If you’re currently considering whether or not you should go to college, don’t go. I went, and I’m none the wiser as to what I was meant to have gotten out of the whole damn thing. I made new friends and had some laughs, and then I went home to live with my parents. A few months ago, the university was kind enough to send me this thick piece of paper with my name on it.
Emptiness. That’s what I felt when first I glanced upon my college degree. Perhaps it was because I felt like I didn’t accomplish much in college. I could have done things better, could have gotten a kickass internship, killer recs from esteemed professors, a stellar GPA, all manner of grants and scholarships, started a student organization. The fact that I didn’t do any of those things eats away at me. But I think I’m better off.
If I had checked every box on that list, I’d currently be serving time in a corporate nine-to-five gulag. The money would be nice, sure, but I would hate myself. I’m like the hulk when I get into that mindset—you won’t like me when I hate myself. I’d be a cocksure-on-the-outside, vomiting-on-the-inside, confrontational, difficult, bored little shit.
I have friends and acquaintances that went this route, and most of them are happy with their decisions so far. But if all I gave up was the security of an above-average salary, I’m fine with the tradeoff. I regret not excelling in school for the sake of living up to my potential, but there are other ways for me to do that.
Know yourself. That’s the best advice I can offer you. Are you willing to accept the leers and the huffs and the finger wags from strangers and loved ones when you tell them you’re not going to college? Resist the urge to get angry when the sheep bleet at you for abandoning the pack. It is in their nature, and they only want what they think is best for you.
There are very few careers in which a degree is absolutely necessary. You can even take the Bar exam in California without a law degree. Gasp!
Is there a way that you can opt out of college and still achieve what you want to achieve? If the answer is yes, I think you know the way forward.