Hey there! Today I want to talk about college and the decision that some make not to go. Now, I know what you’ve probably been told; “You need to go to college to get a degree so you can get a good job and be successful in life”. Yeah, that’s not necessarily true. I know, shocking, let’s talk about it.
As I said earlier, the narrative that is being said to most high school students these days is that college is a necessary part of life and future success. By college, I’m talking about a typical university and getting a Bachelors Degree. This is something that I did choose to do, but I know people that didn’t (my husband), or people that dropped out (other bloggers I’ve talked to). I want to share why that is okay!
This post is for those that are about to start school or are in the middle of their degree and are unsure about what they are doing. It’s normal to feel like you might not be on the right path. I want to tell you that it’s okay if you don’t want to go to college and want to try something else instead!
The Reason Behind College
One of the main reasons that people say you need to go to college is to further your education and gain the necessary skills and knowledge needed to get a job in your field. While that is true, it isn’t the only way to further your education. Yes, there are certain fields that require post-secondary education, law, medicine, dentistry. But, not every field requires post-secondary education.
College used to be very important in the early 2000s. It seems that the only way to get any kind of entry-level job required a degree of some sort. If you didn’t have a degree, then you would be at some minimum wage job, or if you did get that entry-level job, that is where you were going to stay for a long time. Now, a lot of employers are looking for real-world experience in addition to, or in lieu of, a formal degree. Yes, some say in lieu of! That means that if you have enough real-world experience to replace a degree, some companies standards are different, then you can still get that job.
The internet is a beautiful thing and because of that, many people are deciding to sell their knowledge as online courses. Now, a lot of these courses don’t give you any kind of certification, but they help you expand your knowledge and skill set in a particular field.
Reasons People Decide to Skip College
I don’t know what I want to do for the rest of my life
This is one of the main reasons that people decide to skip college or drop out altogether and it’s a very valid reason. I still don’t understand why we make 17/18-year-olds decide what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Now, there are some that know exactly what they want to do. Some know they want to be a lawyer, or a doctor, or a pilot. But a lot of people don’t know what they want to do, myself included! When I went off to college, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, I still don’t!
College is expensive, I just can’t afford it
This is a pretty big factor in why people decide to drop out of college. This is a very valid concern. College is very expensive, even state schools are expensive. That is why many people decide to go to community college for their general education, which does help save money. However, there are some students that still need to work a full-time job just so they can go to school. Some people are lucky to have scholarships from sports, or parents that pay for their schooling, while some have to work hard to pay for it themselves. That, coupled with them feeling like they don’t know why they’re in school, is a recipe for dropping out. Why spend money on something you’re not seeing a benefit out of?
Alternatives to Traditional College
There are some alternatives to traditional college. They can very from straight career training to just doing your own thing. You can also take a year off before going to college, or just going straight into the workforce. Your future really is yours!
One of the biggest alternatives is a vocational/trade school. If you’re not into the corporate world and you really would rather just work with your hands, then trade school might be the way you want to go. Vocational schools are more career-focused, so you don’t take those general education classes that you don’t really need. Because of this, they are shorter and depending on the program, it could be as fast as 18 months. They are meant to prepare you for the workforce and are usually for careers that are in high-demand which is great for job security!
Starting Your Own Business
Another alternative is starting your own blog or business. Yes, you can do this without formal training. This is where those online courses I mentioned earlier come in to play. You don’t have to be a pro to start your own blog or business. You just have to be able to solve a problem that your core audience needs to be solved for them. That’s what a business does when you truly think about what a business does. It sells a solution to a problem that your audience is facing. Now, I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, there are things you’re going to have to learn to make this work. But that’s life.
Life is about continuing your education, but it’s about doing it the way you want to and learning about the things that interest you, not what someone else wants you to learn. I am a big believer in the fact that we are always learning, but you don’t have to go to a traditional school to continue learning. Life is a continuous learning experience, no matter what you decide to do just remember to always embrace that fact.
What do you think? Did you go to college or did you pass on it? Let me know in the comments!