For the Startup-Minded, Debating the Pros and Cons of College

I hardly finished college. It seems silly at this point of my life to even be upset about it, but I was raised with the idea that you go to high school, you get good grades, you get into a good school, and you get a good job and live happily ever after. Well? I cut class everyday, ditched the SAT, and — as my mother puts it so eloquently — my youth was responsible for her grey hairs. I turned out OK.

The truth is that I hated sitting in class. And I was not into the idea of waiting years and years and going into debt before finally making money. When kids were preparing for school, I was setting up call centers and learning how to make money. I got my own education, and I got it by actually doing. It?s not polished; it?s not all in all accurate. Many times I failed because I was never taught. However, failure comes with the prize of a many lessons.

This, at its core, is what drove me towards entrepreneurship?and my life today. ?

I was recently speaking at a young entrepreneurial event and someone asked me about the pros and cons of going to college. I had some thoughts on this subject that I figured I’d share. Keep in mind that this is my very biased opinion:

PRO: College is one big networking event. The people you meet you will more than likely know for the rest of your life. I always say, life is about meaningful relationships. It?s not about what someone can do for you, or what you can get out of someone; it?s about the time you spend together. One of my business partners went to an amazing college and was part of a frat, and I was always astounded by his huge network 10+ years later. If he needs something, he can tap his massive network. He got that by doing keg stands and sharing youthful life experiences with his buddies. That is pretty awesome.


CON: College is one HUGE business. The system is set up to herd you in and out like cattle and make the most money possible off you. The loans you take out, in most cases, will follow you around for years to come and the hard work you do after school will go to paying the man. To me, this is a huge pain in the ass, especially if you don’t?know what you want to do in life. In my experience, most people don’t?even get into careers they went to school for. I went to school for fine arts. I can draw a hell of a bucket of fruit, but does it pay?

PRO: New entrepreneurial programs are popping up all over the world. Education is evolving, and as our culture shifts into a world of people who want to build things, new curricula?will be developed around teaching how to do this. Learning in a virtual environment could lead to plenty of lessons that save you money in the real world.

CON: Time is precious. I could never sit in class for eight years. I am the type of person who wants to get in and I want to get in now. Put me in the game coach! ?Four to eight years is a hell of a lot of time to be out of the workforce. I know that it is socially acceptable, and I speak only from personal experience, but?spending years and years not making money and working your ass off sucks to me. I like to be in an environment where the market teaches me my lessons. I learn from the value I create and if someone is willing to pay me for that. ??