College degrees don't define success for all
While some are panicking over making grades, passing finals and getting to graduation, those who aren't in college know not of these struggles.
Since I was young, I was taught that college was the only route to take. I was to get a degree, maybe go to graduate school and make my parents — who never finished college themselves — proud.
But that sort of upbringing creates an unnecessary and negative stigma that college is the only way to be successful in life.
In September, Business Insider posted a list of billionaires in the tech industry who didn't graduate from college. Among the list of 14 tech giants were Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and the late Steve Jobs.
These men are prime examples that success can be achieved without higher education. A good friend of mine is also a prominent member of the piercing industry in New York City and my father is a manager at his company, Ultimate Software.
All of these people have been incredibly successful without college degrees, so instead of simply priming high school students to go to college after graduation, we should be priming them to pursue a future of which they can be proud.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 1 million high school students who graduated from January to October 2013 were not enrolled in college. That doesn't mean those 1 million students don't have the potential to be tech giants or business owners in the future.
It's all up to them.
The definition of success needs to be broadened past the realm of higher education. Sure, higher education is a route to be successful, and college degrees look good on résumés, but some of the men who have completely revolutionized our world through social media and technology don't have a degree hanging on their wall.
I myself am proud to be one of the first members of my family to have the opportunity to graduate from college, but if my child doesn't necessarily find a fit at a post-secondary institution, I'll still be doing anything I can to support him or her. Success is in the eye of the beholder, so it would not really be my place to decide.