Perhaps you remember hearing somewhere that Downtown Brooklyn is home to more college students than Cambridge, Massachusetts? Well, as it turns out, all of those industrious men and women, plugging away at their educational goals are suckers who should just quit while they can because all the really successful people in the world think college is for losers. Losers!
Wait. Doesn’t this go against almost everything you’ve ever heard about the benefits of going to the best school you can get into because starting your adult life with $60,000 of inescapable debt builds character? I’m confused. Maybe because I’m not that smart. Because I graduated college.
The idea that maybe not everybody will get the maximum benefit out of college is not new of course, but the New York Times is jumping all over the story now, for some reason. In his article, “Saying No to College”, Alex Williams writes that “the idea that a college diploma is an all-but-mandatory ticket to a successful career is showing fissures.” Williams has some evidence that dropping out of college is not the crazy endeavor that your parents would have you think it is. After all, “it worked for the founders of Twitter, Tumblr and a little company known as Apple.”
You guys. Those are some of the coolest companies ever. If I could retro-actively drop out of college, I would!* Other drop-outs who are not as cool as Steve Jobs and Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams of Twitter include Bill Gates and the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. Who are also pretty successful, just nowhere near as cool. Of course, Jobs attended the prestigious Reed College and Gates and Zuckerberg were at Harvard, which, well, there’s an argument to be made that if you have the natural intelligence to get yourself in the door of those universities, then you’re already ahead of the game. There’s a pretty good chance that whether or not you attend college, you’re still not going to be the next Steve Jobs.
But does that even matter? Williams spoke to Michael Ellsberg, author of “The Education of Millionaires: Everything You Won’t Learn In College About How to Be Successful”, and a Brown University graduate, who said, “I’m not saying you have to be Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs. I know people with dog-walking businesses who make six figures.” And who doesn’t love dogs and want to pick up their shit, professionally? I mean that. I do it for free now and wouldn’t mind raking in even five figures from the situation.
*Actually, fun fact: I did drop out of college. Then I went back and graduated. So, I basically know of what I speak. For once.