Maybe college isn't the right choice for you

With the new school year happening, stress may be upon those who think they have a quick decision to make. Whether you are starting your freshman or senior year of high school, or you’ve just graduated, there is something about the word “college” that may be intimidating to you. We’ve all been told it’s never too early to decide what you want to do, but do we ever hear that it’s never too late? If you’re struggling with a decision, it is okay. You’re still young, and it is never too late to decide. Do not let time scare you. Success does not just happen over night. Although, it may seem like it does happen over night, success happens through hard work and determination.

College is not for everyone, and it is certainly not the only path to success. Some of you may fall into your familys business and not have to go to college, and that’s okay. Some of you might join ROTC in high school and go straight into the military, and that is more than okay. Some of you may have a special skill, and not need to go to college to pursue a career. There are trade schools, institutions, and other alternative routes to a successful future.

This might shock you, but some of the most successful businessmen in the world do not have college degrees. According to the Gentlemen’s Journal, Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard in 2004. Zuckerberg built Facebook into the world’s largest social network, and is now worth $34.8 billion.

For those of you thinking about the military, while the main reason is to support and fight for our country, there are many benefits to the military that people have yet to consider. Those who serve our country have full health care coverage, as well as job security. The economy has been dropping the past few years. The Military Wallet points out that there has been high levels of unemployment, rising costs, and the outsourcing of many jobs. The military is a high demand job, and a degree is not needed to join.

If you’re not the business type, or not really interested in the military, there are still more options. Maybe you have a special talent? Are you an artist? Are you more of a blue-collared worker? Trade schools and institutions are great for those of you who have a talent, but don’t necessarily have to get a college degree to use it. This is where the majority of people find their work after school. There are millions of jobs out looking for a specific skill such as welding, construction, locksmithing, photography, writing, and so much more.

Still not sure what to do? Again, it is never too late to decide. Get on your computer or smart phone and use Google. There are so many resources on the internet that can point you in the right direction.

Do not be afraid to go in the opposite direction of what is “expected.” Here is a quote that I hope encourages you to follow your own dream and not someone else’s.

“At first they will ask why you did it, later they will ask how you did it.” —Unknown

Mallory Buettemeyer is a 2014 Burleson graduate and student at the University of North Texas.

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