Author Topic: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?  (Read 8646 times)

ayylmao

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I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« on: June 03, 2018, 10:55:21 AM »
Hi all! I'm an 18 year old who is from a family of professionals. Because of this, there is immense pressure for me to go to college. A few months ago, if you asked me if I wanted to go to college, the answer would be a natural yes. I figured it was the way that made the most sense for people my age nowadays. However, over the past two months, and especially now that I've graduated, I realize that I really don't want to go. I'm sick of the general education that I am forced to take and, on top of that, don't feel a motivation to go at all. I have until June 7th to make my decision, as on that date I will be enrolled for the Fall 2018 semester. I'm willing to

 If I didn't go to college, what would I do, you ask? Don't get me wrong, I have NO intention to sit around all day. I would attempt to find a full time job and give myself some time to work. I would also look at apprenticeships. Throughout my life, thanks to my upbringing as part of a family of professionals, I never learned how to do anything physical. However, these are where many of my interests lie. I am trying to explore said interests, though I am finding that there are some limitations. I loved working on stage crew at my high school building sets that everyone enjoyed during our performances, though I don't have any space to work at home as I live in my aunt's small basement. I love cars and am fascinated by their complexity, but my dad would never let me learn any sort of basic maintenance with his car, and I can't afford my own because it will cost me $4000 in insurance alone under my dad's policy for a 20 year old Corolla. I also am interested in how things work, whether it's a computer, our electric subway cars, etc. This makes me think that I should seriously give trades a look. Before I think about getting into trades, i need to get into shape. I am skinny fat and have woefully weak arms. This will take a very long time to get to some semblance of strength, but I am absolutely set on doing it, as it is related to my future and I would love to open the door.  Tell me what you think!

I will, obviously, not make my decisions based off what people tell me online. However, any input is welcome. I apologize if this post is scattered, as I am a young person with many desires who has had them restricted for a long time. It's sort of a build up. Thank you for reading and I hope all of you fellow Mustachians have a wonderful day! :)

englishteacheralex

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2018, 11:17:05 AM »
I'm a high school English teacher and I give seniors advice like this every day.

Pick something--a trade is a great idea. Doesn't really matter which thing, just pick something. Get an apprenticeship. Talk to your high school guidance counselor/votech school. Enroll and learn a skill. I couldn't be more on board with that idea.

Pick that ONE thing and see it through for a year or two, even if it starts to kind of suck and you get disillusioned. Move out and live as cheaply as you can, renting a room in someone's house/apartment within a walkable or at least bike-able distance to wherever you're going to be working/learning.

Here's what will happen:
1. You will learn how to do something useful without spending a crazy amount of money (maybe you'll even earn some money!)

2. You will come to know what you actually want to do with yourself--and what you don't want to do, which is a very valuable thing to know. My first work experiences in high school and college were me exploring career options that had previously sounded amazing to me (interned at my local newspaper, worked as a cook at a restaurant, and interned at a publishing house) and that I quickly discovered were not  good fits for me in reality. The last thing I tried was student teaching, which I loved. I've been a teacher for 15 years now and it's a perfect fit for me in so many ways. And I've never felt wistful that I should have done something else, because I already tried other things and I know they're not for me.

Move out because that way you're your own person and can make your own choices. Do this for a year or two and you'll know for sure if you should go to college--without having wasted a bunch of tuition. Hopefully you'll even have a better idea of what you want to study.

I honestly wish more kids would go this route. Good for you.

k-vette

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2018, 11:17:50 AM »
A couple questions...

Do you still live at home with your parents?  Or are you on your own?  If your parents are covering your living expenses, it may be wise to respect their wishes to some degree.  I would see a trade school to a dedicated skill as a good compromise.

Do you have a job?  (Or have you ever?)  I could be reading your post wrong, but I'm getting the impression no.  If that is the case, I think that's priority 1.  It doesn't matter if it's a good job or a dream job, you need something to pay the bills.

Really no bearing, but how in the world would a corolla cost $4,000/yr in insurance?!

If you want a specific skill or degree that has a well paying job at the end, I'd say go to college and get it.  I however would not go to college just because it's the thing to do.  A degree has no guarantee of work at the end.

I did go to college and the experience was good for the jobs I do now.  None of my jobs however have required any degrees or formal training.

Go to the entrepreneur area of the forum and see if anything there strikes your interest.  In my opinion, that's the best way to make a GOOD living without going the college route.

secondcor521

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2018, 11:19:50 AM »
A couple of suggestions:

1.  See if the college or university you've selected will allow you to defer your admission for a year or two.  I think it's a free option, and if you figure out you want to go on after a year or two, then you don't have to reapply or anything.

2.  You're totally in the same situation I was and my oldest son was when we finished high school.  I ended up going to college for 2 1/2 years, then stopping out and working for 1 1/2 years, then finishing my undergrad.  My son went for 1 1/2 years, has stopped out and worked for about 3 years, and is just thinking about going back part time now.  I think if you went now, you wouldn't be happy and probably would struggle with success even if you've had success in high school, because college requires you to go for you, not for your parents or friends or what society expects.

3.  Based on #2, you have the relationship aspect with your parents (or whomever in your family is pressuring you to go).  You need to talk to them with as much respect and maturity you can muster and explain that you need to find your own way in life and that you think you want to go a different direction and could they support you in that - emotionally mostly, and financially if they are able and willing.  Almost all parents who want their kids to go on to university generally want their kids to be happy and successful - some will consider supporting a trade school or apprenticeship, more probably won't.

4.  Talk to your high school guidance counselor - if they're any good, they can talk with you about non-college alternatives and how to connect with the people you need to, find the jobs you're interested in.  You can also just be a bit unusual and just walk into an auto shop and say, "Hey, I want to learn this stuff and will work here for free if you'll just teach me."  You might be surprised at the positive response you'll get.  Hint:  you may need to try 10 or 20 shops before one says yes.

5.  Overall, I just want my kids to be happy, healthy, safe, and self-sufficient.  Being self-sufficient without a college degree is certainly possible.  Depending on the path you choose, you should know that statistically people with degrees (a) make more money over their lifetimes, and (b) have lower (i.e. better) unemployment statistics.  As an adult you get to make your own tradeoffs and decisions about this stuff, but you'll get more respect in that conversation in #3 above if you acknowledge that you're making this decision after having considered both of those statistics.  If you say that you're the exception to the rule (and you may be) and you'll make $1M doing high school play set artwork, then your audience may be less receptive to your message and request.

6.  Some colleges and universities are more focused on hands-on vocational training and it still leads to a degree.  Look at Idaho State University as an example.  It may be a compromise situation where you and your family are happy.

7.  As a general strategy, you might consider moving more than a day's drive away from home.  I'd suggest a city in another region where you might have an aunt or uncle nearby.  That way you still have family who might support you (like on holidays) but you can be out from under your family's control.  If you can manage to be successful for a year or two going your own way and out of their control, they might come around and say, "OK, we didn't think it was a good idea at first, but you're being successful in your own way and you're happy, so now we'll get behind you."

Good luck!

GizmoTX

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2018, 11:22:53 AM »
1. Ask your university if you can defer your enrollment for 1 year, i.e. gap year. This buys you time in case you reconsider, & will make your parents feel better than if you just blew it off. I agree that if you don't want to go right now, you shouldn't waste your time or anyone's money.
2. Are you planning on living with your parents while you do this discovery? Be sure to have a plan you can present to them. A kid of mine would need to be a student or working to stay at home following HS graduation, plus contribute. Don't take this for granted.
3. You have few skills, so expect to get an entry level job. Do not be picky -- whatever you find is NOT your career. But do something, as it will teach you work world people skills. Listen & observe. Your first job could initially be part time; use the other time to systematically investigate trades or apprenticeships that interest you. What you want is something that you can build on -- few careers are in just one job area. Apply & devote yourself.

The important thing is to get started NOW. There is no perfect job, so don't dither. On the other hand, work a plan that will help you see possibilities, not a dead end.

I have a nephew who is 26 & hasn't held a job since HS. He initially did community college, first with academic subjects & then a trade certification, but lacked the drive to complete it. Now he plays video games all night & sleeps all day. He has no idea how much he is hurting himself & neither do his parents.

Sorinth

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2018, 11:35:51 AM »
June 7th doesn't give you much time to get advice and make a decision. Depending on cost, going to college for a semester and then dropping out probably isn't the end of the world.

Working full-time seems like a bad idea since I doubt there'll be many opportunities for career growth. If it's only for a year or two while you figure things out, it's no worry. But life has a way of getting in the way of plans, so you might find that in a year or two you need to keep working and can't afford (Time-wise) to go back to school.

It definitely sounds like picking a trade is the right thing for you but deciding which one might be more difficult.

Remember it's your life not your family's so don't let them pick your career path for you. But keep in mind they probably want what's best for you, so be firm but considerate when/if you pick a different path.

Roadrunner53

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2018, 12:14:57 PM »
First I would like to say that Trades are in great demand here in CT. My Spouse was in HVAC for probably 40+ years. He is retired now but just two days ago got an offer for employment and the pay was great with lots of bennies.

This is how he started. He started working for an oil company as an apprentice and learned everything about oil burners. In CT a lot of homes use oil to fuel their heating systems. He worked for quite a few years in the heating field and early on got his B-2 license. You have to take a state test and pass it to get the license. Then he went to work for an HVAC company and learned the air conditioning side of the business. He went to technical school at night. He eventually got his S-1 License which is the top license. Again, testing by the state. He eventually worked for a large corporation and took care of HVAC in a building that was 20 acres under the roof. He worked there 20 years. He made good money but not as good as working for an HVAC company. He got all the bells and whistles in bennies and 401k. Then his company downsized and he took a package and left. He then worked for a school system in the HVAC/Maintenance department. He worked there about two years and just wasn't his cup of tea. However, that was too bad because he could have almost walked to work! Then he got a job at a company that makes HVAC equipment. His job was a bit unusual and he was a trouble shooter on equipment that went bad. He would determine what went wrong so the factory could make corrections to improve quality. He did that for about 9 years and retired.

If you can figure out what trade you want to get into, you might be able to contact some companies and tell them you want to be an apprentice. You might get lucky. Or you might want to take some night courses at a Vocational school then contact some companies and tell them you are studying at night and want to pursue this type of work.

There is a lot of opportunities in Trade jobs. The jobs are pretty hard physically and you do get dirty now and then.

Here is a school where you can go for maybe a year and get trained in different trades: https://info.lincolntech-usa.com/campus/east-windsor-ct/  I don't know anyone who went there. I am sure there are other schools that could get you trained up for a career in less time than a college degree.

Speaking of building your strength, my nephew used to be a string bean. He also has a disorder where his diet is limited due to this disorder. He has to drink special stuff in place of normal foods. He is now a personal trainer and looks fantastic. He is super muscular and looks like a weight lifter! So, go to a gym or read some books on how to physically train to build muscles. If he can do it anyone can!

One final word. I would suggest if you do get into a trade to keep a daily journal. When you go places you are going to run into strange people, and so many odd ball things. All this stuff might lead to a book you could write in the future. Like they say, you can't make this stuff up!

Dave1442397

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2018, 12:21:35 PM »
Here's a site (I'm sure there are many) with a list of higher-paid trade jobs - https://www.trade-schools.net/articles/trade-school-jobs.asp

I see skilled HVAC guys and Electricians making good money in my area.

Fishindude

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2018, 12:44:43 PM »
Another vote for getting into a trade.
My background is in construction and I can tell you all of the skilled trades are starving for new, healthy young people to join their ranks.   If you have reliable transportation and a valid drivers license, can pass a drug test, are reasonably physically fit, you should have no trouble getting a job.   You will get paid to learn your craft, acquire tools as you go, and the pay can be pretty darned good, $50-80K per year is not unusual for a good skilled trades person.   I worked my way thru the ranks learning multiple skills and trades and eventually owned the company.   Retired now, but if things ever went to crap I could still pick up my tools and earn a decent living.

Gone Fishing

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2018, 12:46:39 PM »
I too, am a hands on person.  When I graduated HS I was terribly tired of stitting at a desk all day.  I wasn't really enthusiastic about signing up for another four years of the same.  My parents gave me a kick in the butt and made me go.  Best thing that ever happened to me.  I went to an awesome state college, with a good, but not terribly demanding business school.  I was usually able to do most of my classes and school work in 2 days per week. The rest of the time, I worked a little part time job, hung out with friends and pursued interests such as hiking and reading non-fiction about building things and farming.  Met lots of great people, one of which I married and another that remains my best friend.  The college experience was COMPLETELY different from high school.  Afterwards I was able to get a professional job and within 2-3 years I was making more than my parents (also college educated).  Doesn't work out that way for everyone, but it sure helps.  You also get longer summer and winter breaks to pursue your interests.  I was able to travel, work outdoors, and get my fix I needed to spend another semester writing papers for nothing more than a grade and perhaps a little self improvement.  The independence was also a huge improvement over living at home.  I've got great parents, but it was time to get out of the house! 

I suggest giving it a try for a year and see what you think.  If you still really think you should be doing something else then take your deferment, but have something lined up first.  Right now, there is not much of a chance of lining something up by the end of the week!

MonkeyJenga

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2018, 12:55:27 PM »
I didn't want to go to college, and especially did not want to attend the specific college my parents drove me to. I went because what else was I going to do? I ended up leaving halfway through, technically on medical leave, but I started working and never looked back. Ended up making six figures and becoming FI at 31. I'm definitely an outlier, but if you're smart and motivated, you can be successful even in more standard office jobs.

On the other end of the spectrum, my dad also was not ready for college and dropped out. He ended up going back, getting advanced degrees, and being highly successful in his trained career path.

In both cases, we may have been better served by taking a gap year after high and getting more direction before flaming out in our first attempt. If you try a bunch of things, you can see what the daily reality is like for car mechanics, computer techs, crew, etc. Then go to school with a focus. Or continue in the career(s) if more education isn't needed. Not sure about the timing in your specific case, but if you end up deferring now or taking time off later, you can still go on to do great things.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2018, 12:59:34 PM by MonkeyJenga »

Radagast

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2018, 12:57:31 PM »
Trades kick ass, and they are desperately in need of young and intelligent people. You can go to a community college for something like a certificate in welding, millwright, electrical stuff, and many more and avoid general education while getting an education. One of these will make you highly employable, most of your college-going friends will take years or never catch up to your income. If you go down the right path you could be making over $100k before you are 30, but worst case is probably $50k if you try at all and show up on time and not drunk or high. Apprenticeships are a good idea too. But you will usually have to travel to where the work is, and it can move around a lot. You probably also will have to tolerate weather, PPE, and dirt.

Also, I made some boxes out of plywood with 1" pipes for handles that carry bricks from Home Depot. I carry them to work and when they get too light I can add a brick. You can also use gallon jugs or whatever when you are starting. Really cheap. Just simple things like this will build finger, arm, core, and leg strength. Pushups and pullups are really cheap. http://hundredpushups.com/

Roadrunner53

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2018, 12:58:47 PM »
You might also check out the military to learn some specific trade thru them too.

I would not do something like Tank mechanic because when you get out, not too many tanks to repair. Choose something that will help you in the real world.

A guy I know was in the Navy and learned controls. He was in the Navy for around 8 years. He now works on building computerized electronic control devices on machines. It is pretty intense and is very challenging work. He works in R&D and puts the controls on new machinery. Some of the machinery is prototype and later on leads to building industrial equipment.



ltt

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2018, 01:25:07 PM »
The trades are in demand around here also, and you can also make a decent amount of money.  However, you will still need to take some type of program for one of the trades, usually at a local community college (1-2 years at most typically).  If our sons had come to us after high school and said they would like to pursue one of the trades instead of a typical 4-year university/college, we would have been happy with that, and they would have saved us a whole bunch of money. :)  One of our sons is going to a community college now for a two-year program; however, he really wants to drive a truck at some point.  :)

former player

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2018, 01:49:16 PM »
I just want to say to you: please forget any idea you ever had about needing "to get into shape" before you explore any of the exciting opportunities that are opening up for you in the trades.  You are 18 years old, and at 18 years old and not morbidly obese you have the physical resilience to pick up any degree of fitness you will need for any trade while training on the job.

I know this because at a similar age I went straight from sedentary school life to 10 hour days of physical work 6 days a week.  Yes, to start with I spent most of the time I wasn't working asleep and my muscles ached for the first couple of weeks, but I always managed the demands of the job and within two months I was fitter than I've ever been in my life.

All you need to do is find what it is you want to do (and you are not committing yourself irrevocably to anything at this stage: no reason for you not to learn more than one trade if that suit you) and then turn up with youth, enthusiasm, teachability and a work ethic.   I predict that you will be welcomed with open arms regardless of your current physical fitness levels.

TheWifeHalf

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2018, 02:01:49 PM »
You might also check out the military to learn some specific trade thru them too.

I would not do something like Tank mechanic because when you get out, not too many tanks to repair. Choose something that will help you in the real world.

A guy I know was in the Navy and learned controls. He was in the Navy for around 8 years. He now works on building computerized electronic control devices on machines. It is pretty intense and is very challenging work. He works in R&D and puts the controls on new machinery. Some of the machinery is prototype and later on leads to building industrial equipment.

+1 for the Navy. When my son was enlisting, they seemed to try to match up the kids with a rate that interested them, but of course always added some sentence about what it being something the Navy needs.

They are really pushing for trades workers here.
TheHusbandHalf works at an Oil Refinery and there are a lot of companies, meaning trades employees, that he said are in and out of there all day. My son has friends who do this, and are paid quite well.

Cgbg

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2018, 02:08:14 PM »
Youíve gotten great advice. I liked the suggestion of asking about a gap year. It doesnít take much effort to do that and keeps the option open effortlessly for the year. I took a gap year before college and it was a great thing. I was incredibly burned out from high school (homelessness, full time work and being an honor student tends to do that.) Even when I started a year later I wasnít quite ready, but thatís a long story and the bottom line is that the path to your goal doesnít have to be a straight line - just learn and move forward.

On the car insurance thing, there is a reason why I now own three cars. My son couldnít possibly afford the insurance but as long as we own the car then itís rated way differently than if he were to own it himself. I think the quote when he owned the car was $300/month. Heís 18.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2018, 02:09:53 PM by Cgbg »

shelivesthedream

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2018, 02:34:16 PM »
As the academically-proficient but manually-interested daughter of two professionals who was persuaded into going to university at 18 (my parents really wanted me to and would pay for the whole thing and I got into a really good one)... don't do it. I ended up doing a practical arty postgrad anyway (the middle class compromise on a trade for people who are good with their hands!) and really what I should have done was something like carpentry straight out of school. I work part time for like no money and "wasted" three years at university to make my parents feel good.

Either take a gap year waiting tables/doing unskilled labour (if you think there's a chance you want to go to college but need some space to decide) or pick a trade and find a course/apprenticeship. It's your life - your parents can do whatever they like with their own.

Dusty Dog Ranch

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2018, 05:35:50 PM »
Consider getting an AmeriCorps position with a conservation corps. I can guarantee you'll get physically fit, plus you will earn an education award which can be used for a wide variety of post-hs education, not just college. The best ones have a robust training program along with the work, so look around. The best one I know of is called EarthCorps, based in Seattle. It's unique in that a third of the corpsmembers are from outside the US, who then take the training back to their home country and the non-governmental organization that sponsored them. Very supportive program with young adults from all over the US.

seattlecyclone

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2018, 06:06:58 PM »
Don't blindly go to college without a goal in mind. So many kids do that and end up foundering around in a bunch of general classes for a while, racking up a bunch of debt, before either picking a major to focus on or dropping out entirely. I think your idea to pursue a trade sounds like a good one. Give it a try for a year or two and see how it goes. College will always be there if you decide you wish to pursue a path that requires a degree.

WalkaboutStache

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2018, 08:57:23 PM »
If I had a kid, I wouldnít let him/her go to college right out of HS like I did.   Take a gap year, go travel.  Find a shitty summer job, save like a fiend, explore working holiday options, and go see the world.  When you come back, you may have changed your mind, or you may have a better idea of a trade you want to follow.  There is no rush to figure out what you want out of life (most interesting people donít really know, and change their minds as they go along).

Or you may want to travel more, who knows?

As far as having professional parents and wanting to do something else, you might want to check out ďWhy We Make Things and Why It Matters.Ē  There is an interview with the author here:

https://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/02/garden/make-of-it-whatever-you-will.html


austin944

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2018, 01:45:32 AM »
I don't think you've really given the real reason why you don't want to go to college.  You're still going to be getting some general education in a classroom if you pursue a trade, or most anything else for that matter.

It sounds like *maybe* you like to do things with your hands rather than sitting in a classroom.  A lot of my engineering classes had labs where you had to design and build something, and you often had to use your creativity to come up with a solution, and you worked with other people to do it.

I would spend a lot more time reflecting on what you like to do, and what you don't like, before deciding on a path.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2018, 01:47:48 AM by austin944 »

elliha

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2018, 02:20:21 AM »
I think that one of my life's best decisions was to wait one year to go to college after high school. I lived at home and did odd jobs and it was great to have that space. I worked (not a lot, there wasn't really that many jobs in the town I lived in), I read books and got some time to think about life. Then I was ready to go to college and start my new life and it was great for me. My husband was more or less forced into college and wasted many years there not being able to graduate due to a number of factors but motivation being a huge one and now works as a janitor. He doesn't make much but he is working and he is happier than when he was not. He is soon to be 40 and wasted so many years trying to do what he believed he wanted and what his parents wanted and has student loans that he will need to re-pay because of these years. I still think he has a chance of moving up a bit due to the fact that he does have more than a high school education and there are work leaders and bosses in his line of work too so maybe it will not all be to wasted but my husband still suffers from pretty bad self-esteem from his previous experience so that is a factor that makes it harder for him to do so.

My own positive time at college and my husband's negative one makes me even more sure that a gap year can be a good idea and that college while a great thing should not be something you should enter other than when you have a clear plan with it. There are numerous ways of getting a job that doesn't involve college. Trade schools, apprenticeships and just getting a job and starting from that point and seeing where that leads. A friend worked in a fast food restaurant, advanced to manager and managed to use that to get another manager job and is now doing well in a pretty comfortable job as a manager for a store. She was willing to learn and learned well on the job and has a good life. She does say that for the experience she would have liked to have gone to college but she sees no financial reason to do so, she would probably only make a little more money if she went to college and found a slightly more prestigious job than her job now. She says starting her own business would probably be the easiest way to make more money from where she is right now but she has no desire to do so right now so that won't happen.

Roadrunner53

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2018, 04:15:17 AM »
I would like to add one more comment. My Hub worked for this large corporation and only once that I can recall, offered an apprentice program in different trades. I do know there were a handful of electricians apprentices and HVAC. So anyway, some of these people upon finishing the program, decided that they didn't need a license. The factory didn't require it. There were two women electrician apprentices who went and took the test and passed it. There was this other guy who went to take the test at least two times but failed it. However, this guy was trying to take the Contractor license that he was in no way prepared for. So that is why he failed.

I also know this young guy who went to trade school, Vocational High School, and studied to be a plumber. He got out of school and all he needed to do was work as an apprentice for about a year and he could have taken his test. It has been 4 years and he hasn't bothered. He is very smart but has been flopping around in mechanical jobs (lawn mower repair, driving a tow truck) and never bothered to do his apprenticeship.

So my point is, if you decide on a trade, study and get your license or certification. It will open doors in the future. And take the appropriate test. There is no shame in getting the basic first step license. You can go back in a year or two and step up to the next higher license once you get experience and knowledge under your belt.

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2018, 08:54:50 AM »
I think a gap year is a good idea.  During that time (or instead) I would consider the military as an option, if you have any semi-interest at all.  Likewise, Americorps.  Other people have pretty much covered the trades, which is another solid option. 

Roadrunner53

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2018, 09:11:12 AM »
Would like to hear from original poster on what he is thinking now.

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #26 on: June 04, 2018, 10:00:22 AM »
I think a gap year is a good idea.  During that time (or instead) I would consider the military as an option, if you have any semi-interest at all.  Likewise, Americorps.  Other people have pretty much covered the trades, which is another solid option.

The military is generally not a safe place to work. Are there any safe jobs to get there that don't involve being stationed in dangerous areas?

My brother used to be a drummer in a military orchestra. That was a safe job, apart from the the orchestra got dismantled after some years of working. But you need to have a skill to get such a job.

phred

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #27 on: June 04, 2018, 11:41:37 AM »
That everyone should go to college is a major short-coming of our one size fits all culture.  College education has devolved into proving you can sit still for four years, and will willingly waste time on silly projects.

First thing I would do is see your high school counselors to arrange aptitude testing -- who are you really, and what makes you happy?

The skilled trades many cases pay as well as the earnings of a college graduate.  The key is to get into a formal, union sponsored apprenticeship program.  Non-union programs aren't much better than minimum wage.

Order Shopcraft as Soulcraft from your library.  Not saying you should become a motorcycle mechanic as did the college grad author.  Just saying the book may give you insights.

Out of shape?  Start walking a mile a day.  Work up to three miles.  After a while, start running for part of it.  Need some weights?  Fill empty milk jugs with some water and lift those.

Just going to work is not going to solve much. It's either a hard degree or Journeyman status for a good start

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #28 on: June 04, 2018, 03:15:15 PM »
OP, you're saying you have to decide this week. Not a lot of time! If you do end up going to college in the fall - try to pick classes that will help you long term if you do decide to switch to a trade. Try to think about what skills a trades person might need that may also be taught in college. Math (algebra/geometry for sure), business classes, writing classes, budgeting, personal finance, etc. I promise you that I have a better impression of the people I hire if their writing is understandable, so being able to write clearly is important. Get the list of classes and go through them with that mindset.

Overall, there is a trades gap in the US, and it's only getting worse. But it is a hard life - that kind of work is hard on the body, so you would need to be prepared to budget well and save up so you can retire without worry if you can't or don't want to work.

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #29 on: June 04, 2018, 06:28:31 PM »
I think a gap year is a good idea.  During that time (or instead) I would consider the military as an option, if you have any semi-interest at all.  Likewise, Americorps.  Other people have pretty much covered the trades, which is another solid option.

The military is generally not a safe place to work. Are there any safe jobs to get there that don't involve being stationed in dangerous areas?

My brother used to be a drummer in a military orchestra. That was a safe job, apart from the the orchestra got dismantled after some years of working. But you need to have a skill to get such a job.

This is going to depend a lot on one's person risk tolerance, but in general, I think this plays in to the fact that humans aren't great at assessing risk.  I'd imagine some of the trades have a lot of injuries as well, and certainly they are hard on the body over time.  I'm biased as the wife, daughter, and granddaughter of career service members (and of course friends with many more).  And certainly some jobs are more dangerous than others (Marine infantry vs. Air Force plane mechanic, for example).  If the OP feels like the military is too risky, s/he obviously shouldn't look in to that, but it's well worth considering. 

Dicey

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #30 on: June 04, 2018, 07:08:57 PM »
Hold on, I'll be right back...

Dicey

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #31 on: June 04, 2018, 07:17:21 PM »
Damn, I hate how hard it is to search the forum. There's a current thread about jobs that pay $100k. Not all of them require degrees. I can't find it. Help, anybody!


Raenia

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #33 on: June 05, 2018, 08:03:21 AM »
Damn, I hate how hard it is to search the forum. There's a current thread about jobs that pay $100k. Not all of them require degrees. I can't find it. Help, anybody!

Was it this one?

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/how-do-people-make-$100-salary/

ETA: Looks like tralfamadorian found it first!
« Last Edit: June 05, 2018, 09:03:01 AM by Raenia »

Dicey

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #34 on: June 05, 2018, 08:47:12 AM »
Yup. Thanks to both of you for the link. It's an excellent thread. OP, are you out there? If not, I hope others will see it and keep it alive.

charis

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #35 on: June 05, 2018, 09:03:16 AM »
You might also check out the military to learn some specific trade thru them too.

I would not do something like Tank mechanic because when you get out, not too many tanks to repair. Choose something that will help you in the real world.

A guy I know was in the Navy and learned controls. He was in the Navy for around 8 years. He now works on building computerized electronic control devices on machines. It is pretty intense and is very challenging work. He works in R&D and puts the controls on new machinery. Some of the machinery is prototype and later on leads to building industrial equipment.

+1 for the Navy. When my son was enlisting, they seemed to try to match up the kids with a rate that interested them, but of course always added some sentence about what it being something the Navy needs.

They are really pushing for trades workers here.
TheHusbandHalf works at an Oil Refinery and there are a lot of companies, meaning trades employees, that he said are in and out of there all day. My son has friends who do this, and are paid quite well.

+2 for the Navy!  I know a number of career Navy people, many of whom had their education paid for, when they were ready to pursue it, and several retired in their early 40s.  This seems like it could be a great option for you.

use2betrix

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #36 on: June 05, 2018, 09:22:25 AM »
A lot of great advice in this thread. I, like you, went to college and couldnít find myself fully embracing it. After a year and a half I went to a welding trade school. I finished after 7 months and started welding. My siblings and parents are all college graduates.

A few weeks back on this forum I read a thread with a poll about education. This forum is predominantly filled with bachelors, masters, and PhD personnel. There are very, very few people here who have actually worked in the trades. Many people who have few other options canít handle the work, and Iím positive people who have never worked labor intensive jobs could not handle it either. Could some? You bet, far from most.

Picture this - working in the sourthern heat with steel toes, jeans, a leather welding jacket, gloves, hard hat, and welding hood, lying on a steel platform with about 36Ē clearance, welding stainless cable tray for 60 hrs a week in 90% humidity. Or, picture welding a steel I-Beam when youíre 150í off the ground and straddling the 8Ē wide flange while you weld it. Itís 15 degrees in Pennsylvania with a 20 mph wind, and youíre doing it all day. You might have to work Sundays, might have to work nights.

This isnít every trade, but this is much of them. It is WORK. Itís not like building something in your garage on the weekends and evenings because you like working with your hands.

That being said, many people love it. I enjoyed a ton of aspects of it and took pride in my work. Iím an outlier and moved up the chain into management very quickly.

I made 100k for the first time the year I turned 24, and have since had multiple years at 200k, and I turned 30 this year. Iím around 130k already this year and itís not even half over. I have worked a metric shit ton (actual unit of measure) of hours, however. I start a new contract in two weeks which is full benefits, matching 401k, and 225k/yr working just 5 days a week. Not bad for someone without a bachelors?

The opportunities are there for those with little to no education. It ALL depends on the person, there is little to no ďluckĒ in this industry. Everything about you is recognized, positively and negatively, and that will determine your success. As I type this (at work) the VP of the company Iím currently representing (billion dollars in revenue last year) just came in since I put my notice in last week and said Iím more than welcome back after I finish my 2 year contract where Iím heading. Building those kind of relationships is everything.   

Just some things to keep in mind, endless opportunities but not for everyone.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2018, 09:38:24 AM by use2betrix »

Cole

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #37 on: June 05, 2018, 09:39:58 AM »
First I would like to say that Trades are in great demand here in CT. My Spouse was in HVAC for probably 40+ years. He is retired now but just two days ago got an offer for employment and the pay was great with lots of bennies.

This is how he started. He started working for an oil company as an apprentice and learned everything about oil burners. In CT a lot of homes use oil to fuel their heating systems. He worked for quite a few years in the heating field and early on got his B-2 license. You have to take a state test and pass it to get the license. Then he went to work for an HVAC company and learned the air conditioning side of the business. He went to technical school at night. He eventually got his S-1 License which is the top license. Again, testing by the state. He eventually worked for a large corporation and took care of HVAC in a building that was 20 acres under the roof. He worked there 20 years. He made good money but not as good as working for an HVAC company. He got all the bells and whistles in bennies and 401k. Then his company downsized and he took a package and left. He then worked for a school system in the HVAC/Maintenance department. He worked there about two years and just wasn't his cup of tea. However, that was too bad because he could have almost walked to work! Then he got a job at a company that makes HVAC equipment. His job was a bit unusual and he was a trouble shooter on equipment that went bad. He would determine what went wrong so the factory could make corrections to improve quality. He did that for about 9 years and retired.

If you can figure out what trade you want to get into, you might be able to contact some companies and tell them you want to be an apprentice. You might get lucky. Or you might want to take some night courses at a Vocational school then contact some companies and tell them you are studying at night and want to pursue this type of work.

There is a lot of opportunities in Trade jobs. The jobs are pretty hard physically and you do get dirty now and then.

Here is a school where you can go for maybe a year and get trained in different trades: https://info.lincolntech-usa.com/campus/east-windsor-ct/  I don't know anyone who went there. I am sure there are other schools that could get you trained up for a career in less time than a college degree.

Speaking of building your strength, my nephew used to be a string bean. He also has a disorder where his diet is limited due to this disorder. He has to drink special stuff in place of normal foods. He is now a personal trainer and looks fantastic. He is super muscular and looks like a weight lifter! So, go to a gym or read some books on how to physically train to build muscles. If he can do it anyone can!

One final word. I would suggest if you do get into a trade to keep a daily journal. When you go places you are going to run into strange people, and so many odd ball things. All this stuff might lead to a book you could write in the future. Like they say, you can't make this stuff up!

Do not go to Lincoln Tech. They are a for profit school. 30k+ for a associates degree in 15 months.

thesis

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #38 on: June 05, 2018, 09:57:49 AM »
+1 for paving your own path.

But do be aware that no matter what you choose, there will be parts of it that you don't like, but that doesn't mean you should stop. Even the trades will involve some academic study :)

Consider something that can be useful to your personal life as well. Construction, automotive, even possibly welding are definitely helpful. HVAC for sure. If you are interested in homeownership, knowing how to seriously fix things could save you tens of thousands over time. Make your education work for you, I think that's the true entrepreneurial spirit. Also, by doing something like a 2 year degree or training, you can typically enter the skilled workforce much sooner than your peers, which means you can start socking that money away for FIRE. Imagine being financially independent by age 30, that's when your options really open up :)

use2betrix

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #39 on: June 05, 2018, 10:08:27 AM »
First I would like to say that Trades are in great demand here in CT. My Spouse was in HVAC for probably 40+ years. He is retired now but just two days ago got an offer for employment and the pay was great with lots of bennies.

This is how he started. He started working for an oil company as an apprentice and learned everything about oil burners. In CT a lot of homes use oil to fuel their heating systems. He worked for quite a few years in the heating field and early on got his B-2 license. You have to take a state test and pass it to get the license. Then he went to work for an HVAC company and learned the air conditioning side of the business. He went to technical school at night. He eventually got his S-1 License which is the top license. Again, testing by the state. He eventually worked for a large corporation and took care of HVAC in a building that was 20 acres under the roof. He worked there 20 years. He made good money but not as good as working for an HVAC company. He got all the bells and whistles in bennies and 401k. Then his company downsized and he took a package and left. He then worked for a school system in the HVAC/Maintenance department. He worked there about two years and just wasn't his cup of tea. However, that was too bad because he could have almost walked to work! Then he got a job at a company that makes HVAC equipment. His job was a bit unusual and he was a trouble shooter on equipment that went bad. He would determine what went wrong so the factory could make corrections to improve quality. He did that for about 9 years and retired.

If you can figure out what trade you want to get into, you might be able to contact some companies and tell them you want to be an apprentice. You might get lucky. Or you might want to take some night courses at a Vocational school then contact some companies and tell them you are studying at night and want to pursue this type of work.

There is a lot of opportunities in Trade jobs. The jobs are pretty hard physically and you do get dirty now and then.

Here is a school where you can go for maybe a year and get trained in different trades: https://info.lincolntech-usa.com/campus/east-windsor-ct/  I don't know anyone who went there. I am sure there are other schools that could get you trained up for a career in less time than a college degree.

Speaking of building your strength, my nephew used to be a string bean. He also has a disorder where his diet is limited due to this disorder. He has to drink special stuff in place of normal foods. He is now a personal trainer and looks fantastic. He is super muscular and looks like a weight lifter! So, go to a gym or read some books on how to physically train to build muscles. If he can do it anyone can!

One final word. I would suggest if you do get into a trade to keep a daily journal. When you go places you are going to run into strange people, and so many odd ball things. All this stuff might lead to a book you could write in the future. Like they say, you can't make this stuff up!

Do not go to Lincoln Tech. They are a for profit school. 30k+ for a associates degree in 15 months.

Having been to a for profit welding school, and a community college welding program, you get FAR better hands on experience at the for profit program (at least the one I attended). Mine was around $15k for 7 months, and I found it to be worth it. All the extra hands on training could easily mean you are passing weld tests and making 70k-80k upon graduation vs 40k-50k.


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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #40 on: June 05, 2018, 10:13:11 AM »
Very few people really know what they want to do at 18 years old. I made a complete and total 180 a year into college and went a total different direction than I thought I would academically (I am a person who loved that environment and went for 11 years straight). There are a lot of really great trades out there. There is a huge amount of potential in the maritime trades. A few general recommendations:
1. Allow yourself to fail at something. If you try a trade and it is a bad fit, don't be afraid to move on.
2. Don't be afraid of something being difficult. There is a difference in life between things that are fun and those that are satisfying. Many of the most satisfying things in life take some challenge and grit. Those skills will get you far no matter what path you take.
3. Find out how to meet with and talk to people in trades you are interested in. Union halls, friends of friends whatever. Have a coffee with them and talk to people with experience about what they are doing and the best way to position yourself for success in that field. This may be awkward, but most people like talking about what they do and are willing to take a half hour to pay if forward.
4. There are a lot of great technical programs at community colleges. If you like figuring out how things work, take a look through the course catalog and see if anything looks fun. Certificates can go a long ways in some fields.

FIRE@50

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #41 on: June 05, 2018, 10:17:17 AM »
My question is, would you be paying for college or would your family be paying? Generally, I support getting a quality education, but I think the Mustachian thing to do would be to get a job right away, work hard, save a huge chunk of your earnings, and retire at 30. Over a 40 year career, the college degree would always payoff, but over a shorter career, the payoff is much less, if not a negative. Anyone care to do the math on this?

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #42 on: June 05, 2018, 10:27:15 AM »
I'm a college educated professional with a family full of people in the trades. The trades can definitely pay well and for the right type of person those jobs are very satisfying. I will caution you on one thing - most trade work is very, very hard on the body. Just meet with a 60 year old plumber to see what I'm talking about.

If you go the trades route, I think it's even more important to pursue FIRE. Get in, make $$$ and get out before you start to feel the wear and tear.

Slowtraveler

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #43 on: June 05, 2018, 10:51:11 AM »
Trades are cheaper to finish and can pay much better than most degrees. Build a strong case to counter your family's possible attacks. Earnings, business opportunities, time for apprenticeship, savings along the way.

Community college is way cheaper than Uni and saved me many thousands. University for CS was interesting but most classes are a waste of time. Without the passion, it's mostly a waste. You only have 1 life.

Car Jack

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #44 on: June 05, 2018, 12:51:12 PM »
When I was in high school, I wanted so much to NOT go to college that I specifically made sure that I lacked some courses needed to go to college.  Decided to go in the Navy on a 2 year 4 month enlistment (the 4 months was electronic tech training).  Then Viet Nam ended with the helicopters pulling out the last Americans from the embassy.  The 2 year 4 month offer turned into a 4 year 4 month offer and I had no interest in that long of time, so took algebra 2 during the summer and entered community college for electronics.  I figured that someday, I'd figure out what I really wanted to do and would do this until then.

Well fast forward.  It's 40 years since I graduated from community college and I think I know what I should have done.  Civil Engineering.......because that's what my son is taking and it clicks with me.  Oh well.  In the mean time, I got my Bachelors and then Masters degrees to get better at what was bringing in the money.

What's the point of all this?  Most people don't know what the hell they want to do.  At least I know I didn't.  Just do something that can bring in money.  Whether that's welding or being a dental hygenist (you'd meet a ton of cute girls in that major), or driving for UPS or electrical wiring or whatever.  Do something.  If you figure out something you'd rather do once you're making money, figure out how to do it on the side.  If it's working out, try to expand it.  If not, look for other things while pulling in money in your regular job.

And finally......if you can't figure anything out.....go to college.  Look at what different courses and different majors are out there.  Maybe change majors a few times.  If that's the key to finding what fits, you don't want to throw it out.

gaja

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #45 on: June 05, 2018, 02:24:09 PM »
If the parents continue to be worried about the lack of education, I would suggest making a plan B that they can understand academically: Some of the best academic scholars are the ones who also have practical knowledge. A electrical engineer who has worked as an electrician, an architect who has worked as a builder, or a biologist who has worked as a fisherman, will have a much better basis for their theoretical research.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #46 on: June 06, 2018, 05:02:40 AM »
Go to college. The school part is easy. Itís all, easy. Why college? Easiest and best 4 years of your life with most freedom and least responsibility.  Itís not like high school at all. Youíll make great friends, youíll get laid, youíll have fun adventures, youíll cry. You. Will. Love. It. Donít trade that for work like adults. Youíll have 20-40 years of that treadmill. College, youíll remember that awesomeness forever. Anyone who disagrees with me did the hard STEM majors, lol.

Dicey

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #47 on: June 06, 2018, 08:04:20 AM »
I'm a college educated professional with a family full of people in the trades. The trades can definitely pay well and for the right type of person those jobs are very satisfying. I will caution you on one thing - most trade work is very, very hard on the body. Just meet with a 60 year old plumber to see what I'm talking about.

If you go the trades route, I think it's even more important to pursue FIRE. Get in, make $$$ and get out before you start to feel the wear and tear.
And take care of your body. I don't get the guys who get drunk on weekends, participate in extreme sports, etc. when their body is their source of income.

historienne

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Re: I don't want to go to college anymore. What should I do?
« Reply #48 on: June 07, 2018, 08:18:11 AM »

Tell your parents you want to take a gap year so that you are more focused when you go to college and can use your time there better.  See if you can defer your college acceptance for a year, since it sounds like you've already gone through that process once.  Tell them you want to set up some part time internships to explore possible career paths, and you'll also get a paying job so that you can contribute to household expenses (if you want to live at home) or pay your own rent elsewhere.

If your family is the type where everyone goes to college, calling it a gap year will go down much easier than saying you never want to go to college.  Meanwhile, it buys you at least 6-9 months to figure out what you want the next few years of  your life to look like.  Maybe you'll decide you want to go to college after all; maybe you'll find a trade that appeals to you.  Maybe something totally different.  In any case, I think the conversation with your parents will be much easier if you aren't framing this as a decision to NEVER go to college.

FWIW, I'm a college professor, and I find that students who took time off before college are some of the best students in my classes.  Maybe it's selection bias (the other students take time off and never come back), or maybe it's the fact that they've spent time developing some life skills, and they have more of a sense of what's at stake in their studies.  Either way, I think it's an option that more people should think about.