Ever since we were in elementary school, we were told we would go to college after high school and then into the workforce. As seven year olds, this goal seemed so far away. But now that the time is here for us to make these decisions, some of us are finding that going to a traditional 4-year college isn’t for them.
For some they are finding their fight in 2-year colleges or trade schools. Some are finding their place in the military or work force. For me, I found my right fit in a combination of military and a 4-year college. I started looking into the Coast Guard Academy around November of my junior year. The more I read about it the more I knew that this was where I was supposed to be.
This school had everything I was looking for in a college: a low student to teacher ratio, loads of activities to get involved in and it’s located on the coast. The academic programs provided by the academy are just what I am interested in. One of the really big perks of attending the Coast Guard Academy is all college expenses are paid for. The Academy will actually pay you for your service while you are attending classes.
When asked where I am thinking of going next year, I usually shy away from sharing this nontraditional decision with people because of some of the reactions and questions I get. Most people have never heard of the academy and know nothing about what it is about. I usually just give an answer like I haven’t decided where or what I want to do because I think it is easier than trying to explain myself. The more I think about it, the more I realize that I shouldn’t have to hide my decision because it is what’s best for me and people should be happy that I have found my place.
If I would have to give any advice to the younger generations, it would be to not just follow the crowd. Do what will be best for you in the end. Whether it be going to and international college, a trade school, or just straight into the workforce, everyone is different and the mainstream college thing might not be for you. Don’t feel ashamed in what decision you make because the decision is yours and only you truly know what is best for yourself.