Dear all,

When people hear the word dropout, the ideas quitter, lazy, unmotivated, and even irresponsible come to mind for certain individuals. As if somehow having 40 years of debt following you around is necessary to prove you are responsible. Or that, despite everyone’s obsession with cracking down on the high school education system, the factory that is college should be fulfilled by all. As if, my self worth, and importance in this society is based solely on the credits I’ve achieved. When did working to make money right away suddenly become the epitome of laziness? While spending countless dollars to hear a professor talk is accepted as an amazing investment for your ‘soon-to-be’ career that you’re not even working at yet.

To all those people out there who are called uneducated, or looked down on for not sticking with the ideals that you are only worth something if you are a college graduate… To all who worked to make your own success while your friends were in class, only to have job opportunities come their way instead of yours… To all those who struggle to keep yourself beneficial to potential employers, jumping through hoops to prove you’re not worthless without a degree. I hear you loud and clear, don’t give up on yourself… I’m speaking to myself as well. 

It’s hard having to fight on your own behalf, it’d be easier to drop the name of a prestigious university as bait for the right employer… but instead, you have to show them the appeal of a hook with no bait. Of an employee lacking the right amount of education. 

I’m not saying that college is a bad investment, or that university is a terrible waste of time, but the idea that it’s for all is completely untrue. I’ve seen people do well bypassing college altogether, and I’ve witnessed those who found an incredible career right out of college. However, year 13 is not for everyone. For nurses, doctors, brain surgeons, teachers, sure. It’s the only platform for them to use to get where they want to go. But for those of you who strive to obtain jobs that you could get without college, it’s not necessarily the smartest investment to see it through to graduation. And if you ever want a dramatic change of career halfway through life, maybe don’t limit your knowledge to one set path. 

There’s also the harsh reality that you may not be good at what you’re studying. If your flighty, easily stressed out and completely shutdown in tough situations, maybe it’s not the right fit to spend years trying to be a doctor. If you don’t understand how to relate to kids, leave it to those who actually enjoy seeing them to take on those teaching jobs instead. If you can’t even begin to figure out your own issues in life, maybe don’t try to become a psychiatrist. The problem is, people usually try to ignore or change their problem areas, failing to fit themselves into the box they so badly want to be put into. I’m not saying don’t try and change for the better, but know your limits.

4 years of student debt, countless tests, hours of boring lectures, and constantly having to prove yourself to your professors is not for everyone. It’s time the world stopped trying to turn us into a perfect cookie cutter version of ourselves that looks the most appealing. It’s time to accept that not everyone is going to find value in something just because so many have before. We are human, we are individuals, we are different. 

With understanding,

Melissa

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