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What If I Don’t Want to Go to a University?

Learning is an experience that goes beyond the four corners of the classroom. While the formal curriculum can be an adventure in itself for the curious youth, there are also opportunities beyond the typical classroom experience that you could get into especially if you find yourself not feeling like going to a university at all.

Online Opportunities 

Maybe you just want to improve on a personal hobby or are looking to practice something professionally. Whatever the motivation is, there are sites you can go to (some paid, some free) to explore that intention! Sites like Coursera, SkillShare, and FutureLearn offer ‘boredom-busting courses’ as well as subjects that aim to hone you for in-demand occupations (e.g. digital marketing, basic programming, design) as well as practical life skills like self-care, communication, and problem-solving.

Know-how’s are also becoming easy to access with the rise of Youtube and content creators. If you’re having trouble understanding something on an assignment or just want to know more about curiosity, channels like Vox, CrashCourse, and TED-Ed might help!

As you go along, you might also want to sift through your thoughts with people on the Internet who likewise are open to sharing their insights. Some hour-long chit chat online could also help you know more about certain trends and issues and this is possible through online discussions on public forums like Reddit or via podcasts like the ones available on Spotify. You can also follow the social media pages of universities or specific colleges, or subscribe to interest pages on things like electronics or animation to watch out for their next public forum you might be able to participate in. 

Volunteer. Join a community.

Volunteering allows you to learn how to work with a group of like-hearted people. Or if you’re not drawn to any passion yet, just offering to help in ways you can is in itself a step towards a learning opportunity you might not know you needed. The community pantry near you would be happy to have another volunteer to arrange the goods and you might just get to have another idea for a community initiative you can have collaborators with. On the web, communities also continue to grow. If you like technology and want to take part in organizing events that advocate for girls in STEM, you might see yourself in groups like Women Who Code Manila or Geoladies!

Explore the Tech-Voc Path!


Technical-vocational courses are open for all learners. The biggest advantage is that the skills you acquire are applicable across industries! The programs you can take vary from Agri-fishery and Home Economics to Industrial Arts and Information and Communications Technology. Depending on what you want to pursue, you can study subjects like electronics, machinery, food processing, or events management. (Check out: Tech-Voc 101: An Essential Guide to Technical-Vocational Education in the Philippines)

As with any journey to your dream job, the tech-voc path is not challenge-free. You might face gender discrimination in fields that are commonly male-dominated. You might meet people who, because of your sex or gender, might pigeonhole you into a specific vocation which can actually do more harm than good to your growth. This can take a toll on your well-being as you defy people’s expectations of what a girl can do in the world of tech-voc . But worry less because there are also an array of resources and support groups to help you stay headstrong as you trek your own unique career path. 

  • #MentalHealthPH offers a pool of resources for self-helpers who want to explore ways to better take care of their psychological well-being. It also provides an avenue for you to be involved in helping others who might be feeling the same distress, and allow you to connect with people you can grow with.
  • Times Up Ateneo is a community that “envisions itself as both a psychosocial support system and advocacy group”. The community formed around 2019 after a number of survivors from Ateneo De Manila University came forward to speak about sexual violence in their school. Since then, they have expanded their calls to welcome all youth survivors and advocates who may be experiencing harassment, discrimination, or other forms of gender-based violence and provide them with an avenue to share, engage, and support each other.
  • WiTech is possibly one of the biggest networks of young women and girls “that aims to educate, inspire, and empower the Filipino youth to break gender barriers and use technology to make a difference in society.” WiTech organizes talks, technology literacy activities around the Philippines, and online tech camps while it is expanding globally too! Check out their open-access modules that include digital empathy and cyberbullying management.

If you find yourself not feeling the course load of the available degree programs of the colleges and universities around you, the tech-voc path might be the one for you. And should you pursue it, know that there are folks, information, and other resources you can lean on to as you challenge traditional gender roles. 

And while entering uni is the conventional path for some, there is also nothing wrong with being creative with your own track. Who knows? That openness to experience might just be the edge that will land you your dream job!

Edukasyon.ph and Investing in Women are committed to providing a safe space for everyone. If you are in need of support due to experiencing gender-based discrimination or violence in the home, school or workplace, please contact the following hotlines below.

  • Inter-Agency Council on Violence Against Women and their Children: 09178671907 / 09178748961
  • Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD): (02) 931-8101 to 07;
  • Philippine National Police (PNP) Hotline: 177 / (8)723-0401
  • PNP-Women and Children Protection Center (WCPC):  (02) 8532-6690
  • Aleng Pulis Hotline: 0919 777 7377;
  • NBI Violence Against Women and Children: vawcd@nbi.gov.ph 
 

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