Is Dropping Out Of College The Right Choice?
A friend of mine recently asked me: “Damian, should I drop out of college?”
I know that it’s a highly controversial subject. But I will talk about it trying to be as objective as I can.
And tell you exactly what I told to my friend, I won’t treat you like a stranger but like someone who I want the best for.
I know that some of you are in college right now or will probably go soon. And I bet you might be worried whether it’s the right decision or not. Right?
You see, dropping out of college was dictating my thoughts for months before I took the final decision to quit and take my own path.
So I know how you feel and I know it’s a damn tough decision. I am sure that these questions have popped up into your mind at least once:
- Is dropping out of college the right path? Or is it a recipe to destroy my life?
- Is a piece of paper so necessary? Can it play such a significant role in my life that I can’t live without it?
- And what if I want to follow another career path but my parents are forcing me to go to college?
- What if I follow my own will and fail miserably?
Before getting into the nitty-gritty details and see how you can make the best decision based on your life circumstances, check what you will learn in this article:
- Can A College Degree Make Such A Substantial Difference In Your Life Or Not?
- Why You Should Make Your Decision Based On Your Personal Life Clues & Indications
- When You Should Drop Out Of College: Indicators That Show You Have To Quit (Or Never Attend)
- When You Shouldn’t Drop Out Of College: Indicators That Show You Have to Keep Up & Get Your Degree
- When Dropping Out Of College Is A Good Idea
- 2 Ways To Prepare Yourself Before You Tell Everyone That You Are Dropping Out Of College
- 3 Important Things To Know Before Dropping Out of College
Now, go make a big cup of coffee, close your phone and eliminate distractions because this decision might be one of the most important in your life.
You have to make the right choice.
Can A College Degree Make Such A Substancial Difference In Your Life Or Not?
I have recently read a study saying that a college degree is essential for promoting economic mobility.
In simple words, when you have a college degree you have more chances to climb up the income ladder.
That’s only partially true.
On the one hand, I do agree that college education can significantly increase your chances to become wealthier.
But it depends on two variables:
1.What you are majoring in.
Some majors won’t really open you the doors of financial freedom. Others will. Majors like Medicine and Engineering that I was studying are more likely to help you move up the income ladder.
On the other hand if you go to college just to have fun, sex and party while studying “The Science Of Knotting” or something similar, then you aren’t likely to find a job. Let alone to become really wealthy.
Whether college is a wise choice for you or not is highly dependent on your attitude about it. If you go to college just to have fun and get laid as much as you can, then it’s wasted time, money and effort.
I don’t mean that you won’t have fun or get laid, but if that’s the only thing you care about, don’t complain if you can’t find a job afterwards.
2.Whether or not you keep learning after college.
You have finished college, got your degree and framed it on your wall so everyone can see it. You have also found a highly paid job in a big company.
No, you are not set up for life. That’s when the real game starts.
Will you stay complacent to your monthly paycheck? Or will you keep increasing your knowledge and becoming better in your field?
Here is a really tough truth that most people never realize:
When you stop learning after college, you probably have wasted your entire time getting your degree.
1.If you don’t progress, someone else will do what you don’t.
He might also be the one who will steal your promotion and become your boss some years later. He will be travelling in Bahamas while you will be working 12 hours per day until you retire at 65.
In the meantime, you will be hating your job because it doesn’t let you spend time with your family. Or because someone less smarter than you gets paid more and enjoys more freedom.
But why is that happening? Didn’t people tell me that everything will be a fantasy when I get my degree?
Well, go back in time and think about who told you that. If that person wasn’t highly successful, then you shouldn’t listen to him at the first place.
Getting your degree doesn’t mean that your are done working. You must keep learning and becoming better in your field if you want to survive out there.
Our world is competitive. It’s a nasty place where the ones who are adaptable and keep progressing are the ones who thrive, survive and reap the rewards.
Those who stop learning, don’t stand a chance – a piece of paper won’t save them.
If you made the decision to keep up with college and don’t drop out, you have to know that continuous progress and education is necessary for success.
The constant progression and pursuit of knowledge is what promotes economic mobility.
Not merely a piece of paper with your name written on it. That’s just a cornerstone that you can use to build on.
Why You Should Make Your Decision Based On Your Personal Life Clues & Indications
There is no right or wrong.
There isn’t one approach that can work for everybody. For some people the right decision is to drop out of college. For others it’s to get their degree.
What’s good for me might not be good for you and vice versa.
So, stop thinking about what I did or what someone else did because it shouldn’t matter. Each of us faces completely different life circumstances. Each of us has to take a different decision based on his life.
The fact that Bill Gates dropped out of college doesn’t mean that you should do the same. Also, if your best friend continues his college education – it doesn’t mean that you should do the same.
You have to weigh up the pros and cons, be as objective as you can be and make a well-thought and informed decision based on your life.
Because you will face the consequences of your actions.
Neither me, nor your friends or family.
When You Should Drop Out Of College: Indicators That Show You Have To Quit (Or Never Attend)
If you are in college or planning to go for any of the reasons below (or a combination of them) then you should better re-consider it:
1.You Went To College Just Because Your Parents Wanted It
I would probably guess that 90% of parents believe that getting a college degree is the only “realistic way” to live your life.
The question is: should you listen to them or ignore them (and face the consequences – good or bad) ?
Most kids thinking about attending college might want to follow another path. You may want to become an artist like a musician or a guitar player. Or you may want to start a business.
But here is where parents come in and destroy the dream by forcing you to follow the college route…
Listen, I am sure you parents want you to be safe and live happily. They want what’s good for you. But they can’t always know what’s best.
Most of them believe that the best -and safest- way to live your life is to get a degree and work for a big corporation.
For some reason they expect that you will get a piece of paper and then all the big companies will be happy to suck your balls.
While a degree can give you some working opportunities, it’s not a ticket to success on its own.
Attending college just to satisfy your parents is a really terrible idea. Especially if you study something that doesn’t make you feel thrilled about it.
You will hate it, regret it and if that happens you will never be successful.Don’t do that to yourself…
2.Just To Be Respected By Society, Friends & Family
College education is associated with status. Theoretically, you have more status as a lawyer or neurosurgeon than when you don’t have a degree.
Quiz: Does a doctor has more status than a multi-millionaire?
If status is what you care about (you shouldn’t do that excessively), then becoming rich comes with more status than a college degree.
Again, you should go to college because the subject fascinates you and makes you feel enthusiastic about it. Not to give your relatives the ability to brag about their “successful” kid.
A piece of paper doesn’t prove you are somebody. Ask the 115.000 college grads who work as janitors to make ends meet.
3.Just In Case
Having a college degree just in case you want to use it someday is a really foolish idea.
As I have explained in the past, having a back up plan shouldn’t be an option when you want to be successful. It just distracts you from your real goals.
I see many guys going to college to get a degree “just in case” even if they want to spend their lives following another career path.
Believe me, if you get a degree “just in case” you have really high chances to end up unemployed.
Not to mention that you will have wasted 4-6 years of your life to make a huge circle when you could have followed your gut from the beginning.
5.You Never Plan To Use Your Degree
Yesterday, I met a guy who worked at a Nike store. He was a sales clerk working there daily for about 4$ per hour. (Why do that? Check my free guide on how to make much more money on fiverr)
He had a muscular body so I asked him if he lifts and we started talking. He told me that he is 24 and has a degree in sports science.
So why does he work at a Nike store instead of pursuing a career in his industry?
For various reasons.
First of all, he can’t find a job.
Secondly, he didn’t really want to study “Sports Science”.
He wanted to be a doctor but failed to pass the exams.
Then, he ended up doing something that felt like “ok” only to get a degree “just in case” and let his parents brag about their “successful” kid who is a graduate of a great university.
Complete abscence of logic and critical thinking…I know.
6.You Can’t Afford It
Different countries have different education systems. For instance, in Greece where I live, universities are free.
There are private colleges where you pay tuition but if you want to get a “real” degree you have to finish high school, get good grades and pass the Panhellenic exams.
Depending on your grades in the exams you get access to a university.
Student loans are not so popular here compared to countries like the UK or USA.
But if you live in countries like America, I would suggest going to college only if your parents (or you) can afford it without taking a student loan.
Did you know that the amount of outstanding student loan debt is 1.1 trillion dollars? (source)
Unless you want to work like a slave for years after getting your degree, then you should better avoid it.
If acquiring knowledge is what you want, there are infinite ways to learn new skills and broaden your thinking horizons. From old-fashioned paper books to the computer screen you are looking to right now.
You also can (try to) start a business or get an apprenticeship.
No matter what you choose to do in the end, just don’t get into debt. Especially for a degree that will be used only as a piece of home decor.
When You Shouldn’t Drop Out Of College: Indicators That Show You Have to Keep Up & Get Your Degree
1.Top-Notch College + Affordability
If your family can afford (or you can afford) to pay for the tuition fees and you are able to go to a high-level college like Harvard or Oxford – without getting into debt (or at least minimizing it), then you should probably move on with that.
There are only so many Mark Zuckerbergs and Bill Gates who can drop out of high-end colleges like Harvard and end up becoming multi-billionaires.
Even 99.99% of the guys who attend these type of colleges won’t invent the new Microsoft and enter the top 10 rich people in the world.
If you are in the rest 0.01% then I am not the type of person you should get advice from.
2. You Actually Enjoy The Subject (And It Has Serious Career Prospects)
Let’s assume that you go to college because that’s what you wanted and not your family’s or society’s will. Let’s also assume that you really enjoy the subject you study and you are considering to spend your life doing that job.
In that case you need to make sure that you are majoring in a subject with legitimate career prospects.
Getting a degree in Ancient Chinese Mythology doesn’t have many career possibilities – no matter how much you like it or how cool it sounds.
So, in case you decide to go to college I would suggest to go read this amazing article from Wall Street Playboys and follow their advice: The Real Guide to Our College Education System.
When Dropping Out Of College Is A Good Idea?
Being tired of studying or having a potentially profitable business idea is not enough to quit college.
Otherwise, dropping out of college merely because you think you will be a good entrepreneur won’t suffice.
Time for a life changing story:
Some decades ago, a young 8-year-old boy was severely burned in a schoolhouse fire.
The doctors expected him to die but for some strange reason he survived. However, his entire lower body was so horribly burned by the fire that doctors told his mother he would never walk again.
However, the boy had other plans. He made up his mind that he would walk again.
One day, his mother wheeled him out in the yard to get some fresh air. Instead of giving up and living life as a quitter, he was determined to live life as a winner.
He threw himself from his wheelchair and pulled himself across the grass while dragging his legs behind him.
After reaching the fence, he tried to raise himself up using all the strength he had left. He began dragging himself along the fence using every bit of inner determination, faith and power he had.
He did that every single day with iron persistence and unparalleled determination.
After lots of effort and many therapies he managed not only to walk but to run and even compete in the Olympics.
After his death in 1988 he has been considered as the greatest American miler and distance runner of all time. After all, he ran the world’s fastest mile!
Who? A guy who was told that he would surely never walk again. Let alone run and compete in the Olympics…
What has this to do with dropping out of college?
Because only when you have that level of determination, you can quit college and become successful without a college degree.
If you don’t have that level of determination, then it’s better to stay in the college safety bubble. After all, not everybody is born to be an entrepreneur.
But if you have that type of determination, then go for it. And you will be highly rewarded.
2 Ways To Prepare Yourself Before You Tell Everyone That You Are Dropping Out Of College
If you have finally decided that dropping out of college is the right path for you – like I said above, there is no universal right or wrong decision – then you can rest assured that you will face lots of doubters.
The moment you speak out and say “I quit college” you should better be prepared because an army of filthy Vikings will massively attack you – ie your entire family, relatives and friends.
It’s not that you should care much about what others think – it’s just that their nagging and arguments are really annoying, time consuming and bring worthless negativity in your life.
What can you do to ease their nagging?
1.Show Them A List Of Negative College Statistics
Like the ones I have linked to above. The huge student debt numbers and the percentage of post college graduates who work as janitors. You will certainly find more “bad numbers” if you search the internet.
You will probably find good ones too, but most of the naggers won’t be savvy enough to search for it. Or they will just be bored to do so.
Show them the “bad statistics” and the nagging will probably stop a bit faster.
2.Tell Them About All The Massively Successful College Drop Outs
There are really dozens of names that I could come up with but let’s stick to 7 of them, what they did and how much money they made.
Bill Gates founded Microsoft Windows and is now one of the richest men in the world with a net worth of 79.2 billion dollars. He dropped out of Harvard.
Mark Zuckerberg founded the world’s largest social media site also known as Facebook. He has a net worth of 35.7 billion dollars. He dropped out of Harvard.
Arash Ferdowsi founded DropBox and became a multi-millionaire at the age of 27. He dropped out of MIT.
Steve Jobs founded Apple and completely changed the world of computer, cell phones and electronics. Steve Jobs had a net worth of 10 billion when he died and dropped out of Reel College.
David Karp created Tumblr, the most 9th most visited site in the US and hasn’t even finished high school! His net worth is estimated at 200 million.
Pete Cashmore never attended college and founded Mashable – one of the most popular websites with 20+ million users each month. He has a net worth of 95 million.
Daniel Ek helped to co-found the famous music streaming service known as Spotify when he was only 21. He dropped out of Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and now has a net worth of 400 million.
3 Last Important Things You Should Know Before Dropping Out of College
1.Real life experience almost always beats college education to the ground
What do I mean by real life experience?
I mean starting a business. That’s the best way to learn about a vast array of different things in a short amount of time.
Among others you will develop incredibly useful skills like:
- How to manage people
- How to meet deadlines
- How to attract customers
- How to promote yourself
- How to manage your business finances
All these are invaluable. No college teaches you how to do these things better than the real world.
The college bubble is safer. It’s less risky than starting a company from scratch. But it doesn’t have the same potential rewards. Both in terms of knowledge and money.
2. Take Advantage That You Start Earlier Than Your Peers
You quit college. You start a business or find a job to get experience so you can start a business later.
Note: If you want to make real money and acquire true freedom, you have to start a business at some point of your life.
While you will be gathering experience, your peers will be still hustling to get their degree. When they finish college they will probably be behind you in the corporate ladder.
If you have started a business, then you will be probably making much more than them – even without a degree.
You will have 2-5 years more than them to gather vital experience and by the time they will graduate, finish their masters and come to the real world you will be far more successful.
Provided that you don’t sit on the couch all day watching TV.
3. Dropping Out Of College Can Help You Be More Productive
You don’t have a guaranteed job or a degree that will save you in the rough times (if it saves you). Inevitably, you have to push yourself harder and try to spend your time more productively than your peers.
While they will be out partying, getting drunk and wasting their time in meaningless activities you are able to spend your time in a more productive way.
You don’t have a plan B (and you shouldn’t) so you will have to try harder if you want to survive.
That’s not to say that you will never have fun and you will be a robot that will only work, work, work. Have fun, go out but prioritize and try to spend your time wisely. It’s your most important asset.
Okay, that’s a lot of things being said.
But if you are in the place I was some months ago, then I hope that this clears things up and will help you make the right decision for your future.
As I said before, there is no universal right or wrong, only what’s right for you!