Fulfill Your Purpose

Traditions Are Overrated

It’s the holiday season, so for the most part, traditions are in full bloom. Thanksgiving itself just passed less than a week ago. How did you celebrate? Did you carry on the family traditions from when you were a child? Did your family enjoy the standard Thanksgiving meal; Turkey with plenty of sides; or did you opt out of the traditional meal, and create your own version of a Thanksgiving feast? For some of us, the thought of traditions brings on warm cozy feelings. For others, traditions can make you feel boxed in, like your choices are extremely limited. Maybe you’ve never felt this way where holidays are concerned, but what about in pursuit of a career?

It’s made clear to us from a pretty young age how important and how valuable a college degree is. A college degree is your ticket to success they tell us. A college degree gets you into the door, and speaks for itself that you clearly belong there. Without a college degree, your choices are slim. You definitely won’t be as successful as you could have been.

But what if you’re a woman like me. A woman who started having her children at an age when most of her peers were off in college; and then due to time, money, and a host of responsibilities, never made it to college. And now you find yourself older, with a dream and a passion, but no college degree. What does that mean for your future? Does it mean you forfeit your purpose, simply because you never obtained a college degree?

I would advocate that the answer is no. That sometimes, traditions can be overrated. Are college degrees beneficial and valuable, of course they are. Is a college degree mandatory for some career choices; certainly, and you would be wise to do some research and see if that is the case for your chosen path. But there are many women, who have found great success apart from the traditional route. And it’s important that you know that this is an option for you as well!

You may know of some of these women. Their rise to stardom has allowed them to become common household names. Names such as Rachel Ray, Beyoncé, Joyce Meyer, and Ellen DeGeneres, are a few amongst the famous women who have never obtained a college degree. And there’s also some names, that might not be quite as famous, but their success isn’t any lesser because of it:

  • Anne Beiler was a stay at home mom before founding Auntie Anne’s pretzels.
  • Allison Stratter, who never felt like college was for her, but attended for a short time, just to attempt it; dropped out and later when on to become cofounder and co-CEO of Blended Strategy Group, a marketing and branding agency.
  • Debbi Fields quit community college, and with no business skills, launched Mrs. Fields Cookies.

These women, exemplify perfectly that there is more than one way to achieve success. They didn’t allow the lack of a college degree to hold them back, and neither should you.

The truth is, you are your ticket to success. Your hard work will get you in the door, and speak for itself that you clearly belong there. You are not boxed in, and your choices are plentiful. You just have to be open to them, and willing to look past the traditional route, so that you can forge a new one. A college degree is great if you choose and are able to obtain one. But if not, you are still capable of great success.

24 thoughts on “Traditions Are Overrated

  1. It would be great seeing your kids finish college. But I think a good parent would support their kids to whatever they like. If they have the potential, aspiration and support they will thrive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. I encourage my children to go to college, but also make it clear that I would support other paths as well. But more importantly, as a woman who did not go to college, I’m showing my children that you can be successful and fulfill your purpose, on non-traditional paths as well.

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  2. This is true. Women (and men) who choose not to get a degree can be locked out of getting a good, high-paying job in most places. But what that means is that you have to make your own way in the world. That is not necessarily a bad thing. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates did it.
    The advantage to making your own way is that you are no longer under someone else’s glass ceiling. You can go as far as you can get yourself. But it is incredibly hard work. And you still have to educate yourself in your field. You need to be super motivated to learn on your own. But you don’t have to pay huge amounts of money to an institution to do it.
    There are in recent years some companies that are starting to hire people that don’t have degrees but show promise and knowledge in their field. Google, Apple, Starbucks (management level), and IBM are some examples of this. It is starting to trend as companies realize that sometimes the smarter/more appropriate person is not the one with the degree but the one that was driven enough to go get their knowledge from the ground up. And if nobody wants to hire you? Then go make your own job and your own dream!!!

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    1. Yes, to everything you said! Foregoing a college degree does not negate hard work or education! You still have a responsibility to educate yourself and gain knowledge and you still have to work super hard (if not harder), but it is not an impossible situation. You can still have success via the non-traditional route.

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  3. It’s so difficult to choose well when we are too young and we don’t have the right experience. I made a wrong choice and I’ve been suffering for years doing something I don’t like and don’t feel like doing at all. I hope I’ll be able to change it soon.

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    1. I hope you’ll be able to change it too❤. I made a decision not to go to college once I became a mom, because there were so many circumstantial issues working against me. For years I felt immobilized by that decision. Like I had missed my chance at success. I’m thankful that I’ve come to know and realize, that isnt the truth. A college degree is not the only way to success.

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  4. My parents didn’t really force me into college but they did help society push me along. And I hated college. I went to 2 different 4 year colleges and a community college and pretty much had no idea what I was doing anywhere. I ended up earning an AA online when I was in my late 20s but have tons of debt from all my trial and error.

    College is NOT for everyone, nor is going to college right out of high school. I wish I’d been given other options.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, so many people share that same story. You’re right, not only is college not for everyone, but sometimes people just aren’t ready to go fresh out of highschool. I hope you’ve landed on the path that works for you!

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  5. My kids are young still but this conversation has already been a hot topic in the family. I see it this way. The kids will ultimately need to choose the path that works for them. As long as they’re happy and not hurting anyone then I am OK with it. I learned with my oldest that they will not likely choose the path that you hope they will.

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  6. I got my degree but I’ve always said that if people don’t want to go to university then I completely understand. I could’ve started my own business much quicker had I not gone to university actually. It does have its perks though!

    Liked by 1 person

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