Ask Kari: Am I a loser if I’m not going away to college?

Dear Kari,

I just graduated from high school and I am the only one staying local in my friend group. All my friends are leaving at the end of summer to go to college somewhere else. I feel like such a loser for saying I am going to stay home and working at my boring job, maybe go to community college. I don’t even know if I want to go to community college. How can I stay here and not look like a loser to everybody?

– Depressed Grad

Dear Depressed Grad,

First, congratulations on your graduation. Please remember that we need everybody in our world, people who go off to college and learn new skills, as well as those who stay local and work in jobs that provide services and care to others. You seem to feel that college is the only option for new high school graduates, and everything else is a failure. It’s not. Learning to cook good food and serving it to others matters; taking care of peoples’ children matters; delivering mail to people in a community matters; I could go on and on. I recommend you consider what you are naturally good at (there should be three to five things), and map that out into career possibilities. Pursue learning more about those possibilities by meeting with a career advisor to coordinate a further plan (this can be done at a local trade school or a community college, even if you do not decide to pursue attending that school). I am hoping that after doing so, you will gain confidence in yourself as that also matters in life, not just your job title. Good luck! You can do this.


As published in the July 2018 issue of Connections.


About Kari:

Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a licensed independent clinical social worker and a resident of Issaquah Highlands.

This column is for entertainment purposes only. If you are in crisis and in need of support please contact the Crisis Clinic at 866-427-4747.

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