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  • Larissa Martin

What I Learned From Not Attending College

I did not go to college. Even though I wanted to, a college education just wasn’t in the cards for me. Now, I am 100% okay with the choice not to attend college because I still ended up with a higher education but this one, I didn’t have to pay for. While my higher education wasn’t the stereotypical kind that many young adults receive, it was still useful.

Some of you may be wondering what kind of “higher education” I received. My “college” was the life lessons I learned from founding and running a small group in my community that focuses on local and global issues, particularly hunger. Also, in the past few years, I have started a writing career and have become published on several sites, which has also heavily contributed to my life education.

These two ventures have taught me time management and how to evenly dedicate my drive, dedication, and attention to two very different animals. I have learned to develop stronger communication skills. I have learned ethical business practices and how to create synergy both within my community and with the businesses my organization hopes to partner with. I have learned how to sell myself and my artistic creations to editors and various publication sites, which has taught me valuable marketing skills.

The most important lesson I’ve learned outside of a lecture hall is the importance of teamwork. As cliché as it sounds, there really is no “I” in “teamwork.” I have an incredible support system that makes juggling all of my ventures doable. Their support allows my life to run a lot more smoothly it would be able to if I were managing these opportunities alone.

In some ways, I think that not going to college was beneficial because it opened up opportunities and life lessons I may not have had or learned otherwise. I do not think lessons like balance and teamwork are as easy to learn in an educational environment. I learned how to manage my time, not fear rejection, and communicate with potential employers or clients sooner than many college students may.

College may be great for some people, but others may fare better if they don’t go. There is no shame in whichever path you choose, as long as you recognize that you control your path and your happiness. Choosing to attend college (or immediately jump into a career) will help individuals grow differently and adapt different skills. Each step opens the door to new, exciting journeys. Even for those who have chosen college, never stop seizing the opportunity to continue learning and growing.

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