The Case for
To do life good you need a sense of humor, a strong work ethic, family values, good genes and luck. What college courses teach that?
To be successful in the modern world – in a way more than just doing good – you got to have some kick ass. Some ability to stand up to disappointment and rejection. A good sense of direction, strong gut reaction to change and time management skills. And some meanness, some greed and family-first thinking. What college teaches this?
In fact ‘bout the only place you find great value in a college education anymore is learning how to Doctor or engineer.
Maybe college can teach you how to run a business, but not how to be an entrepreneur.
Though let’s be honest, college is a good place to meet people – like a wife – who can help you down the road. Smarter people hang around college campuses than say, prisons. Or in the break room at Wal Mart.
And there are some companies that insist new employees have a college degree, just because… which shouldn’t be taken lightly. If that’s part of the upfront cost of joining XYZ corporation and if that’s really what you want to do, then OK that gives college value.
College for the sake of college – in any major a clueless teen age college student might choose – isn’t a guarantee of easy street, or even a great aid in understanding life’s ponderables. And who helps the kid choose a major anyway? College professors who have enormously little life experiences? Who are vested in their fuzzy-headed discipline?
Consider the following which I copied from somewhere. It’s someone else’s clear thinking… but pls check out my comments at the bottom:
“4 Reasonable Reasons Not to Go To College
Millions upon millions of dreams will be crushed by the propaganda being spewed by high school counselors, university marketing departments and the federal government. Forty years ago, we had a great education system. Learning was affordable and employers offered higher paying jobs to those with degrees. Not anymore. And here’s why.
Going to college was a stepping stone for bigger and better things several decades ago, but the notion that having a degree is the only road to success today is one of the largest scams in U.S. history. In 2005, the cost of annual tuition was $17,233. Today, the average annual college tuition is $44,740 per year. And now, the Federal government has backed over $1 trillion (that’s a thousand billions) in student loans to young adults who are unemployed, underemployed, and will likely never have the funds to pay it back.
Stat: Student loan debt is now equal to auto loan debt and credit card debt combined. It is second in the USA to home mortgage debt.
Furthermore, next generation employers are measuring candidates less on what degree they earned and more on portfolio or experience. “Walking into an established company wide-eyed and green with a Bachelor’s degree in business at 22 is not special, useful, or a smart,” says one Silicon Valley executive. “We need young, experienced people who have walked the walk, taken some hits, and know how to make something from nothing”, he adds.
But even more scary is what’s coming down the pipeline. According to Billionaire Mark Cuban, our future will include a bursting of the student debt bubble, a significant drop in college tuitions, and an outright collapse of America’s institution of higher learning.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
Young adults need to start thinking for themselves instead of enrolling because “my parents want me to have a degree”. Furthermore, it’s debilitating our youth by starting their lives with an unrealistic burden causing stress, anxiety, depression, and even divorce. Here’s an indication of how burdensome student loans have become:
About one-third of millennials say they would have been better off working, instead of going to college and paying tuition.
Ultimately, those who lack practical skills for today’s economy (even with a degree), will be left indebted, impoverished and living in mom’s basement for the majority of their working lives. That’s hard to believe for many future students of higher education but the fact is…
Stat: Nearly 85% of college graduates will return home jobless.
So in natural entrepreneurial fashion, I have provided you with a list of four reasonable reasons To NOT go to college.
1. SELF APPLICATION WILL ALWAYS BEAT EDUCATION
One of the biggest lies we love to believe is education equals success. It almost hurts as I watch underprepared students dive into denial around graduation time, and instead of taking a course on personal leadership, they say “I think I’m going to get my master’s degree” only to graduate 3 years later with an extra $80,00 in debt and the same inability to be successful.
College won’t teach you to be successful.
The university system has sold us an illusion of self-application. Students have been told the magic ticket to a good life is “go to college and you’ll get a good job”. No need for leadership. No need for maturity. No need for people skills. No need for honing passion and drive. No need to learn negotiation. No need for personal application. Just follow the yellow brick road and you’ll get there.
Success has almost nothing to do with education.
Success is about personal development, self-control, integrity, communication skills, relationships, a learner’s heart, and boat loads of uncontainable passion. And most importantly, successful people know we learn by doing, not just learning to do.
Remember: Passion and focus beats talent any day.
2. STARTING WITH DEBT LEAVES YOUR DREAMS DEAD UNTIL YOUR 40
Debt has a way of weighing people down. In Proverbs it says, “Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender.” The early years of adulthood were intended for people to build, not dig themselves out of a hole.
In recent studies, young adults are not buying homes in their 20’s and 30’s anymore. Instead, they’re waiting until their debt-to-income ratio is healthier. And by their early 40’s, they’re finally beginning the meaningful portions of life. Furthermore, having a heavy debt burden in your 20’s has shown to push off children and marriage, increase stress and anxiety, and cause a built up resentment toward life that continues to put people into chronic depression.
Fact: Student loan debt is the only debt that can’t be removed if you go bankrupt.
No matter how you spin it, debt has negative consequences. Think carefully before committing yourself to tens of thousands of dollars in student loans just so you can “get a degree” or hang out and party, because partying is the last thing you’ll be doing for the 20 years that follow your graduation ceremony.
3. ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS BECOMING A REAL SOLUTION:
Too many people hate their life, because they hate their job. But as we all know, the current education system built us to be employees, not entrepreneurs. Consequently, people fear going out on their own. Shockingly, many of us will take a $100,000 in debt in hopes for a career where we could be fired any day, over taking a loan for $10,000 to try to launch their own business. Sounds crazy right?
Someone once said, “I’d rather work 80 hours per week on something I love, than 40 hours per week on something I hate.” I would continue with, “I would rather make less money and have no debt, than maybe more money and owe creditors $60,000.”
4. MANY OF TODAY’S CEO’S AND MANAGERS HIRE OFF OF 3 VARIABLES
Picture this. Two identical candidates walk into your office for a job interview. The only difference between the two candidates is that one has a resume with 4 years of experience, the other has 4 years of college.
Which person do you hire? If you’re under the age of 40 your answer is likely the first.
Young managers know this generation’s learning curve is so steep that it’s nearly impossible for a university to understand the trends, create a curriculum around it, and teach it all before it changes again.
So to keep up with the speed of change, they’ve begun hiring off three variables:
1. Experience – How long have they been in the business? Who do they know? What companies have they worked for? And most importantly, how much success have they had? Which leads us into number #2.
2. Portfolio – What proof of results can they show? Do they have solid endorsements or references from the past? What are their previous projects or successes and why? Who have they worked with and how did that turn out?
3. Personal – Do they fit the culture of the company? Are they approachable, responsible, punctual, and have integrity? Can they communicate well? Is their appearance and personal brand mesh with the company’s environment?
While a part-time job or internship might help with the above criteria, a degree will not. It’s your decision: will you jump in the deep end, gain some experience, build a portfolio, and create real-world personal development? Or will you pay for information and learning that you can likely obtain on the internet, for free?“ [end of article]
Well to go or not to go to college isn’t so simple that the answer is discernible by a couple of question…
But there sure seems to be a good – and mounting – argument for not going to college right out of high school. You pending high school student out there who doesn’t really want more time in your youth spent in a classroom learning shit… maybe doing something else makes sense.
I was a college student during two separate times in my life… one from about the time I was 18 until I just turned 21. I was hellion… going to class and actually learning stuff there was a very low priority. Not that this time was wasted… I had great fun those years. But then college only cost a couple hundred dollars a semester, and it was good excuse to get out of the house my father built and raise hell most all the time.
Then there was a 6 year gap and I returned to Chapel Hill, newly married and anxious to learn. And it was great fun of a different sort. I loved the classroom, moving ideas around, talking with fellow students and professors, sharing ideas. Writing papers. Research. Studying. Yea I liked studying… had an interest in every single course I took.
While in college that first time, I met many my age who – like me – hadn’t a clue what they wanted to do in life. And I met many who had no business in college even if they said they knew what they wanted out of the education. They were taking up space. They were there simply because it was expected of them. Sort of the embryo sack for the Organization Man.
And there was an eight year period starting in 2001 when I worked in the CIA’s Operations directorate assessing applicants to the clandestine corps. I liked every single person I interviewed. Every one… But the job as a US spy takes special skills and aptitudes most from middle-American don’t have. Many applied, but very, very, very few were hired. Some don’t go far in the process because they had zero life experiences. Going out to work the mean streets of the world, you needed some hard knocks and association with a wide variety of people in your life to be competitive, to show any promise of handling agents who came from the underside of humanity.
As I’ve said before in these Rants and Yarns, people who impressed me the most as a CIA recruiter were two types: 1) those who went into military service right out of high school or worked some trade, and then went to community college for a couple of years before goin’ on to a major state university and graduating with almost no student debt or 2) those who scored at the top of our IQ charts, and deported themselves in a mature, knowing way… and had a sense of humanity and citizenship… regardless of when or how they got their undergraduate degree.
Experience in and of itself is one thing, but sometimes it just depends… and the best case I know to explain this is something that happened to me and a man from my old platoon in Vietnam. His name’s Jack Lyons and he, my wife Brenda and I took a trip back to Vietnam in the late 90s, more than 30 years after Jack and I served there in the US infantry.
We stayed at the Saigon Hotel down near the harbor in Ho Chi Minh city, and every morning coming out of the hotel we’d deal with a gathering of Vietnamese men with their cyclo cabs better known as pedicabs, who wanted to take us anywhere we wanted to go. Jack latched on to one individual in particular who impressed me as a slicky boy, he was too attentive and groveling in his manner, obviously trying to endear himself to Jack… but Jack liked it and would often share his guy’s suggestions about places to go and ways to get there.
We went out one night on the way to desert at the top of the old Caravelle Hotel but decided to go to some area near the harbor for Jack to buy a case of Cuban cigars. His buddy of course was leading the way, peddling like a sumbitch, but once at this particular alley where the guy said you could get the best buy on Cubans, they just couldn’t strike a deal on whatever it was Jack wanted. He knew his cigars and was stuck on this one brand and wanted a certain price… his pedicab driver doing the hard bargaining for him in Vietnamese. But to no successful conclusion.
Jack, his buddy peddling the predicab, Brenda and her driver.
So we left and went to the Caravelle, paid off the drivers and we were on the elevator going to the roof for our night caps and ice cream, when Jack said that he had given his guy a hundred dollar bill and told him to go back himself to get a good deal on the stooges Jack wanted.
Now Brenda and I had lived a whole bunch of years in the Orient and we knew that you just didn’t get too familiar with street people, because they always would take advantage.
So I told my former point man, that he was one dumb sumbitch, because I knew – from experience – that that pedicab driver was long gone. That hustling tourist like us, was what they did for a living. And 100 dollars was more than they would normally make in a month of honest work.
I knew for sure we would never see that guy, or Jack’s money ever, ever again.
He accepted that I knew what I was talking about, I mean I had the experience. So he shrugged it off. Lesson learned.
We came back down the elevator an hour or so later, and I tried not to smirk as we walked out to the collection of pedicabmen, knowing Jack’s guy was long gone…
But there he was, standing off to the side waving a full box of the Cubans Jack wanted… with change.
Just goes to show…