Why College Is A Bad Investment
All my life, I have loved studying but I do not like school. When I was a kid, unlike other kids, I would save all my money to buy books not candy or toys. When I was in middle school, I used to buy books at wholesale price, read and resell them to my classmates at retail price. I enjoyed gaining knowledge and money at the same time. I do not like to memorize anything because I have Google. The more I spend time at school, the more I hate it. I feel like I am wasting time because I learn much more from life than any teacher.
Why do I need college, if I have Google?
And here is why I think college is a horrible investment. Let assume the average tuition is $15 000 a year. I know it is much lower in Canada but keep in mind our post-secondary institution are subsidized. The government is investing into you [ or to be more correct your parents paid it in advance with taxes]. $15 000 x 4 years = $60 000 With $60 000 you can: - Start a startup
- I hang out with a lot of startup founders. Everyone said it is the best experience they have ever had. No business school, even Harvard can actually teach you the skills better than doing it. If you become successful, you could be the next Mark Zuckerberg. If you don’t, you will still walk out with some valuable skills. Learning to accept failure is one of the most important lesson in life. It is priceless, $60000 is still too cheap.
Have down payment to buy a small house.
- From experience, investing in real estate is one of the safest investments I know. Asian’s loves real estate. No matter where we go, the first thing we try to do is buy a house. Even if we will have to rent the house and live in one room, we will still do it. We believe that in order to settle down we need a roof over our heads. I would be very surprised if I meet a 30+ Asian that does not own at least one house. It looks like every Asian family has like at least 2 real estate properties: one to live, and rent the other. My grandma came to this country 20 years with nothing. She cannot even speak English but with her frugal lifestyle she bought two houses. Unlike college tuition, your house will still be there and most likely you will make a profit if you invest wisely. You will gain a lot of real estate knowledge. [ I am biased. My dad is real estate investor and consultant]
Travel around the world at least twice.
- There is no better way to learn the world than see it yourself. The more you go the more you will learn. Everyone has their own story and lesson. Everyday you can learn a new lesson, learn to look at the world differently. You learn to go beyond your comfort zone.
- I don’t think so. If you are willing to start from the bottom, there are always way to move up. Some of most successful people I know did not go to college. They followed their dreams, worked hard, and gained a lot of experience. Many of them are high level executive at big companies before they turn 30. They started from entry-level and worked their way up. Their friends who went to college usually wasted 4 years and ended up in the same type of job that they would get without a degree.
- People forget that college is about gaining knowledge not just a piece of paper. If you can find another way to do it, there is no reason to waste time in college. If you want to learn something, you will learn it no matter what.
- Most people I know do not practice what they studied. For example a friend of mine Matt Harty, who was the Asian Pacific Vice-President of FOX Network and now is the General Manager at Annalect Group. Anyone would expect him to study marketing or maybe PR. Matt actually studied law but never practiced it.
- I make hundreds of new friends outside college every month. It is true that I am pretty popular on social networks with 60 000 followers on Twitter, but I also meet a lot of people in real life everyday. You do not need to go to college to build relationship. There are a lot of opportunities to do it. Most of the time, people don’t bother to try to build relationship. Opportunity will not come unless you go out and find it. Join a MeetUp group, check out different events in your city, make new friends on social media. And if you think social media friendships are not real, you need to read Diana Adam’s article [ @adamsconsulting]
My parents/family/___ wants me to go to college.
- Life is too short to live someone’s else life. If they love you, they will understand.
- I love this line from a Penelope Trunk’s article “Going to college doesn’t show anything except that the kids or the parents (or both) got scared and gave up on the idea of individualized learning at the most crucial point in a kid’s transition to the adult world.”
And if I can, I would take my little sis Monster out of school, and throw her into life.