Morning Cup of Joe – College Isn’t For Everyone

College isn’t for everyone but it’s a GREAT PLAN B!
Do you need a college degree in order to be successful? Absolutely not. It also depends on how you define success. For our purposes, let’s use the universal definition of success by linking it to the attainment of profit or wealth. While there are some clear outliers like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison and Mark Zuckerberg, there are far more who have experienced success with a college degree than those without one. A person with a bachelor’s degree earns twice as much in a lifetime as a high school graduate. Clearly there are instances where a high school graduate will earn more than a college graduate but that is not the norm.

Sometimes I reflect on the fact that I’m an “accidental college graduate.” You may be wondering what exactly is an accidental college graduate. An accidental college graduate is one who attended and graduated from college accidentally. I say accidentally because the plan for my life was not to attend college initially. I wasn’t even supposed to go to college. No really, I wasn’t. Neither of my parents graduated high school and I did not have any real life examples of people close to me who attended or graduated from college. The highest education level for everyone I knew was a high school diploma so naturally that was my end goal.

My friends were applying to colleges all across the country and I still did not know what I was going to do with my life. With much hesitation and a bit of uncertainty, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and start applying as well. I took both the ACT and SAT late and did not score favorably on either test. That did not prevent me from applying. I received many denial letters until an acceptance from Florida State University came; what a wonderful feeling. I remember it like it was yesterday. The years that followed presented new life experiences, friendships that will last forever, unexpected paradigm shifts, complete transformation, growth, analytical and critical thinking, blood, sweat and tears. In the end, it was all worth it.

If you are reading this and are uncertain about your future, don’t be. It doesn’t have to be college that you pursue, just trust the next opportunity that comes your way and pursue it vigorously. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” I had no clue what college would bring but I went anyway and it changed my life. The next time you are presented with a great opportunity, don’t even think twice about it; take it.

Don’t worry about what tomorrow will bring when there is more than enough to worry about today. Step out on faith and see where your path will lead.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

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