With the recent uprising at UVA, I thought it would be appropriate to address something that I stand behind, and that is that your experience will be more valuable than your college education. Not saying that college education is wrong by any means, but your experiences will teach you more than you’ll ever learn in any classroom. Peter Thiel (founder of Paypal) will actually pay you to start a company and skip college.
Typically the classes that you’re taking (if even relevant to you) will be taught by someone using an outdated textbook (that of course you had to purchase) with the same modules, theories and concepts that have been repeated for years. You’re taking classes that aren’t related to what you want to do or your major. Then again how are you really supposed to know what you want to do at age 18, just graduating from high school when the only thing you’re interested in is the opposite sex. Throw in your massive student loans and the whole system is just crazy.
You have no idea what you want to do with your life.
I’m writing this at 23 having just switched industries from an e-commerce startup to healthcare IT and I still have no idea what I want to do. I’m not totally clueless, but how in the hell are you supposed to know what kind of career or industry you want to be in at age 18?
I think my former boss / mentor said it best.
A college degree shows that you were able to dedicate yourself to something and complete it.
How often do you hear about someone working a job with a totally unrelated degree? We switch, we change our minds, things happen. You will get hired based on your qualifications as a person and life experience is a major part of that.
My Biggest Regret in College
I went to Coastal Carolina for two years and then finished school at home at the University of Baltimore. Working full time the final two years of school taught me more than I could have imagined, but I really regret not doing a semester abroad.
We live in a bubble here in America. Everything is catered to us and the big corporations keep you stupid so they can feed you crap and then prescribe you to a couple meds that you take for the rest of your life until you die. It’s not all that dark and gloomy, but you get the idea.
Travel opens your mind. People who are well traveled are cooler than those who aren’t. You’ve never heard anyone ever say,
“God I regret taking that semester off and traveling to Europe and doing all of that awesome shit.”
So go and take a semester abroad or volunteer in a foreign country.
Here are few resources that I recommend reading:
- Nomadic Matt : Travel Cheap!
- The Art of Non Conformity
- 20 Things I Learned from Traveling Around the World
- Vagabonding: A Guide to Long Term Travel
The longer you wait and push it back the lesser of a chance that it will happen. So make it a priority to go.
It took an internship at State Farm to make me realize that I absolutely hate sales and will never pressure sell a product that I didn’t believe in for the rest of my life. Telemarketing and insurance are two truly miserable industries. Some people are great at it and make a lot of money, so it’s good for them but I hated it.
My advice is do as many different internships as you can. Be selective when you’re choosing an internship because some of them will suck and you’ll be stuck making coffee and stapling papers. Try to find internships in different industries. I jumped around from sales, marketing and operations.
You’ll have a better feel this way for what you like and what you don’t.
Getting Paid at Internships
Some people in college have parents that give them money. Typically, I used to envy these people. Why can’t I be lazy and party all of the time and buy nice things? Then one day I realized what a spoiled prick I was being thinking that I deserved to be given money to go to school. If your internship doesn’t pay you, negotiate for payment or find a different one. Work a second job. You are unstoppable.
For cool internships:
I recommend searching mashable jobs.
Photo by Trey Ratcliff
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