When you’re convinced that college is the place to be, think again. In today’s world, a bachelors degree feels no better than a high school diploma. You can’t just graduate with basic knowledge and start working for your dad in his shop or the big manufacturing plant across town. 

Most people believe that going to college and graduating right after high school is what’s best for you. But in some, if not many cases, taking a year or two off may end up being better in the long run.

You’re 18. You don’t have a clue what you want to do with your life. Your mother wants you to study psychology so you will have a range of career choices. Your father wants you to get your MBA in Business Law, open your own firm, and make more money than you know what to do with. But you just want to be a mechanic, or a fire fighter, or a police officer. “But they don’t make a lot of money” your parents tell you, wagging a finger with their own hand on their hip. 

To you, happiness trumps all else. You could have a dollar to your name but if you’re happy then nothing else matters. That is the truest form of any person. The truest form is someone who does what they want and won’t take “no” for an answer. 

You don’t want debt, you want to follow your passion. Take a year off, see if it suits you, and if not then it’s never to late to go to college if you so choose. But take your first semester with caution.

Those who go to college will end up as one of three people. The first being the most sought after: the success stories. Your transition from boy and girl to man and woman happens practically overnight. College is a breeze, straight A’s, and a garunteed career upon graduation.

The second type is sadly the most common. I don’t even have to explain, most people already know. The girl who comes back at 3 in the morning with one shoe, and it’s not even hers. Or the guy puking out his regret and sorrows. The partiers statistically do the poorest in school compared to the other two types, but can make for some very interesting friends.

Now the third type is where only a select few fall. The truest forms of people, these are the well-intentioned but poorly-executed types of people. These are the people who know what they want to do but aren’t working for their goal, instead of the goal of someone else. They sink under the covers every night to avoid the work they know they’re not going to do anyways. But don’t let them fool you, because they also tend to be some of the smartest brainiacs in school, just not in ways that the college may care about. Your new neighbor in your dorm who never comes outside, is actually a pretty smart guy. He has designed a new state-of-the-art technology to produce cars for half the cost and twice as efficiently. But he will never see production because he either gets angry and throws it away or is ignored by every investor. And the worst part is, he’s not even an engineering major. And that girl across the hall who eats alone every day, but always seems to be on her laptop is creating websites for friends and companies for pennies on the dollar, but she still continues her chemistry career path. 

You can’t please everyone. But you have to start somewhere. And that somewhere starts within. If you don’t want to go directly to college after high school, then don’t. Seriously, don’t. You will learn more on your own working for the local mechanic than you will listening to Mr. Tenure and his political rants. Be smart. Only you know what’s best for you, and be damned if you let anyone tell you otherwise. 

Your professors will tell you on day one to “never listen to sophomores” because they become very biased and opinionated after freshman year. If you want the truth about the college you’re attending, talk to a professor and ask him or her to give it to you straight; is it really worth it? It’s your call to find out. 

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