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?

Top 20 Books About Adventurous Lives

Anyone who knows me KNOWS that I am a book fiend, and my favourite type of books, fiction or non, are ADVENTURE stories. Books about epic journeys, weird upbringings, living in nature, or simply unconventional lifestyles.

Books are my biggest love, and adventure stories are an amazing way to get inspired and see yourself in others. Not everyone who lives a crazy life starts out as an athlete, a confident person, or naturally adventurous. The most inspiring people to me are the ones who do something amazing or scary, even if they have trepidations or doubts – they push forward because they feel called to do something with their lives. You can, as well. Read on and get inspired!

Vali Myers: A Memoir– Gianni Menichetti

This woman is my biggest inspiration. An artist I have written about before, she lived a wild and crazy life. Originally from Australia, she saved her money and moved to Paris, lived on the streets, became an opium addict and moved to Italy to get off drugs, living as a recluse for 40 years with a menagerie of animals and her young lover, while traveling to NYC to sell her art, eventually settling back in Australia before her death. Her home, lover, and animals are still in Italy, and he is the author of this awesome biography. Highly recommended.

Four Corners– Kira Salak

This woman is a total badass. She became the first woman to traverse Papua New Guinea solo, by boat and foot, a wild land that is one of the last untouched places on earth. She also has an awesome article she wrote for National Geographic about her ayahuasca experience and it’s effect on her depression. Everything I read by her screams of bravery and passion for existence.

Tracks – Robyn Davidson

One of my VERY favourite books, and also now a beautiful movie! In the 70s this young lady decided she wanted to cross the Australian desert with her dog and camels, which she trains herself over a period of 2 years. Beautifully told and inspiring, HIGHLY recommended!

On Foot Through Africa– Ffyona Campbell

Ffyona was the first woman to walk around the world. Though her journey had controversy due to skipping one part during a pregnancy, she went back to complete it later on. Of her 3 books, this one was my favourite. She spent 2 years walking from the south to north of Africa.

Rowing the Atlantic – Roz Savage

Roz is a powerhouse, and like Robyn Davidson, knew that a seemingly “ordinary” person can do extraordinary things. Roz became an ocean rower simply because she wrote out her perceived obituary and compared it to one she would have preferred. This led to her being the first and only woman to row across all 3 oceans. Totally epic.

Beyond the Horizon – Colin Angus

Colin, who lives in the same city as me, departed on a 2 year trip to circumnavigate the globe by human power alone. By bike, foot, and rowboat, he began in Canada, rowed to Russia, biked across Siberia and Europe, separating from his travel partner and then completing the journey with his fiance, rowing across the Atlantic through two hurricanes and a squall, then biking from Costa Rica back to Canada. AMAZING!

Kite Strings of the Southern Cross – Laurie Gough (Also known as Island of the Human Heart).

An incredibly beautiful travelogue of a woman in Fiji, plus chapters of her other travels. One of the best travel books I’ve ever read, along with her other, which I loved just as much, Kiss the Sunset Pig, in which she is searching for a cave she once lived in on the coast of California, recounting many other travels along the way.

Touch the Dragon: A Thai Journal– Karen Connelly (Also known as Dream of a Thousand L ives).

I read this book after going to Thailand, and found myself yearning to go back immediately. Karen’s teenage year living with a family in rural Thailand is exquisitely written, and I implore you to read it and everything else by her. She is a stunning writer.

Flaming Iguanas – Erika Lopez

An illustrated road novel about a girl named Tomato on her motorcycle. Can it get any better? I dunno. In fact, just thinking about it makes me want to read it again.

In Search of Captain Zero – Allan C. Weisbecker

Sell your house, grab your dog, load up your surfboards in your camper and take off in search of your lost friend. This memoir of a man in his late 40s is epic and true, and a testament that leaving it all behind to go after a pure and exciting adventure is what life is all about. Also recommended is the film Surfwise.

Atlas of the Human Heart – Ariel Gore

One of my favourite writers! This accounts her teenage travels to Asia and Europe, after dropping out of high school. Poetic, beautiful, and will make you wonder if you’ve really been living.

Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life – Ulli Lust

Probably one of the best books I’ve read this year, AND a graphic novel to boot. A massive tome detailing more teenage adventures of two crazy punk girls in the 80s, traveling and hitching through Italy, and all the horrific and wonderful things that happen. As soon as I read the description of this book I felt like it was meant for me. One of my very favourite comic memoirs.

Wild – Cheryl Strayed

This extremely popular memoir of a hike on the Pacific Crest Trail is gorgeous and tempting. Even though long hiking journeys I read about seem grueling, they are always so full of beauty that they tempt me out of the indoors and into the forest, where we really do belong. So many of the books I love begin with horrible circumstances, broken hearts, turmoil and sorrow, only to be satiated by wilderness. Strayed is a gorgeous writer.

A Walk in the Woods – Bill Bryson

This book made me laugh my ass off. Two men on the Appalachian trail – Bryson really knows how to craft a travel tale, and make it funny as well. Another book that got me interested in hiking.

That Oceanic Feeling – Fiona Capp

One of the books that inspired me deeply, this is a memoir of a lady who sets out to surf a tough surf break in her later 30s. She lived quite a drive away, and hadn’t surfed in many, many years, but was committed to her goal. A great reminder that it is not too late to start pursuing your passions.

Child of the Jungle – Sabine Kuegler (also known as Jungle Child).

OH, this book is just soul food for me. Reading about a childhood growing up in the jungles of New Guinea, how beautiful! Makes me swoon just thinking about it. It was also made into a movie which I also love and suggest you check out.

Into the Wild– Jon Krakauer

Probably one of the best known books on living in the wilderness, and with an unfortunate end, it is still a very inspiring and fascinating story. I love the movie even more.

The Sex Lives of Cannibals –  J. Maarten Troost

This book was unbelievably funny. The writer and his wife went for two years to the tiny island country of Kiribati (heard of it? Likely not, but you won’t forget it after reading this). Seemingly paradise, the bad side soon reveals itself in glorious hilarity. Troost is a fantastic comedic writer, but he also makes you want to visit this beautiful place, despite it’s weird quirks. My favourite funny adventure travel book.

Chasing Waves – Amy  Waeschle

A beautiful account of a female surfer’s first experience and how it leads to obsessive travel and pursuit of wave-riding. Very helpful in alleviating my major wanderlust and surf-lust, though it also made me yearn to get moving and get wet.

In addition to all of these books, I highly recommend reading the travel blogs of Katwise, which I devoured! Completely amazing stuff.

Please tell me all of your recommendations, especially if they are not very well known! I am always looking for more adventures to read!!