Mindset Wellness

The Path Less Taken: Why It’s Okay Not to Go to University


Hey there! It’s your friendly neighborhood Wellness Turkey, ready to help you navigate the twists and turns of life and love. πŸ¦ƒπŸ’•

In a world where the traditional narrative often glorifies the pursuit of higher education, there’s a growing movement that’s embracing a different perspective – one that champions the idea that not going to university can be a perfectly valid and, in some cases, even a more advantageous choice. So, if you’ve ever felt like the pressure to attend university isn’t quite right for you, you’re not alone. (And for those of you who are passionate about pursuing higher education, stay tuned for an upcoming blog where I’ll share my daughter’s incredible journey from skipping classes in high school to being accepted into University of BC’s Ph.D program, being the youngest in her class, proving that with determination, anything is possible.)

My Personal Journey:
In my early years, I was far from the model student. High school felt like a blur of uninspiring subjects, long-winded textbooks, and countless re-readings to grasp the content. It seemed to me that university would be more of the sameβ€”an extension of the academic grind.

I knew I needed a different path, one that allowed me to channel my energy into something meaningful without slogging through general studies just because they were “required.” So, I took a leap of faith and enrolled in trades school to study Marketing Management, followed by real estate school. Little did I know that this decision would set me on a path far from the traditional route of higher education.

Alternative Paths to Success:
While university can undoubtedly pave the way for certain careers, it’s important to recognize that there are various other avenues to success. Many successful entrepreneurs, artists, and professionals have carved out their own paths without a college degree. The rise of technology and the gig economy has opened up numerous opportunities for self-starters to thrive without formal education.

Here are some occupations with the potential of making lots of money and don’t need a university degree:

Software Developer: Many software developers are self-taught or have completed coding bootcamps.

Financial Advisor: Some Financial Advisors enter the field with relevant certifications, such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), and gain practical experience through internships or entry-level positions in financial firms.

Graphic Designer: Creativity and design skills are often more important than formal education.
Content Creator/YouTuber: Building an online presence and audience can lead to income.
Photographer: Developing a portfolio and networking can lead to photography jobs.
Electrician: Completing an apprenticeship and gaining licensure is the typical path.
Plumber: Apprenticeships and state licensure are required.
Carpenter: On-the-job training and apprenticeships are common. That’s exactly the path my husband took, and he received his Red Seal Carpentry certificate, allowing him to build almost anything!
Auto Mechanic: Certification and hands-on experience are key.
Construction Manager: Many rise through the ranks with experience. My husband started as a laborer, then a foreman, site superintendent, went to trades school while working, and eventually became a Construction Manager. Now he owns his own commercial and green building general contracting company!
Real Estate Agent: Licensing courses and exams are required. I actually went to a non-traditional fast-track training and got my real estate license in 4 months!
Real Estate Investor: Join real estate investing Meetups and clubs to learn and network with other investors. That’s what I did, and I was able to grow my real estate portfolio with other investor partners.
Personal Trainer: Certification and fitness expertise are essential.
Hair Stylist: Cosmetology school and licensure are standard.
Chef: Culinary school and apprenticeships are common paths.
Flight Attendant: Airlines typically provide training for this role.

Financial Considerations:
The cost of attending university has skyrocketed in recent years, leaving many graduates burdened with substantial student loans. Choosing not to go to university can save you from a mountain of debt.

Entrepreneurial Spirit:
Entrepreneurship is thriving in today’s world, and it doesn’t require a university degree. Many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, dropped out of college to pursue their visions. I strongly believe that the best and fastest way to financial freedom is by owning your own business. I will discuss in detail how you can become your own boss in another blog, so stay tuned for that.

Hands-On Learning:
Sometimes, the best way to learn is by doing. Skipping university can allow you to dive headfirst into real-world experiences, internships, apprenticeships, and self-directed projects. This hands-on approach can provide valuable skills and practical knowledge that can set you apart in your chosen field. 

In a world that often promotes a one-size-fits-all approach to education, it’s essential to remember that the path to success is diverse and multifaceted. Not going to university doesn’t mean you’re missing out; it means you’re choosing a unique journey that aligns with your goals and aspirations. So, if you’ve ever questioned whether the traditional educational route is right for you, rest assured that it’s perfectly okay not to go to university and to pursue your dreams in your own way. Embrace your path and carve out your future on your terms.