July 19


Why Go to College When You Can’t

“7 years of college, down the drain.”

That quip from Mr. Blutarsky, the character from the movie, Animal House, was funny in 1978. It was crazy, stupid, silly and made us laugh. However, there were a few people in 1978 who didn’t see it as humor.

They saw it as reality.

Ever heard of Micky Airson (owner of Carnival cruise lines) How about Paul Mitchell, Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs?

All of these billionaires dropped out of college. Not because they didn’t value education. All of these success-driven men soak up learning. It is simply that they saw the “7 years of college down the drain” statement as fact-not fiction. While they may not have been as slovenly as Mr. Blutarsky and taken 7 years, even a single year in a college institution resembled, well…an institution.

As George Bernard Shaw aptly stated, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

College has its place for students of literature, arts and medicine. They are great places to thrive if you are a musician, teacher or doctor. In fact, the system won’t really allow you to thrive as a traditional practitioner of any of these disciplines without a degree.

A contrarian would simply open up their own alternative medical practice, create their own school or music. It happens every day.

And more frequently.

There are always alternatives to everything in the world. Either path is neither good or bad. Only our thinking makes it so. There are endless paths that lead to success and happiness. The question isn’t even should I go to college or should I not for either path can be successful depending on your personality and what you put into it. The only question that matters is what are you going to do…what makes the most sense for you in your quest for a livelihood, happiness and significance?

Should you take a year off before you go to school? “Great, so long as you actually GO when you get back,” says your parents. That presumes your experience abroad is a trip and not a new path. What happens if you get a job while you are abroad, find a passion for a social business and start a green community in India or become a hydroponics instructor in Africa? Will your parents be disappointed?

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Again…wrong question. In the Western culture, we admire independence and when we turn 18, our society expects us to spread our wings and explore the world and ourselves. On the other hand, Eastern cultures, expect the children to work hard and take care of their parents. Your mission and a primary value is to please them and be financially able to support them.

Should you go to college? The answer is, “It’s up to you.”

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