Opinion: There are alternate routes to success besides going to college


Matt Olson, Reporter

Many people grow up believing that life has a plan set in stone: graduate high school, go to college, get a steady job, start a family. This idea teaches us that the only way to be successful is by going to college, whether you want to or not. 

In my opinion, a college degree does not equate to the worth of a person, and this belief is toxic and harmful for students who have other aspirations. Instead of forcing further education on children, parents should encourage their children to pursue the things that make them happy.

There are several reasons why college is an over-hyped path. If one does decide to go to college, there is no guarantee that it will lead to a prosperous life. 

According to Real Men Real Style website, college does not automatically give you qualifications such as leadership skills, decision making and social skills that can be learned from hands on experience. 

While graduating college does technically make you more qualified for some jobs, it is not necessary to make a living. Things that can give you the experience previously mentioned are things like getting a job, an apprenticeship, or volunteering somewhere. There are many high paying jobs that do not require a college degree. 

For example, computer programming or jobs in construction, just to name a few. There are also many different places to volunteer and give back to the community, such as soup kitchens, animal shelters, homeless shelters or food banks. Not only does volunteering help people gain life experience, but it is also something to add to a resume. 

Some may say that there are exceptions to this idea of college, but that should not mean that children in this generation couldn’t also be an “exception,” so to speak. 

According to Psychology Today, there are many successful people who did not graduate college. For example, Steve Jobs dropped out of college and became the founder of Apple. 

As you can see, there are an abundance of options if college doesn’t fit into your desired lifestyle. Not everyone’s goal in life is to go to college and get a job, and people should not be shamed or embarrassed because of this. Happiness should be the first priority, and no one should be obligated to seek higher education because it is the societal norm.