Max’s College ESSAY – ‘Should you go to College’

Imagine you’re 17 or 18 again and you just graduated highschool. Depending on your family background, traditions, customs, societal expectations, and even gender, there may be immense pressure on you to conform and go to college. This isn’t inherently a positive or negative thing. You could also join the military, maybe you dreamed of being a navy seal. Perhaps you have a special talent and would like to become a famous musician, actor, or professional athlete. With the advent of the internet, younger and younger kids are becoming entrepreneurs, twitch streamers, youtubers, tiktokers, crypto investors, and so on.

Maybe you’re eager to jump into the workforce and start making money, work your way up and learn on the job. You could take your earnings on the side and put them into investments, get into the real estate game. The question is how do you get the capital, yeah you could work 3 jobs or you can invest in yourself by going to college and ultimately getting a higher paying job.

Life is all about being efficient and using your brain to make money. Obviously there is more to life than making money, you can break the good life down to health, wealth, love and happiness. Life is all about thinking about the desired output and then putting in the necessary input. If you happen to have a knack for math and your goal in life is to be an engineer, you’ll have to go to college. One of my brothers went to college to become an engineer and after his degree he makes well over 6 figures. He now has the capital to buy a house, or fund any side project he wants. Unless you happen to be particularly extraordinary in certain regards, college may be a good option that yields good return on investment. Everyone I know who went to college has to contend with 10s of thousands of dollars worth of student loans though. 

I wouldn’t expect college to make you ultra successful or land you on the Forbes list, it can be a good way to get you off the ground. Everyone has to eat and cover their basic needs. With a highschool degree and nothing else you may be plagued with minimum wage and low paying jobs. I think exceptional ability can override a lack of education. Elon Musk from Tesla and SpaceX said he doesn’t look for the degrees when hiring. The third richest man in the world Gautam Adani is a college drop out along with the popularized Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Heck, the famous musician Eminem didn’t even graduate from high school. If you’re going after your dreams that’s great but I wouldn’t bank on becoming an international superstar. Personally I have always liked learning, from reading hundreds of books, listening to audiobooks, educational podcasts, taking online courses and watching educational youtube videos. So I think it was a good time to give college a try, having been naturally curious, academic, scholastic, and intellectual. If you’re a thinker, I think it is a good way to capitalize on innate intelligence. No matter whether you decide to do vocational training, go to the military, or learn on the job, I think it all starts with a good head on your shoulders. College is a good option if you’re academically inclined such as myself. If you pursue college I think it should be pursued wholeheartedly.

When I graduated high school I immediately entered the workforce, started building a blog, recording music,working on self improvement and reading. I planned to become an entrepreneur and investor, branching off into E commerce, Social Media Marketing, and podcasting. Some of these things I have accomplished. I think if you have a proven track record and a solid game plan you can succeed without college but it may be an unnecessary uphill battle. Although I don’t regret taking the 5 years away from school, learning on the job, building myself, and planting the seed for potential business ventures, part of me wishes I would have graduated recently with jobs like some friends and peers. The wealth E.G.G.- end game goal is a diversified business empire. I still continue to do these things on the side but I have finally got into college which I hope will allow me to earn a living, pay the bills, provide for myself and one day a family. I see college as a great opportunity to pursue other passions as well such as nutrition. Without college it would be hard to get a legitimate career as a registered dietician and eventually become a sports nutritionist. I think it’s important to be a dreamer but you have to weigh it with being practical as stated by the practical dreamer concept in the book ‘Think and Grow Rich’. Unless you’re a thriving entrepreneur, I think college, the traditionally practical option, is a good way to go. It’s like the greatest investor Warren Buffett said “the best investment you can make is in yourself”. College is yet another form of personal development and investment. Students often push that the end goal is to get a degree.

Some may argue a degree is merely a piece of paper. I think it’s great if you have a degree but I think it’s more important what you learned. Most of your competitors for the job you want also have a degree so it’s not enough to rest on your laurels, what else do you have? Plus you have to question if college is just a factory pumping out obedient employees. I think the education, the degree, and the job are all just stepping stones to becoming your own boss. I think college may be a good utility for developing work skills and maturation but it’s not the only way. It has to be contextually sound, it has to make sense for you. I think in general if your goal is to raise your socioeconomic status then college is one of the best bets. We may not like to admit it but there is a stigma around people who don’t go to college. I wouldn’t necessarily over glamorize college as some panacea or holy grail, let’s look at it plainly, rationally, and logically, it’s a means to an end. It may be more efficient for most people but it’s not the only way. I think college alone won’t get you astronomical success but it may be an avenue to put food on the table. One of the real purposes of a college education is to develop intangible skills such as critical thinking. Also education is a reward in itself, as the foremost business thinker of the past century, Peter Drucker, said, we live in the knowledge economy. In today’s age it pays to be sharp and sophisticated. I don’t think you should go to college to garner respect from people but I think people will actually respect you more because you put the work in to study, do homework, take tests, and get a degree. 

Out of all the choices you can make to further your education after high school college is the best option but I have my own personal biases. In my opinion college is an avenue to success, if you can make it happen and are succeeding without college I commend you. I also believe you should try and experiment with every option. I know friends who are in the military and are also going to school. On the other hand I have friends who are dropouts making six figures. I also have wealthy family members who have gone to and attribute success to college. Everyone is different and as they say, college is not for everyone. I think college should be for personal growth, being a harder worker,  becoming more sophisticated but not just a robotic zombie slaving away to get a job that you hate because that’s what you were told to do. Ultimately I think college is a way to move up in the world and improve your situation but not at the expense of selling your soul. We’re always told to go to college, get a degree, get a job that makes money but there is more to life than just money. I think we should try to enjoy the process and actually learn things that open up doors. I think the purpose of college is to get a career that makes you happy and able to provide for yourself.

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