If you’re considering dropping out of college to start a business or internet startup, or even just to be an entrepreneur and freewheel your life, then let me tell you this:
I’ve said it many times. Do not drop out of College. It’s a gimmick/meme to do so and you’re a sucker if you do. It worked for them, they’re a lucky outlier, you probably won’t be. Get that paper, consider it your life backup. The majority of your early years should be spent aquiring these backups. Whether simple Qualifications, or usable skills; such as a foreign language, or how to fix a computer.
When young, it might seem like a cool idea to freewheel life and play entrepreneur, but without a backup and a base cash runway you can be eating from a trash can surprisingly quick. There is no quick fix.
Do not be lazy with your education, you will most likely get only one chance to hit that target. TAKE YOUR SHOT. Yes, it’s hard. If you knew the content it already it would be easy, but then you wouldn’t be there, would you?
Ideally, get a grad job for a year after you finish. Yeah, you’ll probably hate it because you’re a free spirit, live free and die hard, but you’ll get valuable work experience (again, it’s additional backup) plus cash in your pocket. Save that cash. Work your ideas in your free time. When you hit something worthwhile, quit the job if it’s less profitable than the business and go for it. I’m with you all the way. But please DO NOT drop out of college to start a biz.
Backup FIRST, then take the risks. Don’t jump without a rope.
Let me tell you a quick story I’ve heard many times now. Guy (it’s usually males) drops out of college because he’s lazy/on medication/enjoys too many herbal supplements/just can’t get it together. From that point, he aquires employment close to his college/university. Usually a pizza place, maybe a Subway or Mcdonalds. Whichever gives him a job first.
He spends his days smoking, drinking and playing his Xbox.
This works great for a while and he’s loving the greasy wind in his hair, then surprise bills pile up which he struggles to pay on his meagre minimum wage. His friends eventually leave for the high life of graduate level employment once they graduate.
Depression sets in, eventually he quites because of his “A-hole” manager. He tries to find another job, fails because of the recession and eventually the bills pile up, he skips town and heads back to moms basement.
His girl eventually leaves because he has no money. There’s better prospects out there.
If he’s lucky he can get some anti-depressents on his parents health insurance.
He sits at home all day reading Reddit.com and 4chan. Drinking, smoking, counting the pennies he has left as they slowly whittle away to zero.
It’s over. He should have stayed in College.
At this point, either his parents support him and he at least survives, or they don’t and he calls it quits. Literally, quits. Maybe as young as 20. His whole life ahead of him if only he knew the way out.
His dreams are filled with activities his college and university friends are enjoying. Cafe, drinking, parties, the city life. He’s stuck in his cold mothers basement in F’knows where Utah. No job, no money, no girl. If only he hadn’t quit College. If only he’d struggled through.
I’ll say it again, stay. Do not quit. Do not drop out of college unless you have something better to be doing (not Xbox, not drinking, not smoking). Something that makes you a reasonable income.
Is this a unique story? No. Is this you? possibly, even likely, if you drop out. Don’t EVER drop out of education, whether that’s college or university, for minimum wage. Get that certification, diploma, degree, then move forward.
Drop College and join the military? …that’s another story.
Don’t worry about the student debt too much, but at the same time, don’t over burden yourself with it. Take what you need and no more. It’s a part of life for many now, relax.
The College certificate will act as your backup. It acts as risk reduction. This is what you need when young. It’s your tertiary level safety net (First is your health, second is your usable practical skills). Get it, then go from there.
Now I’m not taking anything away from you here. Yes, it’s very possible you’re just burnt out. It happens. But your only real choice is to power on through. You think that picture I painted earlier was harsh? Won’t happen to you when you drop out of College? Let me tell you I oversimplified and the truth is much worse. I’ve lost two friends.
College Certs, then a year of experience. After that, do what you like. Do not drop out of college for a chance at startup or business fame unless it’s super hot and you’ve already proven it can be a success. Trust me. I’ve seen the downsides first hand and they’re not pretty.
Good luck and all the best.
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I dropped out – or rather, failed out – of college in my first year. My issue was depression, and it took me about three years to get in control of it. Today, I’m 27, and I’m still struggling with the consequences of my financial decisions during that time.
It’s not the end of the world, though – you *can* work your way through it and come out on top.
1) Take the $100,000 and give it to HR to give you on the job experience and training
You managed to explain what everyone near me just couldn’t.
Thank you so much.
Good post. All too real.