Enamored of paper and pencil and gadgets and gizmos since childhood, when I was about 12 years old, I decided I wanted to be an architect. I found out some ten years later I liked structural or mechanical design much better.
I had a small scholarship I never used because it wasn't enough to pay for everything and feed me too.
I still wish I would have followed my friend to the Army. She is a mechanic now. And she has unused college money that she has no desire to ever use - she just wanted the on-the-job training.
For purchasing two $60 textbooks and honing my skills on the computer I'm doing far better than the useless associate degree I got 8 years ago.
Message to students: if you think you "have" to go to college just because that's what you've been told a bazillion times, ask yourself why. If it's just about earning more money and you have to take out loans to do it, explore other possibilities before you go into debt that is going to overreach the income.
And if you're going for a two-year degree, do not take business administration or anything generic like that. Huge waste of money. It should be a crime for two-year colleges to even offer that "major." If you can only do a two-year program, focus on a marketable skill.
Or start with a two-year skill program so you can actually earn a living while you then pursue the real four-year college degree. If I could go back in time:
1. Go Army the day I turned 18, learn a trade
2. Work full time and actually earn enough money to pay rent & buy food
3. While simultaneously attending a real four-year college as a night student, fully paid by Army benefits
4. Be the engineer I wanted to be