Not everyone needs to go to college. I firmly believe that but you will need to get some kind of training to hold a job. Maybe it will be on the job training or maybe it will be a trade school. Trade schools fulfill a very important function, one I wish was addressed more in public schools.
Trade schools help people learn to do a specific kind of job. However, there can be a disadvantage to that. What if it turns out that you can no longer do the job? I know of a person who went to school for years to learn to be a court reporter and ended up with carpal tunnel syndrome so bad that she was sleeping with braces on her wrists before she even got out of school. I know of a person that became a security guard that ended up with a bad back and could no longer wear the gun belt because of the weight. I know of someone who went to school to become a welder but ended up with physical issues where he couldn’t stand for long periods of time anymore.
None of these people were considered disabled to the point that they could collect social security which you can barely live on anyway. Yet they were no longer able to do the job they trained for. These people were back to the point they were at when they left high school. It only happens to a small percentage of people who take the trade school route but it being a small percentage won’t matter if you end up in that percentage.
It’s stressful and disheartening to go through all that training for nothing. A college education gives what is referred to as a well rounded education because you can go in different directions with it. Trade schools don’t have that advantage but that doesn’t mean there aren’t options for you. In the post “Barely Making Ends Meet?” I talk about using your hobbies as money makers. They can help in this area too. Maybe they become your actual job or maybe they just tide you over until you find something else.
If you go the trade school route you need to keep in mind that it is a single route and something can always go wrong. You need to have a back up plan. Waiting until something actually does happen leaves you in a position of trying to figure out your future while you are under a tremendous amount of stress and possibly even recovering from some physical issue. Making a plan before you need it allows you to be cool and calm, to think logically. Being prepared can make all the difference when the unexpected happens in your life.