When I realized that going to a four-year university was not right for me, I had an internal freak out. I thought that it was what I had to do, and that I had no other options. I was wrong though.
If you feel the same way and think that college is not right for you, I promise there are other options for you—just like there were for me.
1. Trade schools
Going into a trade is an extremely smart idea. It is a very specialized program to train to do a certain job or task, and most of the time, the programs are extremely hands-on and two years or less. They are also not nearly as costly as college.
Some examples of trades are being a hair stylist, aesthetician, carpenter, electrician, pre-school teacher, pastry chef, police officer, medical imager (which is what I am doing), paralegal or personal trainer. There are many more to add to this list, and all of these careers are very practical.
If you have a passion for or interest in something, chances are that you can find a trade school for it. My passion is the medical field, and I can still have a successful career in that field without going to a four-year school. These programs are not easy as they tend to be very rigorous and focused, but they are very doable and hands-on.
2. Working world
Many people decide to start work instead of going to college. Whether it is at a family business or at a job they previously had, many people work, make money and, if they enjoy the business they are in, work their way up to a manager-type position.
This is very smart, and in the long-run, it can pay off if you work your way up in the job you are at and build personal relationships.
Instead of possibly being in debt by going to college and having it not be right for you, you can make money while still pushing forward in a career. I know quite a few people who took this route: they have a job, and are working their way up in various businesses by working extremely hard and proving themselves.
3. Armed forces/ROTC
Joining the ROTC is always an option for people who do not feel as though going to a four-year college is the right option for them. Of course, you can still go to college while being part of the armed forces (with a great scholarship) if you feel that is right for you.
If you are passionate about serving your country, then look into joining the armed forces. There are many options with the ROTC—more than I can even list in this article.
4. Time off
College may not be for you at the moment, but that does not mean that it will never be right for you. The wonderful part about college is that it is always there, and is also very flexible with people’s lifestyles, especially now with the increase of online classes to get your degree.
Just because you feel that college is not right for you now does not mean that you cannot change your mind later on.
If you are already in college and feel as though it is not right for you, you may just need some time off to re-group and figure everything out. There is so much pressure to graduate high school and then college four years later and have your bachelor’s degree.
It is okay if it takes you more than four years. It is also okay if you choose not to go back to college and do something else instead. Everyone has a different path in life, and I promise you will figure it all out.
Do you have any other advice or other options for those who feel that traditional college is not right for them? If so, leave a comment below!