To Go or Not To Go


Amanda Gardiner, Staff Writer

As a junior in high school the first question most people ask you is “so where are you thinking about going for college?” No matter how many times I get asked this question I never know how to answer it. I understand why they would ask the question. Most teenagers my age are counting down the days until they graduate highschool, spend one last summer with their childhood friends, then pack up the car and head out to start their new ‘adult’ life. 

I am definitly not against college, if I had different goals in life I would definitely be looking and applying to schools. As someone who is open about not wanting to go to college, I get a lot of judement and people tend to think ‘if you don’t go to college you won’t achieve anything in life.’ I have full intentions of being happy and successful without a college education. I decided I didn’t want to go to college at a young age and people always made the assumption I was just lazy and didn’t like school. I enjoy school and learning, I think I would thrive in college, however,  I would rather spend those years learning the skills I need for what I really want to do with my life, and unfortuantly college can’t give me those specific skills. 

Due to the fact that not attending college is not the most common route after high school it can get really hard and I do get self conscious about my choice because of some peoples opinions. I find an article written by Mike Row, host of dirty jobs, to be very comftorting. “When it comes to pushing the value of four-year school – we push them on EVERYONE. We’ve got in our heads that college education is SO important, that the cost in irrelevant, along with the actual demand for whatever major the kid might wish to declare.” There are plenty of careers that require a college degree like doctors, lawyers, polititions, ect, but just feels wrong to apply, make that large financial investment, and attend four years or more of university to get a degree that I might never use.

I know plenty of people who got their degree to “fall back on” incase they ever need it, but I don’t think spending upwards of $100,000 to “fall back on” is worth it for me. A family friend, Sophie Middlebrook has a similar opinion. “I went to UMASS Lowell for one semester and lived there and was fully in college, then I tried to do another semester online but only made it through half way before I decided to give it up, college isn’t just going to give you a job that will make you money, it’s the drive that will make you money.” Now at 25 years old, Sophie has no dept and has an adequate income to live off of, while her friends that did go to college, have the same job as her and have spent all of their money paying back their dept for a degree they find to now not be useful.

I also know plenty of people who have very opposing opinions than mine. Hattie Clark, who graduated from University of Georgia, says “I am 33 and haven’t used my degree yet, key word yet, with the sport and the carrer path that I have picked at any moment I could break my back and need to find a whole new life path. I could also at any moment just decide I want to go work in an office and live the “easy life”’. I understand amd respect Hattie’s opinions and it would definitely throw a wrench in my life if I was injured or something beyond my control happened to drastically change my life path but there are plenty of well paying jobs in my field of interest  that don’t require a degree. 

I have always put a lot of thought into what I want to achieve in my life and I have now made my mind up about it. I am the type of person who won’t give up until I have accomplished what I set my mind to and if getting a college education was one of those things I would be working very hard towards it. Instead I decided to but my time, effort and 100% dedication into what I love and want to continue to do for rest of my life. So many people get pretty close minded thinking no matter what everyone needs a degree. Maybe 15 years ago it was much more important to have but in todays world there are so many different options. I think taking some of the college pressure off young adults would allow for them to start their ‘adult’ life doing something they are passionate about.