.. college preparatory school?

I feel the need to rant a little bit.

I went to a high school that is well-known for being a college preparatory school. Many people view this as a fabulous thing; I know I did, but I’ve personally stumbled across some problems with what that school constantly drilled in my head.

“College.. college.. scholarships.. college.”
Sure, college is great. I don’t want to make it seem like it’s not. However, there were no other options encouraged. It was college.. or college. You wouldn’t catch anyone encouraging travel, taking a year or more off to work and save money, or just flat out saying it was okay if you didn’t want to go to college – because in my town, that is unheard of. I wish I could explain the anxiety that was/is drilled into me.

I don’t feel college is for me.

It took me a very long time to accept that thought, as it was constantly intruding into my mind. Every time I thought about it, I instantly felt like a failure. I felt like I wouldn’t amount to anything. I wouldn’t be making any money. I wouldn’t be happy without all the money. I would be less than my peers. People would think less of me. People would look at me as uneducated, lazy, or just flat out dumb.

It might seem silly, but I still feel these things quite often. I have a full ride to the University of Toledo and it hurts that I can’t stand school any longer and I’m passing it up. I also have a 3.9 GPA. I just applied today to graduate in the spring with my Associates in Business Technology Management. This is a huge step for me – I cannot wait for school to be over so I can finally do what I want with my life.

How do you expect a 21 year old to know what they want to do with their life when they have hardly experienced life? I have been lucky with my years. I’ve been to 10 different countries and over 30 states, performed with a band at famous landmarks in Europe, worked for a Fortune 500, ran an organization as state president of 6,000 members, taught myself CSS and HTML, ran/run my own business, and many others.

I have had a glimpse of life outside of college. There is so much more than a piece of paper. There is so much more to experience. My experiences have kick-started a hunger to travel and learn through more experiences. I like meeting new people and listening to their stories. I don’t do much talking because there is too much to learn from others.

I don’t want it to seem like I’m bashing people who do want to go to college – there is certainly a reason to go for nursing, engineering, etc. But for business? Eh. Take as many classes as you’d like, only experience will prove if you know business or not. This is just how I’ve been feeling.

Want to go to college? Great.
Don’t want to go to college? Great.
Want to drop out of college because it’s not for you? Great.
Don’t want to waste your money with college because you’re a lost puppy? Smart.

There is something for everyone but college is not it for me right now. If I want to return at a later date, lovely.

I am just upset with my high school for not opening my mind to other options. I sit in $18,000 of debt from my first year of college. Do I regret it? Absolutely not. Would I be in a different place had I known it was “okay” to not rush into college? Maybe. Who can say?

I just want to say to my friends how proud I am of you for going to college, working, or being a dreamer. You all continue to amaze me. Keep following your heart and don’t let anyone tell you no. Your happiness is vital. Follow that happiness. Life is too short.

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