On the first day of freshman year of high school, college is forced down the throats of each and every child with no regard to their financial situation. High school students are constantly told that they will have no future if they don't go to college. They are made to feel as if going thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt is the only way to have a good life.
That is the worst advice I've ever been given. It took me several months to figure out that it wasn't true.
With that being said, college isn't a bad thing. It requires a certain amount of motivation and dedication. You must have a thirst for knowledge and the willingness to go to class and do homework. It's great for the right people, at the right time.
I love college, and I took a year off. I worked a full-time job and it was enlightening. Being out of college and not living in a fantasy world was eye-opening and I learned more in that one year out of college than I learned in an entire year in college. The following year (this year) I went back to college, and I am so glad to be back. I am soaking up the knowledge and using everything that my professors teach me. Now that I'm back in class and around people that are my age, I feel like I have such a larger purpose.
Like I said, it's great for the right people at the right time.
Something that every generation needs to understand is that there is only one thing that we have to do in life.
Someday, we have to die. That is the only thing that each and every human is universally bound to. People commit crimes while others are winning Nobel Prizes. Some are happy with a 9-5 job, and others like to work 3rd shift. Next, you have the billionaires and business owners along with and then hippy's and travelers that make just enough to get to the next city.
There is no map. There is no way that it must be done. Everyone needs to focus on what and who makes them happy–– nothing else matters.
With that being said...
Go to college and get that degree. It doesn't matter if it's an associates or a PhD.
Join that union hall and get into a trade. You'll make good money and have a great pension even though you'll have to work hard to get to the finish line.
Start a business. Live like people won't for a few years, so you can live like others cannot for the rest of your life.
Buy a van, travel the world, and sell homemade bracelets to pay for food and gas money. You'll meet hundreds of people that you'll never forget.
Hell, have eight babies and be a stay at home mom with a husband that is more than happy to support you.
If you know, you know. You are the only person in the world that knows what is best for you. You can listen to advice, consider it, and possibly take it, but you can't let the anxiety of failure stop you from doing what your heart wants you to do.