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I’m not going to college straight out of high school, and that’s okay

I’m not going to college straight out of high school, and that’s okay

I’m not going to college straight out of high school, and that’s ok.

I have had every chance to apply for colleges like the majority of my peers, but instead I am enlisting in the military. There are many opportunities for me in the military, including team building, leadership, government healthcare, retirement pensions, and even paid-for college.

The backbone of any country isn’t solely comprised of office workers, but rather the blue collar factory workers, the farmers, the enlisted military men and women, the list goes on. The world could not run on business administrators or executive jobs alone.

Although there are a lot of people who don’t understand my position or who can’t see why I don’t want to just go straight to college, some SHS students are on the same page with me.

A piece of industrial equipment in the SHS Megatronics room called a band saw.

“[College] is too much money, and I will already have my associates degree out of high school. Whenever I find a firm that I would want to make a career in, I would have the opportunity to either start with the degree I already have or go back to school again,” said Parker Casteen, a sophomore who aspires to take over his father’s construction business.

“I have been on construction sites in the past, so [that real-world experience] would be helpful once I got a management job,” continued Casteen.

Public school has a few opportunities for students thinking about going into the workforce. Summerville High offers its students courses including Megatronics, Culinary Arts, and students can even travel to the Dorchester County Career and Technology Center during the school day.

Heading to the DCCTC can give students real-world experience during high school.

“For students going into the workforce, we would check to see if there is something we have at the career school that is relevant… to hit the job market in a good place,” said Mrs. Toliver, SHS Guidance Counselor.

If students are generally undecided about what to do with their futures, they are usually directed to go the college route.

“If someone is totally undecided then we probably would steer them towards the highest thing they might decide,” said Mrs. Toliver.

Assorted tools in the Megatronics room

I want my decision to not immediately go to college be as respected as someone’s who is going to a four year school. There is nothing wrong with choosing to take a different path after graduating high school, so why do we all have to follow the same model?

Regardless of what is offered, college is still the bigger goal set for us by the schools. A good portion of our class time is focused on college test prep. Some students may even feel that they are making the wrong decision just because of the way their schools may usher them.

Making as much money as possible or getting the highest position isn’t always everything. Our schools should encourage students to pursue whatever will make us happy rather than the most successful, because success, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

As long as students are educated in their decision and understand its possible consequences, we should respect them. I am NOT going to college right out of high school, and that’s okay.



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