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Is College Really Necessary?

Should everyone go to college?

As high schoolers preparing for our future, this question is extremely important to us. From preschool to twelfth grade, we come into school every morning, sit in class, do our homework, and repeat. This has been a given for us for so long that college seems like an inevitable, even natural, next step. But is it?

Yes, it’s true that many professions require a college education, but many people prefer to live their lives after high school without any more education. Their passions allow them to work directly out of high school, delaying or never even attending college until they’ve pursued their dreams. For these people, is college really the right option? I interviewed some fellow Clark High School students about this topic.

“It all comes down to your career choice and what it is you need to achieve,” says senior Brayan Bernabe. “…I’m going into the culinary field, so taking classes like math, history, and science are useless to my choice in my career.” What Brayan is saying here might be true, and can be heard echoing from any student when you ask them about their planned careers.

But there’s another side to the college argument- one that brings higher salaries, more jobs, and a more successful future. To figure this one out, I did what all people who need an answer do in times of doubt.

I asked my mom.

Instead of going to college, my mom enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. “I didn’t want to go to school again,” she said. “There was more to life than just more school.” But when I asked her if she regretted it, I got a surprising answer.

“Yes, I do. I missed an opportunity, Without that college education, it was extremely difficult and almost impossible to balance kids, work, and the online classes I’ve tried to take later in life. I was unable to complete those classes. My goals and wants came last because I didn’t go. I didn’t have the tools to pursue my dreams.” Her words are repeated by many who didn’t attend college after high school. The fact is- a good job, kids, and professional knowledge can be difficult to achieve with only a high school degree.

But what if you can’t go to college and you still want to pursue a high-level career? Clark High School senior Santiago Lopez has that figured out.

“I don’t plan on attending college. I will, however, be taking some college level courses about market trading.” Taking classes here at Clark High School can offer the education that he needs for his career choice. Instead of going to college for four years just for one degree, he’s going to take the classes he needs in just one semester of high school.

While this choice does exist for those who can find and take the right online and in-class courses available for high school students, it’s important to remember my mom’s words. As we see the world grabbing us and telling us to get a college degree while we still can, for most of us, it seems that college is still the best option. Today’s professional world requires that degree with so many professions. I get it- maybe we don’t need to take that history class in order to succeed in our future profession. But hey, we never know. Life is a puzzle. There is no equation or formula to have a good life.

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