Is college worth the investment of your time and money? And what do you even learn in college?
When it comes to learning—I like to learn by doing. So from that point of view, going to college wouldn’t be necessary for me. But I did go. For six years.
Most of my friends and peers who are like me never went to college. They just did things. But weirdly enough, I did not only go to college, but I also loved it.
I spent four years getting a bachelor’s degree in business, and another two years to get a Master’s degree in marketing from another university.
People often ask me:
- “Should I go to college?”
- “Should I drop out?”
- “Should my kid go to college?”
- “Do you need a degree to get a job?”
I don’t think I’m in a position to answer any of those questions. It all depends on what you want to do in life.
The only thing I can do is share with you what I’ve learned from those six years in college. Because there are some valuable things I’ve learned that I probably wouldn’t know if I didn’t go to college.
So here are the 6 biggest lessons I’ve learned in college.
1. Learning Should Be Fun
Most of my professors were quite boring. And that often made learning a boring affair.
But fortunately, I also had many enthusiastic professors. That made me learn an important lesson: Learning is not boring. People are.
The school doesn’t have to be boring as long as the teachers are passionate about what they teach.
Why not make it more fun for students? I never get it when teachers think they are police offers. Teachers should teach, not the police.
2. The More You Learn, The Less You Know
During my time in college, I learned mostly from professors, books, and my fellow students. As a business student, you often work together on assignments. And that’s how I learned the most useful things I know.
But the funny thing was that every year I felt like I had fewer answers to everything.
“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” ― Voltaire
That’s the beauty of education. Idiots think they know everything. But the more you learn, the less certain you are of things.
Some people go to college and they become even bigger idiots because they think they have a degree.
But going to college has NOTHING to do with being smart. We’re all in the same boat: We know nothing.
3. “Thinking” Is A Skill
I would say that I’ve forgotten about 95% of the stuff I learned. But I don’t care.
I don’t get why people HAVE to study something they enjoy. If you think that you should only study subjects that you love, you’re completely missing the point of college.
The most valuable thing you learn in college is the ability to think.
As long as you study SOMETHING, you train your brain to think. And that’s priceless. Thomas Edison put it best:
“Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.”
We live in a world where resourceful people thrive. How do you become resourceful? Exercise that brain of yours. Learn how to think.
4. Finishing Something Is HARD
College was hard. People who say they went through college with ease are full of shit.
It’s not easy to learn full time for at least 4 years. And teachers often try to make it hard on you as well. And they should.
In college, you learn that finishing something is hard—it takes real blood, sweat, and tears.
But you know what? Once you finish something that you started, you’ll be proud of yourself.
5. Experience Is Never A Waste Of Time Or Money
People often regret that they chose a wrong degree. Or sometimes you feel like you wasted your time and money on education that you didn’t pursue further with a career in that direction.
But how else do you expect to know yourself? Everything you do in life is an experiment.
If something doesn’t work out, just try something else. Maybe you switched majors, classes, or even degrees. So what? As long as you don’t give up it’s all good.
“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
6. There Are People Who Are Drastically Different From You
When you grow up in one area, you think that’s life. You are exposed to the same people, same opinions, thoughts, culture, etc.
That’s a very limited life.
But once you go to college, you often meet people from different countries, with different ideas and cultures.
That’s a great way to learn about people and the world. In a way, it’s like traveling the world. But when you go to college, the world comes to you.
During my time in college, I worked with people from South-Africa, China, South-Korea, Romania, Germany, America, Canada, Brazil, India. That’s what I can recall. I was probably exposed to even more people from different countries.
It gives you a better perspective of the world and the people who live in it. One thing you’ll learn is that, in a way, we’re all the same — and yet, we’re so different.
That’s not only the beauty of college but also of life.
So, if you have the chance; go to college. If not; try to learn in a different way.
As I said, I don’t know much, but there’s one thing I’m confident about: Education never ends. So whether you’re in college or not, just keep on keep on learning.