No College Place?

Mitch, a native of Omaha, writes

Advice for kids who aren’t going to college

First off, I’m not going to say ‘you have to go to college to succeed.’ You certainly do not. I myself only got into UNL by the narrowest of margins, and I only ever used by BS degree on job applications.

That isn’t to say those 4 years didn’t change me. I learned a fantastic amount about myself, and how I would eventually fit into the world. The fact is that you will grow tremendously over the next four years – in your mind and your heart – whether or not you attend classes anywhere.

Children of my generation were told that a college degree was the golden ticket, that well-educated graduates would make the world go round. It doesn’t, you know. Skilled craftsmen (and women) make the world go round. Look at any major construction project – it would be impossible without a dozen or more highly skilled people for each degree holder.

If I have one real piece of advice for the kids graduating high school this year, it would be that you don’t have to go to college to succeed, but you do have to get your hands dirty with something.

Find something you love to do, or something that really needs to be done, and which people will respect you for doing. Pick a skill, and turn all of your attention to learning it for a few years. In the end, you’ll have something many don’t, and all without the ten, twenty or forty thousand dollars of college debt that will still be on a lot of graduate’s backs when they notice their first grey hairs.

Join The Discussion