Is college always the next step?

Camryn Robbinson, News Editor

When thinking of the next step after high school, many students assume that enrolling in college is the normal and correct thing to do. But in recent years, it is now becoming more socially acceptable to not attend college right after high school.

For most people, including myself, funding for college doesn’t just appear in your bank account overnight. College is a commitment, as well as something one has to save up and work extensively for in order to achieve the best possible outcome for a successful future. College is not for everyone, and that is perfectly fine. There are a multitude of  different opportunities given to high school graduates, whether that be entrepreneurship or even just a gap year to decide what one wants to do with the rest of their life.

Personally, I do not know what I want to be when I grow up, but I have always envisioned myself enrolling in the college of my dreams. When I was younger, I would have never considered not attending college, but now that option is much more accessible. I still plan on going to college, but who says I can’t take a gap year to really focus on what I want to do in my future?

I have seen many people who graduate from high school, enroll in college and then drop out the following semester. It makes me wonder that if those people took a second to think about their future instead of following the socially acceptable and promoted thing to do, would they still have dropped out? Would they still have considered enrolling in the first place?

I don’t think these questions can ever be answered, because college is different for everyone. Everyone will have different experiences after high school and during college, but that is not a bad thing. In fact, being able to love what you do, regardless of any degree, is exceptionally rare these days.

With all the new occupational opportunities in the world, college should not be the only option after high school. If everyone decided to get a degree, there wouldn’t be any jobs left for those who do not have one. If this were the case, it would be normal for people with a Ph.D to work as a cashier. This furthers my point that college is not and cannot be for everyone.

I would like to believe that I will go to college in a couple of years, but I wouldn’t be upset if I didn’t, and neither should anybody else reading this. I am not saying that college is bad or that people should not go after they graduate high school, but I am saying that you should not feel pressured to attend an expensive school just to drop out in the second semester if you know you aren’t ready. College is something that takes time to think about, and the answer should not be decided on based on what everyone else is doing. Jumping on the bandwagon will lead to you dread waking up in the morning to go to class. Instead, maybe consider keeping that extra 40 grand a year, and not just throw it at some college you never really wanted to go to in the first place.