College offers a lot. But ‘a lot’ is relative based on what it’s costing and who you are. Below I offer up a bunch of problems with exactly zero solutions (except, of course, opting out):
1. You’re wasting four years (or more) chasing a degree instead of doing things that really matter.
2. Conforming conformists. As much as they’d like to think they are opening your minds, most professors are still blasting you with lazy ideals. As Ralph Waldo Emerson puts it:
The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion. [Conformity] loves not realities and creators, but names and customs.
3. Universities were made for and in the image of the industrial revolution. They can’t possibly teach what you need to know in the world of freelancers, entrepreneurs and startups. They aim to create cogs with specialized skill sets. That worked for a long time but things are changing too fast now.
4. Unnecessary debt. Going into this kind of debt binds you. You lose freedom of choice as to what you will do. If you have debt hanging over your head there’s little chance you will allow yourself the time to find (make?) the job you really want. College debt has eclipsed credit card debt, by the way.
5. Lost income. There is the opportunity cost of lost income on top of the expenses of attending university. Most importantly, lost opportunity for self-directed learning.
6. Lost focus on value creation. In the ‘real world’ people care about what you’ve done, what your experiences are. In the real world, you need to know how the theories apply. Whether you can spit them out on a multiple choice test really doesn’t matter to a client. Outside of college you’re forced to learn how to create value.
Just as no monkey is as attractive as the ugliest of humans, no academic is worthier than the worst of the creators.
7. Lost time from learning what you want/need to. No matter what major you’re in, you will always have classes that just don’t make any sense for you. The colleges recognize this so they create courses specifically for ‘non-majors’ (aka ‘bullshit’ classes). Out of their system you learn what you need to when you need to.
8. A negative outlook of the ‘real world’. Coming home from a four year vacation to a shit-ton of debt won’t make anyone happy. The ‘real world’ is a great time if you let it be.
10. Depressing. An MTVu study showed that 49% of sophomores have “personally suffered from some kind of depression”. Worse, by graduation 21% of seniors have considered suicide. And this study was done in 2006, before America was pretty much literally thrown into “depression”.