Despite what you may have been led to believe, going to college is not the only way to continue your education, to create a fulfilling and productive life, or to make a useful contribution to society. In the new connected world there are limitless ways to paint an original picture on the canvas of life, rather than color-by-numbers or connect-the-dots. Here are just a few ideas.
- Be an activist: Get connected with the many people actively working to make change. There is no shortage of problems, and there is also no shortage of people with the passion and vision to solve them, waiting for you to join them, or even better, lead them.
- Volunteer: Compared to someone carrying loads of educational loans and consumer debt, you’ve got it easy. Volunteering is not only a powerful way to contribute, it is also one of the most valuable things you can do for yourself in terms of opening up avenues for gaining experience, opportunities, and personal growth.
- Make art: Art isn’t just sculpture, painting, and music. Art is anything you do to amplify and share your inner voice, to reveal your unique perspective to the world. Making art isn’t a matter of having something worth sharing, because it is guaranteed that you do. It is a matter of choosing to discover and develop your gifts.
- Find mentors: Find and connect with people who inspire you. Learn everything you can from them and be of service to them. The fact that you are willing to show up with passion, enthusiasm, and no baggage can make you immensely valuable.
- Build a social network: A strong social network can provide support for any venture you choose to undertake. Developing your voice, connecting with your tribe, and making yourself known can pay off in ways you can’t even expect or imagine.
- Become an expert: With all of the knowledge of humankind accessible to you, it is possible to become a world-class expert on any subject that excites you. By following your passion instead of a curriculum, you can gain a unique and valuable form of expertise.
And here are a few resources where you can find both information and practical next steps: