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Don’t Go to College

What I mean is…don’t go to college if you don’t want to.

In this lovely country we all live in, we are raised to go to school, play nice with kids, graduate from high school (make sure you are at LEAST in drama club – wait, make that Student Council), go to college, rack up a mountain of student debt and live off ramen while doing so, then try and find a well-paying job. Start a family. Raise them to graduate from high school, go to college…it is a cycle that needs to be broken and turned into whatever shape an individual decides to create.

I am 27 and have about 20 hours left to go on my college degree. My English degree with a minor in Medieval History and Literature. Yes, I can talk for hours about Chaucer and how he influenced the English language to what it is today, or, why the Wife of Bath is my favorite pilgrim; then we can talk about pilgrimages, which may turn into a discussion about Margery Kemp and her internal spiritual pilgrimage, etc., etc.

I am 27 and have finally started living my life. It does not include school. I hardly use any of the teachings I have learned thus far in college. My passion for travel, people and adventure is what fuels my life right now. This fuel has even made its’ way into my work-life. My job is finally enjoyable again. I have pulled my love for people and my passion for inspiring others and weaved it into the time spent at my job. It have given my work meaning again. It has lowered my stress and made me happier when I am not at work. It has put a new perspective on my work-life. It has put a new perspective on my life.

“The only way to do good work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs

I live in Fort Worth, TX and we have a great art and music scene here. Many of my friends are artists or musicians. They are doing what they love but then they also have a job to pay the bills. Their passions may not yet pay the bills, but that does not mean my friends are not happy. They have something to go home from work to. You cannot tell who went to college and who did not; you don’t need a college degree to express yourself or play in a band or be an artist of any kind. You do need to know how to play music, however, but that is a skill you can learn. There are so many options for gaining experience, knowledge and education that do not require a degree.

What I want to do is tell people, of any age, that they do not have to go to college. You do not need a college degree to be happy. You need time to learn who you are and discover what makes you alive. By exposing yourself to what you might like to do and reading about the people who are successful in those fields is a great way to self-educate and self-motivate. It is also a great way to find out what you DON’T want to do, without spending money on a degree only to find that four years later, you’ve changed your mind.

Modern western society has forgotten how to think before making a decision. We have gotten so used to immediate results, so we jump right into everything from college, jobs, relationships, etc. Then, once we wake up and realize “this is not my beautiful house; how did I get here?” we are discouraged at the poor choice we have made, without even knowing it was going to disappoint us down the road. We start over, jumping right back into something else…something else…and something else.

Break the cycle. Change your mindset. Take time to THINK about who you are. Then, go from there and follow your dreams. Everything else will fall into place, into its’ right place, and you will not even believe where your dreams will take you.

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