Why You Shouldn’t Go to College…Right Away

03 Jun

Calm down.  I’m not looking down on education.  Seriously.  I spent 7 years of my life in college between my undergrad and grad studies (I have the student loans to prove it).  But there are a couple of reasons that right now, students just shouldn’t go to college immediately after high school.

1)  Right now, the world is overflowing with Bachelor’s Degrees.  If you ask me, BAs and BSs are pretty much the equivalent to a high school diploma anymore.  And the truth is that we’re lacking skilled tradespeople.  Every day, I mourn the fact that we don’t have more apprenticeship programs.  What happened to a young kid wandering around with an electrician and learning to do the work?  Far too many people rely on certificates and degrees, when the real learning happens right in the shop.  So for one, keep in mind that there are just more job opportunities in trades than in college degree-required positions.  Plus, I think it’d be really sad if we lost of the history and art of skilled tradespeople.

2)  This is the big reason.  This isn’t a “right now because of the economy” or a “sign of the times”.  Kids shouldn’t go to college right out of high school because WHO THE HELL KNOWS WHAT THEY WANT TO DO WHEN THEY ARE 18?!    Now there are exceptions.  There ARE those people who have known what they’ve wanted to do their entire lives.  And to them, I say go for it.  Go to college, live the dream.

But we shouldn’t make kids feel like they need to go to college immediately following high school.  Society puts that pressure on them, and then we have a bunch of aimless college freshmen wandering around campus not knowing what they’d like to do with their lives, and feeling ashamed because when they stand up and introduce themselves in their core classes, they have to say that their major is the dreaded “UNDECIDED”.

The only reason I had any direction at all was because my English Comp professor Joe Mackall read my first paper and kept me after class.  “What’s your major?” he asked.
“Undecided, really…but looking towards education,” I said.
“You’re a writer. You’ll major in creative writing,” Joe said.  And I was thankful, because I had no idea what I was good at and had no idea what I was going to do with my life.

I honestly think people should get out of high school, go out into the real world and get a job, see what they like to do, bounce around, travel, get some interests and some experience, and then figure out what you’d like to do with your life.

This may help or hurt my theory on why people need to quit waiting so long to begin their lives, but you know what, at least we’ll all be happy.


Posted by on June 3, 2011 in Domesticity


3 responses to “Why You Shouldn’t Go to College…Right Away

  1. Tim

    June 3, 2011 at 10:08 am

    So True Erica! I just saw a study this morning that says 40% of college graduates are under employed. Because there aren’t enough jobs in their chosen field of study. However there is a shortage of qualified skilled trades. Good Blog

  2. Erin Seabolt Bond

    June 7, 2011 at 7:12 am

    Nicholas Kristof is a big proponent of a “gap year”–a year between high school and college that someone might use for, say, travel or life experience. I think it’s a great idea (as long as the gap year doesn’t turn into the gap decade–if the person does not pursue a trade, that is).


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