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Is college really as important as our society today has made it out to be?

I'm a freshman in high school. My guidance counselors and teachers basically say tell me if I don't go to college my life will be miserable. I want to live a simple life. I have figured it out. I know that may seem weird, but that is what I want. I want to live in a small apartment with not much in it and just enjoy the small things in life. Is college actually necessary to succeed at all in life?

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Closing Statement from Colin Petre

Thanks alot for all the replies. It really helped me. I'm probably just going to figure everything out my junior year when it's time to make it.

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    May 19 2013: I'd say, first, decide where you want to get and then find out how to get there.
    May be, you are already where you want to be (congratulations).
    May be, you can walk there.
    May be, you can get there by a bicycle.
    May be, you need a car or a train.
    May be, you need an airplane.
    May be, you want to get to Mars. Then you need a spaceship.
    And perhaps, nobody ever was where you want to go or the destination does not even exist. So, you invent your own destination and the way to get there.

    But make sure you don't board the wrong flight just because someone tells you so, just to find yourself somewhere you don't want to be. Deciding where YOU want to go is #1. If not destination, then, at least, direction. If you don't you will never be where you want. If you don't, you will be driven by winds and waves and pushed by various people and circumstances in various directions.

    Know yourself. Find out what makes you "tick". Is there something that you could do all day or talk about for hours? That's your passion. Follow it while you can.

    Living a simple life in a small apartment does not sound like a passion. It's a lifestyle. It's unrelated to your passion. Simple life style will make you free to do what you want or not to do anything if you choose. Once you get cars, mortgages, and children, you won't have such luxury. If you want those things, then getting a college education and a job with decent salary is a good idea. There is a stereotype in this society that getting a house, a car, a job, and a (heterosexual) family with children constitutes a "good life". But it's just a stereotype. You need to decide what makes up a good life for you.

    People who sell cars will tell you that you need one.
    People who sell airplane tickets will tell you that you need to buy one.
    People who sell education will tell you that you need one.

    You decide if you need those things. Not going anywhere is also a decision.

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