I don't know if I want to go to college.

soulfulgirllost (@shaymc) 8 years, 9 months ago

Hello, I am a junior in high school. I am going to graduate next year…but, I have no idea what I want to do afterwards. Ever since I can remember, I’ve always been told to go straight to college right after high school and, I was always okay with that. Content with the thought of going to an in or out of state college after high school was over. Recently though, the reality of graduation and what I want to do after I graduate has been hovering around me like a dark cloud.. I need help. I do not know what I want to do anymore… If I even want to go to college directly after high school or at all even. I was thinking about just taking a gap-year off to discover myself and just to figure things out. I am very much interested in acting, photography, fashion and traveling… One of those categories would be my dream career. I really need some advice because I am an only child and my family won’t understand. I don’t want to be the “looser kid” in the family.. I just want to be happy and live a good life.

February 10, 2013 at 8:51 pm
Miles (16) (@maturp835) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@shaymc, I’ve been thinking about this too, even though I’m a freshman. I always thought that going to high school, college, then getting a job was like your life. But, after I found this website I realized dropping assumptions about things is good. I think if you have the money, going to college and taking courses in one of those classes will help you distinguish yourself from others who may have just tried to get a career straight from high school. College will allow you to hone in on your wants now that high school has given you a strong base of education. Like I said, I’m only a freshman, so I don’t speak from experience, but I think that is what makes sense. It’s also better to get these skills just in case, so you don’t have to go back to school when you are older. Whatever you decide, set goals so you know what you want to accomplish in the long run. I’ve started to do that and it has really helped.

Anonymous (8) (@) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@shaymc, in my immediate family I am the oldest and the first one to have to go through this decision. When I was in high school my story was a little different. All I wanted to do was to go to a 4 year university graduate with a Bachelor’s, get a Master’s, get a PhD and do research. That was all i wanted to do with my life and I thought there was nothing in this world that would stop me from doing that. But life isn’t something you can script out or mandate. I finished my junior year and I ran out of money to complete my last year. Initially I was very disappointed in myself and slightly embarrassed with where I was in life. I’ve been out of school for 2 years and these two years have allowed me to get to know myself and what I really want out of life. Getting caught up in the system (graduating from high school going straight to college) makes you forget who you are and who you want to be. Now that I’ve been out of school, i realized that yes i do want to graduate with a Bachelor’s and possibly a Masters but mainly i realized that my profession is never going to be my priority because to me family life is much more important. I want to start a family and have children and make THEM my priority. This is something i would’ve never known if I had continued with school.

Lastly I want to say that if you take a year off it doesn’t mean you can’t go back. You can ALWAYS go back. Schools aren’t gonna pick up and disappear. Just make sure you are productive that time that you take off. Learn about the things that fascinate you. Get a good quality camera, maybe quick class in photography somewhere and learn about that. Travel, learn about places. .. Just don’t become a couch potato is my point.

Hope this helps and good luck on your journey and don’t forget to have fun!!

Edward Bernays (131) (@edwardbernays) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@shaymc, I went, am now finishing my final term as a senior. And I loved it. But the experience is subjective. If you find something that can hold your interest and you enjoy learning then you’ll enjoy the experience and excel. If you’re just going for the sake of going, then probably not. If you don’t go (and even if you do) prepare to work your ass off if you want to do what you want to do and actually make money off of it. Don’t think that this website was just created through one day of work. It takes time and energy, but don’t let that discourage you. Also a gap year can be great as well as taking a break during your studies. Find what you wanna do, what you love and do it-either through college or through another route.

Auston (18) (@baptiste) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

I know how you feel. When I was a junior in High School I didn’t know if I wanted to go into the military or to college, and it was a huge problem in my house, I ended up going to college (i’m a 3rd year now) and I don’t regret it, but I always wonder what if. Don’t get me wrong, I love college, best and most influential period of my life.

Ill keep it simple for you though: College will only be harder if you start later socially, but the work load will seem less strenuous. You will always wonder “what if” you did something else. Some days you will regret it and want to just run away, just get on a plane and leave. Some days you will be so proud and feel more accomplished then you ever have in your entire life, feel like college is where you really belong. It’s life, and that’s just it: It’s your life. You only get one. So my advice to you, if you take any from this, is what ever you do, do something. And what ever that something is, you give it your fucking all.

Don’t not go to college and just sit in your room playing CoD all day, asking your parents for money, working a minimum wage job that sucks ass. In the long run, no one will care when you went to college, or how long it took you to finish. Diploma’s don’t have “Years Attended” on it. But for me, college helped me figure out what I want to do with my life, and the steps I want to take after. What I want to do with my life is simple: to be able to look back and think back on the things I did instead of all the things I thought. So I’m in college. I play rugby, double majoring, and work. When I graduate in 2 or 3 more years, I’m going to travel the world, studying different sports, martial arts, combat, and everything physical I can (i’m a Kinesiology major).

But thats all just rambling. And most of this won’t sink in until your about my age (20) at least. Took a while for it to really hit me. But this is it. This is your life. You only get one. Just live it up. 2 years from now, your mom isnt going to care what you did, as long as it wasnt nothing. So dont worry about that. But you have to realize, your family knows what you dont. they are trying to set you up for success in the simplest and most practical way. College will evolve your mind and develop you into an adult. But if you don’t want to, don’t. You will always regret not going down the other path, but thats just how life goes, you only get one path to take.

“If I get one life to give, I’m going to give it all I got. If I get the chance I’m going to be who I am instead of who I’m not. When I die, I want to be able to look up and smile, think back on all the things I did instead of all the things I thought.”

E.C.F. Doyle (346) (@chekovchameleon) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@shaymc, I’d say take the gap year, find out what you want to study, ehat you are truly interested in. In my experience most people don’t enter careers related to there college subject, unless they study business or science. So it is important to pick something you love because even if you don’t follow it as a career path you will have furthered your own personal growth.
Don’t worry about being the “loser kid” in your family. Do what makes you happy. There is no point of putting the happiness, expectations, satisfaction or pride of others ahead of your own happiness. If people are judging you for your happiness then they are obviously just assholes.

Anonymous (177) (@) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@shaymc, “I don’t want to be the “looser kid” in the family.. I just want to be happy and live a good life.” – being a loser kid is according to some idea outside of yourself – you are not and cannot be a loser – big step – but – get over the weight of the opinion of others regarding you – you were born happy and perfect and still are that and always will be that because you are that is you – life is life – not ‘good’ – not ‘bad’ – just is – as you just are – all is actually okay just as it is – you are waking-up to your true nature/self – congratulations – you may hear “if you skip a year before going to college you never will go” – so what? – who can live your life but you? – so, relax – graduation is around 15 months away – don’t stress too much now

Tobias Valdemar Broe Knudsen (92) (@2bias) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

great advise here! i’m a junior as well

Anonymous (364) (@) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

Two stories here:

My story: Went through the Hierarchy of the British Education system, spending 4 years in a UK university gaining £20,000 worth of student debt. Got a Degree in a very specific area, have to work in that very specific area, have a high level of responsibility, ABSOLUTELY HATE IT! Work with people who cannot see the woods for the trees, get paid and live a lifestyle that would be very difficult to change.

My Brother story: Only got as far as completing basic education, symbolically threw his uniform in the bin and climbed over the school gates before finishing his last day in a ‘Fuck you, theres nothing you can do about it’ way. He now works in a job which he Absolutely LOVES, he has fought the government and aided some legislation change. He has been on about 6 holidays in 4 years, he has no debt and has no specific monetary ties to anything.

Sugar Magnolia (375) (@melissaurban1991) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@shaymc, i’m glad i never went to college. doesn’t mean you can’t find a good job. just ask yourself how much you are willing to compromise for your happiness. if you are hell-bent on having a miserable 9-5 with a salary until you retire, probably go to college. in my experience it’s either riches and misery, or just getting by and happiness in this world. of course there are exceptions. that is merely my observation/experience.

Anonymous (177) (@) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@shaymc, yet another way to look at it – what do you think you “want” for your future post-school life? say you went to college – what do you expect or desire for afterwards? – we only NEED 3 things to survive: food, water and shelter – everything else is just extra baggage – as alluded to above, what’s important to you? – happiness even if it means just getting by – or, 9-to-5, up to your ass in debt – living culture’s or society’s ideas of what your life should be – or living your life – when you lay down your head to sleep at night content and totally at peace – whether in a shack or a mansion – what is there to be desired or wished for outside of that?

thedudeabides (15) (@thedudeabides) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

know this…..our educational system from elementary education through the collegiate level is in need of major reform. we were taught go to school, go to college or join the military and that is how it is. that is what works. what do you really need? what do you want doesnt matter? it is what do you CHOOSE? life is here as an experience defining who you truly are, not what you’ve learned. who wants to look back on a life as lessons learned as opposed to what you’ve experienced? the truth seems to be lately that this college thing is a joke. even if you give it your all and excel you will still be fighting for a job when you are done. see how many college graduates are fighting for jobs in their chosen field that go to the lowest bidder, not the best qualified, then you have affirmative action, politics and who knows what else to be considered first. i hope you are not middle class, caucasian and male, cause you are really fucked then. the fact is you should do this as a definition of yourself as a choice of experience not a requirement to excel. if you want good job placement with great pay and vocational security, i strongly advise trade school in something like being a machinist or welding or some vocation that is in demand, if you desire a four year college experience with guaranteed job placement and choice of location i strongly suggest the four year program for land surveying. unfortunately the job market for art majors, business majors, education and the popular courses of collegiate education have a flood of over qualified graduates competing for a limited number of jobs that result in the person willing to take the lowest pay in the shittiest job. i know many individuals that are triple majors in art, biology and a language that use nothing of their degrees in their current jobs. exceptions exist but they are rare. ask around and choose what is your experience to be…..do you want a secure job with great pay and guaranteed advancement or do you wish to experience the college four year frat party, binge drinking thing with girls gone wild….just to graduate with honors…..maybe….and have some really cool looking diplomas hanging in your bedroom at your parents house cause you couldn’t find a job in your chosen major and were forced to move back home after college? hey maybe i’m wrong and blowing this out of proportion…..unless i’m not. the numbers don’t lie. good luck

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