There are two ways to learn things. You can gain knowledge or wisdom; the choice is yours. Knowledge comes from things you experience, often by learning it the hard way. Wisdom is seeing what others have experienced and adjusting your life in order to avoid learning the hard way.
Your higher education is one area where it is much better to have wisdom; that is, to go on to college or university. There are a lot of reasons you should continue on to higher education right after graduation from high school. You may be able to live at home, your parents are more likely to help pay (or totally pay) for your education and it is much easier to learn when you are young and already used to the pace of studying required.
Here are a few statistics, courtesy of takepart.com. On average, only 58% of high school students actually make it to graduation. Those who don’t graduate are lucky if they make a third of what graduates make. No matter what the pay scale, those who don’t complete high school have far more health complaints than those that do. This may or may not be due to the low pay, though it probably does have something to do with it.
Just having a high school diploma does not mean that you are automatically going to get a job, or that it will be high in pay. College graduates still are more employable and likely to earn more in pay. The more education you get, the better chance you have for a well paying career.
Here is what can and should be done if you or a loved one is stuck in this rut. If you haven’t completed high school, do so. Unless you are planning on going to college soon, don’t go for the GED, as it really isn’t that helpful by itself. Yes, it’s better than nothing, but employers don’t rank it as high as they do a high school diploma.
You don’t necessarily have to go back to a traditional high school. There are on-line and distance learning courses, alternative schools and some cities offer learn at your own pace diploma courses. This gives you many more options than was available twenty years ago.
Once you have that piece of parchment, it’s time to go on to college. Many junior colleges offer programs designed for adults working full time. These plans can help you get your Associates degree within two and a half years, if you follow their guidelines. Some universities offer the same thing, though not all do. There are also on-line and distance learning colleges, but be careful with these; make sure they are accredited and that their program is accepted by the industry you choose to major in.
If you are still in high school, good for you. Start working on getting good grades as soon as possible, as they play a role in whether or not you are accepted to the college of your choice. If it’s a little late for that, start taking courses at your local community college, as those grades will also play a role.
I didn’t qualify as a Master Herbalist until I was in my forties. I had to learn this the hard way, by gaining knowledge. I am offering this so that you can have wisdom, and avoid some of the problems lack of proper education can cause.