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To School or Not to School

by Jamie Stokes 4 years ago in college
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I regret going back to college. There! I said it!

I regret going back to college. There! I said it! I think I've just figured out in the last month that college isn't for me. Being in an overly structured environment where I can't think freely or be free just isn't for me. And I know that sounds like whiny millennial privilege, but it's true!

I have a hard time believing that everyone needs to go to college. I don't think we do. I think there are people who feel like they need to go because of outside pressures (me) or people who actually want to go. And when people go because they feel pressured to, they're just wasting their time and money doing something they don't want to do. Why do we feel the need to shame people for choosing to not go to college?

When this semester started, I was excited. Overly excited maybe. I was ready to start over and be a successful student and graduate top of my class and go on to get a PhD in something magnificent! All I have to say to that person is, "HA. HA. HA HA HA HA. HA!!" I'm a few weeks in and I'm already dying to pull the plug. I'm ready for a break. I'm ready for the semester to be over so I don't have to go back next semester. I'm ready to not have to pay over $500 for BOOKS. Yes. BOOKS. I'm ready to not have to show up to class and awkwardly try to find a seat close enough to the board to see but not too close to someone else. I'm ready to be able to spend my weekends not stressing out over the chapters I need to read. I'm ready to not worry about checking my student e-mail at least five thousand times a day. I'm ready to never log into CANVAS again!

But why do we put pressure on people to go to college? I've heard parents tell me, to my face, "I'd never let my kid drop out of college." Great! What do I say to that? "I'm so happy your ADULT TWENTY-SOMETHING-YEAR-OLD can't make decisions for themselves!" Like, what? "Thanks for inadvertently insulting me and my life decisions, you're a gem to be around!" Again, what? I understand parents want the best for their kids, I get it. I do. But saying you wouldn't let them is a bit extreme, in my opinion of course. And from strangers! They'll ask me if I'm going to school and when I say I'm not, they look at me in utter shock! What do I do with my life? What could I ever do with my life without precious, precious COLLEGE! How can I ever amount to anything? How can I ever be successful? If I don't go to college I'm going to end up working a dead end job that I hate or I'm going to become a housewife! There are no other options other than those two things if I drop out of college. Again.

Here's what I think: Unless you know what you want to do specifically with your life, college isn't a necessity, and acting like it is is ridiculous. I'm twenty-one and still have no idea what I want to even go to school for, so while I'm sitting in my boring lectures, I don't have anything to push me to go further because I don't know what I want to get a degree in. I don't know what I want to do. I have a general idea, but it's not the mainstream idea, and it scares people around me. I understand why we put such pressure on kids to go to college, but I don't think it's right. I think by telling young adults that without college they're going to be deadbeats who amount to nothing is just going to make them turn out like that. But showing them that they can do anything they want to do and be successful in their lives without college, I think that would be far more beneficial.

I tried going back to school. I'm still giving it a fair chance. But this has just proven to me further, that college isn't for me. And that's OK.


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Jamie Stokes

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