Image courtesy of canberkol
I am currently in college now and recently I harbour the thoughts of dropping out. I am considering to turn my focus to other things like creating a sideline income, entrepreneurship or just working in the society to get some income that will support my dream. This is a big decision to make and I know I am going to piss lots of people off around me especially my parents.
I have been talking around with people close to me about this and trying to seek their view on this situation. In Singapore, the normal route is to keep studying until you graduate from college and go out to the society and get a job. But for guys it means that we will graduate at around 25 or 26 years old due to the 2 years time in the army. It seems like a long time to me. Imagine that we are going to live till 100 years old, which is 1/4 of our life gone!
I am currently studying about banking and finance and it is a topic that I am interested in. I enrolled into college thinking that it would teach me what I needed to know so that I can become a successful investor. However after going through the lessons for 6 months time, I had gained little useful knowledge on how to invest as compared to self studying on the topic of investment. The topics in school are strictly guided by syllabus and I can say that 80% of those topics are not what I really need.
I decided to have a talk with one of my friends in school and seek out his opinion on whether college is going to be useful to us. This turns out to be a rather interesting conversation.
(This is the conversation we roughly had)
Me: Do you think it is necessary for us to get a college degree?
Friend: Of course! We don’t really have a choice. We are in Singapore and everything depends on that piece of paper that we will receive after graduation.
Me: But it seems that most of the topics are not really useful to us as we are not going to make use of it (think calculus) when we are working.
Friend: True. But we are going to need that cert anyway and we are tied down to this no matter what.
Me: Hmmm… Ok. Take a look at the people who had succeeded after failures or dropping out from college. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs both drop out and went on to build successful businesses. Instead of getting a college degree, why not think about entrepreneurship?
Friend: Come on! Be realistic. They are the few who succeed out of the billions and do you think everybody is as lucky as them? If you are going to drop out of college, you will definitely going to regret it.
I stopped the conversation immediately because it doesn’t seems to turn out anywhere.
From his conversation with me, I had picked up a few lessons.
1. Don’t be realistic
He immediately reminded me about the video I had watched on Will Smith. In the video, Will Smith mentioned don’t be realistic. Because being realistic means that you are going to put a limit on yourself. Being realistic is going to kill off your dream.
If you say be realistic to yourself every time you have a great idea, you are killing off your dream immediately and life is going to stay the same for you. Don’t ever be realistic. Dream and dream big and that is the first step to success.
2. Focus on things that empower you.
Every successful name that I had mentioned to my friend, he told me that;
- Their parents are rich.
- They are lucky.
- They are smart and etc.
I’m amazed by how he can generate so much excuses that disempower himself. If you are always searching for reasons on why others can succeed and why you can’t, how can you ever achieve their success? He is focusing in the wrong direction as he is thinking of why he can’t instead of why he can.
Be aware of your thoughts. If you have thoughts that disempower yourself, you are going to be frustrated because you don’t seem to have any control in the situation. Instead, focus on how you can achieve instead of why you can’t achieve.
3. You always have a choice.
There are always choices in every situation. If we say that there are no choices, we are imposing a limiting rule on ourselves. We close our mind immediately for other choices once we decided that there are no choices. I believe in this situation, my friend mentioned that there are no choices other than studying because this is how our society conditioned our thinking.
Even if you think that there are no choices in your situation, it is still your choice to think that way. Don’t ever decide that there are no choices in your situation because you are going to give your power away to someone else and in turn make yourself feel miserable.
Dropping out of college is a big decision for me to make and frankly speaking I am still undecided about it. I am going to give myself some time to think about this thoroughly though and I will keep you updated through my blog.
However I believed that I had picked up some good lessons from the conversation that I had with my friend. These lessons can be applied in our life and help make a difference. So what do you think about the 3 lessons and do you think is there any correlation between getting a degree and success in life? I would love to hear your opinions in the comment section below.