How to Tell your Parents (anyone) You’re Not Going to College?


*Disclaimer: This blog post is a tool not a weapon. It’s crafted to share your truth with your family. Hopefully, you’ve done thorough research and decided that college isn’t for you. This isn’t your get out of school free card. If you’re willing to work your butt off instead of sit behind a desk, you may continue reading.

I am an intelligent, 22-year-old woman. I have a full time job. A car that I solely pay for. And, I blog for fun. And write for funds.

Yet, I still have a reverential fear of my mother.

I’m not talking about that violent or co-dependent fear. Get help if you fear your parents to that degree. But, I’m talking about the, I respect her and take her advice to heart at times.

There’s only one situation when I didn’t take her advice. I put it aside in order to follow through with my own decision, and that’s not to attend college.

I told her what I wanted to do, without getting the Navy Seals involved. And, guess what? She agreed, accepted, and praised me for telling her my change of heart regarding college.

Here’s what you can do before telling your parents about your decision to skip college:

Gather Information:

Your parent(s) knows you like the back of their hands. You are a miniature version of them. They know all the tricks. So, use something that they probably don’t have. The facts.

When deciding to tell someone, whether it’s a parent or a peer, that you’re not going to attend college, expect questions. You’re going to need answers, and not haphazard ones.

Tell them the statistical reason why college is so 1970. You have to prove you’re smart, anyway, do it now. Google the subject and find the info you need to build your case.

Think Like Your Parent:

We’ve already established that they know you. But, you know them. Parents have different methods of conversing with their kids.

If you’re a stubborn kid, they may raise their voice or use the silent treatment around you.

If you’re the goody-goody kid (like me), then they communicate with you the way they talk to a close friend or puppy.

Use their communication method to your advantage, but in a dignified manner.

For example, if you’re usually stubborn, catch them off guard, and listen to their point of view for once. And then come back with a rebuttal that can’t be disregarded. Such as:

Mom, I understand that you and dad wanted me to go to college. But, you need to consider the fact that I need to make my own mistakes and that means ….

Tell Them Your End Result:

I like the saying, keep the end in mind. Since you’re not going to college, clearly you’ve got to fill that extra time doing something. You need to explain that plan to your parent(s), now.

If your family is worried you will become a leech, tell them you will get a full-time job. Then follow through!

You should try doing this before graduation. Become an intern. Look into starting your own business. Or even better find a mentor and start learning from them.

You need to show proof that your end result is going to be a true result. Besides, everyone knows you need to fake it until you make it.

Reconsider Your Decision:

You probably won’t succeed with getting your parent(s) on board with your plan. Your parents may dig into you. They may threaten to remove your inheritance or emancipate you (doubt it).

If any of these things might be in your near future, reconsider the option to go to college. Allow your parent(s) the chance to prove you wrong. Maybe, you should go to college. If you end up loving it and succeeding, great. As long as they don’t mind footing the bill now and in the future. Go that route.

But, if they see you struggling, and hating it. Then, you can tell them that you tried it their way, it’s not working, you’re done.

Skip College but Continuing Educating Yourself:

If your parents are worried you’re going to spend your brain cells on extracurricular activities that aren’t worthy (or legal). Then, consider alternatives to a standard college education.

Pick up a trade, do online courses, travel the world and learn about new cultures, read every book on a fascinating subject in your local library (what’s that?). Learn how to code. Do something that challenges your brain.

Your parents want what’s best for you. You need to take their advice, but if you’re of age to make your own decisions.

Do what is best for you.

Whatever you decide make sure not to keep them in the dark.

Apparently parents hate secrets.

And, if you don’t want your future offspring doing that to you, don’t do it to them. Remember, what goes around, comes around.


*Blog post dedicated to my friend who can’t decide how to tell her dad what she wants to do!