High School Students Contemplating Life after Graduation

High School Students Contemplating Life after Graduation

Stanisha Watkins

Several factors play a role in a student’s decision to attend college. Family environment is particularly important.

Children whose parents don’t value education usually don’t encourage them to go to college. They likewise don’t help them with the college application process, making it far less likely that they will choose higher education.

Poverty is also a significant factor. The cost of a college application can stop many students in their tracks. These students are quite concerned that they will be unable to afford college. Often they are more worried about getting a job to help support their families.

Teen pregnancy, learning disabilities, and academic difficulties during high school can also decrease the likelihood that a student will attend college. 

College is not necessarily for everyone, however.

While I was interviewing people about their plans after graduation, I noticed that most students said they were going to college. It was odd to me that they made the claim because I knew for a fact that some of them aren’t going to college. I think that they knew their response was going to be in the paper, so they didn’t want to “disappoint” anyone or feel embarrassed.

It’s so sad to think that the world has conditioned teens to believe that if they don’t go to college, they will somehow be failing their families and teachers.

I know that kids hear from their peers and parents that they should “go to college to do something with your life,” but not going to college doesn’t mean you can’t do great things in life. There are numerous millionaires who didn’t go to college.

Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, left Reed College when he was just 19, worried that it was creating too much of a financial burden for his family. Bill Gates left Harvard after two years to build what would become Microsoft. Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard and founded FaceBook, becoming the 5th wealthiest man alive. And finally, Adele, the iconic singer, intended to go to college, but signed a recording deal just after high school graduation and never followed through with her collegiate plans. These individuals did not attend college and became hugely successful.

There are plenty of other people you probably know and love who are  happy, productive citizens who never spent a single day in college.

College may not be right for you. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are worthless if you don’t go to college.