This week’s question is from a student with his instincts saying, “college isn’t for me.”
This isn’t a bad thing.
It’s actually pretty awesome.
But hold on…
Asking the question is smart.
This Q & A will tell you what you need to know to make it smart.
You can do well in life without college.
These days it could be in your financial best interest.
Student loans are a huge burden. The less of them you have, the better of you’ll be.
More importantly, many high paying fields still pay better than students with a college degree could dream of getting.
It makes sense you’re worried.
Most students are taught about the importance of college two decades ago.
The financial truth is evolving.
College costs have exploded.
If you’ve made up your mind then you might also want to read about the best college alternative.
This article can help you take the next step to your future even if you’re deciding not to go to college.
The Great Big Question
Students asking these kinds of questions are the smart ones.
College isn’t for me. I’ve never been good at school. I’ll be able to graduate high school but I absolutely dread the thought of going to college. Everyone is saying that I should go but I just don’t think it’s right for me. What should I do if college isn’t for me?
Start by congratulating yourself.
You’re admitting to a problem that many students have but few are willing to admit to.
Our culture has taught people the importance of education.
That culture has also pushed college as the only means to that achievement.
That idea can be a major problem.
Good students aren’t even allowed to question college these days. It raises alarm bells for faculty and teachers.
In high school I told any adult that asked I was going to college when I actually had no intention to go directly to college. I wanted to take a few years off to see the world and make a little money.
I ended up making a comfortable income for a young guy but realized that I still wanted an education. I was able to get the degree without the student loan debt.
Here’s the kicker: most of the extra money after graduating has come from skills I learned before going to college.
Did the degree help that happen? No one can ever know that.
What I do know is this:
Delaying the decision to go to college saved me a fortune and made me a whole lot comfortable through the process.
College is a big decision that many people will be trying to force you into making.
The truth is:
You never have to make the decision about college.
Colleges don’t have an age limit.
Eye-Opening Advantages Of Thinking It Through
Sure, there are advantages to going to college earlier.
If you make good decisions then there are advantages to going later too:
- Get your parents off your FAFSA
- Use your youngest years doing fun stuff.
- Try different career fields.
- Get more confidence before going to college.
- Save up and avoid student loans completely.
Of course, there are even advantages to not going at all:
- Save on the costs.
- Invest the money you would have spent.
- Get started 4 years earlier.
- Avoid the 9-5 grind.
- No boring lectures.
It’s all about making the right decision for you.
College isn’t the only way to have a good career.
In fact, many jobs provide a better return on investment than most college degrees.
The cost of the student loans ends up reducing the ROI on many common college degrees.
Of course, high skilled non-college jobs are only one alternative to college.
There are tons of alternatives that each have their own benefits.
I’d urge you to focus on is developing a skill that can pay you well in the future.
(For example, sales, trades, management, and other valuable skills.)
One place to develop a skill is in college. It’s not the only place.
The Manipulative Statistics On College Graduates
Most of the statistics on college students are downright manipulative.
Colleges run a business.
They’re in the business of selling their value to students.
Just like any other company, they make their product look better than it is.
They need to market their product.
Take the average income of college graduates versus high school graduates.
That statistics means absolutely nothing because its sample is already corrupted.
The vast majority of intelligent and/or motivated students go to college.
That means they’d make more money than the average student with or without going to college.
The statistic is meaningless without controlling for intelligence and motivation.
Despite that, colleges and high schools flaunt this data as if it’s meaningful. It’s not.
It’s not scientific and it’s downright silly to claim.
I’m willing to bet college has some positive effect on the final outcome on average.
I don’t believe it’s anywhere near what everyone claims it is.
These statistics on economic outcomes rarely even include the cost of student loans.
Those costs should be treated like any other investment.
Adding in those costs make personal preference an important factor.
That completely nullifies the value of a degree.
The Big Duh: You Know What’s Best For You
So, if you’re telling yourself, “college isn’t for me,” then you just might be right.
Don’t let everyone convince you that you’re crazy.
College is one of the biggest investments of your life.
To go without being sure is stupid.
Make smart decisions outside of college and you’ll do fine without it.
I may not have answered your question.
That’s kind of my point.
College is the simple mindless solution.
To live in the real world is way more complicated than that.
I can’t even scratch the surface of the opportunities you have access to.
The opportunities are endless.
The Sensational Alternatives
Here is a quick list to get you started:
- Trade schools
- Jobs with growth potential
- Jobs for cash to save dough
- Jobs in a trade
- Starting a business
- Practicing a valuable skill
- Find your passions.
The possibilities are too many list.
As long as you’re making smart decisions you’ll do fine.
What’s the best college alternative?
I think the answer might surprise you.
Once you read it you’ll understand it: The Most Powerful College Alternative
Let me tell you (an inappropriate) true story…
It was high school Spanish class…
I was a Senior in a class of Sophomores. There was one other Senior in the class. Best of all –
She was smokin’ (as the old folk say.) She was gorgeous. 10 out of 10. Tight jeans. And she always sat right in front of me in class (gulp.)
We were the only Seniors in the class. By default… that made me the coolest guy there… And trust me… I’m never the coolest guy there.
But we’d talk. Sometimes in class she’d lean over. I’d continue to pretend me importa la espanol stuff pero… Seriousamente… 😛
Sure… I’d show up to class. But my brain rarely stuck around for the lecture. And that’s why you might not be surprised I was getting a C- in class.
It’s funny how that stuff that distracted me in highschool wasn’t so problematic in college where I took a double course load and still scored near the top of my class…
You don’t need to be perfect to score near perfect.
You just need to know how…
Olivia wants to tell you her story of taking her grades to the top.
She skyrocketed her grades while staying stress-free.
You can read her story here