College is optional, but sometimes it does not feel like it.
Many juniors and seniors realize that graduation is coming up, which means college decisions should be made. However, college may not be for everyone and that should be normalized.
Upperclassmen have been told that college should be your first choice after graduation. The idea is that college will get you a good-paying job in life, and everyone should attend it. This, however, is not entirely true. Many teenagers prefer to take a break from school. Some take a gap year and travel the world, while others do not attend college at all. Those who choose not to attend a four-year university should not be judged. It is often expected of graduates to go to college and pick a major to do for the next up and coming years. Society these days has put a lot of pressure on kids with the idea of going to college.
College is optional, but sometimes it does not feel like it. Many adults have the mindset that if you do not go to college, you will not succeed in life. This is a sad outlook, and it should not be normalized. Many of my friends are stressed about the idea of college because of how expensive it is. Why is something that is so “mandatory” this expensive and hard to obtain? There are many alternate options to than a four-year college program. Traveling is one of them, as many students after they graduate like to escape their hometown and see the world. Taking over a family business is another alternative to college. Many join the military as well.
To those who do plan to go to college, there is nothing wrong with that as well. It is based on how the student feels after graduation and how they want to go about their life. My point is that society tends to pressure teenagers into going to college and makes it seem like it should be their only option after high school, and I personally do not think that is right. I know many high schoolers feel the same, many of my friends claim they do not want to attend college because of the money and that they have no interest in school. With so many teenagers having the same opinion, when will society stop forcing us into college?
Photo: Lecture Theatre by Ian Barbour on Flickr