Going straight to college directly after graduating high school is not the right path for everyone. Some students will want to explore other options first. Some will take a little while off, while some will decide to never go to college. If you decide not to go to college right out of high school, what are the other options? What can you do with your time? Here are five valuable alternatives to going to college right out of high school.
1.Join the Military
Some students will join the armed forces directly out of high school. The military will provide the opportunity to experience life away from home while you build life skills. You will also be able to save for college if you are planning to go to school after. There are also many college financial aid opportunities for active military and military veterans. If you make the military career, you’ll enjoy an early retirement and excellent benefits. Just remember that once you sign up, you give away many of the rights average citizens enjoy. Talk to someone who is happily enlisted about military life before you choose this option.
2. Learn a Trade
Rather than going to a university or a community college, you can opt to go to vocational training. Examples of careers that begin with specialized training are hair stylist, auto mechanic, plumber and carpenter. Many of these jobs require training at an institute and a certificate upon completion. You may also need to complete an apprenticeship, which gives you valuable on-the-job training by an experienced professional.
3. Get a Full-Time Job
If you’re not going to be in school, getting a full time job will help you transition from the role of high school student to adult. You should look for a position that is not a typical teenager’s job. Your goal is to find something that may develop into a career. When interviewing for jobs, find out how long the average person stays with the company. For instance, Pepsi-Cola is a company that holds onto its employees for decades. Companies like that are rare in today’s market.
If you cannot find a company that offers longevity, look at jobs that offer transferable skills. Administrative assistants can go on to become project managers once they develop excellent communication and organization skills. Insurance companies always need customer service and claims agents and the job is very similar no matter where you work. Look at your community and find opportunities that can blossom into full careers.
If income is not a problem, you can choose to volunteer your time. You can look for programs in your community that make a difference, or you can join a national program such as Americorps. This organization offers those between the ages of 17 and 24 the opportunity to make a difference right here in the United States. Another group, the Student Conservation Association has programs for 18-year-olds and older where you can work towards conservation efforts.
5. Travel Abroad
You may decide to take some time for travelling the world. This is a great way to go exploring, not just the world, but yourself too. You will learn about the differences and similarities between your country and others around the world. Interacting with about other cultures and economies will open your mind to new possibilities and a new understanding of the person you are to become. If you do not have the funds but still want to travel, you can sign up for student exchange programs or even find work on a cruise ship.
Not all high school graduates want to go immediately to college. There are other options for these students that include working, traveling, and doing good for the community.
Jessica Bosari blogs for Adventures Across Country (ARCC), an organization that has been helping high school graduates who decide on a gap semester to find the best programs available to them.
- Five Strategies to Avoid the Student Debt Trap (debt-consolidation-2u.com)
- Smartest Career Choices for New Technology College Students (onlinesurveysforcash.org)