time. Teenagers, as many of you know, like being away from adults and with people of their own age group, as often as permitted while at school.
If you read the entire hallmark page, you will see that the Quinceañera is far more complex than just simply calling it a "coming-of-age" celebration. Like any other cultural tradition, the "Quince" in America has become more commercialized and expensive than ever before. To the point of the celebration being as big as some weddings are!
Flower Delivery Express
Being against cultural traditions in the Latino community is dangerous. Most of the time, people who disfavor a certain practice would rather stay silent and not be a participant rather than risk being ostracized being vocal. But then nothing ever gets challenged this way. This leaves the Church as the only venue for discussion of cultural traditions, where the talking is entirely done by one (male) person. The financial nature of the Quinceañera will never be headlining a sermon. And that's too bad for devout Latinos living in the U.S. Luckily, I know a Mexican blogger (me) who can and will put the Quince on the table, and let people decide for themselves: Quince or Money for college?
Before I give you the results of my very informal survey, I want to share what I told these young ladies prior to letting them answer the question. I said, "Imagine you're 14, unless you are 14, would you rather have a Quince, or money for college? This is your own personal question, regardless of what your friends say and there's no wrong answer." I obviously realized that some of these young ladies may have had a Quince, or were in the midst of planning one. That's why I asked a follow-up question: "Why?" You will find their reasons to be quite interesting.
Money for College
Money for College Justification
“That’s how you grow up with your culture.”
“It’s a once in a lifetime thing.”
“It’s tradition and it brings you memories.”
“I can always save money for college after.”
“My mom wanted it.”
“It’s a big step in life.”
“Part of your heritage.”
“I can earn money later for college from scholarships.”
“You get money as a present and you could always save it.”
“I’d rather have a party with family and friends.”
“I can always start working and earn my own money later.”
“I had too! My mom wanted it.”
“Doesn’t bring you anything.”
“It’s just one day.”
“What if your college is really expensive?”
“It’s a waste of money. There were people at my Quince I didn't even know."
“I had a Quince and I spent all my money. Now I wish I hadn’t.”
“There’s always 18 and 21.”
“Money for college is more needed.”
“I want to do something with my life.”
“You need college more in life.”
“College is my future.”
“I didn’t want a Quince.”
“The party isn’t for you really. It’s for somebody else. You stress out!”
“Rather not have a one night party than be in debt.”
“I had one and it was fun, but it was in the moment. I’d rather have the money for college now.”
“You can always crash someone else’s Quince!” (Ensuing laughter).
“College will allow me to support my family.”