Written by Jess Glynn
After reading an article by Richard Branson titled ‘Class of 2013: You’ll Never Again Be so Unburdened; Do Something Bold‘ I began to think about the idea of traveling instead of going to University.
When I finished school I never actually considered the fact that maybe college wasn’t the best option for me at that time. Now that I think about it, I didn’t even have any time to consider that. I mean I was too busy having meetings with my Guidance Councillor about why I HAD to decide my future career then and there in order to apply for college courses. Not once did anyone mention the fact that college wasn’t the ONLY option after school. Nobody told me I could actually take some time to decide what I REALLY wanted to do.
So this is it. This is me, telling you, that there is more to life than a college degree. (Don’t tell your parents that I told you this, or your teachers for that matter! I don’t want any angry emails telling me how terrible I am for spilling the best kept secret in the school!)
I am not trying to tell you that you should quit college, nor am I suggesting that university is a waste of time. What I am suggesting however, is that college is not for everyone – and no matter what they tell you – Its perfectly ok to take as much time as you need to decide what you want to do after school.
I began studying my degree in Photography straight after I left school 3 years ago. Back then it didn’t really seem like I had any other choice, so I just went with the flow and did what everyone else was doing. (To be honest looking back now, I don’t think anyone had a clue what their ‘options’ were after school). After I completed 2 years in college, I decided to take a gap year due to an operation I had on my knee. I needed recovery time for my leg to heal, but I also needed recovery time for myself. Time to think about what I really wanted to do with my life.
When we are young we always have such big dreams of being an astronaut or a pop star or an astronaut pop star! But then as the years go on those dreams don’t seem like they could ever become a reality, and so we are forced to re-think about our future career choices.
The truth is, I still don’t know what I want to be yet. So why should I spend 4 years of my life studying something just for the sake of it? Someday I will decide what I want to be- but until then, I plan on exploring all of my options, traveling the world and having fun!
Sometimes I think we are being brainwashed into thinking that the world will end if we don’t have a degree. I think society needs to realize that college is not for everyone and there is nothing wrong with that. Some people will choose to go to college straight after school, and some people wont. Some will choose to go back to college later on in life, and some wont. At the end of the day education is what matters. Educating yourself and others to be the best people we can be, to be caring and respectful of other cultures, to be open minded and knowledgeable of the world we live in. That kind of education cannot be found in the classroom. How can education be confined to a small concrete room, when there is so much to see and experience in the world.
I am often told that I ‘need’ a college degree in order to be successful in life… WRONG. Firstly, that all depends on what success means to you. Secondly, now I am not saying i’m going to be the next Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg, Richard Branson or Steve Jobs (All of whom do not have a degree)… but hey, You never know!! ;-P
Many people have informed me “When you apply for a job, they wont even look at your CV if you don’t have a degree!”. Do you know what I say back to them? “Oh really? Not to worry because i’m too busy planning my own business to even THINK about apply for jobs that I really don’t want to work in anyway.”
Moral of the story – if you don’t want to follow the same path as everyone else, you don’t have to! Just ask Mr.Branson, i’m sure he’ll tell you the same thing!
I have yet to decide my future college plans, maybe I will go back in September and finish my degree for the next 2 years… who knows. What I do know is right now, I am just living in the moment and enjoying every second of it!
Get out there and live, travel the world, make new friends from all over the globe, create memories you will never forget but most of all, learn about the world around you by actually going out and experiencing it for yourself!