I didn't go to college. No university, no community college, no online college.
I used to blame my parents. I had been accepted to five colleges by the time I graduated high school. Not one of my four parents seemed to care enough to take the time to help me forge a path to higher education. In high school, college was my ultimate goal. I worked hard, got good grades, took university prep classes. I got the big letters of acceptance, but unlike the teen movies no one watched over my shoulder with excitement, helped me rip open the letters and shouted in glee with me. I opened them up alone and wondered how I could fly to the campuses for tours and meetings and register if no one else cared..
One of the colleges offered me a half scholarship and sent me plane tickets to fly to California to meet with the admissions director as well as the choir professor. For weeks my dad said he would go with me. Then one day he said he wouldn't, he wouldn't take the time off work and he forbid me to go alone.
I was devastated. That was a catalyst for months of living hell with him and his wife (his ex-wife now) that eventually ended in violence and me being homeless at 18. While working and trying my damnedest to find a home, I applied for community college but couldn't afford the cost.
About seven months later I ended up at my grandmother's house in Northern California. I had planned to go to community college there as well, then ended up working at the newspaper. Within a few months I had a full time job as a graphic designer. I taught myself how to be a graphic designer. I learned all the programs hands on.
It's been 13 years, and even though I never got a college degree I have a career 13 years deep and an extensive portfolio. I also have NO student loans looming over my head. As far as the college parties, I replaced that life experience with the band, and it's still going.
The idea of college comes up all the time. At this point I don't know what I would want to study besides the obvious literature that I love. I truly believe this path wouldn't have led me here if anything else would have happened differently.