As you're already aware, a lot of people are conditioned by society to do things that fit in with the crowd. These things may be good for 'society at large' (or at least politicians and the police etc may think so!) but are they good for you?
University season is starting again soon, and maybe some of my readers are thinking about whether to go or not. Have to be honest, apart from one brief moment of doubt, I never thought about whether I would go or not, I always assumed I would. That's what my parents and the education system had told me what's best for me.
In the UK, a lot of smart young people are conditioned to think like this. They are told that "going to university is the (only?) way to get a high paying job". There is the groupthink to an extent that because LOTS of people are going to university, you should as well! My sixth form college was great, best education I've had, but I remember one time when we were sitting in a tutorial and the teacher was asking us what we were going to do next year. Practically everyone there said they were going to uni (in fairness there might have been a couple of people who 'bunked off' who might not have wanted to go!) but there was one person who didn't. Suddenly, the happy atmosphere was gone and the person was subjected to intense questioning about WHY he didn't want to go uni. After the questioning he was told it would be the best thing for him.
Anyway, I'm aware the tone of this post may be slightly 'anti uni'... so I'll try and balance it out, or at least give you some info that might be useful for you if you do decide you want to go! A lot of people believe that going to uni will get them a higher paid job... will it? All depends... a lot of figures showing graduates earning more through their life time are based on past events... the fewer people who have degrees, the more valuable they are, and more and more people are getting them now.
If you do decide to go to uni make sure you research it extensively first. Check out all the modules and the people who will be teaching those modules. Check out the whole uni by visiting it (probably on an Open Day), talk to the students there... (I was a student ambassador for over two years in uni)... but also if you want to be smart, go on a regular day too, and ask regular students about it. You could even 'crash a lecture' for free!
Another key point to consider... going to uni could well be three years of lost earnings for you. Quite shameful to say this, but I was partly in the mindset that you couldn't get a decent full time job until you'd finished uni! You can! There have been people doing the same job I've been doing just recently straight out of school. If you are at uni or want to go, I'd recommend you doing a job at the same time. I did, you'll have plenty of time to do so, and you'll learn at least as much from that as you do from the course.
Remember to be aware of all the costs in going to uni too... you have to decide for yourself whether they are worth the investment.
Quick key point before I blast out... remember that the people you meet at uni and the relationships you develop are VITAL. (This is a plus point for going to uni tbh.) If you're a money thinking kind of person, they're worth money. If you're a social kind of person, you won't even need to be told this and you'll like meeting new people anyway ;).