A lot of high school kids feel that going to college is almost mandatory. But what if you don’t want to go to college? Fortunately, there are alternatives.

It’s a result of pressure, the pressure that comes from their parents, friends, and society in general. It seems like people forgot one simple truth along the way: not everyone is eager enough to take part in the traditional model of higher education. Simply put, going to college is not for everyone.

Besides this one, there are many other ways to spend your time and money more rationally. According to the research, the total cost of tuition and fees for an in-state student at a public university for a four-year degree would reach almost $40 thousand – not to mention private universities. With so much money at stake, you could easily launch a private business.

We live in the digital era, which enables you to attend online courses, webinars, and conferences. Technology allows you to expand the network of professional acquaintances and learn from the most successful entrepreneurs worldwide.

But there is so much more to be discussed, so keep reading and you’ll find out what to do if you catch yourself thinking, “I don’t want to go to college.”

Going to college is not the only way

Real life can bring you unimaginable opportunities if you are brave enough to give them a try. You don’t have to limit yourself to the standard model of education in order to make a big breakthrough. Here are 7 alternatives to college for you to explore in that regard.

1. Online education

Our first suggestion is kind of an in-between solution for individuals who would like to continue learning but don’t like the idea of going to college. A lot of young people strongly believe that it’s more logical to choose interesting courses by themselves than to learn what the system orders you to learn.

Luckily enough, there are lots of online studying services, which already changed the way students approach the current education system. This tool allows you to study online and earn a real degree in various areas of expertise.

Using it gives you the privilege of watching courses from high-class instructors. This allows you to follow your own pace with video lectures and complete digital assignments.

2. Start your own business

Have you ever heard of Mark Zuckerberg or David Geffen? How about Steve Wozniak, Arash Ferdowsi, or Matt Mullenweg? Okay, we know you did.

Well, it turns out that these and many other extremely successful business people don’t have a college degree. Still, it didn’t stop them from making millions or even billions of dollars.

You should keep this in mind while launching your own business one day. A vast majority of modern enterprises don’t even require huge investments and stylish offices. All you have to do is make a good plan and choose one of those simple but very effective business ideas.

3. Travel the world

Now, this sounds like a great alternative to going to college, doesn’t it? Traveling around the world is very popular among students these days because it helps them to meet different people and cultures. It’s some sort of a new age quest for the meaning of life and your purpose in this world.

At the same time, it gives you enough time and space to clear your head and decide what to do next. If you decide for the backpacking experience, it won’t cost you too much, either.

And you will probably learn a language or two in the meantime, which is one more benefit of being a young traveler.

4. Develop your artistic talent

Chasing careers, many kids forget or neglect their artistic talents. You will hardly ever hear someone saying that he or she wants to be a poet or a painter these days. It’s just not the mindset that our society taught us to nurture and appreciate.

However, you would be surprised to learn how joyful it is to become an artist. You can practice music, take part in a talent show, paint, write, or dance.

Artists create their own universes, breaking the boundaries of everyday routine. If you feel like 9 to 5 job is not the best option for you, perhaps you belong to this group.

5. Become a volunteer

Although some people consider volunteering to be easy, boring, and meaningless, this activity makes a lot of sense for millions of volunteers around the globe.

This is not only your chance to give a small contribution to the higher cause but also the opportunity to gain an in-depth knowledge of the subject.

But that’s not the only benefit as you are going to grow the number of soft skills along the way. You can master the art of interpersonal communication and build your problem-solving skills.

Additionally, volunteering will enable you to expand the professional network, which is one of the crucial preconditions of making a career breakthrough.

6. Teach English abroad

English teachers earn a nice salary abroad. Some countries, especially the ones in Asia, pay a lot of money to people who can teach their school kids to speak English.

If English is your mother tongue and you don’t want to go to college at home, perhaps you could give it a try. This alternative to college can turn into a lifetime adventure and also give you many more opportunities overseas.

All it takes is an adventurous spirit and an open-minded approach. Look at it this way – you get paid to travel to a foreign country, to meet new people and their habits, and to add international work experience to your resume.

You will actually make a difference in the local community and probably even learn or perfect a foreign language during your stay abroad.

7. Become a freelancer

If you are not sure about going to college and prefer to go straight to work, you can join the international freelance community.

It offers you a wide variety of jobs and you can find the most suitable field of work rather easily. You need only basic industry knowledge which can be obtained or improved in only a few weeks.

The best thing about freelancing is that your clients are result-driven, so they don’t care about your academic background in most cases.

They only need reliable employees who complete their work on time. If you think that you possess such skills, don’t hesitate to join the exciting world of remote work.


For decades, people believed they cannot make a successful career without a college degree. Although helpful, a university diploma doesn’t promise you anything because you have to show real-life skills and build your own career path.

In this article, we showed you 7 things you can do if you don’t feel like going to college. Don’t be afraid to give these options a try and feel free to let us know in comments if you have other interesting alternatives to college to share with us.

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