Mark Zuckerberg. Steve Jobs. Bill Gates. Richard Branson. Amancio Ortega.
What do these people have in common? Well, number one- they’re highly successful in their respective fields. Number two- they’re all college dropouts.
For the past few years, there has been an increasing hype over being a drop out of school to pursue your passion and make it big. And more and more the necessity of completing formal education is being questioned.
A decade ago, I made the decision to drop out of college to pursue my dream of starting a business. My business became highly profitable and successful. I told myself, “I can always go back to college anyways.” I have to be honest, I tried multiple times to go back to school. But it never worked.
But the many times that I have been asked by students who want to follow in my footsteps and quit college, I’ve actually given them advice that has shocked them all without fail. I told them to stay in school.
I’m a college dropout who has experienced some level of success in my life. I make good money. I’ve written a book that has been published nationally. I’ve won some awards. I don’t have a problem looking for work.
But in all this, I don’t recommend that anyone just drop out of school. One of the main reasons is because many of today’s youth want to drop out for the wrong reasons. Many times why we do what we do matters more than what we do, to begin with. We need to do things for the right reasons.
Unsuccessful dropouts, sadly, do so for the wrong reasons. Some of the most common of which I have heard is to this tune.
1. Because successful people did it
There’s no doubt that many successful people are dropouts. But many other successful people finished school too. Moreover, many dropouts have also failed terribly in their careers. Dropping out of school is only one of the many factors that come into play when it comes to success.
2. Because you think you’re better than your teachers
I’ve heard students tell me, “I know more than my teachers anyways.” This is dangerous territory. You have to realise that in life, you will be smarter than a lot of people. But you always have to have the humility to learn from people who might be lower than you.
3. Because you think you know enough
If you think you can stop learning now, that’s a bad sign. Truth is even after school, you won’t stop learning. If you’re tired of learning, you could find yourself in a career ceiling very soon. Learning never stops after school. It has to be a lifetime journey.
4. Because you hate school
Maybe you hate the educational system, the course your taking or the fact that you feel stuck. You might want to focus on doing something you want to do instead. I am all for enjoying what you do, but there is so much growth in choosing to pursue something even when you don’t like it. You become more patient, more persevering and more ready to sacrifice.
5. Because you’re tired
If you’re tired, don’t quit. Pause if you must, but don’t quit.
I do want to say, however, that if you find school tiring- wait till you get a job.
6. Because you want to become independent
One of the biggest outcries of the new generation today is independence. We want to quit school and start earning so that we can leave our household and make our own rules. If you come from a home that isn’t making you happy, I get it. But family will always be family. No matter how strict your parents are or how toxic the exchanges between you and siblings can get, it’s always good to value family more than anything. Independence is great, but mending family ties is even better. Might work. Might not, but it’s worth a shot I believe.
7. Because you’re already earning money
It’s no longer impossible to earn money while you’re still in school. And often many students who earn money from side hustles might think that they can quit school already because they already have income. But when you can still juggle both your side hustle and school, it’s always wise to keep both. Not because you want to get a piece of paper (diploma), but simply because you want to complete something you’ve been working on for so many years.
Don’t Drop Out of School So Easily
When I quit school, I definitely had my reasons, but these weren’t any of them. In my next blog, I might talk about the reasons I did drop out of school. But for now, I hope that this blog has given you some insight if you’re planning to quit school. And if you know someone who is planning to, this might be something you want to share with them as well.
Quitting school is a big decision that will impact you for the rest of your life. It’s something that definitely needs a lot of reflection and thought.