5 Minutes Before My Last Final
A few weeks ago I had an epiphany about not going back to school next semester — or ever.
Today is the last day of my college education. I’ve all but decided that I’m never going back. Yes, there is a nagging brain flea telling me over and over again “but, you’re so close to being done. Just finish it!”
Like any bug burrowing into your brain through your ear canal (as they are wont to do)— it’s hard to ignore.
But, I feel like it’s the right thing for me now. It just doesn’t make sense to do this, be here, pay for this sort of education anymore.
Seth Godin was recently on Creative Live discussing the origins of the education system and how it was built upon a society that needed people who would conform, follow a schedule and be willing to do monotonous tasks for 8–10 hours a day. The world needed people to work in factories.
I don’t work in a factory. I don’t know anyone who works in a factory.
Yet, we still abide by this form of institution in the classroom.
I’m also not going to be a doctor or a lawyer. Nor will I ever need 3-letter credentials attached to my name to prove my worth. That’s not the type of career I’m going for.
College education is touted as a necessity for everyone.
But, I don’t believe it is.
I don’t regret going back again and again. It served its purpose. It got me off my ass. It helped me feel more driven and gave me a sense of hope for change in my life at a time when I could really use some hope.
That change came — not because of school, but maybe because of the overall initiatives I took in my life to make that change occur. College just happened to be a tactic in the overall strategy.
I also got lucky. Lucky in love. Lucky in life. Lucky to find purpose. Lucky that I was in a position to be able to make these changes.
Often, I got an endorphine rush telling others “I do this and this and this and oh yeah — I am back in college too.”
It impresses people.
They think, “Wow! This guy is driven. He’s doing a lot!”
It’s time in my life to stop doing things for the sake of impressing people.
Since this semester began, about 16 weeks ago, I have done and accomplished a lot.
I’ve gotten a promotion and a raise at my job (which btw, is in the field I’m going to school for). I authored a book, which I’ll start selling soon. I trademarked and LLCed a company that helps other people be more creative.
I’ve written a second book that will be published within the next couple of months. I launched a beta version of my first online course.
I became a better marketer. A better writer. A better partner and person.
In 16 weeks a lot of change can occur.
My strategy to make a more creative and fulfilling life for myself and others has not changed. But, after this last final, some of the tactics I’ve used will.
Maybe, someday, I’ll regret not getting my B.A. degree. Maybe that brain flea will never suffocate and I’ll forever be haunted by its incessant drilling.
But, for now, I’m doing what makes sense for me, in this moment and for my future. I feel good about that.
In my second to last final, for 2 extra bonus points (hee-yah!), my professor asked us to write on the back of the final what we learned in his class that we can use in our life and career.
Here’s what I wrote:
I learned that experience and available (free!) information on the internet highly outweighs the value received from an archaic higher education institution.
I’ve learned more from reading the blog of Ramit Sethi, watching the videos of Gary Vaynerchuk and understanding the philosophies of Seth Godin than anything I’ve learned in this classroom.
I don’t regret my decision to go back to school. But, the cost and more importantly, the opportunity-cost no longer makes sense in my life.
I learned that I should trust in my ability to learn through experience and self-teaching.
An expensive lesson.
In six months, I’ll learn how I feel about having to budget the cost of this lesson.
“The world is unlimited bowling.” — Seth Godin