After graduating from high school, many students think the only thing they need to do is go to college. While a college degree can be beneficial, it is not for everyone. There are five alternatives to college that students should think about once they graduate high school.

1. Volunteer

If a person is not sure what they want to do with their life or where their future is going, they can take some time and volunteer with others. This will give them a chance to interact with others and learn about what they like and what they are passionate about. These programs can help a person learn a new skill and they can help others. There are some programs such as AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps that will allow a person to travel overseas. They will be able to help others and see the world. This will also allow a person to travel for free.

2. Travel Abroad

If a person has the time and money saved, they should travel if given the opportunity. A gap year is exploring and finding out more about the world and the way that different people live. They can have new experiences and find out about a new culture. Some employment options will help a person get a job in a different country so they can have some money and a place to live in. Some young people enjoy backpacking through Europe and they can see several countries in one trip. This is the chance to see the world before having children, a home, and other responsibilities.

3. Learn a Trade

If a person is not interested in sitting in a classroom they can still learn a career. There are many on the job training opportunities and a person will be able to work with their hands. They will be able to gain skills and gain experience. Trades will keep a student activity and they will be able to learn something that interests them that is not classroom-based. They can learn how to run specific machinery and even learn skills like carpentry. There are many skills that a person can learn and make a good living.

4. Get a Job

Eventually, the graduate is going to have to get a job. If they do not want to go to college or they need to support themselves they should get a job to gain work experience. New graduates from high school may not get the best paying job but they are gaining the experience. They will learn how to be responsible to keep this full-time job. They will also learn how to pay bills and learn how to become an independent adult. If a person can prove that they are willing to work hard there is plenty of room for advancement. If a person can get their foot in the door within a few years they can have a better position within the organization.

5. Join the Military

Some choose to join the Armed Forces after high school. There are many benefits to joining the military. A teen will be able to serve their country and do something good for others. There are chances to learn skills and self-discipline and respect. A person can choose to make a career out of military service and move up the ranks. They will be able to give something back.

These are some things that a student can do after they graduate high school and do not plan on going to college. They can take some time to discover their passions and get a start in the working world as a productive adult.           

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