For a lot of you, it has been drilled into your mind ever since you were younger that you MUST go to college. Your parents went, your siblings went, and everyone you know basically went. Here are 3 high school graduates who explain why they decided not to go to college, and why college is not the only option.
- “I would love to open my own flea market stand. I’m not really concerned about getting a degree in order to do what I want to do.”
I never had a bad experience in school, but I felt very out of place in the classroom. It’s not that I’m not smart, but I didn’t like how structured the learning and assignments were. I’m definitely more of a hands-on learner, and I always enjoyed art and classes like that. I helped my grandparents with their flea market stand, and I got really into vintage markets and antiques and realized that’s what I wanted to do. I thought about going to college, and I applied last minute to a local community college and the Art Institute of Philadelphia, but the Art Institute didn’t have exactly the program I was looking for — you can’t get a degree to work at flea markets.
I live with my parents, and I work as a waitress to earn money until I can support myself by working and selling antiques at markets. I would love to open my own flea market stand and then eventually travel with it, and then maybe one day, open my own vintage marketplace. I’m not really concerned about getting a degree in order to do what I want to do. It’s a concern if that doesn’t work out, because I don’t want to be waitressing forever. But I’ve thought about it a lot, and I really can’t see myself going back to school. —Hannah Stewart from Glen Rock, Pennsylvania
2) “I didn’t want to go and waste my money if I wasn’t sure what my goal was.”
I looked into college, but I didn’t really find anything I was really interested in studying. I didn’t want to go and waste my money if I wasn’t sure what my goal was. I had a friend going into the Marines, and that led me to look into joining the Navy. It seemed like a better fit for me because I wasn’t going to have to pay to figure out what I wanted to do. But I’m not just doing it for the money — I like the idea of being on a ship and getting to travel, and I’ll be learning navigation and oceanography.
Sometimes I do question if it’s what I really want to do. I think I’m scared to be away from my home and family and friends, but I’m excited to see the world and see what I can do on my own. —Tatiyana from Kenosha, Wisconsin
3) “I chose to go into the Marines because I wanted to know that I was making a difference.”
I chose to go into the Marines because I wanted to know that I was making a difference from the moment I get up in the morning. I looked into college because my family wanted me to, but nothing really caught my attention. For me, college felt like I wouldn’t get any real experience, but in the Marines, I would get direct training in whatever job I choose, and immediately start working and traveling to different places and meeting a lot of different people.
I’m not American — I was born in Jamaica. My family questioned why I would put myself into any type of situation for a country that isn’t my own. But I’m doing it for the people in this country, and, after I listed the benefits, they started to see it as an opportunity and said they would support me in whatever way they could. —Krystal Reid from Landover, Maryland