A High School Girl’s Thoughts on College

Long time, no post! Well, it’s only been a little over two weeks, but it felt like a long time. Hopefully this won’t happen again, because I made myself a schedule and actually put blogging in it. Go me. πŸ˜‰

Today I’ve got a bit of a different post. I always say I want to make Heir of Glitter more of a lifestyle blog instead of just books and don’t really go beyond that. But I’ve had this idea in my head for some time now, and when it won my Twitter poll I decided to go for it. Because that’s totally how you make decisions… right?

Let’s get into the discussion!


Disclaimer: I know many countries don’t have a very good education system or don’t have one at all. I’m very thankful to live somewhere that allows me to get an education.

When school starts in August, I’ll be starting my junior year (third, for those outside the US) of high school. This year and senior year (my fourth/final one) are the years where college becomes really important. We’re encouraged to start thinking of careers as early as eighth grade, and in the beginning of high school the pressure is there but on the back burner, so to speak. In junior year, counseling starts to stress just how important college is and we have to start thinking of where we want to go and what degree we want to pursue. It’s a lot of pressure.

When I was young I wanted to be a teacher, but as I got older and more involved in the bookish community I shifted to an editor/publisher or something in that field. I’ve been taking advanced English classes and plan to also take creative writing in the coming school year. But college is something I hadn’t really thought about prior to the last six months or so. I’ve never imagined getting any sort of scholarship, so as college has been brought up more and more I’ve been thinking mainly of the financial aspect. I don’t live in a family that can drop $50,000+ on college, * and I want to avoid student loans if I can. I’ve heard horror stories about them.

* Honestly, I don’t know many people who could.

Recently I started looking into colleges with good English programs. I found one I liked and then saw the price of a single year. I decided against that school quickly.

One day I realized that maybe college wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be. If I thought high school was stressful, how would I get through college? What if I was halfway through and decided I didn’t like my major? What if I graduated college and couldn’t get a job with my degree? I know I shouldn’t put too much thought on what-ifs because there are so many, and most of them will likely never happen, but we all know they come to mind anyway.

Basically, I was doubting whether or not college was the right thing for me. I know of people that are very successful and didn’t go to college. I did a bit of research and found that the two jobs I’d love most can be obtained without a degree if I’m willing to work for them. So at the moment, I’m thinking I might not go to college.

One of my biggest problems is the pressure placed on high school students to make decisions: college, the army, a job, something. We’re expected to do something after we graduate high school. But should we? I’m not saying we should sit there and be lazy. But as teenagers, should we be making decisions that will affect us for the rest of our lives? If I went to college to get an education degree, and decided in my third year I wanted to be an editor instead, what would I do? I don’t think it’s logical for us to make decisions like this at our age. Now if there are people my age that know for sure what they want to do, that’s awesome. I’m sure there are some. But for people like me that aren’t sure, it’s an awful lot of pressure.

And at least at my school, we aren’t told to consider taking a bit of time off before college or whatever we choose to do. We aren’t given that choice by counselors, so more often than not we forget it’s available. We’re rushed into making choices, to be quite honest. I’m not even going to go into the pressure to keep our grades up and join extracurricular activities. **

** I still don’t know why we had to give up nap time in first grade. It would be really useful in high school.

We’ve all heard that high school will be the best four years of our lives. But, honestly? It isn’t. Even without getting into social drama, grades, and the strain on our mental health, we’re pushed into decisions, because college and our futures are always put first.

Β Do you agree with me? Are you going to or currently in college? What’s your dream job? Let’s chat! I’d love to hear your thoughts!Β πŸ™‚

I’m off to finish reading The Tiger’s Watch by Julia Ember. It comes out on August 22 and you all should totally read it. πŸ˜‰ I hope you all have a fabulous day/night! ❀

Until next time…

end

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27 thoughts on “A High School Girl’s Thoughts on College

  1. Hi! I’m a college student and college/diy blogger! I think a degree is super valuable. College opens a lot of doors and offers many opportunities as you meet so many people there! It’s a great way to grow as a person and in academics. Even if your dream job doesn’t require a degree, I think degrees are always a great back up plan! Just my opinion! Thanks for sharing this post πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, and thank you! I agree college and a degree are valuable, and that college teaches more than just academics. However, in my opinion, it becomes a stressful thing for high school students because we’re pressured into choosing a school and a major so early. ☺️

      Like

  2. Disclaimer: I’m 27, and I went to college.

    That being said, I think you brought up some interesting points here. I’ve been out of college for 5 years, and I haven’t used my English degree aside from the fact that I’ve continued to write creatively (and, I guess, blogging counts toward that too). The reality is that the U.S. economy is basically designed to have you broke by the time you’re 25, and that’s absolutely not okay. As much as I gained from college, both academically and on a personal growth level, I don’t think it’s for everyone.

    Something I’ve been thinking about recently: I wish we as a culture encouraged people to take a gap year or two. I’ve worked in the service industry for 9 years now, and the things I’ve learned from working with other people (and dealing with jerk customers sometimes) have taught me almost as much as college. In fact, since I lived at home when I was in college, I’d say I didn’t really feel like an adult until I was out on my own. I think there’s something to be said for skipping college, as long as you’re focused on figuring out what the right path is for you.

    I definitely think teens shouldn’t be under so much pressure to figure it out right away – it often leads to them choosing the wrong field, which then ends up costing more time/money when they figure out the right one.

    (Sorry this comment is so long – I guess I just have a lot of thoughts!) In the end, I think you should focus on YOU: what will make you happy, what will fill your life with meaning? And if you focus your decision around that, I think you’ll be fine. Wishing you the best of luck in the next couple years. Try not to be too hard on yourself, ’cause you’re amazing! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t had a job or anything, but I completely agree with you!! The pressure is so stressful and I honestly think gap years should be encouraged. 😌

      You’re totally fine, I enjoy long comments and discussing with people. And thank you!! ❀️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think whatever we encourage teens to do after high school should first and foremost be about personal growth. Which can really be anything, when it comes down to it. I think there’s a lot to be gained from working a minimum-wage job at least for a few months. It helped me learn about responsibility and hard work in a way that wasn’t strictly academic, and it taught me the value of having my own income.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice post Olivia! It is a bit different here in Canada actually. University and college are kind of two different things here! University is for getting a degree and at college you can get diplomas and certificates for different areas. I do feel a bit pressured to choose a school (and I am in the same boat as you, I start grade 11 in the fall) but here, it is totally normal to come back for a fifth year of high school if you don’t know what you want to do. Gap years are also very common because people work and make money that they can use towards post secondary education.

    I am so sorry that you are feeling stressed, but college isn’t for everyone and there’s nothing wrong with not going! Don’t be too hard on yourself!

    I also do understand why people say that high school is the best 4 years or your life, because I am having a very fun time, although it isn’t that way for everyone! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love learning about other country’s school systems!! Here there’s only colleges, and some colleges are called universities. It sounds like your school is a bit more lenient and I like that.

      Aw, thanks!! I’ve been telling myself that too. 😊

      And I agree, high school is fun!! I’ve met great people and had fun, but it’s just very stressful too. ☺️❀️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah I feel like in the states there is way more pressure to go to college since there is only college, where as here you can go to university, college, trade school or right into the workforce and more!

        I do agree it is stressful, but I think when we look back on it we will mostly remember the fun times!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, here college is always pressed on us. Technically we can go to college, a trade academy like zoo or education, or take a gap year to work, but college is always what we hear most about.

        I’m doing my best to make high school fun even with all of this!! πŸ˜„

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Olivia, I’m from Australia and we have a system called HECs where you accrue a loan and pay it back in sustainable portions after you earn a certain amount of money annually.
    Even with said loan available I could not afford university/college (transport, textbooks, student services fees, food, etc) I worked for a year to save up and then did English, History and Teaching at uni. Even though I did not become a teacher I still found taking the degree to be an amazing experience. I do wish I had studied something a bit more practical, as it seems there really is no room for creativity in Australia’s economy and virtually no publishing industry. Maybe there is more opportunity to pursue a creative career in the US?
    I fully support someone taking some time off and figuring out what they want to do. Can you apply for a degree you think may suit and then defer for a year? A lot of Aussies do that, they get accepted then postpone studies – travel, work and gain life experience then come back to it when the year (or 2) ends.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sam!! ❀️ That sounds stressful, but I like the idea of deferring for a year or two. Unfortunately US colleges don’t allow that. At least, I’ve never heard of any that do. 😬

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  5. If you decide not to go to college, then that’s a completely valid decision, but I’ll throw out there that there are ways that college is actually less stressful than high school. As someone who just graduated college, I’d say that the semester I worked on my thesis and the semester that I student taught during were the only two semesters where I was genuinely stressed out from the work. Of course, a lot of that depends on what you’re studying.

    One option might also be starting college without declaring a major. I didn’t do this, and I don’t think I would have made the decision myself if I was unsure what to study because of how much it costs and worries about still not figuring it out, but it is an option if you wanted to go that route.

    I’d definitely say that, if you’re unsure, go ahead and put it off for a year or possibly even longer. There’s no time limit for when you can start college. I had classes with people of all ages, including some who were old enough to be my grandparents. You won’t be missing any chances that you can never get again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true!! I’m lucky enough to have the option of college open to me throughout my life. At the moment I just don’t think it’s a good fit for me. I imagine I’ll take a few years off and then see how I feel. 😊

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  6. Definitely do what makes you feel comfortable and what’s right for you. I’m in college now and when I was looking I was worried about not getting scholarships and not being able to afford school but things worked out. Even if you don’t want to commit yet you shouldn’t let the cost scare you (like, be wary, but don’t be turned off completely by the cost). You can fill out the Fafsa, which is federal aid money, and I know you said you don’t want student loans because of the horror stories but they aren’t all bad as long as you think them through before you take them out. And scholarships aren’t as hard to find as you may think- just google some and you may find that some are pretty simple and quick, while others are an essay topic that’s reasonable. But do what makes you feel comfortable regardless. I agree that college is toted as the “be all end all” of schooling and it shouldn’t be because it’s definitely not right for everyone, but I do think that for the people who want to go and will commit they will find that it is right for them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually didn’t know about a lot of the info in your comment!! My school prioritizes college and I’m sure many others do as well, and yet I know so little. They could definitely do better. Thanks for the advice, Sam!! 😊

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  7. The thing that you’re lazy or a bad person if you don’t go to college definitely wrong.
    Like you said, people nowadays can get an easy and good job without going to college so it’s okay if you’re thinking about that as a choice for your future.
    As long as you’re going on the path that’s right for you, it doesn’t matter.
    Thank you for sharing this post!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think everyone is different. Personally, I did not go to college. Well…I sort of did. I got my AA but I never continued to a University for a bachelor’s degree. One thing I wish I did was take a break from school right after high school. Either way, I decided not to continue because 1. I didn’t want to get any loans. 2. I just didn’t think it was worth it with no guarantee at the end of it, to then quit any job I MIGHT get once I have children (I want to be a stay-at-home mom, ultimately). So, my circumstances and expectations out of life just didn’t justify it. Then there is my husband, who didn’t go to college, he instead did an at-home class for a trade and now he has an amazing job with the city that supports both of us, any future kids we have, he has health insurance, retirement, and we’re more than comfortable. And he spent 50$ on that course. SO everyone is different but I DEFINITELY don’t think it’s a requirement. At all. sorry that was long haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t mind long comments! πŸ˜‰ In all honesty, it’s good to hear from people that they’ve managed without college. I agree with you. I don’t want loans either, and I feel like it’s risky because I don’t know if I’ll like my major halfway through or if it’ll get me a job later on. I know at the very least I’m taking a gap year or two, and who knows. Maybe I’ll change my mind. For now college just doesn’t seem like a good fit for me. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hey Olivia, love the post. I just graduated high school and will be attending the University of Washington in the fall. I attended a college prep school, so college was always a no-brainer for me. Although, like you, finding my major is an issue. I applied as a business student and ended up not getting the major that I applied for. No biggie. When I first applied to college I was sure that I wanted to be a business major, but now, not so much. College is the time to explore. As I look at the classes, I have a strong interest in taking on classes like psychology, sociology, and even Greek. I know it has nothing to do with business, but this is an opportunity. You don’t have to declare a major right away. Who knows? You might find a passion for something totally random.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Very thoughtful post. I’m a sophomore in college, and I felt very similar to you when I was in high school. I always knew that I wanted to get a degree, but I had no idea in what, where, or even how. I also knew that there was no money to invest into college, so if I was going to make it happen, it’d be a lot of work. Thankfully, there are many programs and ways to get assistance, especially if you’re willing to put in the effort.
    I decided that I wasn’t going to go to college if I had to pay for it. But I also knew realistically that I NEEDED to go to college. I applied for many scholarships, worked my butt off in high school, got college credits before college, worked 2 jobs to save money, AND wrote tons of letters, pretty much begging colleges to let me in and give me money.
    And you know what? It worked out. I still don’t necessarily know my degree. I still am really poor. But I’m where I want to be, receiving an education, and I made it happen. It’s super hard to get a job in most professions, and a college degree doesn’t garuntee anything. Which is why it’s silly to waste any money on that. With English, there are many ways that you can strengthen your skills without having to take a single class (hello.. the internet?). Not to mention, many English related professions are more focused on experience than qualifications and degrees.
    However things turn out, best of luck. Do not limit yourself for any reason though, when you get out of high school, life becomes yours. You can really do anything you set your mind to, so it had better be worth your time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s an inspiring story! I haven’t made up my mind yet, but I’ll keep these things in mind. I’m definitely hoping English-related professions are a bit more lenient in terms of higher education. And thank you! 😊❀️

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi, I’m Sukanya and I just completed my sophomore year of English Literature. I do agree with the fact that college is expensive and it takes a lot of effort to make ends during graduation. In my experience, college is more than just education. It is about having a myriad of experiences completely different from what we are taught at the school. University is no more about grades but practical learning about life. Remember to research thoroughly before selecting a course.
    I enjoyed reading your post and knowing your thoughts about college, Olivia. πŸ™‚

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