First and foremost, I am a firm believer in a college education. I have seen the way that it can improve lives and families and how it can help teenagers/young adults mature and grow into their own through college. As this is the career I have chosen, working in higher education, obviously I strongly believe in the opportunities that a college education can give people.
However, I do realize that college is not for everyone, whether they truly know they won't be successful in college or whether they are just discouraged by leaving high school and don't believe in themselves. With that being said, there are plenty of options, outside of the traditional, four-year, living on campus education.
It is perfectly okay if you choose not to go to college, but you do need a plan to help provide for your future and for the future of your family, if that is what you choose in the long run. One option is going to a BOCES/Vocational Technology program.
These are offered through your high school and also through an Adult Education program. To save time, you can plan for these options early (the end of your sophomore or junior year), but there are graduates who will enter a program after they graduate high school. With this option, you typically get a certificate or license out of your program. For example, the Cosmetology programs will end with your license to cut and style hair and you can then be employed with that. Also, the CNA program will end with your certification to be a Certified Nurses Aid and be able to work within a Nursing Home or Hospital. The programs offered through a BOCES or Vocational Technology program are all really great options that can prepare you for a successful career, if you aren't pursuing a college degree. (Additionally, you can always go later on to college for Business, to open your own salon, or Nursing to become a Registered Nurse.)
If you don't feel that college is right for you, that is fine, however you will need a certificate or license to help you find a job/career right out of high school. Do some research on options in your hometown area and discuss these ideas (once thought through) with your guidance counselor right away! Although you may not be Chasing College, you can still be chasing an education!
enjoy the chase,
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