I remember being in grade school and asking my mom, “What comes after 6th grade.”
“Junior high,” she answered.
“And after that?”
“And after that?”
She was right. At least, she was right about me. I did go to college, and it was the very best choice for me. I got good grades, took advantage of wonderful opportunities, and met my closest friends.
But I’m here to tell you, college is not for everyone—and that’s okay!
Our society has pushed the same kind of narrative that my mother did—grow up, go to college, get a job. Maybe one day in the past that was true, and people felt like they had to get a four-year degree to be successful, but that is not the case today. We live in a world that is hungry for people to apprentice, to learn skills, and to master trades.
That narrative also presents a stigma that people who don’t choose a university after high school won’t be successful; however, there are plenty of successful careers that don’t require a university degree. I know diesel mechanics, dental hygienists, and general contractors who are wonderful at what they do and have achieved success in their fields. Furthermore, what would we do without these people? It is vital to recognize the importance that all roles have in our communities, regardless of how much education different vocations require.
I don’t mean to sound derogatory toward college graduates. Completing my four-year degree was the best choice I ever made, and if I had the chance to do my life over again, I would still choose college. Still, it is important for people to evaluate all of their options, not simply pour thousands of dollars into a university degree because society has told them they’re supposed to.
My advice to young graduates is simple: figure out what you want to do, and figure out how to make it happen. The only career that will bring you success is the one you love.
Photo by Pixabay
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