Is College the Only Option after High School?

January 16, 2019

“So, what college are you planning on going to?”

  Also known as every senior’s least favorite question, which seems to be everyone else’s favorite one to ask. As the last semester of high school carries on, college feels incredibly close. With so many deadlines, applications, and scholarships to stay on top of, things can start to feel overwhelming. For me, senior year has felt like a never-ending series of working on college planning, while also trying to grasp that I still have to finish high school. It is a very weird place to be caught in and is especially challenging to feel like you have no idea how to navigate the idea of college. It seems like all of my friends know exactly what they’re doing with their lives while I struggle to finish college applications at the last minute.

  While I think that college is important, I also feel that it is extremely overrated. The pressure to have a college education in the modern day makes you feel as though it is the only option after high school, not a path that’s open to choose. College always seemed like the right path for me, but as I progressed in school I realized that high school was pretty much engineered to make me feel that college is the only option after graduation. My senior year was the first time I actually stopped to question the idea of college. I have always felt the need to do well in school and be involved because I want to go to a good college, but I never stopped to think about what that really means. I have marked every college application as undecided because I honestly have no idea what major I’m interested in. I think the current problem for most high schoolers is that college is this idea that is expected of us, and we apply for college because it is something that we feel we should do, not something we have taken the time to consider or question.

  I have decided to explore college mainly because I have no idea what else to do, but I notice that many seniors who choose to opt out of a very expensive decision face ridicule by others. If you decide not to go to college, everyone else seems to think you are headed nowhere in life, which makes no sense to me. In our current world, there are so many new careers to follow that can’t even be taught by a college professor. New jobs are developing so rapidly that by the time college is over for some, brand new jobs that can’t be taught to you in school will have already developed. But, no matter where your post-secondary plan leads you, I wish every 2019 senior the best of luck.

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