Is College Mandatory for Success?

March 7, 2023

Are non-college bound students getting what they need out of High School? 

  Last year, according to the DESE school and district profile, roughly 40 percent of North High graduates did not go to college. Some people might think that is a bad statistic. But, there are so many opportunities for people to find careers that are successful without a college degree- and as college becomes more and more expensive, many students are choosing a different path. How has North supported these emerging career pathways? This article will examine how North supports these students, and prepares them for the workforce. 

Some of the classes we take in North High School are designed to help us succeed in college, such as the extra classes you can choose to get ready for college (Senior Seminar or AVID). It’s a good idea to have classes that correspond to what they like to study so they don’t waste money on something they won’t enjoy, because the majority of students who take these classes will change their minds about the vocation they’ll like to study in college. And even then, after putting in so much effort throughout high school, students begin to feel worn out because they are beginning to understand how real life is, and occasionally they just don’t want to go through the same thing for any longer. This happens to many students in the HSA programs- they get through so many HSA classes, but realize that they may not want to study this longterm. 

The opportunity to select elective classes that will help you prepare for your career is available to us at North High School; they may not all be available to everyone, but they will be available some. This is a good opportunity because it allows you to experience college life and the lessons you will learn based on your career. Some students may even change their career path after taking these classes in high school. North is working with the district to expand these options at North and in the district overall. 

Is there a stigma about not going to college? 

Even though there are so many great career options for students, some people still feel college is the best route for success. 


Parents want to send you to college because they want you to succeed and not follow in their footsteps; they want you to have better opportunities and not to push yourself too hard in life. However, what they don’t realize is that you don’t necessarily need to attend college to succeed in life; if you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything. Some parents may view you differently because they don’t think you’ll succeed, even when you have a good trade or internship plan.  


Other Students

Most students, in my opinion, understand if someone doesn’t want to go to college. Some students might have a different perspective on you because you aren’t going to college, or they might just look at you differently. Students, I believe, would understand whatever decision you make if they were in your position.


Teachers today are very understanding and will make the effort to assist you in any decisions you’ll like to make. They won’t pressure you to make any decisions you don’t want to make after high school, but they will still do their best to assist you. Not all students believe they will, but from my experiences I have received a lot of assistance with applying to college, being fully informed about my next step after high school, and even being given ideas of stuff that would be useful if I didn’t want to attend college.

Although there is a lot of pressure on us in our final year of high school, we should be able to focus more on what will help us succeed after high school rather than whether we will fail. We should have at least one day a week dedicated to discussing college and opportunities outside of school because, in my opinion, not every student has been looking for the help they need and that’s why they start looking.

In Conclusion

Even though our parents and our teachers influence us, it is not always their responsibility to get us to the next step of our lives- It is ours. Even if my teacher wants to help me find success, at the end of the day, their life is already figured out. When need put our self first and not always depend on someone to be able to succeed some help might be wonderful but we wont always have the help and support from someone.

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