Why I Waited Seven Years Before I Enrolled In College

While friends spent hours in lecture halls for a degree they decided on when they were a kid, I was fine-tuning my creative skills.

Woman exploring her creative side before settling for a degree megaflopp, Jacob Lund, cyano66, cottonbro studio | Canva

By Madison Flatman

I never really understood why people went to college because I didn’t know what I wanted to go to college for.

I was an aspiring singer all my life. And I watched many people in the music field become successful without a degree in vocal performance.

I didn’t understand why I should go to college to study something that was ultimately based on luck and timing rather than on my educational background.


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When I graduated high school, I remember the pressure of people constantly asking me why I wasn’t going to college.

You can imagine how many people attempted to encourage me to go. There was one time I spent an hour arguing with a relative about why I did not want to get a degree in business.

I was adamant that I didn’t want to enroll in college until I was confident that the degree I wanted would not only be helpful to me in the long run but would be something I’m genuinely interested in.

For the next seven years, I bounced from one entry-level job to the next while many people obtained degrees.


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I watched my friends graduate college. Some went on to have their dream jobs, whereas others began to question how much their degree was worth since there were no opportunities in their desired fields.


While they spent hours in lecture halls for a degree that they decided on when they were a kid, I was fine-tuning my creative skills.

I attended musical workshops and lessons to shape my craft as a vocalist. As I was looking into musical programs in my area, I also considered theater programs.

Eventually, I starred in a community theater production that ultimately made me realize I didn’t want to pursue acting. However, this opportunity led me to have the opportunity to write a ten-minute stage play in less than 12 hours.

And that’s an experience I’m happy I got to have.

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With that and the beginning of my journey as a content writer for Unwritten, I realized my love for writing was something I wanted to pursue as equally as music.

Once I realized that, I began to look into ways to pursue writing more professionally. I started to explore colleges for this degree while keeping my current commitments in mind.

As you’re reading this, I’m currently starting my first week of college, which I’m doing virtually. All things considered, I’m glad I took time to experience and find myself before I chose to obtain a degree.


I’m very excited to see what’s next on my educational journey!

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Madison Flatman is a singer, drummer, and writer from Wisconsin and a frequent contributor to Unwritten. Her work focuses on topics of wellness, relationships, and mental health.