For years I have been told that college was in my future, right after high school. All four years I thought this was the only path to take. Suffice to say, I went to college, but not right out of high school because there were some factors preventing that. Competing for scholarships and always losing, lack of funds, the parent’s ultimate choice for you, and of course no real clue as to what I wanted to do.
From the year 2003 up until now, I have learned something very valuable. Life lessons are not always learned on college campuses; being educated means having experience and a knack for researching information. If you have that, then you can accomplish many things without going to college right after high school, or enter college later in your adult life.
WORK IT OUT
The first choice you can make, is to work. This is the most obvious choice, and I would not mention something I have not lived through before. I graduated with honors from high school, but realized that fighting for scholarships and hoping to find out what I truly wanted to do would waste time and money. I decided to work and earn a living for myself and save some money. While other students were already in college, they remained dependent on their parents for many things like funding and laundry. I lived with my father, but I was able to save money and had time to hone my skills and find out what other options I had.
Even though you have the choice to work., the kind of job you take up after high school matters much. If you know deep down inside you are a communicator at heart- why not work for a newspaper? If you would like to manage and own your own business, why not work in retail or even fast food? Fast food and retail may seem like “bottom of the rung” type of businesses, but it isn’t hard to work your way up in these fields and once you go to college, you would have real world experience and credits that may allow you to finish undergraduate school earlier than most.
THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH VOLUNTEERING
The second option you have is to volunteer. After high school, you have lots of time in the summer to help out and find an internship. Why only in the summer though? Make the time to develop the whole person by engaging in giving to the needy, volunteering in hospitals, and finding internships. Yes, some of these areas will pay you, especially internships. You will have to do your research to find out which is paying.
EVERY NOW AND THEN, TAKE A COURSE
Finally, another choice you can make before going to college, is to take college courses. In this way, you pay only for the courses you want to take and get the experience and the credit . for example, I contacted the the Academy of Art College in California and they offered me the option to take a course in art every now and then to kind of feel my way through the courses. Eventually, when I want to go to college I can use those credits and transfer the credits to my major. College is an option and a privilege, and it is very costly if you aren’t sure of what you are doing. Talk with your high school guidance counselor about your options, speak with your parents, either way, the decision is yours regardless.