Which Way Should I Go?

In today’s world students are bombarded with choices. Should I attend college, how should I prepare, do I need college, and the list goes on and on. Many high school students are taking and completing college courses prior to graduating high school.

Though this goal is indeed a lofty one, it often leaves stress and questions remaining for many regarding their future. Let’s face it, the cost of secondary education is not cheap so deciding on that next step can often be more than scary. Much like attempting to drive blind down a road full of large boulders at 60mph, with no brakes, all the while hoping that you will be skilled enough to avoid those roadblocks and make it safely to your destination.

I am here to tell you, that a secondary education does not have to be a scary or dreadful thing. There are things that you can do as well as decisions you can make that will provide for a smoother transition.

First off, who said it was mandatory that you must attend a four-year university fresh out of high school. I mean, unless you have a four-year scholarship to match that grand goal for yourself, consider your options first. You can take a couple of years to complete your Associates Degree at a local junior college. It is a great way to get your feet wet, meet new people, and indeed gain an insight into what you want to do with the rest of your life. Once you have that little paper in hand, then move on to a larger college or university. This option often saves you money, time, and a bit of sanity.

College, not your thing? That is just fine. Maybe you would rather work with your hands or learn a skill. You may find that a technical program, or in some states, a reliable apprenticeship program that will meet your needs. If a long-term education is not what you have your eyes on, you are in luck. Most technical programs run from six months to two years. When accomplished, you will have gained a valuable career skill that you can take just about anywhere.

Maybe you are one of those souls who has been exhausted by education for a bit. It is alright to take a sabbatical if you need one. Just don’t become that guy or gal that needs to rent out your parent’s garage. Find a job that will help support you during your time away from traditional learning. Find wise older people to mentor you that you enjoy being around and who can teach you valuable life skills. If you have the funds and availability join a study abroad program for a year, figure out who you are, and then educate yourself accordingly.

Regardless of the path you choose, however, be sure that you prepare now for the future. Do not be lackadaisical in your high school studies. Keep your grades up, take classes that will support your goals, take your SAT/ACT for good measure, and enjoy learning. You only get one shot at this. Make it count!

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