By Aidan Ramsey
My Experience So Far:
I am currently a sophomore at Grove City College and my college experience so far has been everything I did not expect it to be. Coming into college, I had these grand ideas to major in Exercise Science and to one day become a pediatric physical therapist. I always knew I wanted to work with kids and I also enjoyed being active so for me it was a no-brainer. “I am going to become a physical therapist for kids.” My dad being a pastor didn’t exactly put us in the upper class so community college was the most affordable option at the time. So I started my journey at a local community college taking general education classes. My opinion of college quickly changed, it was not at all as I expected it to be but I assured myself that a “real” college would be different. So I pushed on and finished out the semester. Covid-19 was at full force now and so I opted out of returning to community college and got a job at a local retail store. I spent the next couple months doing nothing but work and putting off the thought of college. Before I knew it, it was already summer and I needed to make a decision. Community college left a bad taste and my mouth and I considered not going back at all but pressure from my parents and my continued hopes of a “real” college convinced me to attend Grove City college. Present day: it is now week 5 of college and man is still not what I hoped it would be. My plans of becoming a physical therapist are off the table and are now replaced with dreams of starting my own business. The college life was just not for me, I still was not making friends, I hated classes, and the overall experience was just not worth all the money. I firmly believe college is great for people but I also believe it is not for everyone. The questions for me were, “But do I need a degree to that?” “Do I really need to put myself into all this debt?” I kept asking myself these questions and the answer that keeps coming up is no. Now, I have decided that it just is not for me. So after talking with my family, I have decided to finish out the semester since it is already paid for and then drop out. One thing I did not expect was that dropping out would be so hard. The constant societal pressure and the peer pressure that college is the only way to succeed is a lot to handle. But I know that this is my path and that it is going to be different than everyone else. I am confident in myself and my abilities to succeed.
What about your path?
I suppose this why you are here after all. What about you? Is college the right path for you? The best I can do and I think the best anyone can do is give you advice on how to figure out if it is for you or not.
Gather Information: One of the best things to do to learn more about this is to talk to people. Talk to your family, talk to your friends, talk to anyone and everyone. I never could have imagined how helpful it was to gather other people’s opinions and knowledge on the topic. For me, I talked and still plan to talk to a lot of people. I had a conversation with a senior in entrepreneurship and I was able to learn all about the program and all the benefits and opportunities that could come from it. There are so many people out there that would love to talk to you and can share valuable insight. However, it is important that you get that information from both perspectives so you can be well rounded when you come to a decision.
Have a Plan: In a lot of situations, college is generally the safer option so it is important to have a plan in order to support yourself financially. While I am at college, I have put my plan into action. I have just started an E-commerce store (gatheringbee.com, feel free to check it out :)). I also flip furniture on the weekends and manage this blog with my friends. The dangers of entrepreneurship is that it won’t always work out but with a good work ethic and a lot of hard work anything is possible.
Build Connections: It is important to get a good group of people to support you. Although not impossible, it is very hard to things on your own because a lot of people are going to doubt you. A group of friends or family who support you makes a world of difference in your ability to succeed. Connections in general are just an amazing way to increase your opportunities. The amount of people I have met through friends and family has been so helpful to me.
Believe in Yourself: As I said earlier, there are going to be a lot of people who doubt your ability to succeed so it is of upmost importance that you believe in yourself. If you do not believe in yourself then it will be impossible to succeed.
Understand That College is Not For Everyone: There is a lot of societal and peer pressure to attend college and get a degree. Fortunately, we live in a day in age where there are more opportunities to succeed without a degree than there has ever been before. Simply, college just is not for everyone.
Why I Don’t Want to Attend College:
The real reason I do not want to attend college is that I could never be satisfied with working the classic 9-5 job. The freedom that comes with being an entrepreneur and the fact that I would not be confined to a time or place to constantly be working is so important to me. Being my able to work on my own schedule along with being my own boss is what I want most out of job. One of my favorite lines from the song Buy Dirt by Jordan Davis is “Do what you love but call it work.” I know being an entrepreneur will allow me to do what I love and so when I am “working” it won’t even feel like work. Family is also really important to me and I want to be there for them every chance I have and this line of work will give me the opportunity to do so.
Hopefully what helped me will help you and through this you will be able to have a better idea of what your path may entail. If you want someone to talk to, I would love to be able to talk to you and help you on your journey as others have helped me on mine. You can reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will respond to you as soon as I can. Thank you for reading this and best of luck on your journey!