More often than not, I get asked "Where did you go to college?", "What's your major?" as normal conversation starters or just curious how I got to where I am today.. but then comes the awkward, "I didn't go to college". Sometimes I'll get a response of, "Hey, good for you!", but there's always gotta be that "adult" in the room that does a subtle head shake (kids these days...) thinking that me having a college degree and an outstanding loan on my shoulders for the rest of my natural born life somehow makes me deserving of their approval. What am I even doing on this earth? How dare I breathe the same air you and your diploma do.
Let's back it up. I was never a kid that excelled from sitting through lectures in school. I need to get my hands dirty and I need to make mistakes and learn things myself. If I am ever eager to learn something, I'll ask questions or I'll just research it myself. My parents will fully vouch for me.
I don't believe it's necessary to have a college degree to score a job that you're completely passionate about. You'll learn the skills one way or another. College isn't the ONLY means to an education. I mean, unless it's something like healthcare and you want to become a doctor and slice people open; I'd prefer you take some courses before you dig into me with a knife, but you know what I mean.
Story time. When I was interviewing for my last job as a Tech Support Specialist, I had to do an interview + a written HTML test. After completing it, my former boss was surprised at how well I did saying I even did better than the people who RUN the tech department. "There's no college degree on your resume, how did you learn HTML so well?" I smiled, "Myspace." I taught myself when I was younger. It fascinated me and I eventually learned how to read it. Simple as that.
I've had STRANGERS attempt to half ass lecture me on how I'm not ever going to have a job to support a family without a college education. "I have my Master's in Mind Ya Business." It's like when people say I won't ever be able to get a respectable job with tattoos. I'm sorry, what year do you live in?!
I'm not saying going to college is wrong. Absolutely not. If you excel in school, by all means go. Never stop learning. But, I do believe there are some people in this world who don't excel by sitting in a classroom for 4 years and that really needs to be acknowledged. I have applied for jobs that say "Bachelors Degree Required" at the bottom and still got a call back. If I go into a job interview and have all of the capable skills required for the position, the skills, the drive, the attitude, the experience... and they don't hire me based solely on the fact that I don't have a degree with my name on it, well then I don't really want to work for a company like that anyways. nahhhh bye.
I'm 25 going on 26 and I never chose that ivy league path and THAT'S OKAY. Don't feel like less of a citizen because you didn't study your art at an institution. Some people learn differently. It doesn't make either party smarter than the other. It's almost 2016, I think parents need to wake up and smell the fact that going to college isn't everything. It is possible to be completely successful with or without it.