Why College Isn’t For Everyone

By Dana Fox

One of the top questions I get asked is whether or not I went to college.  Every time I tell somebody what my career is, the #1 question I get in return is “did you go to college for that?”

The answer is no. I didn’t go to college for anything. “So how did you learn all of this?” is their next question.  Just like anyone learns everything they’re interested in… by trying and teaching myself.  Now let me ask you something… Why is it that people think you are only capable of greatness if you went to college to learn it?

When I came out of high school, I already knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to work, and I wanted to design.  I had already been spending my time teaching myself website design, photoshop and all of the above since I was thirteen years old. It’s what interested me, like a hobby.  The internet was like a new discovery back then, in all it’s ugliness and noisy dial up modems, and Angelfire was my learning tool.  “I can MAKE a place on the INTERNET just for ME!? I can even add my own PICTURE to a WEBSITE!?” Woah, this was crazy! I didn’t even have my own internet access at the time. I started my web designing on a friend’s bulky IBM computer!

I was always artistic. I was always goal-oriented. And I knew I never wanted to work for anyone else because I knew I should be the one running the show… maybe that’s the Aries in me.

By the time I was finally done high school (I could not wait to be out of there), the last thing I wanted to do was commit myself to another 3-4 years of college. I thought, ‘there are so many other things I could be doing to progress in life’. By that time, I already knew how to make websites and I was already designing things under my own business.  I was interested in making money, not throwing it away to re-learn things I had already taught myself.  Not to mention wasting time in achieving my goals.  I can’t imagine how far behind I would be if I stopped to go to school again.

College definitely isn’t for everyone. There are those of us that don’t need it. I have pretty strong opinions on this subject because I stand on the side of the fence that knows it’s not always necessary, even though society likes to make us believe it is.  I think that the only true reason anyone should go to a post-secondary school would be to learn a highly skilled occupation that you can’t really teach yourself… i.e. doctors, surgeons, etc. To me, it is so not necessary to obtain an “business degree” for example… especially if you have never truly had the real life business experience.

I’m sure college is a great time. I would have liked to experience the fun parts, but in all actuality it wasn’t worth it if it didn’t do anything to help you achieve your goals. Why go to college if you don’t have a career path in mind already? Why spend that time wasting your potential away? Why go into debt only to have to work your way out of it for the next following few years?  It just doesn’t make much sense to me. I’m sure if I wanted to become a doctor or something I would feel differently but I can’t help but see people I used to know who are still in school and think to myself “wow, they’ve missed out on so much growing.”

I am so glad that I didn’t have parents who pushed me in certain directions, or set up a college fund for me or something.  My future was always my choice, and I really hope that more parents can be like that with their kids.

If you went to college, do you think it was worth it? Did it help you reach your goals or did it just delay them?

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Dana Fox
Dana Fox
About me

I am a country loving Canadian with a mind that never sleeps. When I'm not running the Wonder Forest blog ship, you can find me creating artwork for phone cases and home decor, whilst managing the daily tasks of Dana Fox Creative. Visit me at the links below if you wanna be friends!


THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I Suck At Conversations.
February 27, 2014
This Shhh… Is Bananas.
September 18, 2013
5 Year Relationship Wisdom
5 Year Relationship Wisdom
August 01, 2013
Bright Young Things (Response to the Victoria’s Secret Dad)
March 26, 2013
business vs. blogging.
March 08, 2013
choosing not to be bitter
April 24, 2012
December 07, 2011
December 06, 2011
saying “thank you”.
October 03, 2011
  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/03354698429643856908 Sidecarsally

    I went to college and aside from the AMAZING time that I had PARTYING (not learning), it was a monumental waste of money. Many colleges (mine in particular) seem more concerned with promoting "diversity" than actually teaching anything. Penn & Teller said it best: College is BULLSHIT.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/03354698429643856908 Sidecarsally

    And not to sound like a tard that never went to class, I DID end up graduating with honors and getting my Bachelor's, but it has served me about as well as a kick in the nuts.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/00129312393675978035 Natalie W

    I didn't go to college after highschool either. I was one of those kids who switched my "career plan" every semester..sometimes a few times in one semester! I was lucky in that my mom didn't believe in going to college after highschool, so I had no pressure from home, because she believed you needed more life experiences before making that decision.

    As long as you are working, experiencing life as an adult and finding out who you are and where you want to be in life (few of us can decide that in highschool), it was okay in our family not to go to college.

    A good majority of my friends went straight to college. A couple friends have graduated and are working in their field of choice, which is awesome. Most are still in school though, over 5years later..still with no idea what they will do when they grad. I had one friend who was pressured to go straight from HS to college and she got kicked out after 5years of pursing a 3year degree because she finally failed too many courses.

    I don't diss people who do but I definately don't agree that everyone should go straight to college. I think some people need that structure but I think it's a personal choice whether you go to college at all and no one should look down at another person for NOT going to college. We all have different ideas of where we want to be in our lives, and sometimes college isn't needed to make that happen.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/16566064900041129287 Heather Belle

    I'm getting ready to go off to college in the fall, and I'm actually excited to go to college! Although I don't have a set career goal in mind (I have a few things I'm back and forth on), I'm looking forward to the chance to take different types of classes I otherwise wouldn't be able to. I want the chance to take art classes, design classes, and whatnot. I'd also love to be an art teacher, which I have to be certified for.

    None of my family has ever gone to college (or completed a degree anyway), and considering my grades and GPA, it's just EXPECTED of me to go off to college as soon as I'm out of high school.

    I guess it's all just a matter of opinion, and what you're looking to get out of your college experience.
    Some people don't need it one bit! My parents have been extremely successful and fortunate without ever having taken classes.
    I personally feel like I need it, not just for the degree (which to me isn't all that important), but for all the new things I'll be able to take classes on, and all the new people I'll be able to meet. I feel like I need that time to help sort of "find" myself.

    Who knows, maybe I'll get there and realize it's a load of garbage, but you never know!

    Interesting post :)

    xo Heather

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/03468666894599361225 samara dane

    I have mixed opinions on this topic…I just graduated from college with a Biology degree–which I can't really do much with unless I want to go to MORE school. Not to mention I wish with all my heart I could just embrace my true passion of design…but now I feel SO very obligated to do something meaningful with my degree. Knowing what I know now, I don't think I would take back my experience in college, and I don't think I would have been brave enough to wait since all my friends went (you are so right the societal pull is VERY strong), but gosh…it seems pretty pointless at this stage in my life.

    Only the future will help me understand the reason for life choices:) But for now I just want to live in the moment and try and follow my true passion…while hopefully making enough money to live on! :)

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/13067716396520523817 hellosarah

    I was also a 13-year-old teaching myself html as well. I did go to college, but for journalism, which was a general waste aside from now knowing AP style by heart and learning to craft an intriguing lede. I actually wish I'd spent my time taking business classes because now I'm spending my time trying to get out of my 9 to 5 after working so hard to get in. No clue why I didn't consider a freelance design career right from the start.

    Sarah // SillyGrrl.com

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/01840894556652277821 Allie Todd

    I took a year off highschool because I also loathed the idea of going right back into school. That and I had no clue what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. (The term "for the rest of my life" also freaked me out)

    After that year, I decided to go to college for the sole reason of not wanting to work in retail.
    So I went to a college that condensed a two year program into one and BOOM! got me a job.

    So for me it definitely paid off… but I know people who have university degrees and are struggling. But then again, the economy isn't what it used to be :/

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/12614945804057201168 Hannah

    I want to thank you for this post, I agree with what you have said, college is NOT for everyone and our success should NOT be based on whether we attained a degree or not. But sadly in this society, it is!

    I'm a senior art student about to graduate with a BFA. I'm not really sure how this degree may benefit me since realizing my true dream during the midst of college is to own a business. I do feel like I'm wasting my time because most of the things I'm being taught is concept/idea based material associated with art. I'm actually taking a class to teach me what to do with my degree after I graduate, which I find ironic (it's a required class too). Art is very subjective and a touchy subject. It's very different from other non-liberal degrees. I've often wondered if I was better off teaching myself techniques and attending workshops and find other artist to talk to. I would pride myself more if I had done all this on my own all the while spending a fraction of the cost of college. But it's too late to back out now, I'm so close to being done. In a way I wish I had not gone to college and get in debt because i know I will be struggling the first few years after graduation. Alas, this is life, you live and you learn.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/14210152250916859922 Lacey

    It depends on the degree, really. I'm getting my masters degree in counseling, and am wanting to get my Ph.D to be a psychologist. The problem is though, with something like a psychology degree you HAVE to get a masters or doctorate to do anything with it, so that sucks. I'm glad I knew that ahead of time, but a lot of people don't, and are going to be making $10.00 an hour doing something that doesn't even relate to psychology/mental health. It's kind of like getting a degree in philosophy. "Oh, okay? So you're going to be working at a department store."

    I don't think everyone NEEDS to go to college. If you can make a decent living by having a skill (photography, music, being an author, etc.), then more power to you!

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/14347031157703265500 Gina

    Agree so much. I went to college and am so happy I did. However, I think society makes everyone feel that they HAVE to go to college when in reality, it isn't right for everyone. And so many people are in extreme debt because of it.

    The worst part is – it is hard to get a basic office job with out a college degree on your resume. I had post college jobs that I could have easily handled when I was 15….yet the only way I got the job is because I had a degree.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/15609901671994217530 Megan

    College is definitely not for everyone. I want to be a veterinarian, so it is required for me, but my back up is to have my own handmade store to sell things I make and collections of sweet things made by others. College is necessary for my plan A, but I refuse to spend money to get a degree in business when I don't need it. I would definitely take some creative classes just to expand my knowledge, but not to get a degree. Heck, I'll probably do that anyways just for fun.

    Oh, and the first two years of college are no fun at all. They are just an extension of high school. I cannot wait until I start on my bachelors and I can take all the animal-related classes I'm interested in.

    xo, Megan

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/04304616227968993961 Shellie

    I couldn't agree with you more, and I'm pissed that I haven't always realized it. After high school, I went to art school, art school… is a joke if you have been teaching yourself everything since you were young (you & I have both been doing that) I studied photography and halfway through I realized…I know EVERYTHING they're teaching me, this is a waste of money and time… and I dropped out. Now, I'm over $100,000 in debt because art school is so expensive, and I feel like crap because I didn't get a degree so I'm going to online college for a business degree… I just want to know that I have a degree after all this debt, to feel better about myself. Online college for business is literally like… $4,000 all together (for the few years it takes) and I'm learning a lot that I haven't taught myself, so I'm happy about that! $4,000 is totally worth it.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/00096782435365385350 frikken DUCKIE

    I actually did go to college for about 2 years or so. I was just out of high school and all I cared about was partying and surfing so I barely attended any classes. I also didn't have any clue what I wanted to major in, so I ended up dropping out.

    One year I ended up working as a receptionist at a law firm and after about six months, they wanted to promote me to a legal secretary. I kinda freaked because I had no legal training at all, just the things I picked up on while being in the front. Well, I took the offer and have been working as a legal secretary for about 4+ years now.

    In 2010 I decided to give college another shot, but instead of a traditional college I opted for going to school online. I'm currently in the Legal Studies division working towards my Bachelor's degree in Paralegal Studies. It is a step up from what I am doing already and from there I could go on to law school if I want (still haven't decided on dedicating THAT much of my time to school).

    College isn't for everyone, but in some instances it does help to get formal training.

    ♥ Duckie.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/17790353836914712793 eHan

    I went to college, enjoyed it, and learned a lot. I was fortunate enough to have school paid for by the trust left for my by my grandparents (RIP).

    BUT, I have been out of school for over a year now and struggled for a long while finding a job. I finally 'settled' for something part time, but what do I end up doing now…BLOGGING!

    Girls like you, Dana, have inspired me to be my own boss. I am going to work towards that while I continue to get paid for part time work. But you are very right, it is not for everyone…and I often wonder where I would be if I hadn't attended college.

    BY THE WAY- I LOVE THE FAWN&FLORA SHOP! You girls blew me away with your awesomeness! :)

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/13456676076068670835 Meg @ Mr.C & Me

    amen. :) while i don't personally feel this way about college i agree it's not for everyone. however, replace "college" for "grad school" throughout this post and i am completely with ya!

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/11688102403902041219 Autumn

    Thanks for this post! I *want* to go to college, but don't know if it is necessary.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/10729587868972648344 Elly

    I graduated high school in 2007, and I am still in college. I'm going to be a teacher and I am finally getting close to student teaching. College is NOT fun. I have to push myself every single day. But, I hope it will be worth it in the end. I hope that I really enjoy teaching. I grew up thinking that I HAD to go to college. But no one HAS to do anything. I do not like how college is pushed so much. People act like that you can't be successful if you do not go to college. And as we all know, that is not the case. Congrats to you, for all of your achievements!!

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/07574672293112274871 Whitney @ Everything Happens For a Reason

    I went to college right after high school. I really had no idea what I wanted to do. I was deadset an actress. People probably didn't think I was serious, since I was living in Kentucky. I was planning on moving to California with my boyfriend at the time to try our hand at fame. I ended the relationship and my priorities changed. I moved away. I couldn't find a good paying job in the fields I majored in (I majored in Psychology and another one in Communication). I worked jobs that I was miserable at. If I wanted to pursue my degree, I would have to get my masters degree. So, that's what I did. Now, I'm graduated with a masters degree in Mental Health Counseling. Now, I don't want to use it. I'm not passionate about it. I'm passionate about photography, and that's what I'm doing now. People think I'm crazy, for going to school for "no reason." not everyone knows what they want to do, and sometimes you gotta figure it out on your own.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/07574672293112274871 Whitney @ Everything Happens For a Reason

    Hope my comment made sense, I just wish at times that I didn't go into debt to get my masters, when that isn't what I want to do. I'm really scared about the payments.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/14889714278207711349 Lauren

    I agree 100%!! Some people are just born with gifts, sometimes its about who you know and sometimes, you can teach yourself. I couldn't have said it better.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/18281434740123634286 sillycyclops

    I'm in my second semester of college and I absolutely hate it at the moment. I go to community college (to save money) and it's almost like high school. I'm thrown in classes that are generalized for the "unknown" degrees, and it's dumb. I want to go into alternative medicine–this poetry analysis paper is of no significance to me. If I didn't have to be certified in my degree and if I didn't have the "you graduated tenth in your class, you must go to college" pressure, I sure wouldn't be in college.

    <3 Ashlynn.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/16176388257694916032 Mariel Torres

    My dream, since I was five, was to be a doctor and for that you kinda NEED college hehe. I'm not on my last semester of premed and, though extremely overwhelming at times, it has been an incredible experience for me. But I believe there are things/career paths that the college route is not necessary and I believe that applies to any within the arts branch. I have friends that learned a lot more on their own when it comes to arts than they ever did in classes.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/06767355856574389882 ElleSee

    I loved university, and I often dream of going back just to have the freedom to learn and do things that I don't get to do today — because as much as students complain, life really is harder than the two papers that are due on the same day.

    That being said, I went to university with the intention of becoming a teacher. I ended up getting a Bachelor of Arts with a major in English. Basically, all I did was learn how to use a comma, and read classic literature — I love me some Jane Austen. But, having a university degree is what got me my job working with preschool children at an Early Learning Centre. My boss said she saw value in a university degree.

    And so, even though I am having to take some classes in Early Childhood Education, if I hadn't gone after a university degree, I wouldn't be working with kids like I had always planned — life just took me in a slightly different direction.

    I know plenty of people that don't have diplomas or degrees, and they are doing quite well for themselves. Most of them are doing exactly what they want to be doing, and not just because they got a degree and should be using it in some way.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/04300355594663670631 Mindy M. Harris

    loved this post, sweet Dana. You are living my dream with your gorgeous work…love the new site with just lovely things as well.
    anyway, no, i don't feel like college was worth the time and money involved. the time was good to learn and grow and be challenged, but i could've done that in other ways, without the pricetag. there's alot of focus on classroom time and not enough on real-life experience, i think. now that i am a mum, and 30, married almost 9 years, i KNOW in my gut, that i was meant to be an entrepreneur. i just wish i wasn't having to use money to pay off student loans–could use that money for advertising, a new website look, supplies, etc.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/07650587056374483559 Mr. Taylor and his Lady

    very interested post girl! i had no idea you didn't go to college! and i definitely agree, us aries girls really like to be independent and work as our own bosses.
    i think it's incredible with what you've down, and i think society needs to stop putting so much pressure on links of success to college education.
    i did go to college. i loved the experience, and i loved being forced to explore all options to really find what my true passion was. the experience you learn with public speaking, writing essays, etc., can sometimes help give people that extra push that they really need. so basically what i'm saying is i think college has really helped round me as a person…if that makes sense. ha
    xo TJ

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/07093211847376244489 Amanda Nicole

    My boyfriend went to college, and it wasn't for him. He's very smart but college didn't interest him. He has a career with great pay and full benefits.

    My mom never went to college, she went to beauty school and ended up opening her own salon. She was able to do her own research on her own time in order to make her business successful.

    I however am going into the medical field, so I HAVE to have a college degree for my career field. I go to a career college which focuses on my career so I'm not wasting my time.

    I don't know why society looks down on people who make it without college.. maybe they think it's going to motivate people to go to college?

    My parents also allowed me to make my own choice on my future.. that's how it should be.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/15412338647399251258 Grace

    I personally don't judge people on the college thing because I know sooo many people on both sides of the spectrum and see firsthand that college or lack of college doesn't guarantee you anything today. This week however I was reading "bringing up bebe" a book highlighting the differences in parenting by Americans and the French and the author kept bringing up "college educated parents" in her statistics and notes. It felt like she was saying parents that didn't go to college didn't really give thought to raising children the way college grads did.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/06458655048961105878 Grace Anna

    Oh, I needed this today! Even though I'm only in 11th grade, I've got alot of people on me about where I'm going and what I'm doing. If I do anything, it will be online. But, like you, since I want to go into web and graphic design as a self-employed business, I don't have to go!

    Thanks for the reminder and encouragement!

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/08177212361014087811 Jessica Wray

    I couldn't agree with you more!

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/03735815065909499099 Mel

    I am in collage at the moment and I struggle with it daily. (I've just talked about this on my blog actually)

    My biggest problem is, that what my school wants me to be and what I want to be are two different things. They are pushing me in a certain direction that I just don't want to go to. I hate it and have no idea how I am supposed to struggle through the remaining years. I just can't disappoint my parents and drop out. They have been so unbelievably supportive over the years that I just don't want to disappoint them.

    I have to admit though, that I really learned a lot that I never ever, in that time, would have learned in a job etc. I also believe that it always depends on what you do and where you want to go.

    And I hate the fact that society really pushes you in to collage. I hate how people always judge a person by it's educational level. What's up with that? It
    s something I have been hating since first grade. The educational system here in Germany is a little different and I went to the lowest school form….I constantly had to stick up for my talent because people thought I was down right dumb. I worked hard and achieved other degrees and now I'm even going to collage. I don't think it helped me at all at my skills though. If anything it only taught me who I am. Guess that's something too :)

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/04306311644557070007 The Krafty Cupcake

    I hated school so was adamant that I would not go to college. I learnt everything as I went along in the workplace. Don't get me wrong I passed all my exams with flying colours I just didn't like being there. My worst subjects were always cookery, sewing and computers. I now have my own business baking cupcakes, I love to sew and sell my wares! and all of the jobs I had prior to this I bluffed my way into and learnt as I went along and were computer orientated. Although when I was at school computer lessons were all about binary!! and the computers were bigger than a house! (Showing my age) There is a lot to be said for 'life experience' Everyone is different and I guess this was just my choice. Sue x

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/08766247962096977031 Kim Wedlock

    I'm not familiar with the American or Canadian…or any other kind of school system apart from my English one, really, so I don't know what my equivalent of college is. Here, college is age 16 to 18 for A Levels, then we go onto University which lasts about 4 years. Either way, when I finished high school, I did one year of A Levels. Unfortunately, what I thought was "love" distracted me too much so I ended up dropping out. I wish I hadn't, because I'd have liked to have gone onto uni, but having said that, if I had, I would not have finished writing the first book of my trilogy yesterday afternoon, and I wouldn't be about to pester hundreds of people worldwide about becoming my agent. Instead, I'd likely have less in my life than I do now. That "love" didn't last, but through him I met someone else who I'm with now, so I have a relationship. I also wouldn't have a job because of the demanding nature of uni – not that I have one now but 2 etsy shops isn't bad, and I get money from the government for caring for my disabled mother, which also makes my dad's life easier, who, I'm sure, is on the brink of a heart attack =/

    You don't need to go to college or uni or whatever to learn the tools of any trade, except academic ones. Creative writing, website design, even blogging, can be careers you can succeed in without the qualifications people think you need. A lot of companies won't hire unless you have them, but others – the ones that matter – are able to see talent when it's put in front of them, qualifications or not.

    So I applaud you, because I thought you had gone on to higher education. It's nice to see someone successful who hasn't gone on to further education. It gives the rest of us drop-outs hope! 😛 even if we are chasing dreams that could easily fall through, as in my case.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/10041786196078725111 Nikouka

    I went to college because I still don't know what I want to do in my life… And I think it's better to go to university, learn something new and find out what I would like to do, than work as a cashier in Tesco. But I kinda like webdesigning and these things and you are my big inspiration. :) I hope I will find out what I want to do soon…

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/14691097337506151662 Joy Felicity Jane

    I totally agree. I'm in my 3rd (and last) year of college in England, studying Law. I hate it. I decided to do Law, well because I didn't really know what to do, and it seemed like a good degree to have, that could bring me anywhere. I now feel like I've wasted my time (and a LOT of money), even though, my degree might come in handy one day. Right now all I'm thinking about is graduating and getting the hell out of here! Don't get me wrong, these 3 years were the best. I learned a LOT about myself, and met incredible people. But career wise, it has brought me nothing. I am now back to square one, asking myself the same questions. I am now thinking about going into Interior Design… yep couldn't be further away from Law!
    Thank you for this post, because it just proves that you can achieve any dream of yours, that if you want something then go and get it, after 3 years I've only come to the realization that higher education is not for everyone.
    xxx Tania

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/14872980532391820815 Sarah

    "I think that the only true reason anyone should go to a post-secondary school would be to learn a highly skilled occupation that you can't really teach yourself… i.e. doctors, surgeons, etc."

    Whilst I agree that you shouldn't go to University just because, I think that there are more reasons to go to university than to gain qualifications vital for a highly skilled job. My boyfriend is studying for a degree that doesn't lead to a highly skilled career, but for the enjoyment he gets out of his degree alone justifies the cost. I'm sure that he is more motivated than some who embark on a degree that would lead to a highly skilled job.

    On the other hand, I probably shouldn't have gone to college. I did something perhaps more 'academic' than my boyfriend, but I found it all a waste of money as I had no direction. I think that the people who succeed do so because of their drive, determination and passion, not whether they have a degree or not. xx

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/16249904564937317880 SaffaKate

    This is a great topic!

    When I graduated high school (back in South Africa) I was so sure I wanted to study hotel management, but before I could sign my life away to college I found an advert in the paper for a work abroad opportunity and decided to take a year off and "wing it!" 7 years (and 3 different countries) later I've not only discovered that I cannot stand the hotel industry, but have changed my idea about what career I want to follow through with a million times.

    Instead of spending all my parent's money on studying degrees that I would never even use, I have gained such wisdom from traveling and getting to experience different cultures that I sometimes feel like I have learnt more then any college graduate.

    Im now married (to my New Yorker husband) and expecting our first child. I've FINALLY discovered what I would like to ultimately do with my life and if I do decide to study for it I will probably have to just juggle online studies with motherhood.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/12222845029911150289 midwesterngal

    I agree — I think society paints college to be something you HAVE to do straight out of high school. In Europe, usually students have a "gap year", which I think is a great way to really figure out what your passions are — in your case, you already knew, and were on your way to building your own business! So many 18 year olds just go to college because it's just what you're "supposed to do".

    I went to college and loved it, and am just finishing up my Masters degree. But, I love school! I would be a forever student if I could. 😉 I also had to have a masters to get licensed in my field, so in that way it helped me reach my goals. But, there are so many career fields where a degree just isn't necessary, and I agree that society really pushes it (and all the debt that comes with it) on parents and students.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/12298609882746811237 Rachael

    I went to college for a semester. I was a music major voal applied. Then I got insanely sick and had to quit everything (job, school, life basically) and when I wanted to get back in, the financial aide department had screwed me over. In retrospect I'm glad I didn't. Although I was going for an education degree (because it's the only way to "practically" do music) I realize now that's not what I'm meant to do. I was just trying to push myself to turn a passion into something practical.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/03541947362351664338 Karm

    I went to college… or still kinda am in college (plans were set back a few years after I brought my sons into the world haha)
    But I enjoyed it. I just wanted that freshman feeling and to experience dorm life, which I did. So I am complete!! haha
    Other than that, I also just want a degree attached to my resume'… even though I am a photographer at heart. (:

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/09027286708951885569 Emily Baker

    so i ended up going to college after high school, but i really didn't care about it. I ended up screwing up a lot and had to move back home. (series of unfortunate events, etc.)

    ANYWAYS, I'm 23 now and have been finishing my degree online and working full-time for over three years. I'm also in the process of job searching in the non-profit sector.

    basically if you don't have a degree, you don't get a job. I've been interviewing and interviewing since october, and haven't landed anything yet because they pick the girl with the degree over me.

    so you gotta have it. at least in Boston.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/17453200235743349015 Forever Dream Photography

    I didn't go to college, instead I am married with 2 little girls and yes maybe one day I will go. But like you, I don't feel I need to go to feel accomplished in life. It is great for those who do, especially if it truly means something to them. But those who don't go are jsut as amazing! : ) Loved your post!!! *New follower*


  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/14339685765730303918 Jessica

    Like you, when I got out of high school, the thought of jumping right back into school sounded terrible. I felt like I HAD to try, so I started college and soon realized that I couldn't afford it, and was learning things that I already knew; so I dropped out. I've had a great career for 8 years now, and have plenty of practical experience. The one problem I do foresee is that if and when I want to look for another job in the future, the first thing they look for is a 4-year degree.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/16878175255917856153 Ashley

    I went to college so I could have a career in law and politics. I know, call me crazy! I tried the political arena and it's stressful. I also tried law and found that being a lawyer is a lot of work so I ended up doing paralegal work (and I do need my degree). I was lucky and had a full ride so I don't have loans to pay back.

    Paralegal work allows me to have the $ and the free time I need to pursue my hobbies so college wasn't a waste for me. I get to be crafty and run my business on the side and I also have the job stability that my family needs.

  • http://intowestafrica.wordpress.com/ intowestafrica

    This was a really interesting post mostly because I think University was the best thing I've ever done. I wasn't pushed into it but I knew I wanted to go from a very young age. I know that some people feel like you learn a lot of useless information but a lot of people feel like that in grade school. School is about experiences, challenges, focus and not just 'what' you learn. It's not easy and if anything, a university degree shows you have perseverance and dedication.

    Now, obviously not EVERYONE needs to go to college nor is college for everyone (you are a prime example) but aside from you, I don't really have any friends or family that are really successful and happy with what they are doing that don't have a college degree. Actually, for the most part, those that didn't go to college wish they had the chance as they feel it would better their circumstances.

    Interesting to read your view nonetheless.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/12745217368384589205 Laura

    Thank you for this post! I did not go to college (aside from two classes I wanted to take at a Community College). I always assumed I would because I loved learning and I wanted to be a teacher. After a nerve injury and Lyme Disease threw a wrench into that plan I just started working. I was actually hired to be a full time teacher last year but at 50% less pay which is crazy! Was a mindless education really worth that?! Both my parents worked in a school. My mom a well known and beloved teacher (across the states)at that. I had learned all I needed at home. Health problems caused me to quit that job before I started and I'm so thankful that happened! I'm still getting back on my feet but I'm feel like I can really pursue my dreams now and not feel the burden of being looked down upon for not going to college. Hopefully one day society will not sway people into believing college is all you need to be successful and have a happy life.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/10573759054939527506 Alyssa

    Unfortunately now you can't really get a job unless you have a college degree. I agree that it shouldn't matter because experience seems to be better, but unfortunately that is just how it is now.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/06576116709965492495 Emily Lynn

    Like others have said, it can be difficult getting a job without a college degree. In a field like design though, you obviously have got it or you don't, and there's only so much going to college can do for that. I wish I didn't have to go to school, but it is kind of the way the world works these days.

    Also, you said you're friends missed out on growth experience by going to school. I think people are always growing, regardless of their life situation.

    I enjoyed hearing your experience though and I'm so glad it worked out for you!

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/14836532940578968626 wildchild

    college is such bullshit. i'm here now and having a great time with my friends, but i'll be coming out with $30,000 in debt and a psychology degree. which will get me nothing. i'm glad i came because of the people i met (my fiance being one of them), but if i could have met them all without the actual school part, i would have.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/16765434513591686519 dana @ wonder forest

    @Emily Lynn

    I should probably clarify that i meant growing career-wise, not as in growing as a person.

    The thing is, it SHOULDN'T be so difficult to get a job if you don't have a college degree. This is what needs to change. For example, say myself and someone who just came out of college with a design degree applied for the same job. If they were hired entirely on the fact that he/she had a college degree… well, that's just so wrong. I would have been the one with infinitely more years experience in the field.

    It's a shame that jobs look at educational credentials in some cases. Not all cases, because like I said there are some that you'd need some sort of certification. But it is far too common to have this whole idea of going to college being a MUST shoved down our throats from our early ages. And there is no reason anyone should feel ashamed or like they're missing out on anything if they decide not to go. :)

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/08523500655144296158 Erin

    I agree with Gina 100%. I went to college for Journalism and earned my bachelors and, although I realize it wasn't totally necessary to learn how to write by going to college, I have never regretted my decision. I am not a terribly devoted person when it comes to teaching myself new things, so having peers and some truly awesome professors in the subject area was exactly what I needed. Plus, I made some amazing contacts and am now working my way up in the writing/public relations world. College is definitely not for everyone, but I think it is necessary for people to make their own decisions when it comes to career goals and school. I say good for you and good for me. :)

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/04660480515664679559 Charis

    I'm with you on a lot of this Dana… I have a successful career & didn't go to college either. However, here in the UK, it is virtually necessary to get a degree… a lot of junior positions are 'graduate only' & whilst we're in the middle of a recession it makes sense to go to college & gain as much knowledge as you can to give you the edge over somebody else.
    However a lot of it also depends on the career you choose… I'm a restaurant manager & work alongside another manager who has a degree. In history! & here we are doing the same job.
    Interesting post.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/15216398392848509394 Felicity

    I completely agree! Spending 4+ years at Uni just to be a teacher is ridiculous in my opinion, especially considering you only spend an eighth of that time actually teaching the students. It's a great way to get bored, waste money, and to wish you'd chosen something else.. but definitely not something that I'd consider as being essential. :/

    – Felicity. x

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/11923928320846486556 Kristen @ Confessions of a GDS

    I used to think college was for jerks, but I can't just throw it in that category anymore. Everyone has a different definition of success, and college can be very necessary to reach your definition of success.

    I decided to wait to go back to college when I knew what I wanted to do with my life; it's silly to go if you have no idea. I chose to go because I think it's important to have a degree in my field, even if I'm not a doctor. In my opinion, degrees show you committed yourself and gives you a step ahead the competition. Yeah, some say "it's just a piece of paper," but would you want someone calling your portfolio "just a bunch of pictures?" It shows you're legit; a symbol of your dedication.

    There are a lot of degrees that are still necessary outside of doctors and surgeons… like teachers for example. Maybe I could have taught myself design, but I knew I lacked the self discipline. I needed that extra responsibility to motivate me to go to class and learn. I thought I deserved that.

    I could talk someone's ear off on this subject all day. I just don't think college or training should be called "a waste of time," just as much as people choosing not to go shouldn't be called "uneducated." It's a personal choice we make, then it's up to us to make use of that knowledge and turn it into a good investment.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/09568193352036901901 Amy (The Crafting Kitty)

    I'm not really much of a commenter, buuut I have a pretty strong opinion on this topic.

    I had a college fund, but when my dad remarried he and my stepmother blew it, so I got stuck going to a working college (I work on campus 15+ hours a week, plus a 40-hour work week per semester) which goes directly to pay for my tuition…room and board can be paid if you work on campus all summer for 40+ hours a week.
    So that's what I'm doing with my life. Between struggling with clinical depression, my on-campus job, and classes, I don't have the motivation to get a real job so I don't have much money to do anything "fun".
    I guess that isn't so bad, except my fiance is 3 hours away, back home…
    And, the biggest problem…it's a strict, conservative Christian college. I'm a liberal atheist. You're required to go to chapel, take religion classes, and all this other garbage…no offense, if you're of faith. Just not my thing…and parties? If you so much as talk about parties you're liable to be kicked out (not that I'm a partier).
    I'm working toward a BFA, I'm a studio art major. I don't think that's gonna get me too far, haha. I want to be a tattooist and taxidermist, and have for quite a while. I can't do either of those things right now in my position, and they're both things where you should apprentice first, so I'm not getting any practice in…that's setting me behind further.
    But, I won't have debt when I graduate, as I'm told constantly. I guess that's a good thing.
    I really don't think college is for everyone, and it definitely wasn't my choice. i honestly hate it and I just feel like I'm wasting a good four years of my life that I could be using to reach my real goals.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/10393092384336247545 jimmi lou

    I left college as I realised what I wanted to do instead and my degree was not it! I would love to go back and study in the right field but for now I am happy working in it!

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/08544105964951455364 Flourish and Fancy

    that photo of you is stunning! and good for you for following your heart and creating so much for all of us to enjoy.


  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/17086476036817291123 angela kelly

    I dropped out of college four times before finally finishing. My current schooling is paid for already, but I still owe almost 10 grand for 2 months I spent at a state university right out of high school. Worst mistake ever.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/06123634132136877282 Sarah Rooftops

    I went to uni largely because it was the only way of getting out of my small town – in that sense, I don't regret it.

    As for my degree, the content of it bears no relation to any of the jobs I've had since graduating… but my degree has been useful because it got me a few interviews and proved that I could work hard and write well. I wish I didn't need that bit of paper as proof, but it seems I do.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/08955812591743165256 Aleksandra

    Well, I see what you mean, but I am still going to college and I couldn't imagine doing anything else, although I have had a few art exhibitions already, and obviously could make some real good money from it. But since I want to be an architect, I have to study. The times when art students could turn into architects are over for centuries already… And I really LOVE studying. Some things you just cannot do without college.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/17148686967784929763 Natalia Lynn

    I understand what you are tyring to say, however I went to college and it was an excellent choice for me. I don't regret it at all. And I am motivated and smart and talented that i don't think I need college to be successful, however it was defintely helpful. It is great that you have had your life goals set from when you were young and that you didn't go to college. However, some people don't and that's okay!! College is also a great way to do some 'growing' not actually missing out on growing. But great for you to be doing what you love!

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/16838601365568873918 Teli

    Very well said :)

    Im done with College and finished my 4 years BSN in a University. I am currently working as a nurse. As you said, college isn't for everyone. It's a matter if you have a direct path of what career you want to take after those years of hardworking and re-learning stuff. I wish I shouldn't have gone to college but I NEEDED TO GO TO COLLEGE TO LEARN HOW TO BE PROFESSIONAL because in my field it is hard to do it at the comfort of my home.

    Maybe college isn't for everyone ONLY IF you are after HOBBY-RELATED WORK and NOT PROFESSIONALISM (like a degree or something). Going to college is ALOT WASTE OF MONEY especially if you're not sure of the path youre taking. But people progresses only because they LOVE what they do (just like you ^_^), even without spending a hell lot of money just to learn.