Alternatives to College after High School Graduation

Students these days have many choices when they graduate high school. A large number of students choose to go straight to college. This can be because they want to continue the momentum of studies or it could be the fact they are expected to jump right into a degree program.

This course of action isn’t for everyone and sometimes a student who plunges right into continuing their academic journey ends up unsuccessful. College is best experienced when you are ready for it, not because you were forced or expected to apply from familial or societal pressure. Families who put strain on their graduates are not helping them, but in fact more likely setting them up to fail.

If you feel college is not for you at the time of your high school graduation, you’ll probably take comfort in the fact you aren’t alone. Many other students aren’t ready to make the college commitment right away and choose to consider alternatives. There is nothing wrong if you decide not to head off to the dorms right away. If you feel you aren’t ready it’s likely you won’t put forth the effort you’ll need in order to succeed. It also may be that college simply doesn’t interest you and there is nothing wrong with that. Whatever the reason, it’s probably better to explore other options than to force yourself to do something which doesn’t interest you.

What are some of those options?

*Trade or vocational program. If you have a particular skill or are interested in a niche area, a career program might be a good choice to consider. It’ll be a change of pace from the intense studying an academic degree requires, but will still be challenging and keep you stimulated as you learn valuable skills. Entering a vocational program provides you with much knowledge and you’ll attain priceless hands-on experience as you learn.

*Military. Many people dismiss the idea of joining the military because of the risks involved, but it should also be noted that entering the military provides education, hands-on experience and many other life skills which are valuable. If you enlist, you also receive a great chance for a lifelong career should you choose to continue. You’ll also have the opportunity to obtain money for college should you choose to go at a later date. You can pursue college and enter civilian life or use it to further your military career and become an officer.

*Work. After high school many students want to jump right into the proverbial rat-race and go to work. If you are motivated enough and have a little experience from a job you held in high school, this means you have something to place on a resume which will work to your advantage. It’s best to target larger companies where there is room for growth and which has a higher number of entry-level positions. If you can find a job like this, you’ll get your foot in the door and have an opportunity to build your skills, earn money and start climbing that corporate ladder.

*Travel. Education is not limited to the classroom. If you have the financial means, traveling abroad or even domestically offers a world full of learning and opportunity. What better way to gain knowledge of about the world than to get out there to see and experience it first-hand. You can learn anything from a textbook, but by seeing history and culture in person, you’ll have achieved a fantastic way to continuing your education without cracking a book or writing a research paper.

As you can see, there are several options you have instead of pursuing a formalized education program. Learning comes in all shapes and forms and sometimes alternatives end up being the more valuable way to learn. This is an individual decision and one which should not be taken lightly. The good thing is you can always revisit the idea of college at a later date; it is very common these days for students of all ages to meet in the classroom.

Choosing an alternative course of action after high school is not “wrong” and you shouldn’t let anyone make you feel that way if you are receiving any kind of pressure. What is “wrong” is not having a plan at all and spending post-high school days idling away. As long as you have some sort of strategy, you’ll be well on your way to success.