Education is the key to success. I’ve heard this phrase or some rendition of it countless times, and I believe it’s true. However, it doesn’t ring true in the sense that you have to sit in a classroom and earn a degree to make something of yourself.
Now, you can be just as successful without going to college as someone with a master’s degree – if you’re doing something you are good at. You might have to work harder, but it’s not impossible. This is kind of a frustrating realization. Especially since I’m a senior and have one semester to get through before I graduate.
Now, I realize that if you want to be a lawyer or doctor or something along those lines, a college degree is a necessity. But for other fields of study, that’s not the case.
Look at Kanye West. He dropped out of college to pursue a career in music, and now look at him. Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard to create Facebook. Ellen Degeneres dropped out of the University of New Orleans after one semester, and we all want to be her. Sophia Amoruso, founder of Nasty Gal and author of #Girlboss, quit school and now she owns a multi-million dollar clothing company. Even Oprah was a college dropout. Shocker, I know.
Maybe it’s the fact that I’m wondering whether going to graduate school will be worth racking up more debt that’s motivated me to write this column. I’m not saying you should drop out of school, so don’t get me wrong. I just want to point out the fact that passion and ambition can be equivalent to that bachelors or masters degree we’re working so hard for.
Here we learn in a classroom and from what life teaches us. Kanye, Oprah and Ellen only had one teacher – life. It was up to them to find out what they needed to know to get to where they are.
We all learn things from the teacher we call Life, but if you decide to earn a degree somewhere, know that it isn’t in vain because you pay to learn more than you think.
College teaches you discipline, time management and how to make a meal out of rice, oranges, peanut butter and carrots (I can tell you about that later). You can go through half your college career not knowing what you want to do and still be working toward something, but go through life that way and you go nowhere.
When I graduated high school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, and I didn’t have the passion or drive to do anything particularly amazing, so going to college was the perfect for me. And while I was here, I also developed a passion and drive to do something I love.
If you don’t have goals or the ambition and passion to reach those goals, you’re just wasting time. All of the successful dropouts I mentioned before had passion and a drive to achieve something, and they did. Had I decided to do some soul searching instead, I’d probably still be wandering aimlessly, envying Oprah’s success.