Alternatives to College

Miranda Hoch, Staff Writer

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For seniors, graduation is quickly approaching, for juniors, the pressure of figuring out your future plans is inescapable, and underclassman are starting to look at their options for the future. College is a great way to set yourself up for the future, but it is not the only way to do so. School is not for everyone. For some, college can hinder more than it can help, and a college background is not needed for every job. Students should feel just as comfortable deciding to go to a trade school, into the military, or no school at all, as they are deciding to go to college.

In 2016, 69.7 percent of high school graduates enrolled in college. However, that number is dropping rapidly, and the percentage of high school graduates that go to trade schools is rising just as rapidly as college numbers are falling. Trade schools are cheaper, more efficient, and are available for so many different types of careers such as cosmetology, carpentry, mechanics, etc. If your dream career is a trade, it makes more sense for you to pick this option as opposed to college.

Another post-highschool option is joining the military. Mrs. Moos, head of the art department, said that if she didn’t pursue her current career path, she would have joined the military. “Looking back, it provides a lot of security and it’s a great option.” An amazing thing the military does is help students pay for college. If you want to go to college but might have trouble paying for it like many students, then maybe this is a better option. Depending on the plan you choose, you can commit to a certain number of years to serve, and they will pay for a portion, or all, of your college tuition. However, the military is a great option even if it isn’t for help with college. It can be an amazing and honorable job to keep.

Everyone is different. We have different strengths, weaknesses, and aspirations. If college is not for you, don’t go. You have so many other options available to you. Lacey Erhardt, a senior here at Pennridge, when asked her opinion on alternatives to college replied “You only have one life. Why would you go to college if you don’t want to? I would just want to follow my dreams. If your dream does not include college you shouldn’t go. Not enough people follow their dreams these days, and it’s sad”. When deciding your future plans, keep that in mind. Follow your dreams, stick to your strengths, and reach for your goals no matter where they take you.