I’m Not Sure if I Want to go to College
By Helena Wright
Deciding what to do once you’re done high-school can be very stressful. Most of the adults and educators around you are most-likely pressuring you to make a decision on what you want to do, where you want to go, and who you want to be. The problem with this, is that you might not know. If this is the case, then don’t worry! You’re not alone. Most of your peers may be going to post-secondary immediately after high-school, but understand that though this may be everybody else’s chosen path – it might not be yours. Everybody is different, and everybody has different passions, when choosing what is best for you don’t look at others but introspectively at yourself. I have outlined some of the possibilities that include post secondary, and other options. It is important to understand that you aren’t shutting your door to opportunities by choosing not to go to post-secondary:
University- University is good if you want to go into academia, and if you like things such as liberal arts, business or sciences. Universities have a broad range of programs, that might include more than one field of interest and even ‘undeclared’ entry if you are unsure and want to take a few selective courses to learn more about what is offered. There is much more to explore and learn in fields that were never taught in high-school and there might be things you didn’t even know existed that might interest you. It is not uncommon to go into university and switch into another field that interests you more over time.
College- College takes a more hands-on approach to learning, and many programs are not as long as an undergraduate degree. Similar to university, colleges offer programs in fields that you might not know about and it is not uncommon to switch fields once having tried others that you have never been exposed to beforehand. Some colleges even do joint programs with universities, so you can get the best of both worlds!
Victory Lap- A victory lap is when a student that is in their last year of high-school chooses to do another semester or another year in high-school. This might be because they want to bring their average up, they want to explore other courses offered that they have not tried before, or they may just not feel ready to leave. Some people choose to stay at their high-school while others go to schools that can offer new or alternative courses.
Gap Year(s)- A gap year is when you don’t go to school immediately but you spend a year doing other meaningful experiences that might help you decide what you would like to do. Some choose to apply to university in their last year of high-school and then differ their application by a year. A gap year is good for those who want to travel or who want to save some money before going into post-secondary. A gap year is a good time to focus on passions and self development, as time away from school can help you cultivate who you are and where you want to go. Some companies offer work or volunteer experience in other parts of the world – which allows you to travel and gain valuable experience at the same time.
Employment- Some choose to go straight into employment from high-school. Some are able to specialize their skills and talents into a job that does not require college or university, allowing them to get straight to developing their career.
Which ever path you choose, it is okay to be unsure. Some decidedly do not want to waste money going to college or university for something they are not confident that they will like, and choose to gain work experience before deciding. Even going to school and being unsure about your program, and choosing to take courses in different fields can help you decide what is best for you. The option of doing a victory lap is often stigmatized, but students that choose to do a victory lap do their last year of high-school with more precision and dedication, better grades and self development. All options are completely valid and feasible, don’t feel pressured by the actions of your peers and those around you to do something you are not comfortable doing.