You Might Not Be Academically Inclined
Most people are capable of doing college-level work if they’re motivated and apply themselves. That being said, some people just detest school or don’t have the aptitude to do well in a college environment.
Keep in mind, though, that college gives you so much more freedom than high school to explore your academic interests and find the fields in which you can excel. Similarly, if there’s a subject that confuses you and that you absolutely abhor, you can probably avoid taking classes in it in college.
A College Degree Is No Guarantee Of A Good Life
Higher education is often described as an investment. But its still unclear if it pays off in happiness.
How to Build a Life is a biweekly column by Arthur Brooks, tackling questions of meaning and happiness.
I magine a young man, a senior in high school. His academic performance has never been over the top, but hes done well enough. Among his classmates, the assumption is that all of them will go to college. However, just as his parents are about to send the deposit check to a college where he has been accepted, the young man admits to himself and his parents that he doesnt want to gonot now, maybe never. To him, college sounds like drudgery. He wants to work, to earn a living, to be out on his own.
What should he do? What should his parents do?
This is not a hypothetical situation for many familiesand it wasnt for mine, either. Our oldest son was valedictorian of his high school class and went to a top university. But right about this time two years ago, our second son told us he wasnt interested in college. My wife and I consider ourselves free thinkers and are willing to entertain almost any new idea. But we are hardly neutral on the college question: I am a college professor my father was a college professor his father was a college professor, too. Some say college is different from real life. For our family, college is real lifeits the family business.
Suggestions For High School Kids Who Dont Want To Go To College
If your child is not excited about the idea of going to college, dont pressure them to go immediately after high school. Let them know that they dont have to decide right now, they can take a break from school after they graduate. However, here are my suggestions for what they should do now:
Having the option to succeed or fail on my own, without pressure from my parents, was exactly what I needed to figure out what was right for me and my future, and I believe it is what many more kids/young adults need.
Getting real life experiences and working is a great way for young adults to focus their life and their priorities, and for many that may be furthering their education when they are ready to take it seriously.
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Get Out Of Your Own Back Yard
A change of scenery might be just what you need to gain a fresh perspective and figure out what you want to do with your life. Moving away from home is a great way to assert your independence and you dont need to be going to college to leave your hometown.If you really want to see what the college experience is all about, you could even move to a college town, sit in on some classes, and enjoy the perks of campus life without the expense.You could also see a bit of the world by doing something like WorkAway or teaching English abroad. There are plenty of countries where you dont need a degree to teach English as a foreign language. You could even go sailing using a platform like Crewseekers either as a work exchange or a paid crew position. Seeing the world is a great way to broaden your horizons, see whats possible, and discover what type of life appeals to you.
Reason : You Might Just Not Be College Material
And trust us thats not a bad thing. Nobody is really college material.Humans are simply not designed to endure factory-style education to sit quietly in poorly lit rooms all day memorizing information thats unlikely to be of use to us in real life.Its time to break the stigma attached to skipping or dropping out of college. Not enjoying college, struggling with the academic requirements, or struggling to stay motivated doesnt make you a bad person.It doesnt mean youre stupid or lazy or unambitious or whatever negative thing you might think, so stop believing whoevers telling you that especially if its yourself.Truth is, everyones brains work in different ways. Were all motivated and fired up by different things, and something that energizes and fascinates your best friend might bore you to tears.If academias not your thing, thats okay. Its much better to pursue your real interests and strengths than get into debt simply because the mainstream wisdom is that you need to go to education factory college to get a decent job.With high interest rates, many low-income graduates end up making low monthly repayments that lead to student loans that grow with time instead of shrink. Dont let it happen to you.
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When Should You Go To College
The best timing for attending college is different for every person, since its such a large investment of time and money. While these investments can certainly be worth it, everyones journey looks different. Consider these factors when thinking about going to college:
- Is it something you want to do? Do you feel obligated to attend college, or is this a decision you have made for yourself? The time and money it takes to attend college are not worth it if you arent committed to your studies. There is a tremendous amount of pressure on high school students to attend college as soon as they graduate, but think about taking a gap year or two if you dont feel ready to commit to college.
- Do you have a financial plan in place? College tuition can be intimidating, but it doesnt have to stop you from achieving your educational goals. There are ways to ease the financial burden of college, and having a plan for your finances makes a great first step.
- Do you have the time to start college? Whether youre aiming for a degree that takes two years or one that takes 12, college is a major time investment. Before you apply, make sure that you have the time to take the courses youd like, whether youre attending full time or part time. Many colleges offer night, morning and weekend classes to accommodate busy schedules. A perk of higher education is that you can choose when you take your classes.
There Are Many Financial And Career Benefits
Let’s start by considering the financial advantages of a college education.
In 2019, college graduates with a bachelor’s degree earned $30,000 more per year than those with a high school diploma or its equivalent.
Here’s one of the most cited statistics that shows the benefits of a college education: a person with a bachelor’s degree will, on average, earn almost $1 million more over the course of her lifetime than somebody with just a high school diploma. While money shouldn’t necessarily be the biggest priority in anyone’s life, there’s no doubt that a higher salary will give you more opportunities, alleviate stress, and allow you to more easily support a family.
Moreover, college-educated Millennials have much lower unemployment and poverty rates. According to recent studies from 2020 to 2021 by the New York Federal Reserve Bank, young people aged 22-27 are more likely to be unemployed if they don’t have a college degree. Unemployment among those with a college degree was 3.9%, but it was 10.3% for those without a degree.
In addition, those who attended college are more likely to get married and less likely to be living in their parents’ homes. Statistics indicate that attending college has more economic benefits for Millennials than it did for previous generations. Going to college might be more important now than ever before!
As you can see, there are tons of financial benefits to getting a bachelor’s degree. But what about the professional advantages?
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Can You Balance Working Full
The idea of maintaining a full-time job while putting so much valuable energy toward earning a degree seems daunting to many. While it certainly wont be easy to accomplish, it can be an inevitable necessity for those who hope to move their careers forward through the empowerment of higher education.
Heed the advice of the many accomplished professionals who have walked these steps before you as you prepare to transition into life as a working student, and striking the right balance may become easier than you had anticipated.
As you journey toward enrolling in a degree program, youll want to be sure youre selecting a program that best fits your needs and your busy schedule. Take the first step in narrowing your options by determining the type of program youre looking for. You can learn more by visiting our article, Online vs. Traditional Education: What You Need to Know.
College Isnt For Everyone
You have to admit after reading this that college isnt for everyone.
I mean why would a guy or girl who wants to be a realtor, for example, spend at least four years and at least $50,000 a year at college to delay doing what they love?
It doesnt make sense and college would only disappoint them with a mountain of debt.
Now the table tilts differently in two situations: your parents are paying for your entire education or youre 100% certain you need to college to get your dream job .
Its the debt that really pisses me off so if your parents are well off and can easily take the bill then thats a different story.
But still, thinking this decision through will get you in the habit of questioning the norm and making the best decision for you, not doing things because other people are doing it.
That will help you win down the road in life.
Always aim to live with intentionespecially if youre deciding about a four to six year college contract.
So is college right for you? Only you can answer that.
And before you decide promise me you will consider all of the options before you blindly go to college.
P.S. If you want help exploring your future options and becoming the best version of yourself, go here.
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It Really Does Take A Village
Joycelyn Keller, 30, a fourth-year medical student at Morehouse School of Medicine, in Atlanta, says that to make her studies work, her partner had to become what she calls Super Househusband Dad. “During my first two years, sometimes I’d be gone before our son woke up and home after he was asleep.” For the Rendon-Thofsons, the division of labor shifted over time. Michael’s classes were online, while Chad’s were in person, which meant Michael handled child-care drop-off and pickup and studied at night and on weekends.
For single parents or families where help will be needed, tap extended family, friends, and neighbors: Can someone babysit for a few hours while you study? If your school has an organization for student parents, try to connect with people there. Switch off hosting playdates to give one another time to tackle assignments, suggests Elizabeth Preovolos, a 39-year-old mother of two at the University of California, Berkeley. Mid-pandemic, she and other student parents took turns reading books over FaceTime to each other’s kids.
There’s No Time Like The Present
In 2016, Chad Rendon-Thofson graduated at age 44 with a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance. One year later, his husband, Michael, earned his bachelor’s in organizational leadership. They opted to return to school when their kids were 1 and 2 Michael, who’d recently been laid off, had two years of undergrad, and Chad, a stay-at-home dad, had left college in 1998 one credit shy of a degree. Rather than both returning to work just as their family was growing, “we decided, ‘Let’s show our kids that it’s never too late to put your mind to something,'” Michael says.
Chad and Michael, now 49 and 37, are two of the 1 million SCND students to return to school and earn a degree between 2014 and 2019. Whether your goal is to complete a bachelor’s degree or embark on a new one, your first step is to explore nearby schools and admissions requirements. Some schools are open admission, meaning all applicants are accepted . Other schools are more selective. Many no longer require the SAT or ACT, but some do, so make sure to do your research.
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This Post Has 2 Comments
I think that if the answer to why you are doing anything is I dont know,everyone else is doing it,its what Im supposed to do then its probably a good idea to wait and reassess what you think you are going to get out of it.
I absolutely agree that not everyone needs to go to college, or they dont need to go straight out of high school-especially if they have no idea what they want to do as a job/career! Theres no point in spending that money if there isnt a good plan.
I disagree a lot with your opportunity cost assessment, though. Unfortunately, many decent paying jobs require a college degree even if the job itself doesnt require skills normally learned in college. An annual salary of minimum wage comes to $15,080. Some jobs on your list may not require a college degree, but they do require training and certification to the tune of thousands. Take pilots-just getting the certification isnt enough to get a job at a major airline making a good wage. First you have to get enough experience and that means lower tiered airlines and barely making above minimum wage.
You do a really good job of getting the conversation about the necessity of college going! So many people go just because its the next life step but as you pointed out there are many alternatives. College will always be there-but if youre not jazzed about it then its in your financial interest to explore other alternatives first.
Look Into Bootcamps And Short Programs
Coding bootcamps have exploded in popularity over the past few years, to the point where theres even a $3,000 prep program to train people to apply for coding bootcamps.
If youre interested in a computer science career, such programs are one of your best shots at getting there fast. With so much interest in the market, options abound for schools with different business models, teaching styles, and niche focuses. For maximum benefit, there are programs like 42, a coding school backed by a French billionaire that plunges students into a four-week piscine of immersive, intensive training, inviting them to spend nearly a whole month coding, day and night.
Just make sure to do your researchas not every bootcamp is capable of delivering what it promises, and some of them are falsely riding the wave of the success of others before them.
Youre Going Only Because Of Societys Rules
Oh boy, here we go with society. Please dont. And I mean, please dont do something just because society told you so, or because its trending, or just because everybody else in your girl gang is doing it. Not a bright idea, my friend. It may not affect you now but it will affect you soon, and its going to be negative. See, we love following trends. We love doing something because the people around us do the same thing. But the question is, do we also really like to do it? Are we really having fun with this social trend? Im guessing, when it comes to college education, its a no. I mean, who sees debt as fun? Who sees years of expensive tuition fee as fun? So, my friend, this is your reminder that you can do whatever the heck you want to do. You can take one short course after the other, or you can go to college and get a degree. Anything. Even when society thinks its weird.
Trust In Your Abilities
Another element Stolard views as crucial to a successful college experience while working full-time is consistently choosing to believe in yourself. If you doubt your abilities, he says, youre more likely to burn out.
Trust in yourself enough to believe you can balance both work and your education, Stolard encourages. Trust that you are aware that both are equally important. Trust the decision you made to move forward with both responsibilities is the right one. He adds that being intentional about keeping your family and close friends tuned into the benefits that await you upon graduation can help them offer you some extra encouragement along the way.
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