The Shit They Don’t Tell You: Going To College So Young

Picture this: You’re 19/22-years-old, just having graduated college with your Bachelor’s degree in some field that you thought you were remotely interested in, you’re thousands of dollars in debt, and you’re pushed outside into the real world with your diploma and left saying: “Now what?”

Let me tell you my story.

I’m 19-years-old and I just graduated with my Bachelor of Arts degree from a liberal arts school. How did I graduate so young? I “left” high school before my Junior year to go to a local community college full-time. I graduated high school and from that college with my Associate’s degree, and later that year I rushed off to finish my 4-year degree.

I’ve now graduated with a degree in a field I’m interested in, but what do I do now? To get through college relatively debt-free, I had to work full-time, sometimes two jobs, along with full-time classes. I didn’t have the time, money, or opportunity because of my location to do an internship to gain experience in any field.

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What good does a work history at Starbucks as a barista and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature and writing do?

I was lucky; I knew partially what I wanted to do, but now I’m left questioning that. How am I supposed to do this for the rest of my life? Everyone has their dream job, and this is extremely beneficial for my dreams of working as a television staff writer, but what about now? What do I do in-between?

Every high school student in America is pressured to decide what to do, where to live, what to study, and what they want to do with their lives at 18. How the hell are we supposed to know what we want to do for the rest of our lives at 18 when some of us may live to be 100?

It’s an unrealistic expectation, and I partially regret rushing through college for the simple fact that, in the end, I would be done. But now I don’t want to be done.

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Why are we pressured as children to decide what we want to do when most adults go through some major career shift? Why can’t we use our time after high school as a time for self-discovery, traveling, or even making it out of an unhappy, unhealthy situation, and start building the life we want to have?

Take it from me: they say to rush into college and get it “over with,” but don’t. Take your time, go (back) to school when you know what you want to do. There are ways to survive in this world without a degree in a field you literally have no interest in. If you don’t have a goal, college is going to seem like a burden, and you’ll finish with the regret that you didn’t do everything that you could’ve.

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