Doing a 180 here & talking college life.
( Currently blogging from a VERY cracked iPhone. It’s a long story but that’s neither here nor there. So BEAR with me? ).
Ok so this post was inspired by a darling, lovely The Skinny Confidential reader named Kaitlyn Pruski, who e-mailed me & Michael.
She’s in college, feeling confused, & basically was asking for clarity. If you listen to TSC PODCAST, you know Michael & I have a…unique outlook on college. We’re very up front about our opinion: college is not always necessary. In fact, sometimes it’s a colossal waste of time & money. This obviously doesn’t apply to doctors, lawyers, nurses, you get it.
I’m talking about the people, like me, who went to college just to go to college. The old “I’m a communications major but I have no idea what the hell I want to do with my life so I’ll pretend I love communications” kind of student. College could have been skipped for me, I could have focused on building my brand.
ANYWAY! Wanted to let you in on Michael’s e-mail response to this cute TSC reader.
Here’s her e-mail broken into sections with Michael’s answers underneath:
K, Michael I need some help! You said in one of the podcasts a while ago that you were able to figure out how to graduate early and you found some smart loopholes…I’m ready to get the move on and am totally interested in what the hell you did and your advice !
Hi! Sorry to respond like this (not a formal email) but I thought I would address each point. I was able to graduate by staying in summer classes, getting intern credits, & basically going to my counselor to figure out the fastest way to get out of there. What are you studying and what field do you want to go into? Some fields require a degree ( doctors, lawyers, etc. ) and the degree makes sense, even with the debt attached, but others…not so much.
College is not for everybody, and I would say college COULD be for me… but I am actually being “forced” to get my degree . It apparently is not even an option to take a semester off to breathe apparently, at least in my Mom’s eyes. This is my third year ( technically ) I am 20 and bored as shit…I have yet to have any type of “fun super cool hip badass oh man remember that ” stories. I had a decent amount in high school but college just seems to be such a bore .
College is definitely not for everybody. What are you studying for? To get a job? Ok what kind of job? Why do they care about your degree over someone else with a degree? What does your mom think is going to happen when you get out of school? What industry are you going into? Is college doing anything to prepare you for that industry?
These are important questions to ask yourself & your mom. I think at one point in school I had to pay to take a class on “Pop Culture in Latin America.” I was also forced to take a class on “Water Management” as well as “Marine Biology.” These were required to get elective credit I think. These do not apply to my life. If I had any interest in any of those things I would read a book. If you have any of these classes I am sorry.
If you have gone three years you may as well finish, you already have 3 done and the debt ( if there is debt ) is already there. Nobody will ever care or ask about your GPA. Nobody. Just remember this is your life & not your mom’s ( parents hate to hear this but it’s 100% accurate ). Tell her if she wants to force you to go to school, she can also pay the bill. If she can’t she shouldn’t force you to go and acquire an enormous debt with no prospects yet on how to pay it back.
It’s your life, not her’s.
Also, I need some advice on student loans, I’m desperado to get out of the house with my parents but I have been sucking up my pride in order to get my business aligned, save money , and make the move to San Diego sooner than later .
I have a big problem with student loans & parents forcing kids to get them. First they are something you can never get out of, not even with bankruptcy. They have to be paid in full with interest. If your parents are forcing you to go to school, to get a job that you may not want, in a field you are not yet sure about, while also forcing you to accumulate debt; I think this is really fucked up.
What would be awesome is if you could get those same loans & use them to start a business. The business would probably fail ( that’s ok, it’s your first business ) & then you have to pay it back but I guarantee it would be a much better education & you would get a lot more practical experience.
In a few years, maybe even months you will see a conversation in the world started about why student loans are some of the biggest problems our generation has faced.
The whole idea that you need to go to school and get in debt in order to get a job to get you out of debt is insane. If I went to get money for a business & said I needed 100k to do something that I’m not sure I want to do, for something I don’t yet know exists…I would be laughed out of the room.
Our parents didn’t start their careers thousands of dollars in debt & it’s unfair for them to force you to.
College can be good for some people. If you are going to school to find a job, a degree might help in certain fields. If you are going to school to be an entrepreneur, quit right now. Your business degree is useless.
Lauryn & I obtained our degrees & have never used them once. Not once. Nobody has asked. Nobody cares.
That being said, I work for myself & started my own thing so I never had to use it. The only thing college taught me was how to get tasks done, set my own schedule, & manage myself. It also taught me how to be independent which could also be learned outside of school. Other than that, I was taught by “doing.” School didn’t teach me how to “do.”
The lessons taught in college are impractical in my experience. There is no textbook for being an entrepreneur or creating your own business, taking risks, and betting on yourself. No textbook or teacher can prepare you for that. How does a teacher who is a salaried employee, who has never created a job in their life know how to teach you to do that? They don’t. So why waste your time and money on them? Do you want to pay me to teach you how to drive a submarine? I have never done it myself but I know there are some handbooks and lessons on it. No? Ok then.
So, student loans? Advice on my situation? And thoughts?
Anyways, I would really focus on who you are. What you want. What you want to do. Then decide. Maybe even go and try and get a job now in the field you think you want to go into. That way, you get some experience and you know if you really want to pursue that industry.
You can always go back to school later. Your parents can’t make that choice for you. Don’t get overwhelmed.
I wish someone said this to me at 20.
I think I would be even farther ahead. Don’t worry about what society says about your path. If I listened to any of that I wouldn’t be doing anything that I am currently doing…& I wouldn’t have had the chance to email you!
Cheers! – michael
Lauryn here again. Ok so I completely agree with this advice. I think if you’re interested in college, look into community college first to test the waters!
College students: weigh in. Let’s discuss?
What else do any college students out there want to hear? I’m thinking of doing a The Skinny Confidential college series: topic ideas?
See ya tomorrow, x lauryn
+ high school/college students: if you have any questions about this specific post for me & Michael, leave them below. I’ll personally make sure ALL of them get answered : ).