Over the next few weeks I want to bring attention to a topic that many young people are struggling with: college. You may be thinking: how can I give you advice when I didn’t go to college? There’s a few reasons, the first being that I’m around so many young adults all of the time that I have a strong sense of what teens are struggling with. College seems to be a major factor in creating stress after/during high school. The second reason being I have a unique perspective on the topic of college because I’ve been in both positions: feeling confused and unsure of whether to go, and now having decided not to go but feeling like I’m still missing out on something. I find that most young adults struggle with either 1) being in college and not wanting to pursue what they’ve spent a ton of money getting a degree on 2) not being able to afford college/ having a passion outside of college that is making them not want to go.
So what’s the answer? I don’t have one for you yet. But I’m on a mission to make the transition between high school & college easier.
The main reason I didn’t go to college is because I didn’t feel like it would fit in with the life plan I wanted to create for myself. I applied to a few colleges: NYU and Marymount University being my top choices. I didn’t get into NYU but I did get into Marymount. I was making a little money from my blog and side social media business I was working on while applying to colleges, and my parents really thought I should go to college so I’d have a plan B if my blog didn’t work out. I planned on studying at the Tisch School at NYU if I got in because I wanted to create my own program on entrepreneurship, which would’ve been a waste of time looking back. I would’ve left NYU knowing everything I already knew. Is that experience worth $60,000? Not in my opinion. I only applied to 3 colleges because I couldn’t afford the fees to apply to more. I knew kids who were applying to 10-15 colleges and I didn’t have that kind of money. After getting denied from NYU (I felt really shitty when I got that rejection email) and touring Marymount with my mom (I hated it and was angry NYU said no to me) I told myself I’d give myself 1 year to figure my stuff out. I could always go back to college if I wanted to.
From a young age I always knew I was “different” and just didn’t fit into that traditional mold. Nothing against wanting to work a 9-5, I just couldn’t face the thought of being told what to do. After many failed internships and opportunities trying to work for people and deal with teachers telling me what to do in high school I knew I’d struggle with going to college. Plus my heart laid in my company, not in college courses. It took me a solid period of time to learn what my true calling is (entrepreneurship/mental health) and what I where I want to be when I’m 30- I didn’t learn about myself in college like most people do- but that doesn’t mean I didn’t struggle with finding myself and my passion.
I asked these young adults between the ages of 21-25 what their opinion on college is below. I’d love to hear your feedback: comment on this post or email me!
Alix Lipson: “I think college can be an amazing place for individuals to learn more about themselves, and to further explore what they’re passionate about. At the same time, I know it’s not for everybody. For me personally, I truly enjoyed my time, and feel as though I learned a lot. That said, I have many friends who never graduated and are out there pursuing their dreams.”
Devin Bushey: “College teaches us many things but most importantly it teaches us who we are but above all, who we strive to become.”
Jennie R.: “There is SO much unnecessary stress involved in applying and hearing back from colleges…the fact that people judge you for what college you go to or if you go to college at all is BS. I got waitlisted at the college I wanted to go to and was absolutely crushed. I was embarrassed to tell people. The college ended up letting me in the next semester, but it was a crushing feeling not being “good enough” to get in.”
Deanna Gomez: “I don’t think that college is for everyone. I think that college is a great tool that we have access to if we want. But, putting yourself into debt without being sure what you want to do is pointless. So if you at least have a rough idea of what you wanna go to college for then do it for sure! But don’t feel like you have to just for the sake of it.”
Alexis Lopez: “College is the true definition of finding yourself. While it can be hard and stressful at times, I believe that once you’ve gotten to the success you are at in the future, it’ll make a great story for how you got there.”
Ryley Skog: “As a pre-med student, college is essential to my career. However whether it’s worth it or not depends on the individuals career path. College is so expensive. Those who go to college and receive a degree where they aren’t making a decent amount right off the bat end up in $100k+ in debt. Take some time off to decide what you want out of high school instead of rushing into going to college just because it’s “normal”. There’s no harm in taking a gap year to figure out what career you want to pursue.”
Gyovanna Monreal: “Going to college allowed me to push myself beyond my comfort zone- making friends with strangers, studying challenging but fascinating subjects, and going abroad to a country I never thought I’d visit. It was an entirely new world that changed my mentality on life and empowered me to reach for the stars.”