Don’t Go to College


Image by Donkey Hotey

 

Seriously.

Well, wait. If you can AFFORD to, without loans, then go ahead. If you want to be something that ONE HUNDRED PERCENT NEEDS you to go to college or university, then go, but also be 100% sure, without a fraction of a doubt, that it is something you want to do for the rest of your life. If you do want to go, but aren’t sure what for – WAIT! Almost no one knows what they want to be when they finish high school, and if they do, they’re very lucky, and even then, a lot of those things do not need school. There are lots of ways to learn.

Necessary schooling + passion = fine, go.

Unnecessary schooling + passion + money = fine, go.

Unsure + unnecessary + loans = STOPPPPPPPPPP.

Unnecessary + loans = nooooooooooo.

Necessary + money – passion = no no no no no.

Unnecessary – money  + unsure = RUN FUCKING FAST

The majority of people going to school fall into the LAST equation. How do I know? I know lots of people! Including me! I was lucky enough that I chose short courses and that my parents helped pay my loans, which were diddly compared to what some people end up with. Basically everyone I know has massive debt, and basic jobs that don’t require their specific degree. For me, I have been to college twice and don’t do either of the things I went for.

The most valuable things I’ve learned have been from self study. Sure it might not get you a job easily, but it will allow you to LEARN FOR FREE. And it will make you use your imagination. It won’t force you to spend all your time on assignments and classes you don’t even want or need to take. You can learn at your OWN pace, and work at the same time! So many people get degrees and end up with ludicrous jobs anyway, because there is a million other grads just like them, scrounging for wages.

Spend your time doing what you love THE VERY MOST. The things you know you are meant to do.

I almost went back to school this year. I even registered, paid money, and all of it. I did this because I couldn’t find a job and figured having a degree would help me. Plus I hated regular work and wanted to just learn all day. However, with time and more thought, I knew it was a stupid idea. Especially since creative writing does not need to be learned in a school, nor does it guarantee a job. So instead of being $40,000+ in debt in 4  years, I lost like $150. Big whoop.

Part of what put me off is that even though I’d be a mature student, I would have to take a base year and a bunch of shit that had nothing to do with writing. Why the fuck do I have to take MATH to do a writing course? Or science?

There are a lot of jobs that require school, I know it, but unless you are completely dedicated, and know from the day you apply that it is what you want FOR SURE, and you will be able to get work or create work FOR SURE, that you LOVE…don’t. You will just end up a slave. To debt, to endless mediocre jobs, to a life you think you should be living.

Believe me, I would love to go back to school. I adore learning. I’d love to take creative writing. But at the expense of my life and freedom? No way. Debt is a death sentence. I want freedom. Freedom is my number one priority in life. Anything I choose to commit to, I CHOOSE 100%! Nothing is forcing me.

I can learn to write on my own, and if I really want help, I can hire a coach for way cheaper than going to school. I can read books.

When I did go to college, I ended up  not wanting to do what I took. I took a multimedia course (and should have stuck with graphic design, like I was drawn to) and after I finished the course I realized I didn’t want a job sitting at a computer all day.

I also took a vet assistant course, and while it was valuable to me in some ways, I could have learned it all by volunteering at a clinic.

I have considered library sciences, but there is no guarantee of work after completion, either, and that is like 6-8 years of school. I don’t even want to know how much that would be in terms of debt, especially going to a place like UBC. Insane.

Commit yourself to freedom, unless your lifelong dream has been to be a lawyer or a doctor or a scientist. If you’re going to school to “get an education” – just go to the library instead.

Only put your money towards your health and your most BURNING PASSIONS. That’s what it’s for.

If you have debt (of any amount!), get rid of it above ALL ELSE as soon as possible. Eliminate EVERYTHING non-essential. Everything. Debt will weigh you down and asphyxiate the life right out of you, and you only get ONE.

Recommended Reading:

Walden on Wheels (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – this post was inspired by reading this book)

The Teenage Liberation Handbook (I read this 15 years too late)

How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World

If You Want to Be Rich and Happy, Don’t Go to School?

Screw the Delayed Life Plan

So many people prescribe to the same life plan:

1. You’re born.
2. You have a few years of freedom and play.
3. Then you begin SCHOOL, which is generally fun for a few years.
4. School tends to become tedious as you are forced into having your free time plagued by homework.
5. Your teenage years are either wild and frantic, or dulled down by authority. You will generally either conform or rebel. You have grandiose plans for your future. People will try, and usually succeed, at squashing them by making you be “realistic.”
6. Post-school, either you go to another school, go into massive debt to get a really good job, or a very nice piece of paper that won’t get you a job good enough to pay off your massive debt, and you will be paying it for the rest of your life.
7. Your 20s are generally spent studying and partying. Hard. This is considered “really living.” Getting drunk, getting high, and getting laid. You get a job after school where you don’t use your degree, or you get a really well-paying job that takes over your whole life. Or, you have no education and you have no debt, but then struggle in low-paying lame jobs. So you consider going back to school.
8. Relationships between people either go nowhere or go too fast. Especially in your later 20s, there is a strong “need” to get married and start a family, because of the perpetuated idea that once you’re over 30, it’s too late. So you “settle down.”
9. In your 30s, your marriage and family generally just plug along, and you go to a job you put up with because you have so much debt, so many bills, and so many mouths to feed.
10. You fantasize about the life you really want to live, and make plans to do these things once you have free time, after you’re retired. If you can retire.
11. Your “excitement” comes from going out, drinking, socializing, and excessive junk food intake. Food, TV, internet, playing the lottery, and 2 week vacations become your excitement in life. You consider this normal because it’s what everyone else seems to do.
12. You’re so tired from work, family duties, and shitty lifestyle habits, that you have no energy to pursue passions anymore, and you end up watching shows or reading about other people doing what they love, and think you are too old to make changes.
13. Finally, after 40 or so years of working at a typical job for a meager amount of money (unless you were dedicated enough to go to school to get a job to make tons of money to afford a “normal” life, and are probably still in debt for your schooling, mortgage, health bills, etc) you get to retire. Maybe.
14. Once you are free of work, responsibility to children, and maybe have your mortgage paid off, then you can relax, travel, or other things. Then you get some sort of disease from your excessive “exciting” habits.
15. You get sick, or break down, and are unable to enjoy an adventurous life that you’ve always imagined and wanted.
16. You continuously imagine how you could have done things differently. Then you die.

Is this what you want to happen? Because it happens to a LOT of people. I would say the VAST MAJORITY. There is nothing WRONG with doing things this way – it’s just that most people think they HAVE to do things this way. We’re programmed from a young age to believe this is the model of life, and it does not have to be. Most people do not want it.

Obviously this is not going to happen to everyone, but it’s so common that it’s scary.

I’ve heard this called the “delayed life plan” and think it’s a good term. I read a great manifesto about it here.

So, if you adhere to this “plan” (and it’s not a plan, it’s a brainwash) you will be waiting 60-70 years to do what you want. That is…insane. Completely insane.

You create your own life. You get to design it. If other people are trying to do it for you, or stop you, get the fuck away from them as fast as possible. Imagine how things could be different NOW.

This blog is not for people who want a normal, chill life. It’s for people who know there is something more, the people who crave adventure, the people who just can’t figure out why they’re so depressed or why they obsess over insignificant things. It’s for my people – the ones who are freaked out but do shit anyway!

It is for those who refuse to waste their precious existence on a prescribed timeline. Fuck. That.

I’ve been all of these people.

I’ve been the self-conscious person who thinks a perfect body and a college degree will make people like me and respect me, and give me a job.

I’ve been the person that is so anxious I can’t even get myself to go out the door to do something basic.

I’ve been the person who cries and despairs for no discernible reason, and can’t figure out WHY.

But I did know why, deep down, and I was ignoring it. Every time I got the courage to act on a dream, that feeling dissipated instantly, because I was on a thrilling adventure.

I was going against what most people said I shouldn’t or couldn’t do.

I still do this. It doesn’t matter how old you are. If you focus on health and your passions, you will be able to soak the FUCK out of life.

Steps to a LIVE NOW Plan!

1. Health is a priority because you will never be able to enjoy life fully if you are not healthy. Health is the most vital thing in the world. It is paramount. It is ESSENTIAL. If you are not healthy, I suggest you look into true health and get vibrantly alive from within, so that you have the energy and clarity to see yourself as you really are, to see what you’re capable of and see endless possibilities.

2. Get creative. Make a Plan Z. This will allow you to strip yourself of everything you know and come up with alternatives. I found that if I lost everything it would leave an opening to do anything. It also made me see how much I do have and how creative I could be with it, and that I am not afraid to lose things and take risks.

3. Inspire yourself. Read stories about other people, other families, other human beings who went from normalcy to excitement. I am endlessly looking for stories like these, in books, or online, because it proves to me that when you love life enough, have focus, and are hell-bent on living FULLY, it can be done.

4. Take action. Write out steps to your exceptional life. Actually DO THIS. Write it the EFF down! You may find you have to work your ass off for a while to save for something, or sell your house, or do whatever it takes to get out of debt. You may find you have to pull your kids out of school and teach them yourself as you sail around the world. You may realize that all the people you think are your friends are actually holding you back because they want you to stay who you are and not remind them that they aren’t living the lives they really want, either. “Please don’t change! Be boring with me! Let’s sail into old age together and have regrets!!”

Don’t limit yourself, and don’t let guilt or hovering “shoulds” stop you. Tell yourself you can, and you will. Change your language.

5. Give yourself constant reminders. Remember, the end of your life is coming whether you deny it or not. You’re not immortal. Remind yourself of this. I have something tattooed on my arm to remind me. Whenever I write this blog, it reminds me. I read about people doing extraordinary things to remind me. I have a goal book to remind me. I think about dying.

6. Get outdoors and into the world. Adventurous lives are RARELY lived inside.

Whatever it takes, immerse yourself in the idea that you can do more with your life. Especially if you are young. Educate YOURSELF. You don’t need to go back to school unless you are sure you want to be something very specific and that you absolutely 100% need to go to school for. Otherwise spend that money on travel, and on your PASSIONS. The happiest and most successful people I know are the ones who spend almost all their time and money on the things they love to do.

If you are older, it doesn’t matter. You can just make the shift and change your life. Be the person who obliterates the myth of being “too old” – do it and be an inspiration for others.

You can leave the person who holds you back. You can meet new, uplifting friends. You can take lessons, get a coach, or just BEGIN whatever you want. If you think you can’t before you even begin, then you are right.

Get the hell out there and enjoy the world. Yeah, there’s a lot of shit out there, but don’t focus on it. Don’t ignore it, but make sure you are enjoying every second of the joys in life as you can, because you never know when it will end…but it will, guaranteed.