No. College is not for everyone. You heard that right! Here is why: There are three types of major requirements for college success, which can be listed as social, academic, and financial fitness. If any one of those components is missing in a college applicant, the results will be not so desirable. An academically and socially fit student for a given college cannot attend that college unless financial need is met, nor will a socially and financially fit student be able to thrive in a college where s/he is not academically fit. That is why the college admissions process is very complicated in the US, where unlike many other countries, an applicant is assessed from different angles, not based solely on her/his high school GPA or standardized test scores.
Academic exposure is not for everyone. Let me elaborate… For example, students with vocational aspirations would benefit more from attending a trade school, where the focus would be on “on-the-job training.”
Then, there are students who are not psychologically ready to go to college. Sometimes, those who might be undecided about their major, career path, or destination in life, might be better off taking a gap year by deferring their enrollment in college. This gap year might give them priceless experiences and opportunities to see different places, try volunteering, meet new people, take on jobs, or just to figure out their next move.
Next would be the case of students who are not academically prepared to go to college, which would create another whole different dilemma. For academically unfit students, remedial classes they might have to take in college do not necessarily count for college credit. What is more troubling is that most of the time, students are not given that information at the time of enrollment; they find out a lot later than they are able to do something about it. In this case, community colleges might be the best option for them. This way, they can both concentrate on remedial classes for a lower tuition and plan their next step after they become academically ready for college.
When there are so many different alternatives and possible outcomes to consider, what is a high school teenager to do except to panic and have anxiety attacks? That is why we are here to help. At EdMission Possible, we educate and train you on all possible scenarios and help you make the best decision for your future. We believe in the importance of getting to know yourself first. Who are you really? What is your true voice? What do you want in life? What do you need to get there (education, money, hard work, willingness, specific set of skills, etc.)? How do you define happiness? What triggers you for success? What are your interests? What are your abilities? What are your skills? Take a piece of paper and start jotting down your answers. Without thinking and stopping, write down whatever comes to your mind when you think of these questions. When you are done, take a look at your answers. Look for common themes that emerge. See? Now, you are onto something! This is a good starting point. Next, you can start talking to your family about your findings. Be honest and tell them what your future aspirations are. Ask them what percentage of your future goals they are willing or able to support emotionally and financially. Trust me, it is better to discuss all of these details with your family in the beginning so that everyone involved in those decisions can have an idea of what they are getting into. No hard feelings in the end… Only fair, right?
For a lifelong career satisfaction and a happy life, making calculated decisions about your future is paramount. People change along the way, but starting your post-secondary years with a plan – whether it be a vocational school, gap year, community college, or a four-year college, will always give you a chance to be behind the steering wheel. From then on, it is always up to you to navigate towards your intended destination.
Here at EdMission Possible, we use interest inventories and aptitude-based career assessments to get to the bottom of your interests, abilities, and skills so that you can make a well-informed decision about your future. Call us today and allow us to introduce you to your real self…
Burcak Deniz Cakir, M.A., M.B.A.
Founder and President | EdMission Possible