Why College Isn’t For Everyone

One of the top questions I get asked is whether or not I went to college.  Every time I tell somebody what my career is, the #1 question I get in return is “did you go to college for that?”

The answer is no. I didn’t go to college for anything. “So how did you learn all of this?” is their next question.  Just like anyone learns everything they’re interested in… by trying and teaching myself.  Now let me ask you something… Why is it that people think you are only capable of greatness if you went to college to learn it?

When I came out of high school, I already knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to work, and I wanted to design.  I had already been spending my time teaching myself website design, photoshop and all of the above since I was thirteen years old. It’s what interested me, like a hobby.  The internet was like a new discovery back then, in all it’s ugliness and noisy dial up modems, and Angelfire was my learning tool.  “I can MAKE a place on the INTERNET just for ME!? I can even add my own PICTURE to a WEBSITE!?” Woah, this was crazy! I didn’t even have my own internet access at the time. I started my web designing on a friend’s bulky IBM computer!

I was always artistic. I was always goal-oriented. And I knew I never wanted to work for anyone else because I knew I should be the one running the show… maybe that’s the Aries in me.

By the time I was finally done high school (I could not wait to be out of there), the last thing I wanted to do was commit myself to another 3-4 years of college. I thought, ‘there are so many other things I could be doing to progress in life’. By that time, I already knew how to make websites and I was already designing things under my own business.  I was interested in making money, not throwing it away to re-learn things I had already taught myself.  Not to mention wasting time in achieving my goals.  I can’t imagine how far behind I would be if I stopped to go to school again.

College definitely isn’t for everyone. There are those of us that don’t need it. I have pretty strong opinions on this subject because I stand on the side of the fence that knows it’s not always necessary, even though society likes to make us believe it is.  I think that the only true reason anyone should go to a post-secondary school would be to learn a highly skilled occupation that you can’t really teach yourself… i.e. doctors, surgeons, etc. To me, it is so not necessary to obtain an “business degree” for example… especially if you have never truly had the real life business experience.

I’m sure college is a great time. I would have liked to experience the fun parts, but in all actuality it wasn’t worth it if it didn’t do anything to help you achieve your goals. Why go to college if you don’t have a career path in mind already? Why spend that time wasting your potential away? Why go into debt only to have to work your way out of it for the next following few years?  It just doesn’t make much sense to me. I’m sure if I wanted to become a doctor or something I would feel differently but I can’t help but see people I used to know who are still in school and think to myself “wow, they’ve missed out on so much growing.”

I am so glad that I didn’t have parents who pushed me in certain directions, or set up a college fund for me or something.  My future was always my choice, and I really hope that more parents can be like that with their kids.

If you went to college, do you think it was worth it? Did it help you reach your goals or did it just delay them?

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By Dana Fox

Founder of the Wonder Forest blog and brand and bestselling author of the Watercolor With Me book series.

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