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The College Trap

It goes both ways.

Modern society likes to tell us that nothing in life will have any meaning or will be able to be achieved unless you go to college. For me, college was an escape from a life where I felt like I was stuck in a cycle—work, sleep, eat, work: rinse and repeat.

But then I realised I was truly trapped not that long ago.

I’m currently enrolled in a four-year undergraduate program to receive a bachelor’s degree in math and education, and I recently came to realise that this isn’t what I want in life. The job that I’ve been itching towards since I was young was something relating to the medical field, but I broke off from it because I felt like I missed my chance.

I felt I missed my chance because I didn’t kick my ass in gear and go to a tech school while I was in highschool.

I’m sure there’s a lot of people out there who have probably been through something similar, but let me tell you: It sucks. Big time.

There are so many options out there that can’t be taken without some serious consequences. Should I continue my degree here and hope I can change later once I have a job? Do I try and drop out and pursue something I can work my way up in like PCT? Do I buckle down, drag my ass back home and work in a factory till I figure it out?

As a college student who doesn’t own a car and whose income comes from a job on-campus, there are not many options to leave. That, my dear Watson, is the trap.

So for those of you that are thinking about college, let me give you a bit of advice.

1. Have a backup plan.

Don’t decide on a whim with no real idea how you’re gonna make this work. Trust me, been there done that. This bit can apply to so many things in college. Have a backup school if one falls through. Have a backup decision if your major doesn’t work out.

2. Dot your I's and cross your T's.

This one mainly applies to those who are going to college far from home or those that don’t really plan on returning home (for whatever reason, that’s your business not mine).

Alright, hang with me for a second and I’ll explain this one. When you drop yourself in a college, survey the area. When I say dot your I's and cross your T's, I mean do some serious research.

Do you need a car to get around or is everything fairly close together? Will you need a car for field placements or internships? What sort of jobs are around the college? How much is rent usually in town? If you have backups for possible career choices if your major falls through, are there available resources nearby? Are there available resources for the major you choose first?

Do some serious research guys; you have no idea how crucial this can be.

3. Know that it’s OK to change.

This one I think is the most crucial. It’s easy to bury yourself in a career path you hate or can’t keep up with because you’re terrified to change you major or have to spend extra time in a college or university. This is especially true for people like me, whose college they’re attending doesn’t carry a program for what I want to change to (nursing). The idea of changing colleges, I think, is more terrifying than just taking the first opportunity home and working a factory job.

One thing I keep debating in my head is “have I wasted the past two years?” but this isn’t true. No time working towards a goal is wasted; it’s just shaping your goal to one you can be proud of. Even if you’re in your senior year of college and decide that accounting isn’t right for you (which I would still snatch the degree just for kicks first), it’s OK to enroll for another four years to another degree program (like maybe graphic design?). You have a long time ahead of you for your career, and it’s never too late.

Likewise, if you decide not to go to college, that’s OK too. You can attend programs meant for people who aren’t college graduates, build a career in a technical school, find an internship somewhere, start your own company—the possibilities are as endless as someone who had a few master's degrees in their office.

Don’t allow yourself to be trapped. We are warriors, not animals.

Have a good one,

Emi

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The College Trap
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