June 7, 2013 by Liberty
When I was younger I made a mistake. It’s a mistake that I still pay for today. At worst, I paid some of the best years of my life. Yes, I went to college. Eventually I had the good nerve to quit. Sadly, since all my friends were jumping off the bridge, I joined in and completed college. Today I realize the many different places that I went wrong.
No, I’m never going to be advocating that everyone should always quit college but there are a number of warning signs that you should be looking out for. If you’re wondering whether or not you should quit college then you probably already know the right answer but to help you in this decision making, I’ll be providing some valuable information.
Statistics They Provide Are Bull
People get the mistaken impression that college graduates always end up better off than their counterparts. The colleges and high schools bounce around statistics suggesting the average student makes a million dollars more after going to college. That statistic should not help you in your decision making because it’s virtually irrelevant in most cases.
First of all, making more money, you also need to calculate the costs of education versus investing in the stock market. Most reasonable estimates suggest that college is only a little bit better than spending the same amount of money in the stock market.
Next, you cannot compare the statistics of the people that go to college and those that don’t and assume it’s relevant for you. The average person that didn’t go to college during the 80’s and 90’s skews those results excessively. The average person that went to college was motivated and smart. These days it’s changing (a little.) That means they probably would have made more money than the other people with or without college.
The little details like that add up repeatedly. The ultimate point of this, don’t go to college for some statistical reason.
Trapped For Life
If you’re building a massive student loan debt in college then you better be damn sure that you’re going to be happy in your career. If you haven’t tried your career then you’re probably making a mistake. Student loan debt can drag you down for years to come. It can make sure that you’re in debt until you retire if you’re not careful. Student loan debt is not forgiven for bankruptcy. Any investor knows that a loan like this puts you on the margin. That equals risk.
If you don’t like your job… tough luck. If you quit in the last year of college… tough luck. If you get fired for a stupid mistake and can never get a job in the field again… tough luck. You’re taking a major risk with student loan debt.
Hell, some might say robbing a bank and burying the money is a better career choice than going to get a college degree you don’t love. Why?
Robbing a bank and burying the money: $1,000,000 with no work for 30 year settlement without needing to work another day in your life. Little risk after initial burial. Just keep your mouth (and legs) shut.
Going to college: $1,000,000 with 30 years work (if you’re lucky.) $100,000 cost of debt. Risk of getting fired, kicked out, and hating your job. Stressful.
(Not legal advice. Not as simple as I make it sound.)
Now Versus Tomorrow
Investors understand this one as well. A dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow (even ignoring government intervention.) Your time is valuable. You only have so many years in your life. If you’re young, if you’re energetic, if you’re ready for life then you can do it. It’s not as complicated as people make it seem. Make your decision and have some fun while you’re young. If you’re making responsible decisions with your life then you don’t have to worry about becoming homeless and dying on the street.
It’s all about personal responsibility and if you have it, you’ll always be able to pull yourself up to survival levels. If you’re always fighting for better then you’re bound to do even better. Colleges won’t suddenly disappear. Unless you are getting full ride, you really have nothing to worry about. Learn to take care of yourself and you can change your mind at any time and go back.
College Or No College
People that are motivated do not need to go to college. I made the mistake of going to college. It held me back for years. After you get the job, you’ll even start to feel a real world commitment that can prevent you from taking future risks.
Not everyone should quit college but if you’re asking the question then you need to look closely at your situation. If you’re not motivated and just don’t plan to ever do something great then maybe college is for you. It can start you one step higher on the ladder that you never plan to climb. If you’re motivated about life and ready to take some risks without college then forget about college. It’s not worth the risk or money involved. These are just a few reasons to quit college but I’m sure you know plenty more.
You don’t even have to make as much as a college graduate to be happy… blasphemy… I know. Live with less money… how could you? Heck, you might even be happy going Galt on the world like I did. Money is nothing compared to knowing that you own yourself.