One of my biggest beliefs about life is just how important it is for 20-somethings to explore and follow their passion or calling.
I believe this is not a time to play safe.
And for many of us, being risky or not playing safe means not attending college.
I was actually inspired by one of my favorite YouTubers, “Frommybowl”, aka Caitlin Shoemaker to write this post as she just posted a video explaining why she left graduate school to pursue her true passion.
So, I’m writing this for those thinking university is a distraction from pursuing their passion.
Before I go on, I do want to make 5 points:
- I’m not talking about community college, but specifically “4-year” universities.
- I actually did go to a university (California State University, Northridge) and graduated with a special degree, “Socio-Political Relations and Culture” – meaning I studied 3 majors: Political Science, Religion, and Communications.
- I don’t hate universities or think people who attend universities aren’t passionate. If you’re going to pursue your passion…that’s freaking awesome! Attending a university can be a great opportunity, as it can influence your career and well your entire life. It’s an incredible amount of work and something to be proud of accomplishing.
- Any direction you take in your life, I believe you take it for a reason. No matter the direction you take, you will have great and not-so-great moments but you will learn from it all.
1. Well, going to a university is risky too…
Jim Rohn explains just how people can be too cautious and think of the “what if’s” in any decision they make. And in relation to this post, most people think it’s too risky to follow a passion.
But, just look at your life already. You’ve already made decisions that weren’t safe or easy.
And that’s why Jim Rohn says, “It’s all risky!”. Just living is risky.
In our society today, we’re pressured to believe attending university is the golden ticket to “success” or “job security”.
First off, attending a university is expensive. Again, I’m not talking about community colleges, but universities. There is housing, books, supplies, additional fees and of course – tuition.
Second off, obtaining a degree doesn’t guarantee a job. In fact, many jobs don’t even require a degree.
Now with that said, I understand there are a handful of degrees that are needed. But if you don’t need a degree, why go through a system that won’t give you the outcome you desire (and for $10,000+)?
2. You can invest in something you actually love
Parents can be so quick to give thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars to their child in order to have “job security” but will think twice investing in something their child is actually passionate about.
Even if a child is interested in painting, I’m sure there are parents that would like them to be in an art or a design school. I’m also sure there are parents that would be happy to pay for those expensive art supplies that are not even included in tuition.
I’m really not trying to trash parents or anyone else financially supporting you but to remind you how important it is to invest wisely.
And if you’re not passionate about school, you’re probably not going do very well. Even if you do well, you’ll end up miserable for a hefty price.
Without university in your life, you have more time to gain experience which is THE TRUE benefit (and the ultimate purpose) of not going to university! 😀
3. You can gain valuable and relevant experience
Most of the immediate responses to not going to a university is, “What are you going to do with your life then?!”
Now, I will admit this is the most important and controversial part of not going to a university.
But, it’s “figureoutable”. That’s what Marie Forleo says. And I believe, it’s “figureoutable” when you are truly passionate.
Passion gets you focused and moving.
If university seems like a big waste of your time and like hell to you, you will find a plan.
And that plan should include gaining experience in your field or area of interest.
Though – I hear many say, “I’ll work at a restaurant and do my passion when I can”.
EEEK!😬 That’s already telling me you’re not really passionate.
If you’re stuck finding experience – try finding…
- …internships. Yes, you probably will need college credit to legally work, but you can enroll in an internship class through your local community college. That’s exactly what I did to intern at Clear Channel aka iHeartMedia.
- …someone you truly admire to work under. Most of the time, it’ll be for free and that’s rewarding if it’s someone you truly admire and will gain experience from. Don’t dedicate yourself to busy work. Time is money. Depending on your passion, you can even try to find someone to work under remotely. Join Facebook groups, ask friends or their parents, and literally get your butt to the center, organization or company you’re interested in.
- …someone to volunteer for. Similar to working under someone, but you know it’s for free and more gigs than a full-time or part-time job, in order to get your head through the door and be in the environment you want to be in.
4. You can still make friends and have a social life
So, all of your friends are going to a university and possibly thousands of miles away from you and you’re scared of missing out on those so-called precious college years.
Well, I’m not going to lie. You probably will experience FOMO.
But believe, and act on the belief, that you can make friends too.
In fact, I had a horrible time making friends at my university. I lived in the dorms with three girls and still had a horrible time.
I also tried joining a sorority but that didn’t work out (they didn’t want me just as much as I didn’t want them haha).
I also tried clubs, and the first attempt I made, it also didn’t work out. In my junior year, I ended up joining debate team but finding the perfect club didn’t magically happen for me right away like people make it seem in college.
What did I do instead? While being undeclared, I pursued my passion in music by becoming an intern for iHeartMedia. From there, my circle of friends increased. Even more, my confidence increased to continue to put myself out there and meet people.
So, wherever you are…put yourself out there. Read more: How To Succeed Going To Events Alone
5. “You can fail at something you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”
Doesn’t that quote put your mind at ease? The truth from Jim Carrey.
Going to a university, working at a job you hate, pretty much doing anything miserable for 35+ hours – you can fail at so might as well reach for the stars.
And if you fail at that thing you love, you can get back up and try again.
It’s not all end game if you fail.
Hey! I’ve failed while growing my blog and well overall online presence – where I expected to gain more followers, views, and engagement but didn’t.
Did I ball in the corner and delete my site? Well, maybe balled in the corner at times but never pressed delete. It’s been a year since I launched and I have no desire to press delete.
Why? Because I”m passionate and learn from my mistakes.
In fact, you might find yourself pursuing an entirely different passion than the one you might be thinking about now. So, it’s not end game if you don’t like or fail in your “first passion”. You will learn so much about yourself, and that’s never a waste of time.
6. You know this. Universities aren’t going anywhere!
I don’t want to put the “what if’s” or university life back in your mind – BUT it’s the truth. University, college in general, isn’t going anywhere, so understand you have the opportunity to get a degree if you wish to later in life.
7. You’ll be happy!
It won’t be easy, but attending university isn’t either. But it’ll be worth it to do what you truly want to do. Happiness is important.
I will never truly understand why our society wants us to believe happiness shouldn’t be a priority in our lives. It’s such a sad and ugly belief.
It is possible to be happy with the work you do on this planet. In fact, understand that people need your work. They need your talent and gifts. Without your work, the world could be an entirely different place.
I want to hear your opinion! Why do you agree or disagree? Let’s get the conversation going.
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