Not Going to College Doesn’t Make You Stupid

You’re capable of doing amazing things regardless of how you receive an education.

Earlier today, my aunt told me my cousin is taking two AP classes. I told her I took an AP class when I was in high school too. Then I said, “I purposefully failed the class,” and laughed.

My aunt didn’t find my comment funny. Seriously, she said, “That’s stupid.”

I was offended, and I had to keep my eyebrows from rising. “It didn’t matter because I wasn’t planning on going to college,” I said.

“That’s still stupid,” she replied, shaking her head in disappointment.

I wasn’t serious. I actually passed the class with a B and minimal effort. There were tests and quizzes I purposefully failed because I never cared about school, least of all AP history, but I never set out to ruin my chances of graduating. I knew I needed to pass.

I wish you could’ve seen and heard her.

I can handle any negative comment thrown my way, but I’ve never been so hurt by a couple of words.

Her tone was rude and serious, and I had to look down at my plate to blink away tears.

I’ve recounted my failures in high school numerous times to friends and family, and they’ve always understood because they knew college wasn’t something I was interested in. We laugh at the stories, and they make for a good time.

I love my aunt, and she’s awesome, but her comment that left me in shock.

Like… what the fuck? I asked my sisters as I cried to them. They too had heard and seen her reaction, and they were surprised (and outraged) by how rude it’d been.

We’ve always known how serious she is about getting good grades and attending college, but only when it comes to her kids. Who was she to say that to me?

Her message was loud and clear, and it always has been. She doesn’t believe in the college-less path I’m taking. She doesn’t think I can succeed without going to a four-year university, and I know she thinks I’m an idiot for thinking I can achieve “the impossible.”

It’s a good thing I’ve never been good at listening to others.

College doesn’t define intelligence

Photo by Lê Tân on Unsplash

Just because you don’t go to college, doesn’t mean you’re not intelligent. Not everyone is meant to pursue a higher education through that method.

Take my writing, for example. Everything I’ve learned about it has been through books, articles, and online courses. And guess what?

They work.

I’ve improved so much these past three years, and I’ve grown tenfold just these last few months by writing on Medium every day.

I may not go to class every week, but I still learn. I receive an education in different ways and become a little smarter every day.

Education matters to me. Growth and improvement are essential to me, but I don’t have to go to college to prove that.

You’re so fucking smart

If anyone has ever made you feel less-than or like you were an idiot because you didn’t go to college, fuck them.

Honestly, I pity them because once they graduate — or since they’ve graduated — they’ll stop educating themselves.

They won’t look for ways to improve or learn new things because they believe they’ve already learned everything that matters. They have a fixed mindset, while you and I have a growth mindset.

You’re smart and capable of doing amazing things regardless of where or how you receive an education.

Don’t listen to the people who don’t believe in you and what you can achieve. Don’t believe their words and trust the path you’ve chosen.

Don’t let the haters lead you to regret the choice you know in your gut is the right one.

College is appropriate for some, and a completely wrong choice for others. It has nothing to do with how smart you are.

Whether you’re attending college or not, you’re going to live a great life. You’ll accomplish great things, and you will succeed.

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