As I get older I get the “So what are your plans?”. Which usually means “Are you going to school? How do you plan to support yourself for the rest of your life? Do you have a job that others find respectable?”. Then when I say that I didn't get a chance to finish college because life isn't always as we see it, the mood switches. Suddenly I’m not worth as much as I was before my answer. Though people never come out say it like that, facial expressions and tone of voice fill in the blanks. Sadly to many, being in college or getting some type of further education sets you above others. Do I believe this? Fuck no. Have I watched people around me including family reach their goals without more than a high school diploma? Fuck yeah. Now I’m not bashing school because for a lot of professions, higher education is required. Personally, I had a great time in college when I attended. It teaches you life lessons and can give you friends you carry forever. If given the opportunity, I would recommend college to anyone who is looking into it. I just don't want to keep perpetuating the stereotype that college is the only way to be successful.
Currently, America makes it a lot harder to succeed without a college degree. There are so many success stories of those who did not reach a degree. For example my mother is an accomplished, highly skilled, and compassionate social worker. She has attained more high test scores and education hours than those needed to fulfill a PhD. She didn’t get the chance to finish her degree but yet she stands intelligent, hard working, and over-qualified for any job she wished to apply to. She is acclaimed amongst her clients, coworkers, and every company she has ever worked for. Cynthia Johnson, my mother, has achieved being successful, raising a child on her own, and chasing after her goals without diplomacy. She is an inspiration and a true role model. She has shown that no matter what the circumstances, hard work and passion for what you do truly pays off. Although many have achieved greatness without, why is choosing not to go to school something people feel ashamed of? Why is it that we feel the need to to put others below us when we have no idea what adversities others face?
There are many out there that have all the experience or drive for their dream job but are set back because of a lack of diplomacy. Higher education should not determine someone’s worth or work ethic. Some of the country’s hardest working people are those without a college degree. In reality only about thirty three percent of the country has a bachelor's degree. Qualification for a job should not be limited to those who hold one. Experience and dedication to the position should weigh just as heavy as a degree. Jobs should be given to those that strive and have earned it. Whether it be by education, internships, past work experience, or those who have shown true drive. I am very proud of those who have a degree, are chasing one, or even multiple. Stay focused on your path and watch all your hard work pay off, because school is fucking hard. To those not in school for whatever reason, chase that dream. Chase it until you can smell it. Chase it until it tells you to stop breathing down its neck. Chase it until no one can tell you that you don't deserve it.