If your parents are getting on you about getting a college degree so that you can make something of yourself consider that it isn’t personal. Chances are they didn’t have any access to the education that for you is an inalienable right. Chances are they could have went to school, but weren’t encouraged to as it was far easier to get by in life with a great paying job in a factory, or office work that was easy to come by. Changes are they didn’t have the money to go to school as the government wasn’t as generous in giving out financial aid as it is today.
These days a college degree is a high school diploma; entry level administrative and factory work, if you can find the latter, does not pay as well as it did twenty years ago and isn’t an inroad to being middle class. You may work in a doctors office but live in the projects around everyone else who is on welfare, the time have changed dramatically. An Associates Degree helps only if you are focused and know what it is that you want out of life and you have the know with all to make it work for you.
But a college degree still isn’t needed for success, there are still many roads to success that can provide you with a comfortable life without your going into debt to finance your education. Great careers can still be found, and you can get into the ground floor of the medical profession through medical billing or hospital administrative classes or into computing through tech support jobs at a call center. These jobs pay enough for you to pay the rent and use public transportation affordably, and most offer some form of retirement to supplement your social security when you get older.
Being successful is about about having the determination to thrive, and not just facing your obligation to work unenthusiastically. You may have to work more than one job, invest your money into greater business opportunities elsewhere and be a bit more creative and aggressive about obtaining money in the first place. Those with a college degree can afford a nice comfortable home, perhaps not the one on the top of the hill but one that can get them into the right neighborhood; but if they live outside of their means they face the same issues with debt to begin with. There is no excuse to have obtained a nice job with a college degreee, and to continue to work in that same capacity 20 years later because you haven’t taken any initiative to get ahead; particularly when there are people without one that would kill to have the same opportunities that you take for granted.
So if you do not have a college degree, for any reason, keep in mind that you can still make it in life if you are determined to do so.