College May Be For My Parents, But Is It For Me?

College May Be For My Parents, But Is It For Me?

Emma Copple, Staff Writer

I really do not want to go to college. In my experience, college has been pushed on to me since before I was old enough to possibly know what I wanted to be and even after I was old enough and still did not know. In sixth grade, when I was far more career-driven, I had planned on attending, but my mind has slowly been changed throughout the years.


So why am I hesitant to make this choice when everyone around me says with certainty that it will better my life? 


School is not my thing. I excel in my classes with a spotless 4.0 GPA since middle school. I know I can write a paper to meet a deadline for the rest of my time here at Dover, but I do not believe that I could make the choice to put myself through another four years of academics without working passionately towards entering a career field. 


I do not have a career of any kind in mind. I can not find a reason to work towards a generic degree. What if I step from the graduation stage with the same sense of direction I had with me while leaving high school? I refuse to pack my bags for college, despite knowing it is not the right step for me due to what is expected of the average graduate. 


What if I could be happy with a job that does not require a degree? I think that happiness should be my priority after coming from somewhere that valued a deadline over eight hours of sleep. 


This list of qualms only feels valid to me under the condition that I do not have a dream job waiting for me on the other side. If college is what stands between me and a workplace I find passion in, I am willing to put in the work demanded of me to make it there. For example, my sister had her heart set on becoming a teacher, and after college, she was able to fulfill her dream. 


Many of the adults around me have earned a degree. 


My brother, Matt Engstrom, a Rio Grande graduate, gave me his perspective on his college experience. When asked if he regretted going to college even after his career change, he replied, “Absolutely not. I made my best friends in college and received an experience academically, athletically, and socially”. I was surprised and even impressed by his conclusion, but I am not sure that a period of self-growth is worth the four years. 


Parents are often in favor of the college route. Mine are not an exception. When asked why they want their kids to go to college, and why it would be worth it, their response, in summary, was “I want my kid to further his education.” They added that in my situation without an idea of life after school it would be a great way to get inspiration from others to get me onto a career path. Their answers, although convincing, may not have been as encouraging as they had hoped.


I am, however, quite self-aware. I know I am a sophomore, and I will likely learn about bigger opportunities. The chance of a change of heart is high, but for now, this is where I stand. I really do not want to go to college.