$1 trillion: it’s a hell of a lot of money.
It is also the number of unpaid student debt within the U.S. Makes a person question whether or not they truly want to enroll, huh? Plain and simple; I didn’t go to college. There, I said it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for broadening your education. In fact, there was a time when I truly wanted to attend. I had obtained a hefty file, filled with a colorful collective of college applications.
Every application from NYU to Harvard adorned the interior of a unicorn embellished folder, which remained tucked away in my desk. But somewhere between adolescence and womanhood, that protruding urge to continue my education somehow evaporated. The insufficient teacher’s salary my mother earned wasn’t going to be much of assistance with my college education and the small amount of money I earned through babysitting wasn’t going to help either. My grades were sufficient but they weren’t enough to earn me the title of genius and although I enjoyed being on the track team; I wasn’t headed for the olympics anytime soon.
This meant my chances of earning a scholarship were scarce and the probability of me actually gaining acceptance; nonexistent. It was in that moment when I made the crucial decision to opt out of attending college. My collection of applications went into the trash and thus began my short career as a sales associate at Victoria Secret. Even though I convinced myself that I was satisfied with the choice I had made, when I watched my friends head off to their college of choice, I couldn’t help but feel as though I was being left behind. Perhaps it was a result from folding one too many hip-hugging panties, or maybe it was something more.
As time passed, the hole I stumbled into only became wider, and I began to feel as though I had made a massive mistake. Everywhere I went, it seemed as though I couldn’t escape from the reality of the situation I was in. It was as though it were mocking me, continuing to remind me of what I was missing out on. When I was at work or amongst friends, I couldn’t relate to stories pertaining to their college experiences merely because I didn’t have any of my own to tell. I felt like the outsider who hadn’t been included on some universal inside joke.
I couldn’t help but feel like an immense failure. But despite my vast insecurities, I wasn’t going to allow myself to become a victim of the choice I had made. After all, John D Rockefeller never attended college and look how great his life turned out. Need I remind you, the man was the first American billionaire. That’s got to count for something.
Sure, statistics have proven that attaining a four-year degree will procure you with a prosperous career, equipped with with a substantial salary. Hell, it might even get you a mansion complete with the white picket fence so many Americans dream of. However, contrary to what some believe, it has nothing to do with money or success. There seems to be this enormous debate on the subject of attending college. Should you attend? Should you drop out? Should you just travel the world and see what happens next?
I’m not going to pretend I have the answers because allow me to inform you that I’m just as clueless as the rest of the world. I do know that no amount of ivy league education will immediately grant you happiness. The majority of my friends who did attend college ended up dropping out and the rest the percentage are doing exactly what they did before they enrolled. I’m not entirely sure how differently my life would have turned out had I attended college. Something tells me I would have ended up in the exact spot I am now; managing my blog and working as a freelance journalist. So my office wall isn’t adorned with an impressive collection of degrees.
I have a great group of friends, I truly enjoy what I do, and I am proud to say, without any slight amount of hesitation, that I am a genuinely happy person.
Not bad for a girl who didn’t attend college, eh?