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  • Writer's pictureCaitlin Lewis

"Is college necessary for success in today's world?"

College Bound ? Nope.


Leading into the end of my son's junior year in high school, it's hard to see what's on the horizon. That in just a quick jump, he will be off to transition into adulthood. I recently sat down for a school meeting to discuss his transcript and outlook for colleges. I sat there in a daze. Thinking quickly to myself, how can I expect my 16-year-old to even know what he wants to do with his future? I still don't know what I want. It's always evolving.


When I was 16, I remember being told in school, "You need to start figuring out what you want to do, what college you want to attend, who you are going to be". That's such a loaded question for someone who is 16. How can they be expected to map out their life? Life is a journey full of twists and turns, and it's perfectly normal not to have everything figured out at 16. Shouldn't they be delving into more telling questions? Skipping the stress of having a detailed life blueprint? Instead, diving into what lights their fire. What makes them happy? What are they most interested in? What's something they can't live without?


Not, what degree they want? I am a true believer that this society has been shoving the idea that college degrees equal success down our throats for years. Making the 16-year-old us believe if we just went to college and got the degree, we would be set up for lifelong success. WRONG. 50% of college graduates are in their parents' basement right now having a life-altering realization. That degree didn't get them their dream job. Just a mountain of student loan debt with no relief in sight.



What about trades? What about community college being the ideal choice instead of the lesser one? Take a year or two at an affordable solution that gives you time to decide. What about not shaming them if they don't know yet and want to find themselves?


College is an amazing opportunity for many people. But not all. Honestly, not most. So how can we be accepting of our future leaders to be successful when it's not pushed evenly? College is always first and foremost. It's time to celebrate the rainbow of educational paths out there and cheer on all routes to success. Imagine a world where every learning style and skill set gets a high-five - that's the kind of vibe we need!


The diverse range of educational journeys available are greater now than ever but not all are promoted equally. Envision a world where every learning style and skill set is valued - that's a positive atmosphere. We should work towards creating an inclusive and equitable system that allows every individual to excel, regardless of the educational path they choose.

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