Schools should not only focus on going to college

As the year comes to a close, many seniors are preparing for their life beyond high school. Many are excited for what may lie ahead, especially with the new experience of college on their horizon. However, there are still many students that may not be going into college at this point in their lives, or even never at all.

Choosing only to focus on college preparation in high school completely isolates the students that do not feel as if college is the right choice for them. Focusing solely on how to best prepare for college is beneficial to students that wish to attend college, but holds no value to the students that do not.

With the increased push to take advanced placement classes comes the push for students to go onto college after their high school career. While college is a great option for many, it simply is not the only option for students after high school.

Showing students that college is the only option after high school not only limits their opportunities, but it also can lead students to enter college when it is not right for them. College is not for everyone, and it is about time that we stop pretending it is.

Many students are simply not prepared for the college experience, but choose to go anyway because they view it as their only chance at success. In reality, there are many other options for students to be successful in life.

One option for students is to go to a trade school. Trades can involve becoming an electrician, plumber, welder and more. According to The Simple Dollar, an average trade school degree costs $33,000 as opposed to $127,000 for a bachelor’s degree.

By going to trade school instead of a 4-year university, you could be potentially saving a lot of money in the long run. For those that do not necessarily think the college experience is for them, going into a trade could be the option for them.

Additionally, some students can instead decide to immediately go into the workforce. Working full time is a valid option, especially for students that either are not interested in going into a trade or are not interested in going into college.

Students may also choose to go into the workforce after high school simply because they are unsure about what path they want to take. Taking a gap year before going on to college later is an option that could be more beneficial to the student, especially if they do not feel prepared enough to go to college.

Deciding not to go to college should not be stigmatized as a bad or lesser option. Everyone deserves the chance to go into whatever career field they feel like working towards.

A simple solution would be to educate students on the other options after high school like going into a trade school or going straight into the workforce. By setting up students into thinking that college is the only option, we do not allow them to explore their other options and talents.