ADSactly Life - 5 Interesting Alternatives to College

in life •  22 days ago

ADSactly Life: 5 Interesting Alternatives to College

Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash

It used to be that once you hit eighteen, you had two clear choices – either you went to college or you didn't. One was good, one was...well, not so good. But not anymore. Truth is, in today's ever-developing society, a degree has become optional for many youngsters. What with so many teenage entrepreneurs making it out there before they even graduate high school, the options are definitely more appealing than fifty years ago.
Let me just point out this is not an anti-college post, not in the slightest. But with so many opportunities on the market, I wanted to point some out to you. Because let's face it, being a young adult is difficult. There are so many choices that must be made and all the peer pressure/parent pressure thing is threatening to just crush you. I know, I've been there. And maybe you feel like you're not ready for college, maybe it's not what you want. I know a lot of young people who feel that way, who aren't sure what subject would interest them or what they want to do with their lives.
So why not have a look at the list below and maybe find an exciting alternative to college? Maybe it's temporary, or maybe you start a whole new business. Maybe you become the youngest person to get a Nobel in international cuisine. Sky's the limit. And please don't tell me there isn't such a Nobel prize!

1. Start a business

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Since I mentioned it, I figured I ought to start with that. Truth is some people have an eye for good business, you know, they're born entrepreneurs. I'm not one of those people, not by a long shot, which makes me admire them even more.
Maybe you have a revolutionary idea for a unique cafe and you take a chance on that, you get a loan and open a cafe with a special something and it just takes thing you know, you're giving Starbucks a run for their money. Or start some new, interesting website that you wish was out there.
Or fail. Failure is the number one best teacher in this life and if you fail enough times, you learn so much about doing it wrong that who knows, you might actually do it right!
Trial and error. Gather experience. Because no business school in the world is going to guarantee you success anyway.

2. Travel

Photo by Slava Bowman on Unsplash

Like this one even needs to be mentioned – of course travel! I know what you're thinking, travel is expensive, there's planes and gas and hotel rooms to cover and who has that kind of cash? But on the other hand, college is also very expensive. If you're not too sure about that old college route, why not take the money and instead use it to see a good portion of the world?
I know, it sounds safer to just get a degree. But if you travel halfway round the world, you're going to see so many different cultures and that's probably going to fill your head with ideas. Like above, it's experience that you're gathering and that experience might very useful in the future. Besides, you're going to be meeting people and very possibly establishing friendships that will last you a lifetime. Sounds pretty worthwhile to me.
And oh my God, the culture. The art. Imagine spending a month in Italy, traveling from city to city, taking in the paintings and the amazing sculpture and all that history. You can learn so much by traveling the world and it's a great way of unlocking your creativity.

3. Volunteer

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I'm sure you know at least a couple of volunteering places in your town. Whether it's taking care of stray dogs or reading to sick children or raising signatures for something or other, you could help. Your time and maybe your friendship could end up meaning the world to someone else, now how great is that?
Becoming a volunteer will also open your eyes to some things you might not see now. You might encounter sick people or old folks, generally people who are unlucky in some way. Kids who live in poor neighborhoods or animals that have been'll see the nastier side of people, perhaps, but that goes hand in hand with the kinder side of people. Because where others couldn't step up or couldn't help, you very well might. You would get so much life experience doing this.

4. Read, read, read

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

I know, I know, you read for college too, so what's the sense of mentioning it here? Well, for example, one of my friends does read a lot for college, which takes away all her reading-for-pleasure time. It's not the same thing, even if you are passionate about the degree you are pursuing. And what if you're not?
Reading develops your imagination, creativity and it broadens your horizon immeasurably.


Mhhhm. Exactly. You want to live a thousand lives, right? I mean, who doesn't? Reading can take you on a great adventure, while activating your brain and making you think outside of the box, do I really need to say more?

Oh, another educational thing you could do is take an online course. They're offered on platforms like Udemy or Coursera by top notch universities that might not be available to you due to...well, geography. And let's be honest, most degree courses have a couple good, interesting courses and a lot not-so-interesting ones that you must do as well. Why not just take the interesting ones and use all that spare time for something else?

5. Create

Photo by Ari He on Unsplash

This one might sound a bit...vague, but the truth is I can't actually tell you what specific activity might be good for you. That largely depends on the individual. But if you are a creative (writer, painter, sculptor, musician etc) like myself, chances are these are going to be your most productive years, whether you use them or not. You have a good grasp of life, a lot of energy, adaptability, a fresh take etc. Now is your time to be creating, to define the artist you want to be. The fact of the matter is, nobody can teach you how to “do” art. Nobody, you have to learn that by surrounding yourself with art. And by creating as much as you can. You learn, you create something that sucks and you learn from that, it's a great teacher, again.

Again, I'm not telling you to not go to college. Just that there are so many interesting paths you might take in life, don't let someone else's dreams and desires shape your life, okay?

Authored by: @honeydue

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I guess we could also consider and take a look on going to college.
There are people who went to college and at the same could also do business, could travel, could also be a volunteer, could read, read, read and could also create things.
While learning on different subjects, students could also do other stuffs.
When the right perfect time comes when a student could see his/her potential on a certain thing, he/she could develop it and eventually focused on it and slowly manage to do on his own. This is what happen to Bill Gates and many others who drop college and pursue the things they're expert in.

Going to college isn't all that it's cracked up to be. It's very expensive and half of those that graduate are under employed or unemployed. Think in terms of a marketable credential.

Start an online business; make an application that can make you earn a living; take a professional course In any case, you can not handle much without a recognition or diploma, unless you are gifted and energetic about something and you will use it. Take Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Ellen Degeneres and Bill Gates as models.


That is my view exactly! I was actually thinking of giving Bill Gates and Jobs and everyone as examples because they are very good ones, but decided against it for some reason. Funny you should mention them!
Yes, going to college is essentially a dream. While useful for some, it's pointless for many others. Thank you for commenting! :)

Thank you for your thoughts and the great article. I will pass it on to my younger friends, children, etc. One think I'd like to mention from my perspective (turning happy 55): I think it does not really matter in which order you live your life. Today's world allows for all kinds of routes and paths. During my Ph.D. time I had a colleague who had a very tough project with experiments that didn't really work as planned. And he spoke five languages fluently due to traveling and family background. Plus he was just a relaxed, intelligent guy. He developed the (fantastic) career that he wanted based on his personality and language skills. Most important: change what you are doing until you enjoy what you are doing. Twill give you 10x the energy and save you from burning out.

I really appreciate you for this post, In today's world many students are joining college only because of parental pressure or they only want to get degree to look good in the society, So this thing must be realised that college is not compulsory to be successful in life, you just need creative mind and confidence

Thanks for this post it really inspired me.


Very true :) I know a lot of young people who gave in to parental pressure or peer pressure and went to college, though they weren't really happy and it seems like a very sad outcome. Thank you for commenting! :)

Thanks for sharing your perspective, @honeydue.
For me it is a curious perspective, because of my age and context, I was taught to assume that the natural course of my life was to complete a university degree. I am not saying that it was not satisfactory for me: I love my profession, I love being a university professor; certainly, I also followed my vocation. However, over the years, and as my outlook on life became more independent and less attached to status affairs, I was able to pursue some trades in which I could have developed better and earlier. I became a self-training bookbinder, among other things, such as spending a lot of time writing fiction.
In my country, where we have a tradition of completing college, parents and context often pressure young people to become lawyers, doctors, engineers, and kids often end up confusing their tastes, vocations, and life aspirations. Sometimes they suffer in their own esteem, because they feel that what they want to do is a trade and not an academic career. I have seen many cases of students of Education who simply want to be something else, and indeed I have had students who may be excellent carpenters, artisans, merchants... totally dissatisfied to study careers to please others, or not to feel that they are insufficient.
It is very important to deal with the issue of formal education and its alternatives in liberal occupations, not only to have happier people, but more productive. What we do with pleasure and with a satisfied heart, we probably do better.
Thank you again, @honeydue, for sharing this interesting topic in a natural and fresh tone.


Thank you for your comment, it's a very interesting one. I understand where you're coming from. In my country too, there is still a big culture around formal education and getting a "real" job such as lawyer or doctor, and while that is the right course of action for some, it also can lead to a lot of unhappiness. There are so many people who would be happy in a more creative job, but choose to go t college instead and end up miserable.
Again, I'm not saying nobody should go to college, but that young people should have more freedom to find what is right for them and have just as much encouragement in pursuing a job as a carpenter as they would in becoming a lawyer.

What we do with pleasure and with a satisfied heart, we probably do better.

Very true. It seems to me that a good teacher ought to encourage the student to find what makes him/her happy because that will ultimately lead to a better tomorrow, if everyone is doing a job they love. :)

Hey ya. My choices were just slightly different. My best buddy and I had planned to ride around the US on motorcycles once we graduated. But we'd have been drafted in the first 6 months so I wen to college.

I'm a terrible student. I've just never been able to grasp what is needed to get an education in a classroom. After 2 years the University suggested that I find something more productive to do with my time so I did.

I apprenticed as a diesel mechanic. Got a skill I could use and live on. Then I proceed to start learning. I'm an awful student, but a really curious person that wants to know 'how come' for everything. I've often regretted not getting a degree, but I've never felt particularly hindered by that lack. The other categories have made up for it, it seems.

Thanks for a great article.

Why didn't I read a text like this 20 years ago?! I remember when I went to college, because it was the right thing to do, I didn't know what to study because there was no college degree to draw my attention to. Because of my tastes and my life, I became a professor of literature. I don't regret having chosen that career, I think I do it well and it's a profession I like, I enjoy it and I value it very much. But I think I left some dreams unfulfilled as a result of my studies and then work. I left my dreams of painting and travelling in a forgotten suitcase.
I remember when I told my parents that I liked to draw, they told me that it wasn't a career, that I would starve to death and that I would have money only after death. Anyway!
I don't know what all universities are like, but in my country's universities there is a lack of orientation, vocational tests, in which the boys can review what they want, their tastes, their abilities. Here it is becoming more and more normal to see 15 or 16 year olds in university, not really knowing what they want to study and what they expect from life.
I think that before entering the university, we should have as a sabbatical year where we can think and reflect well on what we plan to do with our lives! Perhaps then there would be fewer boring and unvocational people in their jobs. Thank you very much for this instructive post, @honeydue.

Things have certainly changed in the 40 years since I graduated from college. In the 70s it was still very important to have a college degree. Upon graduation from high school I had scholarships to use or lose, so I used them. I enjoyed music and German, so I ended up with an education degree in those subjects. But I didn't enjoy teaching! Rather, I enjoyed teaching, but did not have the correct personality to deal with a room full of children who really didn't want to learn anything. I had not been that kind of student, and I was appalled to see how indifferent most of them were. I quit teaching after I got married, but later I home schooled our children. It was quite amusing to find out how many anti-home school people were relieved to find out I had an education degree; what I had learned in college had very little to do with teaching my children at home. But, as you said, college is not as necessary now: One of my adult children has 2 degrees from a community college, one is a licensed massage therapist, and the other is a phlebotomist. They all hold perfectly good jobs and are productive members of society.

Your post makes a lot of sense, @honeydue, both for young people and adults. If it was difficult for me to decide what to do with my life as a 17 or 18 year old, in the time I had, I suppose how much it will be for the young people of this moment. I share with you that it is not a question of displacing the university options and that it is not thought that only the university has the valid option, but to give value to other alternatives of study and work.
Of those that you consider, all seem to me to fit, only that some do not have immediate applicability, for example, travel and reading, but are activities that may well be used for entrepreneurship.
Thank you. Greetings.

i wish i could turn back time to redo all the thing i miss and do all the list you made in this article....

@honeydue, Yes, now we are entered into different phase and dimension of life where everywhere we can explore opportunities. This is the phase of limitless and let's hope that in the pot of limitless everyone will choose their passionate career. Stay blessed.

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Great post, interesting and inspiring

Whatever choices you want to go to college or not all have to be run based on your interest and seriousness. We must enjoy the process. All things done must be made a way of life. If we choose a business, do it seriously. Even if you have failed, never give up. Fail to try again, try again and keep trying until we find the path that works best for us. young age is a very passionate age. This must be used as a whip for success. Raising, farming, making cafes, shops or working through writing can also be a way of life. just how to manage it. run the business with sincerity, totality and perseverance hopefully can be a path to success.
Thank you @honeydue
thank you @adsactly
Thank you steemit
Warm regard from Indonesia

Wow. This place looks amazing 😍

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There is a shortage of skilled labor these days, along with the glut of people with college degrees. Learning a trade is a good way to get a good job. A friend of mine is a welder and a millwright, and makes good money with lots of opportunity for advancement. He is also in a strong position to look for a better job should he become dissatisfied with his current employer.