I sometimes feel a little lost being neither in school nor in a job, trying to find my way in this world filled to the brim with options. Freedom to choose my life is a privilege I appreciate, but some days its full responsibility weighs more heavily than others.

The most pressing question I hear from people who are concerned about my future is, "When are you going to college?"

My divorced family holds two distinct views: one insists that without a degree, one will have no success in one's life whatsoever; the other walks the talk about how college didn't help them at all.

My decision to delay college met with heavy hearts and open disapproval from many, but I believe every moment since has been worth it. I've lived in Italy for five months, discovering its culture while realizing that culinary arts was not my calling. I've spent two years working with my family, seeing the true ins and outs of running a business. These are priceless skills you can't learn in a classroom.

While formal education has neither helped nor hindered me so far, I personally have learned more from traveling and working than from going to school. These experiences gave me practical lessons I'll use all my life.

People from all levels of education are seeing that the goal of creating an above-average income without sacrificing the quality of their lives has the highest success chance in some type of business ownership or network marketing.

The following statistics gave me food for thought:

These numbers seem to indicate that success depends more on our attitude than our education.

My decision about continuing my education boils down to the question, "What will college give me to apply to my future success that I can't find elsewhere?"

Another important factor I consider is whether the benefit of a college education will outweigh the debt. To become a doctor, schooling and a degree are necessary. But to be an entrepreneur or inventor? Education doesn't seem to make that much of a difference.

Education stirs up a tireless discussion in my mind that ultimately ends with the rather bland answer that it's truly to each their own.

When am I going to college? When I'm ready—which will be when the time and the reasons are right for me.

JULIE JONAK, a nineteen-year-old from Houston,
grew up in a family of network marketers, with
Art Jonak as her beloved father and Tom "Big Al"
Schreiter as her hilarious grandfather.