The purpose of this blog is to prove that there are other forms of education outside of college, and that a college dropout can be as successfull as a college graduate. I am not that well off, but I have a job, and I know so many college graduates who do not because there are in this vicious circle where employers will ask you for experience, but will not be willing to give you any jobs, so that you can acquire said experience. Well, in those kind of moments, what you did before, after college, but also what you did if you did not go to college is utterly important and can help you in any interviews. Now, let me be clear, I am not against college. As a matter of fact, I might go back to college or a form of formal higher education in a few years. What I am against is people going to university just because their parents told them to. If you are old enough to go to college, you are old enough to make your own decision. Based on this assumption, parents, teachers, and even friends will put you under a tremendous amount of pressure and will ask you to decide right now what you want to do for the rest of your life, because if you have not figured that out by 18, you are inevitably doomed. Well, even if you are an adults and you can make indeed decision, it does not mean that you have all the answers at 18, and that’s ok. The truth is nobody figured it out. And if you have, please do tell! Now, some people might have found their calling and are really sure what they want to do, and it is fantastic, but most of us do not. Believe me, the best thing you can do in this case is to take some time from you, and discover what you want to do or what you might want to do. If your parents are against it, well congratulations, you just found out what you were going to do next…
First, Convince your parents that you do not have to go to college.
Secondly, if this fails, find a way to support yourself financially and emotionnally while you are not going to college and do these awesome things instead…
I think there is a quote that says travel is the only thing that you buy that will make you richer and it is so true. Meeting new people and being confronted to new cultures, will not only open your mind, it will also bring you clarity about what you really want. If you do not have a lot of money, you do not need to travel far. I live in Belgium, and way of life in Germany or The Netherlands is really different, of course there are similiraties, but overall différences. Besides, as a foreigner, you increase your chances to meet other foreigners from all walks of life during your journey. If you have more money, why not take a round the world trip ?
Try those entry level job, preferably related to a field that you like so that you can see if it is worth it to go back to college to explore that more. With those jobs, it is more about motivation and doing your work preparing the interview than qualifications, which means more opportunities to get them. Of course, it is up to you to bust your ass to prove that you are worth it and that you can have more responsibilities and then applied for other positions. Some people became Operations Managers (which is basically a manager of a team of managers) this way when they only started from the bottom. You can also be a waitress and save all of your money to….travel for example 😉
Well, just like first entry level job, internship are easier to get as most of the time, you are not not paid to do them. Now, some people say you should not accept those as every work deserves a salary. I say, if you can afford it and you know it is going to bring extra value to you in your journey to self-discovery, just do it !
4) Read books
You cannot live on this one, but you can become incredibly educated on any subject with this. Also, you get to pick up the brain of your favourite people if they happen to have written a book, and this sensation is amazing ! It is like having someone personally telling you what to do except they have written all the instructions done, and it is up to you to make what you want of it. I vividly recommend non-fiction book for this phase after high school where you need this extra motivation and to boost your confidence in believing you made the right choice by not going to college straight away or by not going at all.
5) Online courses
So many online courses are available to us now, with Skillshare, MasterClass, apps that will teach you anything, it would be crazy not to take advantage of it. These courses might come with a cost, but there are no better investment than the one you make in yourself. Those skills will become asset and they will stay with you forever, you cannot put a price on that ! And it will certainly help you with these interviews later on to justify the “no experience bit”. Of course, putting what you learn into practice by going to the country whom you have studied the language and then take a small part-time job then will show to the employer that you can learn things quickly and by yourself, but also that you are really able to make something of the skills you have learned.
6) Learn new languages
Ok, maybe one might be hard enough. This one is related to the online course, you do not have to go to school or college to learn a language…of course, it helps to have the teachers kicking you in the butt with some pop quizz and extremely difficult tests and exams who force you to study the language because, well, you have to. Only know, you do not have to, you want to and this changes everything, this will help you to keep going at a slower and steady pace, but still ! I can feel it with korean, sometimes I will be tired and not study, but for example today I learn a new thing and I was like you know what I might as well go through three lessons on my app. And when it comes to language if you really like it, the trick do it for 10 minutes and then stop really works, you generally end up studying or practicing for at least 30 minutes.
7) Learn how to code. Coding is so important right now, I wish I made time for that. It is certainly a skill that will allow you to get a job without a degree if you are good at it. And again, plenty of free ressources out there to just start.
This has not to be far. Every country has probably a volunteer programm where you can basically stay in your own country and help people. Of course, you can also combine travelling and volunteering but be aware of Voluntourism, a trend that is more and more popular, and that is basically taking your money in exchange of your voluntary work except that this work does not help at all the locals. (I heard some crazy story, read some articles in any decent newspapers about that, and you’ll see). Now, I am sure some organisations have good intentions and do not take advantage of you, but please ask many questions before going and giving your money.
9) Create your own business
This will require for you some to combine some steps like reading+online courses+coding and BOUM you can have your own e-shop (for example). Nobody said it was easy, but creating a business does not require any college degree, so if yo have a really good idea, why wait ?
10) Be an artist
If your passion is a creative one, I have doubt about the fact that you will go to college anyway. Go for it, practice thousands of hours on your art, learn how to be your best publicist and take the world by storm. If this does not work, well your future you will thank you because at least you tried, you had the courage to do what so few people are willing to do.
You know, I’d rather try and fail than fail to try. This is what happened with my studies, and I do not think this time was lost…this allowed me to be exactly where I am today, and I know I am on a Journey that will only stop with my last breath. This might seem morbid to you, but it makes me really happy to think that way. It means I get a new chance every single day.
Do you have any other suggestions ? Did you go to college ? If yes, why and if not, what did you do ?
Wishing you the best of luck.