No, You Don't Have To Go To College

Yes, It's Finally OK To Say That You Don't Have To Go To College

Graduating from high school is now like graduating from middle school.

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It has been drilled into our heads that we have to go to college. Graduating from high school is now like graduating from middle school, with college being the unquestionable next step. But with student debt at an all-time high, and tuition costs continuing to rise, more high school graduates are questioning their next moves.

For a while, it was taboo to say that it was OK not to go to college. Now, I think we can all agree that college isn't for everyone and that many people can really benefit from going to trade school or pursuing alternative career paths

After all, a degree doesn't automatically equal a better career or life.

If you're thinking of attending college, are already in school or have graduated, I can bet that at least one of your reasons for pursuing higher education was because your parents — or society — told you to.

But if you're not truly passionate about the degree you're pursuing, or you just picked a career that should make you a lot of money, is it worth going into heavy debt to attain your degree?

We're at a point where a lot of people are putting their lives on hold because of debt. They're not getting married. They're not buying houses. They're not having children. And all of this is because they simply have too much debt.

Of course, not every student has to go into debt to earn a degree. If you have the means to earn a degree with minimal or no debt, then there is no reason not to go for it.

But don't just assume that a degree in anything will automatically translate into a better career and a better life. I know plenty of people who graduated college only to enter a saturated industry with few job options. Some went back to school, while others took lower-paying jobs that didn't even require a degree.

Don't get me wrong. College can certainly give you a better life and career. If you already know the career path you want, then college may be the only way to attain your goals.

But just blindly pursuing a major you don't really care about is just wasting your time and money.

If you don't know what you want to do with your life career-wise, then it may be worthwhile to just start working and figuring out what you want to do before jumping straight into college.

With so many people pursuing college degrees, we're seeing fewer people entering the trades. There's now an increased demand for trades and skilled labor.

The construction industry, in particular, is seeing a tremendous labor shortage. If you like working with your hands and don't mind manual labor, this may be a great career option for you. We're also seeing a lack of plumbers and other skilled workers. Many workers in these industries are heading for retirement, and they have no one to fill their positions.

What many high school graduates don't realize is that these careers still offer excellent salaries. Electricians, for example, earn a median salary of $57,720 per year. You can still earn a good living without having to go into serious debt.

I'm not trying to discourage people from attending college. I'm just trying to encourage students to think about their next steps before they walk blindly into a major or career that doesn't pan out the way they had hoped.

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Why Nursing School Is Different Than Any Other Major

Because most other majors can't kill someone accidentally by adding wrong.
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College is hard. Between studying for numerous amounts of tests and balancing eating, working out, maintaining a social life, and somehow not breaking your bank account, it’s no wonder a common conversation among students is “how many mental breakdowns did you have this week?” Every major will pose its own challenges; that’s truth. Nursing school, however, is a special kind of tough that only other nursing majors can understand.

SEE ALSO: Quit Bashing Radford University

Nurses are the backbone and unsung hero of healthcare. Their job is to advocate for the patient, collaborate care among all other healthcare team members, carry out physician orders, recognize and report patient progress (or lack thereof), run interference for the patient with any unwanted visitors, research and validate evidence based practice, all while maintaining a certain aurora of confidence for patients and their loved ones that “everything will be okay” and “I’ve got this under control”. If that sounds like a lot; that’s because it is. The majority of skills that we learn that make good nurses cannot actually be taught in theory classes. It’s the hours of actual practice and a certain knack for caring for people- all people- that makes a good nurse great. The countless, unrelenting hours that are spent on the floor in clinical humble us, we know that we’re not great yet, but we’re trying.

Our professors expect us to be humble as well. Nurses do not seek gold stars for their actions, instead the precedence that is set for us to that we “do the right thing because it is the right thing to do”. Most nursing programs grading scales are different. To us, a failing grade isn’t actually getting a 69 or lower, it’s an 80. And that makes sense; no one would want a nurse who only understand 70% of what is happening in the body. We have to understand the normal body response, what happens when things go wrong, why it happens the way it does, and how to properly intervene. We want to learn, it interests us, and we know that the long theory classes and the hard days on the floor are just to make us better. However, any triumph, anytime you do well, whatever small victory that may feel like for you, it just what is supposed to happen- it’s what is expected, and we still have much to learn.

I look back on my decision to take on nursing school, and I often find myself questioning: why? There are so many other majors out there that offer job security, or that help people, or would challenge me just as much. But, when I think of being a nurse- it’s what fulfills me. There’s something that the title holds that makes me feel complete (and that same fact is going to resonate with anyone who wants to love their job). I wouldn’t change the decision I made for anything, I love what I am learning to do and I feel that it’s part of what makes me who I am. The other students who I have met through nursing school are some of the most amazing people I have ever come into contact with, and the professors have helped me understand so much more about myself than I thought possible.

Nursing is treating and understanding the human response. Meaning that it’s not just the disease process, or the action of the medication, or the care that we provide, but that nurses treat the way in which people deal, react, feel, and cope with good news, bad news, terrible procedures, hospital stays and being completely dependent on other people. And the fact of the matter is that all people are different. There is no one magic treatment that will always work for every patient. In addition to course work, the clinical hours, the passion and drive to want to be a nurse, and the difficulty that comes with any medical profession, we have to understand each individual patient, as people and not their illness. And, in order to do that so much self discovery goes on each day to recognize where you are and how you are coping with everything coming your way.

What is taught in nursing school goes far beyond just textbook information or step by step procedures. We have to learn, and quickly, how to help and connect with people on a level which most struggle to accomplish in a lifetime. It's a different kind of instruction, and it either takes place quickly or not at all. The quality of nurse you become depends on it. Nursing school is different, not harder or better than any other school, just different.

SEE ALSO: Stop Putting Down Radford University



Cover Image Credit: stocksnap.io

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Crossroads

Trying to figure out what to do in life.

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views

I never saw the crossroad

Where I could cross n' roam

Under an arch or dome. [1]

I just kept on the road

That was laid out,

Told to hold out

Till it pays out. [2]

Now I think its too late

Been walking too long,

Classes are all wrong

But masses too strong. [3]

So I follow with my head down

And chest up, succeeding cause

I'm too scared to fuck it up. [4]

But I have a need to lead,

Top-down and gears up

Leaving nothing to the dust.

But if I drop out, I'm a fuck up. [5]

Is it better to live and rust

Or drive till it busts

With trust you can find the way? [6]


[1] - Play on roam/Rome. Starts the poem by expressing the feeling of being trapped in my path in life. I felt like I never got the chance to figure out what I wanted to do.

[2] - I think a lot of it was I was following what people told me I should be doing.

[3] - I have a feeling that it is too late to change my course of life. I'm in a college for business, taking classes about business, and everyone around me wants to do business.

[4] - This is saying that even though I am not passionate about what I am doing I am still trying to succeed only because I'm scared of failing or quitting.

[5] - I want to leave and lead myself, do something where I'm not following but I don't know how to do that. This part starts a car reference, idk I've been watching Formula 1 on Netflix and its dope.

[6] - This is the question I've been asking myself, wondering if I should continue on with my path or follow my passion.

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