If you’re thinking about self-publishing, read this first: http://ezinearticles.com/?Publishing-Scams:-Six-Red-Flags-That-Scream-Rip-Off&id=81336 At least you’ll know where the worst mud sharks are swimming.
Lots of places to send your shorter work are listed here by catagory. Even if you are philosophically opposed to the idea of an “Ivory Tower,” check this out. Time to get some of that desk drawer stuff out in the open air.
Perhaps you had a traumatic experience along your path to higher education? Write about that experience and then go find a place to sell it at: http://www.theivrytower.com/