Is college for everyone?

Bri O'Dell

In early June the bees are flying, the flowers are blooming, and the aroma of cut grass fills the air. It’s the last day of fifth grade; the bell rings and fifth graders race towards the buses knowing they’ve finished elementary school. They are proud soon-to-be sixth graders. Teachers prepare their sweet innocent fifth graders for the transition into middle school. It’s natural for a fifth grader to take the next step in their education and move towards middle school. The process continues throughout the grades. After eighth grade, the students walk out of middle school knowing they are freshmen. Once again, it is the duty of the teachers to prepare the previous eighth graders for high school. Granted, some things you cannot prepare for such as the extra thousand kids and the huge buildings, but that’s only two out of the hundreds of differences between middle school and high school. One more important transition occurs before the final transition to life: senior year to college.

  College is a life choice. Some may disagree, but that’s all college is – simply a life choice. Teachers and counselors need to stop forcing college upon students. Do they really think students enjoy being scolded every week, repeating the same thing?  Well, they don’t, they hate it! Let us grow up and make our own decisions. To be frank, some students are not cut out for college and there’s nothing wrong with that. Many high school authorities believe college is the only way to success, which is awfully sad. Some students have a steady high paying job in high school, why would you leave that job and go to college when you are already doing what you love to do? Why do you need to waste 25,000 dollars on a degree that is useless? If high school counselors backed off, let us breathe, and let us actually weigh the pros and cons… students would want to attempt college instead of being drawn away.

  Some believe that college is for everyone, while others disagree. Some students should go to the college of the their dreams, get a degree followed with a job and claim themselves as successful, on the other hand, the same student could begin to work at the family business, make money, work his/her way to the top and claim themselves successful as well. Weather one chooses to pursue college or not they can still live a successful life.

  A previous West Ottawa graduate, Aaron Yonker, decided to not attend a college after high school.”I don’t feel college is for everyone, plus most employment places will give you opportunities to better your education either with college or on job learning,” Yonker said. Yonker currently works at Gentex where he is a  production team leader making roughly $14.50 an hour.  Along with a good paying job,Yonker is happily married to his wife, Jayde Yonker, and their three-month old son, Carter. “Personally,yes I do consider myself successful. I have no student loan debt and will make enough to live well. I will not be able to afford the luxery house or car, but I can still live a middle class life,” Yonker said. Aaron Yonker is a perfect example of a West Ottawa graduate who didn’t pursue college, but lives a successful middle class life.

  College is not needed. Teachers need to understand that they can not force students into a future in which they don’t belong in. I’m not saying college isn’t a good choice, I’m simply stating that college is not for everybody. Like Yonker, many WO students can find success post high school even if it’s not college.