You start your senior year of high school, and everything is college this and college that. You probably grew up being told you HAVE to go to college to have any sort of a future. Parents, teachers, and family friends are always pressuring us to get into a good school. But what if you don't want to? What if going to college just didn't start your spark? You don't have to go if that doesn't ignite you!
Firstly, some of us don't have the grades to get into Dartmouth or Stanford, only to in return get told that because we don't have good grades, we're not smart enough! Let's debunk this right now, grades do not determine your intelligence! You're probably really smart but being tested in the wrong ways because that's not how your brain works! But that's nothing to be ashamed of, and you should stop letting people shame you for not testing the best.
What about passions? So what you've got the excellent grades to get into any school that our parents could dream of? That means absolutely nothing if your bored out of your brains every two seconds of your day and feel like you won't make it through 4 years of this. If you've got a passion that's burning in your soul, then reach for it. Aim for it. If you're gonna put all your time and effort into college, why not put that effort into something you love and actually enjoy doing? Shoot for the moon and if you miss, you'll land amongst the stars.
If going to college is all that you've ever wanted to do, then good for you! But if backpacking through Europe and taking candid pictures is more appealing to you, then go for it! Think of it this way, if you had to be stuck in your career with absolutely no take-backs until you retired, would you truly be happy?