It’s August, which means the fall semester of college is about to begin.  Maybe you’re having second thoughts about whether going to school or going back to school is the right thing for you to do this semester.

Maybe you haven’t enrolled and now you’re wondering what to do instead.  Many prospective students face the option of not going back to school this fall, and forgoing the classic education route may be the right thing to do…if you do it right.

1. Find a Mentor, Internship, or Apprenticeship

Interested in a skill, job, or career path?  Instead of going to college, go right to the source!  Seek out those who are where you see yourself later on down the road and learn from them.  They might recommend you go to school for the field itself, or for something that will help with the logistics of the career you desire.  You may learn you actually want to do something else.  Jumping right in and apprenticing is a great way to experience what you want to do rather than learn about the theory and concepts of it indirectly through school.  Trying your dreams on for size and working with those who were where you are now and have come to where you want to be is a fantastic way to learn whether or not the path you see yourself on is actually where you want to be, and to if it is, to learn how realistically and successfully pursue your dreams.

2. Take Online Classes or Community Ed

You don’t have to enroll in college to go to school.  There are plenty of schools that offer community ed and online classes to the general public.  Some of these courses can count towards college credit should you decide to go that route.  Online courses tend to be cheaper and less intrusive so you can tailor your education to your work and family schedule.  Community ed offers an opportunity to try on subjects for size, learn new skills, and connect with a school environment and classmates without committing to everything enrolling in a program implies.

3. Volunteer

This is something you can do in your hometown, in a new state, or abroad.  Volunteering with an organization is a great way to get training, education, and learn new skills for free, meet new people, and get a feel for working in different kinds of settings, for different kinds of organizations, and with different populations.

Now is the time of your life to try new things and see what sticks.  It’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling pressured to know what you want to do with your life, what you want to study, what you want to pursue as a career path and so forth.  The reality is, you don’t know until you try it.

When you try new things and seek out alternatives to a traditional college path, all of this can actually lead to a bachelor’s or associate’s degree later on down the road – with or without ever having to actually enroll in college, take out any loans, or pay them back.  Learn more!  Visit


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