OPINION: When will we accept that college is not right for everyone and that is okay?

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Betty Hurd | The Daily Wildcat

The inside of Gallagher Theater in the Student Union Memorial Center on April 11, 2019. The theater is also used as a classroom.

In a world where higher education is a privilege not everyone has access to, it may seem that if you can go to university, you should. However, that is not always the case.

Going to university and getting a degree can be a powerful resource for your future, however, it doesn’t guarantee success or happiness. I believe that depending on your personal life and career goals, higher education isn’t a requirement. 

Some of the most influential and successful people were college dropouts. According to CBS News, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Steven Spielberg are some of many notable people who did not obtain a college degree. 

One important factor to consider if college is the right choice for you is debt. Depending on what career you choose, it may be worth your while to obtain some debt. In some cases, higher education will lead to a specific high-paying career. This includes jobs in the medical field, engineering and law.

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However, if your career goals are something with less specific requirements, debt is not a good idea. I believe that if you want to obtain a degree in something broader, it is much more beneficial to pursue a debt-free option, like community college or in-state tuition. 

There are also other options for less college education-oriented careers. Trade schools are a great way to obtain specific skill sets without breaking the bank. Real estate and beauty schools are two examples of trade schools. 

These are simply other options for people who still feel a desire to pursue an education past high school. However, it is understandable that going to school isn’t right for everyone. Many may find that life just working, traveling and living is a much more satisfactory path. 

Networking is an amazing skill that does not come from a university degree. Knowing the right people in the right places at the right time can lead to enormous success. Putting yourself out there and being your own biggest advocate can lead to tremendous rewards. 

I firmly believe that confidence can get you anywhere in life. If you truly believe in yourself, others will too. No level of education can teach you how to exude confidence. It is something each individual must discover for themselves. 

I like to think of success as a cookie recipe. Everyone has a different preference for cookie types. Flavors, texture, size, toppings, all of these factors make up everyone's personal favorite cookie. There is no one-size-fits-all cookie, just as the definition of success isn’t one-size-fits all. 

To some people, higher education is a key ingredient in their cookie recipe. And to others, it is not. Therefore, it is unacceptable to judge others on their choices, and their definition of success, since it is unique to everyone. 

Personally, I have no idea what ingredients go in my cookie recipe. Success is something each person needs to define on their own and discover what truly makes them feel like they are the human being they want to be in this world. 


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Maayan Cohen (she/her) is an opinions writer and a sophomore majoring in digital journalism. In her free time, you can find her trying new recipes, going to a thrift store or creating art.


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