Students facing difficult choices after graduation


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Many students struggle with deciding what to do after high school.

Sarah Liden, A&E and Social Media Editor

The general consensus in our society is that after high school, you go to college; this is seen as the “normal” pathway. Although schooling at a collegiate level has its benefits, it also has its downsides. From the first day we enter the school system, we are told that college is the “right” way to go.

For some, this is true. For others, twelve years of schooling is enough. There are many options besides a four year degree, such as going straight into the workforce or joining the military. In 2014, people without a college degree made up to $30,500 a year. Although not as desirable as an average college graduate salary ($49,000), this is livable, depending on how many people you’re taking care of besides yourself, if any.

Many people are drawn away from four year colleges because of the extensive debt that follows graduation. The average student loan debt for 2016 college graduates who borrowed to get through school was $37,172. College students will almost always face years of debt following graduation.

According to, roughly 69% of college students who graduated in 2018 took out student loans, and graduated with an average debt of $29,800. The standard repayment process is supposed to take about ten years, but research has shown the average bachelor’s degree holder takes 21 years to pay off their loans, as reported by

Taking that into account, it’s understandable as to why many people prefer to go into fields that don’t require a college degree. That being said, you can still make a lot of money without a college degree. For example, administrative assistants assist in conducting research, preparing reports and handling information requests, as well as scheduling meetings, and make roughly $37,000 a year. There are more examples of well paying jobs that don’t require a degree on