8 Alternatives to College

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When I was 19 I won some money in a chess tournament. So instead of using that money for my college tuition I decided to drop out of college and buy a car. I bought a used 1982 Honda Accord. I drove it around for a few hours since they let me drive it right out of the lot. But when I saw my girlfriend and everyone else taking their classes I got a little jealous. I returned the car and cancelled the check and entered my sophomore year of college. But I regret it now.

Whenever I suggest “don’t send your kids to college” a lot of vey smart people invariably come back with the response, “well what else should they do.” And this amazes me. I guess its really hard to figure out what people of the ages 18-23 should do during the most vibrant, healthy years of their lives when they grow from being a child to an adult.

 

So I figure I will help people out by coming up with a list and try to handle the critcisms that will certainly arise even before they arise. I can do this because I have a college degree. So I’ve learned how to think and engage in repartee with other intelligent people.

1) Start a business. There are many businesses a kid can start, particularly with the Internet. On another post I will list the possible types for first businesses. But if you always focus on the maxim, “buy low and sell high”, you’ll start to generate ideas.

Many people say (correctly), “well, not everyone can be an entrepreneur”. Its amazing to me, also, how many times I’ve answered this question in writing and yet people still read the exact articles and say “well not everyone can be an entrepreneur”.

First off, there’s no law against being an entrepreneur. In fact, everyone can be an entrepreneur. So what they really mean is: “not everyone can be a successful entrepreneur”. And as far as I know, there’s no law against failure either. When someone loses a tennis match or a chess game. how do they improve? They study their loss. As anyone who has mastered any field in life knows: studying your losses is infinitely more valuable than studying your wins. I failed at my first three attempts at being an entrepreneur before I finally learned how to spell it and I finally had a success (i.e. a company with profits that I was then able to sell).

Failure is a part of life. Better to learn it at 18 than at 23 or older when you’ve been coddled by ivory blankets and hypnotized into thinking success was yours for the taking.  Get baptized in the river of failure as a youth so you can blossom in entrepreneurial blessings as an adult.

What do you learn when you are young and start a business (regardless of success or failure):

  • you learn how to come up with ideas that will be accepted by other people
  • you begin to build your bullshit detector (something that definitely does not happen in college)
  • you learn how to sell your idea
  • you learn how to build and execute on an idea
  • you meet and socialize with other people in your space. They might not all be the same age but, lets face it, thats life as an adult. You just spent 18 years with kids your age. Grow up!
  • you might learn how to delegate and manage people
  • you learn how to eat what you kill, a skill also not learned by college-goers

2) Travel the world. Here’s a basic assignment. Take $10,000 and get yourself to India. Check out a world completely different from our own. Do it for a year. You will meet other foreigners traveling. You will learn what poverty is. You will learn the value of how to stretch a dollar. You will often be in situations where you need to learn how to survive despite the odds being against you. If you’re going to throw up you might as well do it from dysentery than from drinking too much at a frat party. You will learn a little bit more about eastern religions compared with the western religions you grew up with. You will learn you aren’t the center of the universe. Knock yourself out.

3) Create art. Spend a year learning how to paint. Or how to play a musical instrument. Or write 5 novels. Learn to discipline yourself to create. Creation doesn’t happen from inspiration. It happens from perspiration, discipline, and passion. Creativity doesn’t come from from God. Its a muscle that you need to learn to build. Why not build it while your brain is still creating new neurons at a breathtaking rate than learning it when you are older (and for many people, too late).

4) Make people laugh. This is the hardest of all. Spend a year learning how to do standup-comedy in front of people. This will teach you how to write. How to communicate. How to sell yourself. How to deal with people who hate you. How to deal with the psychology of failure on a daily basis. And, of course, how to make people laugh. All of these items will help you later in life much more than Philosophy 101 will. And, by the way, you might even get paid along the way.

5) Write a book. Believe me, whatever book you write at the age of 18 is probably going to be no good. But do it anyway. Write a novel about what you are doing instead of going to college. You’ll learn how to observe people. Writing is a meditation on life. You’ll live each day, interpret it, write it. What a great education!

Read More: Don't Try To Self-Publish Until You Read This...

6) Work in a charity. Plenty of charities do not require you to have a college degree. What is going to serve you better in life: taking French LIterature 101 or spending a year delivering meals to senior citizens with Alzheimers, or curing malaria in Africa. I have an answer to this. You might have a different one. Which is why I’m listing 8 alternatives here instead of just this one. And, by the way, if you do any of these items for a year, two years, maybe ten, then maybe go to college? Why not? Its your life.

7) Master a game: What’s your favorite game? Ping pong? Chess? Poker? Learning how to master a game is incredibly hard. I’ve written before how to do it but lets start with the basics:

  1. study the history of the game
  2. study current experts on the game. videos, books, magazines, etc. Replay, or try to imitate in some way, the current masters of the game
  3. Play a lot: with friends, in tournaments, at local clubs, etc.
  4. take lessons from someone who has already mastered the game. This helps you to avoid bad habits and gets someone to immediately criticize your current skills.

Mastering a game builds discipline, lets you socialize with other people of all ages and backgrounds but who have similar passions, and helps you to develop the instincts of a killer without having to kill anyone. Nice!

(white to move and win)

8)Master a sport: Probably even better than mastering a game because its the same as all of the above but you also get in shape.

If anyone can think of any other alternatives, please list them in the comments. We only have the life we have lived. And I always sit and daydream, ‘what if..’, ‘what if..’ Its the easiest and most dangerous meditation to do: what if. Because that wish is like a wisp of smoke that can twist and turn until we disappear along with it. But as I write this post I look at these alternatives with longing and I know that when I hit “Publish” I’m going to sit here quietly while the sun goes down, wondering only about ‘what if’.

Related Posts: 

Don’t Send Your Kids to College

10 More Reasons to Not Send Your Kids to College

Advice I want to tell my daughters

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  • Fubar

    re: “most of the people who helped him start and expand his business went to college”

    This means little or nothing, except that talented, smart people from affulent families almost invariably conform to discriminatory social practices that actually harm “real” scholarship, research, science and “learning”.

    Go back 100 years, and for any successful business founder, the facts would have been that “most of the people who helped him start and expand his business DID NOT GO to college”.

    So, the talent, training and experiences that are needed to “help start and expand businesses” are, to a significant extent, located OUTSIDE FORMAL EDUCATION.

    (note: this also helps understand the historical 99.99999% of human evolutionary success that happened before “college” was even invented.)

    Most people only want to listen to arguments that conform to their prejudices and maintain their “comfort zone” of cultural corruption, laziness and stupidity.

    Altucher’s criticism of college/degrees is that there is an irrational, superstitious, magic belief that attending college and getting a degree means more than it does in reality.

    Ironically, it is incredibly rare that the people that “hate” Altucher’s articles about college speak from an “educated” perspective. Thus, one has to wonder what the “education” they received, and are irrationally defending, actually consisted of. Presumaby not much, but just enough to make it easy to fit into some part of a corrupt society that rewards conformism and exploitation.

    Very few people are willing to defy deeply ingrained, irrational social prejudices, rather, they will contort their thinking in amazing ways to avoid the reality of such prejudices.

    Your second point is silly, and designed to do nothing other than inflame prejudices.

    THE PURPOSE OF COLLEGE IS TO PERPETUATE A RISING PLUTOCRACY AND THE SYSTEM OF STATE CAPITALISM THAT ENRICHES THE PLUTOCRATS.

    EXAMPLE: http://fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/2010/10/02/22109/

    THE PURPOSE OF COLLEGE IS TO PERPETUATE INCREASINGLY ABSURD MIDDLE CLASS ILLUSIONS THAT THE PLUTOCRATS CARE ABOUT ANYTHING OTHER THAN EGO, MONEY AND POWER.

    The education establishment is largely corrupt, just as is the case with most institutions in the modern world. “Style over substance”, postmodern relativism, narcissism, thought policing and political correctness (the “vaginization of america”) are far more important in most college/universities than is science and reality.

    High principles of scholarship have been largely been ababdoned by crass, sleazy opportunists in the educational establishment, and here is the proof, by someone with rare talent and integrity that has somehow survived in academia:

    TWILIGHT OF ACADEMIC FREEDOM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4KSV8LoPc0

    http://howtheuniversityworks.com/wordpress/archives/284

    http://www.theminnesotareview.org/journal/ns7172/interview_bousquet.shtml

    excerpt:

    For the past decade, Marc Bousquet has been one of the most trenchant critics of labor practices in higher education, especially in the humanities. He disabused received wisdom about the job market, showing how its depressed state resulted not from a natural cycle but from deliberate strategies, in his essay, “The Waste Product of Graduate Education: Toward a Dictatorship of the Flexible” (Social Text 70 [2002]). And he has exposed other dubious practices of the corporate university, among them the rise of the administrative class; the way that professors have become managers, overseeing a pool of cheap teaching labor across the curriculum; and the way that undergraduates have been conscripted into the discounted work force in the current university. These analyses culminated in his book, How the University Works: Higher Education and the Low-Wage Nation (NYU P, 2008). Beginning in 2008 he has taken his commentary on higher ed to the blogosphere, with a regular column for the Chronicle of Higher Education in conjunction with his site http://www.howtheuniversityworks.com.

  • Fubar

    You are correct, college is all about attaining real or perceived social status, and preparing people to conform to the needs of a global “system” of plutocracy and state capitalism.

    State capitalism will result in enormous suffering as social institutions collapse and become deeply dysfunctional.

    Injustices will rise against those that hold to moral principles and ethical beliefs that are inconsistent with the interests of State Capitalism will rise, especially those beliefs that are opposed to the forms of exploitation that are necessary to maintain state capitalism and the “international system” (as Henry Kissinger calls it).

    http://fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/2011/04/08/26538/

    excerpt:

    Origins of what may become the 3rd American Republic (a plutocracy)
    8 April 2011
    by Fabius Maximus

    Summary: The article excerpted here provides a powerful explanation for the evolution of our political system during the past 35 years to favor the super-rich, becoming in effect a plutocracy. It even provides an excuse for us, the citizens. If you consider ignorance and apathy to be excuses.

    Review by David Runciman (teaches politics at Cambridge) in the London Review of Books, 14 April 2011 — It’s open to non-subscribers, and well-worth reading in full.

    Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men who Stole the World by Nicholas Shaxson

    Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer – and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class by Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson

  • Fubar

    Correct, except that the snobs that go to four year colleges will look down on you for not attending their kind of snob college.

    You can get “revenge” on them by not going to college, making a lot of money in business, then starting a blog about how they are snobs.

  • Fubar

    re: “tax dollars go to grants for those who DO make the financial aid cut”

    Even worse, in some states like California, middle class families that pay all their kid’s tuition/fees are directly subsidising the poor kids at their college. There are state laws that take 1/3 of academic “fees” (tuition) and redistribute them to cover “fees” for poor college kids.

    This “made sense” 25+ years ago when public college costs were relatively low in California, and most college (80%) was funded by the state via high taxes on rich people and corporations.

    Now, a much greater percentage is paid for by student fees (+/- 50%), and the middle classes are getting screwed by having to fund college for the poor.

    Meanwhile the uber-rich lobby pounds the drum of “more tax cuts”!

  • Fubar

    It would be nice if your theoretical argument had anything to do with the “snakepits of human nature” and how the education establishment actually operates. but it doesn’t.

    —excerpt—

    Most people only want to listen to arguments that conform to their prejudices and maintain their “comfort zone” of cultural corruption, laziness and stupidity.

    Altucher’s criticism of college/degrees is that there is an irrational, superstitious, magic belief that attending college and getting a degree means more than it does in reality.

    Ironically, it is incredibly rare that the people that “hate” Altucher’s articles about college speak from an “educated” perspective. Thus, one has to wonder what the “education” they received, and are irrationally defending, actually consisted of. Presumaby not much, but just enough to make it easy to fit into some part of a corrupt society that rewards conformism and exploitation.

    Very few people are willing to defy deeply ingrained, irrational social prejudices, rather, they will contort their thinking in amazing ways to avoid the reality of such prejudices.

    THE PURPOSE OF COLLEGE IS TO PERPETUATE A RISING PLUTOCRACY AND THE SYSTEM OF STATE CAPITALISM THAT ENRICHES THE PLUTOCRATS.

    THE PURPOSE OF COLLEGE IS TO PERPETUATE INCREASINGLY ABSURD MIDDLE CLASS ILLUSIONS THAT THE PLUTOCRATS CARE ABOUT ANYTHING OTHER THAN EGO, MONEY AND POWER.

    The education establishment is largely corrupt, just as is the case with most institutions in the modern world. “Style over substance”, postmodern relativism, narcissism, thought policing and political correctness (the “vaginization of america”) are far more important in most college/universities than is science and reality.

    High principles of scholarship have been largely been ababdoned by crass, sleazy opportunists in the educational establishment, and here is the proof, by someone with rare talent and integrity that has somehow survived in academia:

    http://www.howtheuniversityworks.com

    TWILIGHT OF ACADEMIC FREEDOM

    excerpt:

    For the past decade, Marc Bousquet has been one of the most trenchant critics of labor practices in higher education, especially in the humanities. He disabused received wisdom about the job market, showing how its depressed state resulted not from a natural cycle but from deliberate strategies, in his essay, “The Waste Product of Graduate Education: Toward a Dictatorship of the Flexible” (Social Text 70 [2002]). And he has exposed other dubious practices of the corporate university, among them the rise of the administrative class; the way that professors have become managers, overseeing a pool of cheap teaching labor across the curriculum; and the way that undergraduates
    have been conscripted into the discounted work force in the current university. These analyses culminated in his book, How the University Works: Higher Education and the Low-Wage Nation (NYU P, 2008). Beginning in 2008 he has taken his commentary on higher ed to the blogosphere, with a regular column for the Chronicle of Higher Education in conjunction with his site http://www.howtheuniversityworks.com.

  • Fubar

    Do you live in Santa Cruz or Berkeley?

  • Fubar

    Accounting is corrupt. If you had ever been exposed to real scholarship or social criticism, instead of being trained in college to be an obedient lap dog of state capitalism, you would realize that.

  • Fubar

    Altucher is simply flaunting his talents and status in the Achiever Class. Status as an Achiever is demonstrated by Mocking Convention. You will probably not learn any of this if you go to college. College prepares you to Serve Achievers, not Be One.

  • Fubar

    re: “Freshly plucked out of high school- students feel like slaves who have just been freed from 13 or more years of public/private school.”

    In case you have never heard this story:

    About 100 years ago someone (labor union type?) did a survey of poor kids working in factories.

    The poor, working kids were asked if they would rather be in school.

    About 90% of the poor, working kids stated that they did not want to be in school.

    (John Taylor Gatto)

  • Fubar

    99% of science does not lead to discoveries, but people still “do” science in hopes of finding a discovery.

    There are far more “myths” about the value of college degrees than about Bill Gates. You conveniently chose to not discuss those myths, probably because of the mental conditioning that “college” gave you.

    —quoting myself—
    Altucher is simply flaunting his talents and status in the Achiever Class. Status as an Achiever is demonstrated by Mocking Convention. You will probably not learn any of this if you go to college. College prepares you to Serve Achievers, not Be One [or Understand One].

  • Fubar

    College, generally, does not support a culture of self-reliance, personal responsibility, or political independence.

    By supporting an UNREFORMED education establishment, you support a system that is working against your value system, and against honor.

    When were you in the military?

    Right now there is a 100% rate of PTSD for combat veterans.

    Obama is trying to keep veterans benefits from being cut, but conservatives will eventually cut veterans benefits when they get back in power.

    Conservatives = love war, hate the soldier.

    You advice is not going to work for many/most veterans in the future.


    THE PURPOSE OF COLLEGE IS TO PERPETUATE A RISING PLUTOCRACY AND THE SYSTEM OF STATE CAPITALISM THAT ENRICHES THE PLUTOCRATS.

    THE PURPOSE OF COLLEGE IS TO PERPETUATE INCREASINGLY ABSURD MIDDLE CLASS ILLUSIONS THAT THE PLUTOCRATS CARE ABOUT ANYTHING OTHER THAN EGO, MONEY AND POWER.

    Ron Paul for President 2012!

  • Fubar

    and you are throwing out an entested theses (feces) about his untested theses. so what?

    here is something more useful: actually study (ooops!?!) the history of public education and western civilization, and then see if the current education establishment has any remaining MEANINGFUL connection to the Great Principles of Western Civilization and Classical Liberal Scholarship.

    If you use enlightened, rational, objective methods of research, what you will find, is that education is corrupt, dysfunctional bureaucracy that viciously resists reform and is a great danger to democracy.

    the people that defend the current corrupt educational system are the very people that were brainwashed by it.

    ridiculous.

  • Fubar


    THE PURPOSE OF COLLEGE IS TO PERPETUATE A RISING PLUTOCRACY AND THE SYSTEM OF STATE CAPITALISM THAT ENRICHES THE PLUTOCRATS.

    THE PURPOSE OF COLLEGE IS TO PERPETUATE INCREASINGLY ABSURD MIDDLE CLASS ILLUSIONS THAT THE PLUTOCRATS CARE ABOUT ANYTHING OTHER THAN EGO, MONEY AND POWER.

  • Fubar

    Yes, but ….. poor people, generally, can only get a college education by going into deep debt. By doing so, they indirectly perpetuate the system that made them poor and .01% of (corporate predators) uber-wealthy.

    No meaningful social reforms, or movements toward meaningful social justice, have come from colleges for decades. Education is corrupt and serves the interests of the corporate plutocrats and state capitalism, not the poor, working, or middle classes.

  • Fubar

    UT, you do realize that Tx is one of the few places left in the USA with economic growth?

    Everwhere else, many of the people getting a college education will have no middle class jobs.

    The top 2% of rich people have stolen 40% of the middle class wealth in the last 25 years.

    The only reason Tx is doing well is because everyone else is doing badly.

  • Fubar

    Altucher is addressing the Creatives and Achievers. The C&A are sociological classes that are not subject to the same rules as people like you. The C&A will make big money outsourcing your job. If you weren’t so brainwashed by the educational establishment you would be rioting in the streets over what has happened to working people.

  • Fubar

    YES! Must correctly “baaa… baaaaa… baaaaa” like all the other sheeple. lol.

  • Fubar

    You forgot the “so f*ck off” part.

  • Fubar

    Or “go into debt getting a college degree, not be able to pay it off until you are 45 years old, then you will be too old and tired to do any of it.”

    • financialfreedom?

      I fell into the debt category. I believe in college and the life lessons you gain while attending college away from home, but I am now an advocate for early financial education. Unfortunately, coming out of college, I was immediately saddled with debt (college, and of course, I had to have the car I always wanted). Then, a few years later I bought a house and became house poor, where the spiral didn’t end until my mid thirties. I still haven’t been outside of North America because once I had the money to travel, we started having babies. I totally regret not being able to backpack through Europe in my 20’s (now on my bucket list). I’ll finally make it there next year with my wife, but it will be a far cry from backpacking from hostel to hostel.
      I hope to send my two daughters to an in-state college (on my dime) and then convince them to go see the world (on their own dime). I’d be very scared for my girls to travel abroad at 18 versus 22 (huge maturity difference in that time based on my experience).

      • Fubar

        Not sure what you tastes/interests are, but the Camino de Santiago (Compostela) in northern spain is awesome. There are many ways to go from village to village, you do not have to walk everywhere. There are “refugios”, small rural cabins (“refuges” in english) if you want to be authentic/basic.

        Camino de Santiago was an alternate pilgrimage route (starting in france) in the midde ages when the muslims controlled jerusalem. Food/wine, arts/crafts, rural villages, architecture of towns, relaxed culture are all very “humanizing”, the opposite of the “dehumanized”, capitalist-industrial life that the college educated world is about.

        Also, Barcelona and Montserrat are awesome. You must go to the Salvador Dali Museums in Girona, there are also cool places in that area, Costa Brava, Pals, etc.

        Summer is HOT in the interior lowlands of spain. Stay on the coast, or in high mountains.

        You CAN take trains “EVERYWHERE” in Europe, just plan well, in advance. OCD is your friend.

        The Cathar castles/ruins in Lanquedoc and Provence (France) are amazing. The Cathars were the only european heretics that were attacked in great crusades by the church and aristocracy for 200 years (1100-1300).

        Following any of the european bicycle races is pretty cool. Right now the Tour de Romandie is going on. When the Tour de France goes through the Alps and Pyranees, it is amazing. You can rent a small camper vehicle.

        The French fries are REALLY good in france.

        Beer is REALLY good in Belgium (a racist toilet though).

        If you know how to drive in NY or Boston, you will be ok driving in europe. lol.

  • Fubar

    China is over-running Africa. One of the last great examples of colonial exploitation is unfolding. How exciting.

  • http://www.GenuineThriving.com/ Jeremiah Stanghini

    A fantastic post! Like some of the commenters before me, I think that some form of service could be another good alternative to going to college. I know the Peace Corps is typically something people do after college, but there are those who can do it prior to college. I kind of wish that I had someone who had suggested other options to me than college when I was first considering going to college way back in high school.

    With Love and Gratitude,

    Jeremiah

  • razorsedge

    6 days after i turned 17 i found myself in navy bootcamp, my father died when i was 4, and mom at 14, i felt i was a burden to my sister,w/ 3 kids of her own, so i decided to join the navy n see the world,,i had other places i could of gone, grandnmas ,brothers, but i wanted to do this myself,,,,saw spain itally,i quicly realized how different other countries were(1976),,,sounds like a good story,,,but it was my beginning,,,lol, kinda like your thoughts

  • MCLAGMAN

    My favorite was MBA school, where the teachers were on tenure and had never worked a real job. Or, rather, one had worked at IBM for 6 months in 1985, so I guess that technically counts. The entrepreneurship prof also started a summer business as an undergrad. They like to talk about fairness and how Wal Mart is a monopoly. They have lots of charts and graphs, but never negotiated a VC deal or lost a night’s sleep over payroll. I bring up trying to negotiate with AOL and VC during the 1990s and they look at me like I have three heads. But at the end you get a sheet of paper with the letters MBA on it.

  • jfrary8070

    I’ve known a number of autodidacts over the years who educated themselves far above the level found among, say, 90% of college graduates. I sheltered one under my roof for 18 years at cost. Dropped out of college in is first semester. Published three novels and a non-fiction book with Harper Collins. My closest friend since I returned to Maine from a long exile in NJ works in a paper mill. He provides me with a constant flow of examples of the ignorance of his colleagues in the Maine House of Representatives.

    • Fubar

      “Lifeworld colonized by systems”

      Social theorists have described, in great detail, the dysfunctional nature of social institutions (Habermas, etc.).

      College prepares people for their real “on the job” training: to be liars. Corporate types, lawyers, academics, etc.- most are clever liars.

      The system is deeply dysfunctional and corrupt.

      de Toqueville described the problem in 1840: capitalism in a democratic republic would lead to postmodernism, multiculturalism, etc., people would, in the absence of a central form of belief and culture, become dependent on a central government that they would need, but hate.

      religion becomes the reamining organizing power for premodern cluture. which is then used to maintain exploitation, greed, etc.

  • b-rigg

    Requiring education for one’s self and requiring someone to work for someone else, even if it’s for the “betterment” of society (who establishes the definition of “better”, anyway?), are two completely different things. If it’s so great, why should it be mandatory?

    • Pamelar4390

      Ever hear of being an intern?

      • SSM

        Even being an intern is voluntary and at least you get paid.  Forced community service with no wages is not the same.

        Community service should not be forced.  It should be encouraged, yes, but it should be voluntary as well.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KFJUU65WGSX4XDESKGFTQJ7DMY Silicon Cowboy

          @SSM – How many Interns do you know that get paid? I’ve worked with dozens over the last 20+ years. Almost none even get repaid for their expenses. Trading their Time and Effort for Work Experience. Five Years back, I was in a training program at a local Junior College. Saw a poster for “Paid Internships”. I did a triple-take, and still almost fell over, in dis-belief. This almost never happens (at least on my World).

          • Paula

            Even though they don’t get paid, it is still voluntary. And the purpose of an internship is supposed to be for work experience and/or college credits.  That is not the same thing as “forced community service.” I thought that was supposed to be punishment for criminal behavior?

          • Mark Portman

            The intern gets paid with knowledge, skills, and experience. If they are not getting paid in these ways, they should stop wasting their time being an intern.

  • Fubar

    humor is strictly for professionals, it is far too serious to leave to amateurs.

  • Fubar

    BEWARE OF SPIRITUAL BUBBLEGUM

  • Fubar

    Her teachers should be bending the will of the universe to get her into college as a math major? Then she could do grad work in medical research (or medical IT/computers/software), or something she is interested in?

    Have you looked up STEM programs?

    If you don’t want to pay for college, send her to Las Vegas?

  • Fubar

    see below for another example of the connection between college and societal decline and “educated stupidity”.

    note: there is an eerie similarity between the description of managerial dysfunction in the military and managerial dysfunction in academia. indeed, the article points out how some miitary careerists cycle back and forth from the military to academia.

    http://fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/2011/05/02/27207/

    see this section

    —excerpt—

    Understanding Military Officers

    It’s impossible to talk about officers in the armed forces without some mention of demographics. As in the past, the overwhelming majority of officers (roughly 75 per cent) are of European ancestry. However, regardless of their ethnic origin, American officers are more likely to be from high-income families and they are
    [***] on average better educated than most American citizens.

    This demographic profile is consistent with historic data in all, but one way. Today’s officers are more religious than their predecessors were 20 or 30 years ago, and they’ve grown up inside a military bureaucracy that differs in important ways from the Reagan-era armed forces.

    The Officer Corps in the Balance

    In years past, it was easy to identify officers who spent their time checking with superiors or peers concerning whether or not to act. These types seldom pursued what was right. They were simply “staying in their lane,” as the saying goes. Officers with the moral courage to take a stand on the grounds that it was in the interest of the American people, even when it might contradict the service’s bureaucratic guidelines, were not easy to find, but not uncommon. Today, officers with these attributes still exist, but they are very hard to find. Officers who do so now must be extremely clever, as well as extraordinarily courageous. The erosion that caused this change is an important change that outsiders, including journalists and Hill staffers, must grasp and appreciate.

    Officers’ disenchantment with the nation’s focus on hostile occupations and armed nation-building is matched by a growing lack of confidence in, and recognition of careerism among, the field-grade officers, i.e., colonels and generals, but also those senior enlisted who have opted for careerism – aping their officers.

    My personal experience and recent surveys indicate that junior officers in the U.S. Army (and Marine Corps) feel a lot of dissatisfaction with the quality of senior leadership. This “disconnect” between junior officers, and their commanders, has been around for more than a decade. It’s gotten worse with a war on, because, unlike past wars, there has not been widespread removal of battalion and brigade commanders who did not perform well. In World War II and Korea, it was common for commanders who did not deliver, to be replaced. With a war going on now and junior officers facing life and death situations because their commanders were not being aggressive or innovative enough, many have been leaving the service.

    Lt. Col. Peter Kilner, U.S. Army, returned in 2009 from two months in Iraq where he interviewed young Army officers for a research project. His observation reinforces the comments above: “There is enormous pride among young officers in their units and in each other, but I see strong evidence that they are rapidly losing faith in the Army and the country’s political leadership.” Careerism and political correctness in all the services may be taking a much greater toll (although a somewhat different one) on our personnel than the enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    —end excerpt—

  • Fubar

    see below for another example of the connection between college and societal decline and “educated stupidity”.

    note: there is an eerie similarity between the description of managerial dysfunction in the military and managerial dysfunction in academia. indeed, the article points out how some miitary careerists cycle back and forth from the military to academia.

    http://fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/2011/05/02/27207/

    see this section

    —excerpt—

    Understanding Military Officers

    It’s impossible to talk about officers in the armed forces without some mention of demographics. As in the past, the overwhelming majority of officers (roughly 75 per cent) are of European ancestry. However, regardless of their ethnic origin, American officers are more likely to be from high-income families and they are
    [***] on average better educated than most American citizens.

    This demographic profile is consistent with historic data in all, but one way. Today’s officers are more religious than their predecessors were 20 or 30 years ago, and they’ve grown up inside a military bureaucracy that differs in important ways from the Reagan-era armed forces.

    The Officer Corps in the Balance

    In years past, it was easy to identify officers who spent their time checking with superiors or peers concerning whether or not to act. These types seldom pursued what was right. They were simply “staying in their lane,” as the saying goes. Officers with the moral courage to take a stand on the grounds that it was in the interest of the American people, even when it might contradict the service’s bureaucratic guidelines, were not easy to find, but not uncommon. Today, officers with these attributes still exist, but they are very hard to find. Officers who do so now must be extremely clever, as well as extraordinarily courageous. The erosion that caused this change is an important change that outsiders, including journalists and Hill staffers, must grasp and appreciate.

    Officers’ disenchantment with the nation’s focus on hostile occupations and armed nation-building is matched by a growing lack of confidence in, and recognition of careerism among, the field-grade officers, i.e., colonels and generals, but also those senior enlisted who have opted for careerism – aping their officers.

    My personal experience and recent surveys indicate that junior officers in the U.S. Army (and Marine Corps) feel a lot of dissatisfaction with the quality of senior leadership. This “disconnect” between junior officers, and their commanders, has been around for more than a decade. It’s gotten worse with a war on, because, unlike past wars, there has not been widespread removal of battalion and brigade commanders who did not perform well. In World War II and Korea, it was common for commanders who did not deliver, to be replaced. With a war going on now and junior officers facing life and death situations because their commanders were not being aggressive or innovative enough, many have been leaving the service.

    Lt. Col. Peter Kilner, U.S. Army, returned in 2009 from two months in Iraq where he interviewed young Army officers for a research project. His observation reinforces the comments above: “There is enormous pride among young officers in their units and in each other, but I see strong evidence that they are rapidly losing faith in the Army and the country’s political leadership.” Careerism and political correctness in all the services may be taking a much greater toll (although a somewhat different one) on our personnel than the enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    —end excerpt—

  • Fubar

    see below for another example of the connection between college and societal decline and “educated stupidity”.

    note: there is an eerie similarity between the description of managerial dysfunction in the military and managerial dysfunction in academia. indeed, the article points out how some miitary careerists cycle back and forth from the military to academia.

    http://fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/2011/05/02/27207/

    see this section

    —excerpt—

    Understanding Military Officers

    It’s impossible to talk about officers in the armed forces without some mention of demographics. As in the past, the overwhelming majority of officers (roughly 75 per cent) are of European ancestry. However, regardless of their ethnic origin, American officers are more likely to be from high-income families and they are
    [***] on average better educated than most American citizens.

    This demographic profile is consistent with historic data in all, but one way. Today’s officers are more religious than their predecessors were 20 or 30 years ago, and they’ve grown up inside a military bureaucracy that differs in important ways from the Reagan-era armed forces.

    The Officer Corps in the Balance

    In years past, it was easy to identify officers who spent their time checking with superiors or peers concerning whether or not to act. These types seldom pursued what was right. They were simply “staying in their lane,” as the saying goes. Officers with the moral courage to take a stand on the grounds that it was in the interest of the American people, even when it might contradict the service’s bureaucratic guidelines, were not easy to find, but not uncommon. Today, officers with these attributes still exist, but they are very hard to find. Officers who do so now must be extremely clever, as well as extraordinarily courageous. The erosion that caused this change is an important change that outsiders, including journalists and Hill staffers, must grasp and appreciate.

    Officers’ disenchantment with the nation’s focus on hostile occupations and armed nation-building is matched by a growing lack of confidence in, and recognition of careerism among, the field-grade officers, i.e., colonels and generals, but also those senior enlisted who have opted for careerism – aping their officers.

    My personal experience and recent surveys indicate that junior officers in the U.S. Army (and Marine Corps) feel a lot of dissatisfaction with the quality of senior leadership. This “disconnect” between junior officers, and their commanders, has been around for more than a decade. It’s gotten worse with a war on, because, unlike past wars, there has not been widespread removal of battalion and brigade commanders who did not perform well. In World War II and Korea, it was common for commanders who did not deliver, to be replaced. With a war going on now and junior officers facing life and death situations because their commanders were not being aggressive or innovative enough, many have been leaving the service.

    Lt. Col. Peter Kilner, U.S. Army, returned in 2009 from two months in Iraq where he interviewed young Army officers for a research project. His observation reinforces the comments above: “There is enormous pride among young officers in their units and in each other, but I see strong evidence that they are rapidly losing faith in the Army and the country’s political leadership.” Careerism and political correctness in all the services may be taking a much greater toll (although a somewhat different one) on our personnel than the enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    —end excerpt—

  • b-rigg

    Is your premise based on taking a few years off, but coming back for education?

    I can’t believe you’ve left out “technical school”. JUCO, Community College, whatever you want to call it. There is strong demand for technical skills that don’t necessarily require a four-year degree. This (and early childhood education) are the two biggest educational problems facing our country today.

    Option one is a GREAT option. The other seven are a straight path to loser-hippiedom in this country if the majority of 18-year-olds in this country take your advice, unless you A) go back to round yourself out or B) are a lucky outlier such as a successful actor, star athlete, successful comic, or the rare profitable artist. Even option A is not so good: you lose a few years of being able to build your nest egg (time value of money anyone?).

  • b-rigg

    Is your premise based on taking a few years off, but coming back for education?

    I can’t believe you’ve left out “technical school”. JUCO, Community College, whatever you want to call it. There is strong demand for technical skills that don’t necessarily require a four-year degree. This (and early childhood education) are the two biggest educational problems facing our country today.

    Option one is a GREAT option. The other seven are a straight path to loser-hippiedom in this country if the majority of 18-year-olds in this country take your advice, unless you A) go back to round yourself out or B) are a lucky outlier such as a successful actor, star athlete, successful comic, or the rare profitable artist. Even option A is not so good: you lose a few years of being able to build your nest egg (time value of money anyone?).

  • b-rigg

    Is your premise based on taking a few years off, but coming back for education?

    I can’t believe you’ve left out “technical school”. JUCO, Community College, whatever you want to call it. There is strong demand for technical skills that don’t necessarily require a four-year degree. This (and early childhood education) are the two biggest educational problems facing our country today.

    Option one is a GREAT option. The other seven are a straight path to loser-hippiedom in this country if the majority of 18-year-olds in this country take your advice, unless you A) go back to round yourself out or B) are a lucky outlier such as a successful actor, star athlete, successful comic, or the rare profitable artist. Even option A is not so good: you lose a few years of being able to build your nest egg (time value of money anyone?).

  • http://profiles.google.com/gabsi77 Gabrielle Miller

    The word community service was the first to be used and not volunteer. If the community service is mandatory they (the participants) can then volunteer where they would like to do theirs. He used the words in the correct order thus making your point pointless. Most people also are not altruistic and sometimes have to be forced to do things before they discover that they like it. I agree with the above comment that for the most part school isn’t something people want to do but they have to anyway, we don’t call that slavery now do we?

    • M.

      I have to agree with most of what you’re saying Gabrielle, but any form of involuntary work whether it be physical or educational is a form of organized slavery. Though mandatory community service would benefit the community at large (e.g. picking up the trash from sidewalks, streets, etc.) and give kids fresh air and exercise. Since 1/3 Americans are obese, kids nowadays need more exercise and a sense of community participation.

      Whether we like it or not, the education system is geared towards putting out mindless drones with limited understanding of philosophical, spiritual, or political concepts. With limited stimulation of people’s minds, they are more inclined to drop out of school. There is much documented evidence that tax-exempt foundations have been hard at work sabotaging the American dream for a very long time. Much of their work has been to dumb down the education system to the point where it is today. A few good books to read about these topics would be: “How the World Really Works” by Alan Jones, “The Naked Capitalist” by Cleon Skousen, “Wall Street & the Rise of Hitler” by Antony C. Sutton, “Wall Street & the Bolshevik Revolution” by Antony C. Sutton, “Tragedy & Hope: A History of the World in Our Time” by Carroll Quigley, “Anglo-American Establishment” by Carroll Quigley.

      Some good videos to watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVkFb26u9g8
      http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7065205277695921912

      • Citizen49a

        See Foundations: Their Power and Influence – Renee Wormser.

        Hard to find (wonder why?), but they have it here http://radioliberty.com/newbkvd.htm

      • Ralphmarlow

        Yes, I slave every day, its called a job

      • http://www.danaseilhan.com/ Dana Seilhan

        Kids are not obese from not doing community service. They are obese from eating poor-quality food.

      • Huck Finn

        I believe that the community service idea would be a good option but not a requirement, and there are plenty of programs that high school grads can do around the country or world for a year or two. It’s just a matter of educating our children about all of the options out there for them aside from college. It makes me sad to see people attacking people in the comments on this article about welfare and needing help in our world. No one deserves to be attacked for getting help and everyone should get the help they need. If you have too much pride or for some other reason don’t ask for or accept help when it’s offered, that’s your problem. I agree that there are your fair share of people who take advantage of the system but to attack a woman who was simply trying to help you understand that some people like herself actually do need it? That’s pretty despicable. My mother was in a similar situation because my father and she divorced when I was 5. A lot of people don’t choose to be single parents but sometimes they get stuck in that situation and they truly need the help the government offers. As I’ve already said there are those who exploit the system for their own benefit but think before you speak when the person youre trying to reprimand clearly isn’t one of those people. All of the comments on this have been argumentative or even worse just blatantly attacking another person who commented. What happened to a simple “Wow I wish I’d read this back when i was just graduating!”

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_32K5UXLQW47EKI4PRXGL6DIGAU Chauntale

      im 20 i called school “punishment for future wrongs” even though I love learning new things. But as far as forcing someone to do something before they realize they like is kind of weird and I’ve only heard of it about foods really.

      • Schroeder

        Going to school and learning new things aren’t necessarily the same thing. I learned a ton in college, stuff I use as an adult constantly. But I learned it running my college radio station, getting the campus magazine out every week, and I barely remember anything taught to me in a classroom. I kept learning as I bounced around from job to job, and I now I I’ve been in the same place for 6 years, and have a reputation as the guy who knows how to do everything. Because I didn’t stop learning when I left the classroom. In fact, that’s when I started learning.

      • runningdmc

        The very same classes I thought I hated were the classes that saved me–got me into grad school, taught me analysis, and changed my career–twice.  Sometimes we just don’t know what will be useful to us in the future:)

    • Nan

      School is a “slavery”, but it serves a purpose  – keeps a bunch of kids from entering the workforce, and also saves some from getting into trouble.  “Community service”?  Isn’t that what people do when they get a DUI and would rather stay out of jail?  Why should students be treated like criminals?  This whole idea of mandatory (forced) volunteering sounds way too much like the “Hitler Youth” of Nazi Germany. Most people are not altruistic and sometimes have to be PAID to do things before they discover that they like it!  Many teens would jump at the opportunity to help out in their communities for a chance to get out of a boring class and make a few bucks.

      • randomguy4815162342

        SCHOOL IS NOT SLAVERY: The government does not force anyone to send their children to school. My brother is currently homeschooling his kids and all he had to do was fill out a form that removes responsibility from the school.

        • SSM

          don’t count on that being true for very long as long as we have socialists running Washington.

          Don’t think for a second Obama won’t try to take away your rights for home schooling and have mandatory state schooling.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LBAOWAVVRYYLXHDIHGK7RNKUIM Chuck

            You forgot to mention the black helicopters!

          • Fubar

            capitalism = socialism for rich people.

          • tdog

            the way obama doles out crony capitalism, you are exactly right. Pure capitalism is the elixir for freedom=

          • Mark Portman

            It’s creepy and bizarre that people actually think this. Capitalism is a worthless term now.

          • http://www.danaseilhan.com/ Dana Seilhan

            Real socialists laugh at people like you every time you call the people in Washington “socialists.” Have you ever *read* Marx? Doubt it…

          • Mark Portman

            There are two versions of socialism these days. I think you know this, but you just wanted to be a pointless smart-ass anyway.

        • SeaDragon ST

          school is fucking indoctrination

        • http://www.danaseilhan.com/ Dana Seilhan

          Yes, actually, attendance is mandatory unless you follow the government’s rules to opt out. One way or the other you have to do something the government tells you to do. That is still forced.

      • http://www.facebook.com/patricia.cowell Patricia Cowell

         Community Service is a far cry from a comparison with ‘Hitler Youth’. That is such a drastic leap from what is being discussed here.
        In our school system you need 100 hrs of community service to be eligible to graduate. If you have a job, it gets cut down to 40 hrs. Asking kids to volunteer somewhere of their choosing is one of the only ways kids ever get a sense of what it is to volunteer. And, sometimes, where their passions may lie. Correct me if I am wrong, but this does not describe a ‘Nazi’ regime.

        • http://www.danaseilhan.com/ Dana Seilhan

          You have no right to force someone to do something if their not doing it would not harm you. If you think it’s so great to volunteer, YOU volunteer. You can’t make anyone else do that. And to tie their diploma in to it is just despicable.

        • Mark Portman

          As long as you ask and don’t force them.

      • Lana

        But volunteer organizations cant always afford to pay. To me it’s not different than a PE course, which is a mandatory graduation requirement!

      • http://www.danaseilhan.com/ Dana Seilhan

        The slavery we had here pre-1865 served a purpose too. Yet we banned it. So now what?

    • randomguy4815162342

      Its not slavery because they are children and their parents are making them go to school. But when they are 18 they are legally adults, which is when they are legally aloud to drop out of school. That being said the government has drafted people for the military in the past (which I do disagree with) and the government still drafts people for jury duty.

      • Bepetersn

        Laws don’t make reality. Even if the government didn’t force people to go to school, that parents do, and they have the legal right to do so doesn’t mean anything.

        I felt like an adult when I was 16, and then I had to fart around 2 years in high school waiting for the government to decide I was old enough to not have to be forced around by my parents. 

      • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/5BWNNLJWBDCXZ2ZJFBDONCP3YQ noname999777

        mandatory psychedelic experiments

      • http://www.danaseilhan.com/ Dana Seilhan

        You don’t suddenly become a full human being at age 18.

    • http://www.danaseilhan.com/ Dana Seilhan

      No one has to be forced to do anything unless not forcing them would cause them to harm someone.

      Most people don’t do community service but you can’t argue that they are all hurting people.

      You need to really examine yourself and your motives and ask yourself why you are so eager to force other people to conform to your values.

      And yes, forcing kids to go to school IS slavery.

    • Mark Portman

      I do.

  • http://profiles.google.com/gabsi77 Gabrielle Miller

    The word community service was the first to be used and not volunteer. If the community service is mandatory they (the participants) can then volunteer where they would like to do theirs. He used the words in the correct order thus making your point pointless. Most people also are not altruistic and sometimes have to be forced to do things before they discover that they like it. I agree with the above comment that for the most part school isn’t something people want to do but they have to anyway, we don’t call that slavery now do we?

  • http://profiles.google.com/gabsi77 Gabrielle Miller

    The word community service was the first to be used and not volunteer. If the community service is mandatory they (the participants) can then volunteer where they would like to do theirs. He used the words in the correct order thus making your point pointless. Most people also are not altruistic and sometimes have to be forced to do things before they discover that they like it. I agree with the above comment that for the most part school isn’t something people want to do but they have to anyway, we don’t call that slavery now do we?

  • http://profiles.google.com/vrmfielder victor mata

    too bad not everyone is capable of all these, intellectually. i mean would anyone disagree with me when i say college isn’t for everyone? so is starting a business or SOME of these other ideas. that’s why Americans need other options besides college. maybe if companies weren’t outsourcing factory jobs, that could solve one issue. just a thought…

    • Colin

      i think three years post-high-school sounds too much like indentured servitude, but i do think at least a few hundred hours of community service should DEFINITELY be a high school graduation requirement.

  • Mike Pelosi

    You are a moron

  • Not Karen

    No, you get paid if you’re drafted.

    • right wing hippie

      dumb. sorry. just dumb. the black slaves of early america were “paid” with housing and food. slavery is slavery. doesn’t matter if you’re paid. i can’t believe all the immoral thoughts in these comments.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=541168582 Matthew Hougey

    Here’s Big one thats not on this list. Learn to program, anyone with an internet connection and a computer can learn own their own and can eventually find work in an industry that is not going anywhere and is growing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=541168582 Matthew Hougey

    Here’s Big one thats not on this list. Learn to program, anyone with an internet connection and a computer can learn own their own and can eventually find work in an industry that is not going anywhere and is growing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=541168582 Matthew Hougey

    Who is going to pay our income? if its mandatory will be have options for what work we would want to do. after two years, then what? if these are government jobs, do we get government pay and benefits? If i don’t show up for my mandatory job do I get punished, or can I get fired, if that last one is the case, then no thanks I don’t want to spend 2 years enslaved to a government that has totally abandoned my generation to fight pointless never ending wars.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=541168582 Matthew Hougey

    Who is going to pay our income? if its mandatory will be have options for what work we would want to do. after two years, then what? if these are government jobs, do we get government pay and benefits? If i don’t show up for my mandatory job do I get punished, or can I get fired, if that last one is the case, then no thanks I don’t want to spend 2 years enslaved to a government that has totally abandoned my generation to fight pointless never ending wars.

  • Riverbend633

    This article should be called “Things I daydream about while digging ditches to earn money for food and gas”. This is great advice for trust fund babies. C’mon, James!!

  • Riverbend633

    This article should be called “Things I daydream about while digging ditches to earn money for food and gas”. This is great advice for trust fund babies. C’mon, James!!

  • http://twitter.com/mycolleges MyCollegesandCareers

    Right out of high school I decided to work instead of going straight to college. Now nearly 10 years after high school, I’m glad I went through self discovery before going back to school. What I want now is so much different than when I was 18.

  • http://twitter.com/mycolleges MyCollegesandCareers

    Right out of high school I decided to work instead of going straight to college. Now nearly 10 years after high school, I’m glad I went through self discovery before going back to school. What I want now is so much different than when I was 18.

  • Pjm

    Unions thugs will never allow it. Period.

  • http://www.thetradingelite.com Jared Mast

    I couldn’t agree more with you James. College is more like a very expensive for year vacation and teaches you to memorize information quickly, and quickly forget it. I can attest to that. I learned more through reading, writing, and connecting with like minded individuals via stocktwits, skype, and my personal reaching out to professionals. I think people should create there own “personal degree’s” and really learn something of value instead of going with the crowd and listening to conventional wisdom.

  • FT

    I’m a college professor. This is basically what I would tell any 18 yr old. Choose one of the above and then, when you are 23, go to college. We have created a culture in which college is essentially High School 2.0 and made it so expensive that anyone who does not have the support of their parents is at a disadvantage or plainly excluded.

    All of the humanities are important but when framed as “required”, are stripped of all value. Philosophy 101 is priceless if you see it as a voluntary act and a body of knowledge that will embue the rest of your life with a depth of perspective, but at 18, are you really ready to take that on? If we think of a typical college course as a training of the mind and not a vocational program, it does make more sense to enter at a later age and to do so with some bruises, failures and doubts, because it is in college that we connect to a much broader human civilization and one that is difficult to value or qualify if you have never put yourself in the deep end of it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mikhail-Arov/1812123378 Mikhail Arov

    James, you listed 8 main things that are hurting this country! Far too many americans choose one of these (and a number of other) ways to waste their time and parents’ money. Yes, many do it after (or worse – during) the college, but that’s immaterial.

    We have plenty enough bankrupt “businessmen”, talentless writers, athletes-wannabes and vagabonds, thank you very much. Most people will (and SHOULD) end up with much more mundane , but frankly speaking far more useful tasks like accounting or engendering. The earlier they stop dreaming and start working – the better for all of us.

    And those few (VERY FEW!) who will actually become Jack Londons and Jack Nicholsons hardly need your advise. Who are you to say that at trip to India is more inspiring than a “frat party”??? I can name just as many great works created at frat parties as in Indian villages.

    II also can tell you that higher education won’t hurt neither “common Joe”, nor “exceptional John”. Both can benefit from unrestricted access to top practitioners of every field known to man.
    Both can squander this once-in-lifetime opportunity on girls and booze. But while going to college CAN be a waste, each of your 8 suggestions is ALMOST GUARANTEED to be a waste.

  • bex719

    hmm..funny. why don’t I see on your list “learn a trade”? I think this every time I call a plumber (if you can actually get one to come to your house) and then pay him in the wages I earn as a hairstylist (after two doubly useless degrees– a B.A. and M.A. in English. Going to beauty school was the education that paid off).

  • Kylev

    Try doing this when your family doesn’t have any disposable income, and you’re desperate for a degree to escape the structural violence.

  • Sgatelab

    Take a page from the Japanese and become a SPONGE
    Go to the center of entrepreneurship – Silicon Valley in California
    Get a job there – any job -Work 10 hours a day
    Go to after hours hangouts for entrepreneurs and soak up everything thats going on.
    Come up with an idea to start your own company or join several others who are doing it !!
    This is a can’t miss formula for success.

  • Jimbo

    lazy

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KCX2GRSDO3RRW5ORJAIDG4VOWY SamM

    I was a Girl Scout for like, ten years. I did my community service. I hate it. I’m never doing community service again. That’s why we have prisons. Make them do it.

  • Shraddha01

    sorry, WHAT MONEY are you supposed to be using ? Where do you get the $10,000 to travel? I guess this is for parents who saved money for the kids’ college to give to the kid to do other things?

  • DS

    I agree and disagree. I went to college, had some fun, got a useless degree. However while there I found my passion. I graduated and worked hard at that passion for a few years with little gain. Then I went back to college with that same drive plus work experience. Upon leaving I landed an epic job that allowed me to learn everything I needed to start my own business in the field while earning enough money to pay off my loans in a few short years. I did all the things you listed above in my teens and 20’s (aside from writing a book), and I agree they are the foundation of a creative fulfilling life, but the college experience and the specialized education you can receive (if you have a goal) are invaluable. Many people will squander the time they have in college, that’s not the institutions fault.

  • Fbenton8

    That’s all great but, coming from a 21 year old who has thought of some of these from above before this article, You kind of need money to do any of this. Maybe its just the state I live in which is suffering more then others money wise but you need money to do some of these things. Yes I would love to help with homeless people or a pet shelter however that wont pay my bills or my FOOD which is so expensive now and days. You say take 10000 and go to India. Where do expect these 18-23 year olds to get that money? it would take me a year just to save that much money now between rent, food, and gas! Yeah I really want to start my own buisness however im young and without a lot of money and a million co-signers that wont happen. Maybe back in the day it would but with this economy it just wont fly. I was hoping maybe you had better advice but I guess you wouldnt know what its like being young in 2011. Its not rainbows and unicorns like your making it sound. :)

  • Doubting Thomas

    112 hours a week? For two years? I don’t believe you and you can sell your crazy somewhere else, we’re all full up here.

  • Doubting Thomas

    112 hours a week? For two years? I don’t believe you and you can sell your crazy somewhere else, we’re all full up here.

  • Doubting Thomas

    112 hours a week? For two years? I don’t believe you and you can sell your crazy somewhere else, we’re all full up here.

  • John

    Isn’t “required volunteer work” an oxymoron?

  • John

    Isn’t “required volunteer work” an oxymoron?

  • John

    Isn’t “required volunteer work” an oxymoron?

  • Chrismx_treme

    I like his suggestions, and am actually a business owner at 25. I’m job-hunting, but I’m looking more at businesses that offer more freedom and high pay. My entrepreneurial experiences have led me to Network Marketing, becoming a commission-only sales representative, and real estate. Yep. Let’s see what takes off!

  • Chrismx_treme

    I like his suggestions, and am actually a business owner at 25. I’m job-hunting, but I’m looking more at businesses that offer more freedom and high pay. My entrepreneurial experiences have led me to Network Marketing, becoming a commission-only sales representative, and real estate. Yep. Let’s see what takes off!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_32K5UXLQW47EKI4PRXGL6DIGAU Chauntale

    I think that if someone decided to make community service MANDATORY it shouldn’t just be for high school graduates because that’s COMPLETELY unfair to those who graduated 10 years before them. If it’s mandatory EVERYONE must comply. Adults well into there 30’s and 40’s no a lot more so their presence with the older people, help prepare that food they have to deliver, help with the bulilding of these homes. Try not to restrict a mandate on a younger group because older people feel they have superiority over younger people or they “work” to hard to volunteer.

    • HaleyMcC

      how do I unlike this comment?  Pragmatically this makes zero sense. 

    • booop

      i did volunteer service to graduate and i really didnt even mind doing it. i never read so deeply into it that playing with kittens and dogs for a couple hours to graduate is slavery

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_32K5UXLQW47EKI4PRXGL6DIGAU Chauntale

    I don’t think the reason for failure in education was because of being indesive. Right out of high school I tried my hand at the military. Complete failure, I hated it and left before I got in to far. After that i moved to a different state and started school for bus. admin., hated that too. Moved back to IL and started working, I went through another 2 different courses and hated both of them. Point being failure in education is produced when someone pays thousands of dollars to do one thing and realize they hate it, but have to keep doing it because they just spent all their parents hard earned money. Once they graduate with their useless degree that they secretly didn’t want, they are now the mindless numb zombies corporate America has wanted them to become. Now they can get that medicore job they will hate until they retire and have to work with teens at a grocery store to continue to make ends meet. But I do agree if younger people are given the freedoms to try and fail, think and learn things WOULD work out better.

  • Bret1031984

    I think that’s called slavery. What would the consequences be if they didn’t do it? Thats a terrible idea

    • diocletian

      This was a “hot” topic while I was in high school. My classmates and I had a debate about it. I expressed, in very hot and colorful language that I was completely against mandatory community service, rightly likening it to slavery. I said that if anyone were to try to physically force me to serve that I would go on a rampage at the place of “service”, throw things, and beat up in self-defense anyone who tried to force me to “cooperate”, even if that person were a police officer. A couple of the class goons (of whom there were several) thought that mandatory community service was a great idea (they both had expressed a desire to be “leaders” of a team of “volunteers”). One of them responded to my statement that I needed an “attitude adjustment” and that he would provide it to me outside. I recall telling him, with the entire class as witnesses,” You try to give me a so-called ‘attitude adjustment’, and I will adjust YOUR attitude from ‘living’ to ‘dead’ !! Try it !! Here and now, motherfucker, NOT outside !! ” Loud gasps and bedlam in the classroom ! The teacher quickly got up and stood between the goon and me, shouted for everyone to calm down, and escorted me and the goon to the principal’s office. Long story short: the police were called, they and the principal gave us half-assed lectures that we both ignored, and the mandatory community service idea was scuttled. About a week later the goon and I had our “discussion” outside (he was at least brave enough to confront me alone). He started the “discussion”, and I finished it for him. He didn’t look very good afterward. One usually doesn’t look very good with two black eyes, a cut lower lip, and a couple of loose front teeth, which is EXACTLY what those who advocate mandatory community service–slavery by a different name–all deserve !

  • Joannarosas

    Wow another one that can’t think on it’s own is does what society expects.

  • Colin

    this all sounds very appealing in theory, and i do agree that there are a lot of ways to grow as a person that don’t involve college, but not all of us wasted tens of thousands of dollars to get an education. my parents didn’t have any money. i went on scholarship. i graduated with a 3.9 and no debt – not because i’m a genius, but because i worked my ass off. THAT’S what parents should be encouraging kids to do – sure, traveling the world or learning stand-up is great, but there’s only a .5% chance it’s ever going to help you pay the bills. not everyone can live life like a hipster with a trust fund. it’s the parents’ fault if the kids are spending their college careers getting drunk and skipping class. if their grades are shit, the parents should cut them off. kids are far too spoiled nowadays. they should all be working at least part-time while they’re in college anyway to cover expenses; otherwise they won’t value their education.

    • college student

      I agree with you that it might be in the benefit of the child to have them work on their own, but seriously I think the care of a parent is so critical for the child to have a developed moral outlook on the world…

  • colin

    i think three years post-high-school sounds too much like indentured servitude, but i do think at least a few hundred hours of community service should DEFINITELY be a high school graduation requirement.

  • Phoenix

    I’ve tried college twice and i have to agree, i am now almost 30 and wish i had done some of these things earlier in my life i might be better off today. College is not for everyone and just because you don’t go to college does not mean that you are smarter than me, I can teach myself just fine. The internet allows us to get anything from anywhere, so i can put my self through 4 years of college for free just by reading. It’s amazing what society tells people. We are too scared what others might think to actually do what we want. And for those of you who are bashing this post you have clearly misunderstood the meaning. This is a free country if you want to go to college then go, but remember this college is NOT for everyone.

  • Brittameal

    That is a completely idiotic idea. Teen’s are supposed to spend their teen years learning. Not spending all day every day fixing other people’s problems. If you think it’s such a good idea why don’t you get off your lazy ass and you do all of that work?

  • Brittameal

    That is a completely idiotic idea. Teen’s are supposed to spend their teen years learning. Not spending all day every day fixing other people’s problems. If you think it’s such a good idea why don’t you get off your lazy ass and you do all of that work?

  • Brittameal

    That is a completely idiotic idea. Teen’s are supposed to spend their teen years learning. Not spending all day every day fixing other people’s problems. If you think it’s such a good idea why don’t you get off your lazy ass and you do all of that work?

  • Brittameal

    That is a completely idiotic idea. Teen’s are supposed to spend their teen years learning. Not spending all day every day fixing other people’s problems. If you think it’s such a good idea why don’t you get off your lazy ass and you do all of that work?

  • Guest

    How can you state that someone needs to take an English class, when you couldn’t spell the word reap correctly in your comment?

  • Kyle

    …Why do you have to choose between the two? I guess you don’t have any free time to paint, learn a musical instrument, write a book, or travel abroad when you’re taking college classes, huh? No such thing as multi-tasking? And I guess you’ll be a professional at that in a year, huh? Ridiculous.

  • Steph4153

    is this a joke?

  • Junge

    have you ever thought that some people actually want to be in college?? i don’t know, its just a thought coming from someone who is in college right now and loves it.. and no i don’t love it for reasons like i can get hammered at frat parties or that i can flirt with chicks whenever i want.. i love it because not only am i getting a education, but i can litteraly do everything on your little list at the same time.. things like starting a buiness, making art, or writing can be done (and may be even easier to do) in college.. I frequetly draw, play sports, and am even writing a “just for kicks” novel right now.. PLUS there are clubs and groups to support activities like this. college is not the problem. poeple and their motivtions are the problem because it oes matter where someone is, if the are motivated to do something than they wll do it.

    On another note, if people are not in college they will have to be working a minimum wage job to make enough money to live. And I don’t know about you but i definitely don’t have 10 grand to go adventure around India. But the beauty of college is that through programs like study abroad, i can afford to study an live in india because of scholarships an student oppurtunities. A job that can fund eveything your talkin about will take just as much time out of ones day as college does, therefore college isn’t the problem, it is motivation. You can do whatever you want, it doesn’t matter if your in college or working because if you really want to do it, then you will find the time.

  • max Junge

    Oh and by the way, it IS a requirment to have 100 hours of community service to graduate high school

  • Patrick ONeill

    The problem that many face without a degree is that so many companies require a degree for hiring or promotion, regardless of any other background or equivalent experience or skills one may possess.

    I often thing that the best thing that could be done to break the college lock on our careers would be a college level GED – it works for High School.

    An exam which would certify that one has the equivalent of a Bachelors degree – that would help a lot and be a relief for Human Resource departments.

  • Phill

    He was very clear that doctors, lawyers, teachers are to get a degree. The other degreed professionals don’t really need one. Those who oppose this view point are too defensive to read what was written clearly. Read the article two times before writing anything you disagree with so that your point is properly laid out and not twisted. You are sounding as if you don’t comprehend what he has written.

  • Anonymous

    Join the Military, lean to take responsibility, travel, lean to be a leader, lean a marketable job skill.
    It worked for me: dropped out of college and joined the Navy.

    • lean mean learning machine

      lean to spell LEARN

      • Anonymous

        typical troll reply

        • Sam

          Reading and writing is essential to joining the military….I’m sure it was an oversight. Although I find it strange to have misspelled a word thrice the same sentence. ???

  • Phill

    I love it.

  • Phill

    I would suggest her to learn a trade. If she is smart, and although I don’t know her, I believe she is, then teach her to “fish”. Show her what she can do to bring in an income in order to go after the big fish she wants. I believe if we get out of the panic mode, we can find solutions to get to where we want to be. Unfortunately with the religion of education, we stopped thinking. We stopped creating new ways to make things happen for ourselves. So don’t panic, don’t worry. Just think.

  • Phill

    No.

  • guest

    There used to be more alternatives to college…. Nowadays everyone is expected to go to college. I attended a technical high school 31 years ago and many of my classmates still work in the field in which they were trained… carpentry, auto and diesel mechanics, plumbing, electrical, plastics technology and many more…. Not everyone is cut out for college but most are capable of earning a living and maybe quite a good living. I value a good auto mechanic very much and he or she can earn a good living.

    My parents moved me away from that high school before I finished the program and also did not complete my college education.

    Like many other people in this country, when I was well into my adult life I paid big dollars to learn a trade. (I am still in debt 7 years later although I do no t regret my choice.)

    I would rather use the very high school taxes to produce men & women who can perform a useful service right out of high school – rather than causing many to fail unneccessarily before going into debt to learn a trade 10-20 years after high school.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QLSKA4FQQW447LVHAIJGMTMQ54 JPMelt

    I don’t think making people laugh or mastering a game will fulfill the standard of living that a college degree usually deems advantageous over a high school diploma.

  • EH

    Good suggestions. I’ve been doing many of these without knowing you’ve written about them. But the problem with say traveling around the world with “$10,000” is, many young, intelligent people in this economy today simply don’t have $10,000, or $5,000. Look at the systematic destruction of the middle class and the pathetic wages in the pathetic jobs available to young people in the US. Many, together with their parents and friends, are in real and immediate danger of slipping way below the poverty line, and few would have the money or will to travel the world under such circumstances. The diabolical social and political structure in the US which allows and celebrates the top 1% to “steal” and possess virtually all the wealth of the entire population must simply be stopped. I challenge you to inspire today’s young people to find a solution to this immense social injustice and human problem in this so-called “most powerful nation in the world”.

  • Serenity245

    Personally I think this is bad advice but then you know you can’t become an RN or an Accountant without going to college.

    • Fubar

      Altucher’s main point in another blog post on this topic is that people have irrational prejudices about the value of college/ degrees. Ironic.

      98,000+ people are killed each year in the USA by “college educated” medical personnel that make giant mistakes. These are people that do NOTHING to reform the dysfunctional medical bureaucracies, and are mainly motivated by selfishness.Colleges/Universities do their part in perpetuating the needless suffering by ensuring that reforms do not get traction.

      Most people -regardless of education level- are intellectually lazy, and simply want their prejudices to be reinforced. In many cases higher levels of education simply reinforce snobbery and arrogance as well. Meanwhile virtually all social institutions are failing, dysfunctional and do not have the real trust of the people.

      Colleges/Universities suffer from the same flaws, and further, play a key role in perpetuating and deepening the dysfunctional nature of the systems.

      http://people.ucalgary.ca/~frank/habermas.html

      excerpts:

      …Participatory democracy based on the rights of individuals and guided by reasoned discourse remains the best hope for society.

      The theoretical core of The Theory of Communicative Action is Habermas’ revision of Parsons’s AGIL functional prerequisites in order to describe the legitimation crisis of society, which Habermas calls the “colonization of lifeworld by systems”. Recall that for Parsons, AGIL explains societal stability; the four functions work together to achieve social equilibrium.

      · Adaptation depends on the generalized medium of money, · Goal attainment depends on power (specified in votes), · I is influence, and · L is value-commitments. Habermas makes a key observation about these media, and his the whole theory depends on this: there is a fundamental difference between two types of media. · The A & G media, money and power (votes) are quantitative: both money and votes can be counted, and whoever has the most wins. · The I & L media, by contrast, are qualitative: you can’t quantify influence or value-commitments, since these are only enacted in communication between persons.
      · Adaptation depends on the generalized medium of money,
      · Goal attainment depends on power (specified in votes),
      · I is influence, and
      · L is value-commitments.
      Habermas makes a key observation about these media, and his the whole theory depends on this: there is a fundamental difference between two types of media.
      · The A & G media, money and power (votes) are quantitative: both money and votes can be counted, and whoever has the most wins.
      · The I & L media, by contrast, are qualitative: you can’t quantify influence or value-commitments, since these are only enacted in communication between persons.

      With this difference in mind, you can understand what colonization means. In social settings that formerly operated by communicative media (I & L), the quantitative media (A & G) now dominate. Rather than communicative action—people talking about their differences and coming to a common understanding—one (person, party, or interest) dominates the other by having more money or votes. Colonization reduces the sphere in which communcative, qualitative media operate, and more of social life depends on non-communicative, quantitative media. However—and this is key—the legitimacy of the quantative media ultimately depends on the qualitative media: the value of money and votes requires constant acts of influence and value-commitment, or the A & G media become worthless.

      Remember the key concern is legitimacy. Habermas agrees with Parsons about which institutions are essential to the A & G functions. A is what Habermas calls the “official economy”, and G is the “administrative state”. Both require legitimacy or else society falls into crisis. If people believe either that the economy affords them no opportunity to compete and succeed, or that the state works against their interest, crisis results. Habermas believes we have such a crisis, and it is deepening. The reason is that the quantitative media (money and power) are non-communicative. What he means is that when money and votes are invoked, whoever has the most wins and that’s it, end of process. There is no possibility of reaching a common understanding through these media. And that’s what Habermas means by communicative action: the process of reaching a common understanding. This process is on-going; understanding will never be final. So legitimacy requires that citizens understand each other as committed to continuing the process of seeking common understanding, and acting with respect for that on-going process. With money and votes you never seek to reach understanding, you only invoke how much (quantitative) you’ve got, and thus overpower or be overpowered. Money and votes can be useful ways of getting things done, but only so long as their legitimacy is assured by the common understandings of influence and value-commitments….

  • Kathleen

    Learn a second, third, fourth language…..help out an elderly relative….read (good) books that you haven’t …..

  • disgustedinMI

    What an idiot. How nieve. Don’t be stupid and listen to this jerk.

    He’s is right only in the statement that “you” don’t need to put your kids through college. They should do it themselves. You are better off investing the money and either helping the kid with tuition payments after he/she has graduated or willing them a huge stockpile of money when you pass. Whatever the scenario, your kids definitely need to go to college and they should be doing it themselves. Interest rates to kids for college loans are low and investing your money is a much better return. The loan for the kid is a perfect way to start building a credit rating and once they have graduated, they have low payments for their degree.

    People with college educations have an edge for getting better paying jobs. This is the proper foundation to build a life on. Not fighting to make a living because all the better paying work is going to higher educated people. People that aren’t necessarily better but, put in the time and finances to be looked at as being better.

    I just spent 2 years unemployed and could not get a decent job anywhere because I only have a 2 year degree and the streets are full of people with 4 year degrees looking for work. They’re hiring all the better educated people and leaving people like me at the curb.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_L6JKED42C7JB2OXRF4BDVEWADM mayor

    1- play video games- all the time
    2- eat fast food at least 4 times a day
    3- do no laundry
    4- do not wake up if it’s still light outside
    5- complain
    6-go back to college and learn how to learn

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1600586419 Jay Alan Babcock

    As an art school graduate, I have chosen alternative #3 instead of going to graduate school. I find time to educate myself about contemporary and historical art outside of work (OK, sometimes during work) by, um, never watching television! The cost of art supplies and studio space is much much much less than even a subsidized tuition. Without the university structure, I am forced to be entrepreneurial by setting up my own shows, partnering with other practicing artists, using the www to publicize myself.

    I would dispute (or issue a strong caution) about #8 — without good training, you could mess up your body quite permanently.

  • POHoudini

    I agree with the Military comment. You certainly learn value and starting your bullshit detector is real essential. I always thought it would be a great experience to join another country’s military. I would like to think I would go back and join the Australian Navy or something along those lines.

  • CB

    Interesting article, I like the ideas here. But the article misses the main point of going to college – it’s not to learn life skills. It’s a badge of approval that employers use to screen employees.

    If you don’t go to college, it’s a hell of a lot harder to get a decent paying job – I know I would definitely not be at the consulting firm where I am without a college degree.

    So yes, all of these ideas you mention are wonderful tools to develop life skills. It’s just they don’t come with that badge of approval, and as such you’d be automatically locked out of a lot of jobs. Now, that’s not to say you can’t be successful (e.g., found a business that you sell later), nor that you can’t get a decent paying job (e.g., get your foot in the door despite the educational requirement), but it’d be much harder.

    Since people seem to generally prioritize likely economic security over self actualization coupled with possible economic security, they’ll go the route that offers a more secure route to economic security, i.e., college.

    So unless someone is prepared to jump on the alternative, less secure economic track, he or she is strongly incentivized to go to college after high school.

    Now, a college student could endeavor to engage in some of the activities you suggested: that way, they would get on the secure economic track, but could jump off when the alternative route looks as economically secure (or nearly as).

  • Anonymous

    Going to college isn’t necessarily to get raw knowledge, it’s also about experience. If I wasn’t going to college I’d have no idea how to successfully do any of the points you listed above. College is just as important for gaining street smarts and experience as it is for knowledge. This myth sweeping around about how college is unnecessary is completely idiotic and for the sake of future generations I hope this “fad” of an idea dies out quickly.

  • Anonymous

    Well, I hear you. I believe in educating myself. I have done things SIMPLY BECAUSE I WANTED TO DO THEM. I wanted to learn how to draw, so I took art classes. I wanted to learn about webdesign, so I built a website. I wanted to have a block party, so I organized my neighborhood.

    It’s rewarding to do all these things, the problem is, they don’t pay very well.

    Taking the leap of faith and leaving a high paying job to pursue these other things is very, very difficult.

    http://www.awkwardengineer.com

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y2OU6V5BDWPWGOZISSRM23YPIY satellitepilot

    a vocational college or community college will give you the opportunity to carry out some of these suggestions…i actually enjoy college but understand what he’s saying

  • http://profiles.google.com/codermyers Coder Myers

    Can’t think of a better way to increase the high-school dropout rate than to make two years of indentured servitude a graduation requirement. The opportunity cost of those two years would probably even outweigh the benefit of having a high school diploma rather than a GED.

    • http://profiles.google.com/codermyers Coder Myers

      and another thing, 18 year olds are not qualified to build homes, cities, teach anything, or do anything in a hospital except mop the floor or do dishes in the cafeteria. So that leaves cleaning up trash, entertaining old people and handicapped kids, and janitorial stuff. That will give them a great head start in either becoming a social worker (not exactly a shortage of those where I’m from), a janitor, or a garbage collector. All the kids from my family’s income bracket had to wash dishes or mow lawns while they were in high school anyway – at least we were paid a little. Sounds like the real motivation behind your suggestion is to get something for nothing.

      • http://profiles.google.com/codermyers Coder Myers

        And just so my comments are not completely negative, I think the best thing for high school graduates to do is
        1. Go to community college if there’s a trade or field that strikes their fancy,
        2. Otherwise, spend a few months researching what people actually do at various jobs, and visit different workplaces of family and friends, try to make contacts, etc.
        3. If all else fails, join the military, non-combat preferably.

  • Aunt Jemima

    “8 Alternatives to College?” This should have been titled “Pathways to Homelessness.”

    • http://www.facebook.com/james.altucher James Altucher

       I take it the name you chose to use (normally considered a racial slur now when used as a name) is something you learned from your peers in college?

  • Mariachernaya

    You forgot, learning a foreign language.

  • Mariachernaya

    A bit to ambitious I think.

  • Pass the Bong and Rubbers

    Spending four years of your life doing little besides getting high and banging sorority girls after 18 straight years of following directions and doing as you’re told….SOLD. Face it, college is worth every penny for that experience alone.

  • sneva

    Why don’t you just do all of these things IN college. I know I’m already on track to do half of them and I’m just finishing my freshmen year. That way you have built up awesome credentials and skills, PLUS you end up with a degree instead of a crappier job that you would have liked in your 20s.

    • dani

      I agree completely. If you don’t take advantage of all the opportunities in college, then yeah I can see how it would seem like a waste. But there are so many amazing things you can accomplish there and secure your future.

    • dani

      I agree completely. If you don’t take advantage of all the opportunities in college, then yeah I can see how it would seem like a waste. But there are so many amazing things you can accomplish there and secure your future.

    • dani

      I agree completely. If you don’t take advantage of all the opportunities in college, then yeah I can see how it would seem like a waste. But there are so many amazing things you can accomplish there and secure your future.

    • dani

      I agree completely. If you don’t take advantage of all the opportunities in college, then yeah I can see how it would seem like a waste. But there are so many amazing things you can accomplish there and secure your future.

    • http://www.facebook.com/james.altucher James Altucher

      Because it costs too much money to do both, 

      • Jamesahole

        no, it doesn’t.  A person can literally do ALL of the 8 things you list while in college–as countless people have before, are doing currently, and will continue to do.  I agree James with your claim that higher ed is a bubble, I think that is obvious to everyone who looks at the rising costs in relation to other key benchmarks and indicators.  So, yes, college certainly does not make sense for every one (economy needs farmers, janitors, cab drivers, etc) However, you are taking too extreme of a stance in saying that it is a complete waste.  Maybe you had a bad college experience, but that doesn’t mean other people do.  And all the generalizing on this blog and comments about “kids” being immature, stupid, etc. really needs to be toned down.  It’s ridiculous.  

  • college student

    Do you really think you can just think theoretically that easily without having a teacher to teach you? Seriously, this is so silly. Teaching is so critical to developing a perspective on the world. Why not just get rid of all parents and have kids teach themselves how to live.

    • http://www.facebook.com/james.altucher James Altucher

      No, but I can easily find that teacher for cheaper outside the confines of a college.

      • college student

        Buddy, surely the state of higher education is highly problematic, but I think the notion of college as a conglomeration of intellectuals is still significant. In the current state of a world we live in where many people come from backgrounds where their families and schools are extremely ignorant, college offers an opportunity to gain awareness of yourself in a way that, although other opportunities may offer, it is surely much harder to gain through just traveling itself. Let’s give an example – you are a gay kid raised in a conservative Christian family in a Southern State. When you consider examples like these, you see that it is not only inane, but also unfair to endow individuals with responsibility of
        understanding
        how they can help themselves is silly in a society that socializes people to be ignorant. Furthermore, if we individualize higher education, do you really think social change could progress in the same way? Do you really think there is nothing beneficial in a community of like-minded thinkers studying a similar topic that could be replicated by an individual on his or her own?

        I don’t have much time for this, but these are my thoughts for now.

        • Fubar

          There are a number of such intellectuals that are highly critical of the institutional failures of colleges and universities.

          The original idea in the Western Liberal Tradition was that there should be a Democracy of the Knowledge Commons. And, there should be significant Academic Freedom so that unpopular ideas could be considered in a prejudice-free, objective atmosphere.

          All that was hijacked and corrupted. What remains is a faint ghost. Academia is Big Business. Academic elites are far more interested in Turf Wars and related money/ego gratification, or in thought policing and political correctness.

          People in academia that are critical of the corruption in the educational establishment are marginalized and attacked. Reformers are marginalized. Corporate predator types have taken over college adminsitration. Bank scams prevail. Universities are complicit on immigration scams that undermine the position of american industrial and tech workers.

          Conformism prevails, not original, critical thinking, or the defense of high principles and innovation.

          Colleges/Universities are, in general, not places that give rise to any real form of social change, paradigm shift, or anything like that anymore. Rather, they are gripped by dysfunctional postmodernism.

        • Fubar

          There are a number of such intellectuals that are highly critical of the institutional failures of colleges and universities.

          The original idea in the Western Liberal Tradition was that there should be a Democracy of the Knowledge Commons. And, there should be significant Academic Freedom so that unpopular ideas could be considered in a prejudice-free, objective atmosphere.

          All that was hijacked and corrupted. What remains is a faint ghost. Academia is Big Business. Academic elites are far more interested in Turf Wars and related money/ego gratification, or in thought policing and political correctness.

          People in academia that are critical of the corruption in the educational establishment are marginalized and attacked. Reformers are marginalized. Corporate predator types have taken over college adminsitration. Bank scams prevail. Universities are complicit on immigration scams that undermine the position of american industrial and tech workers.

          Conformism prevails, not original, critical thinking, or the defense of high principles and innovation.

          Colleges/Universities are, in general, not places that give rise to any real form of social change, paradigm shift, or anything like that anymore. Rather, they are gripped by dysfunctional postmodernism.

        • Fubar

          There are a number of such intellectuals that are highly critical of the institutional failures of colleges and universities.

          The original idea in the Western Liberal Tradition was that there should be a Democracy of the Knowledge Commons. And, there should be significant Academic Freedom so that unpopular ideas could be considered in a prejudice-free, objective atmosphere.

          All that was hijacked and corrupted. What remains is a faint ghost. Academia is Big Business. Academic elites are far more interested in Turf Wars and related money/ego gratification, or in thought policing and political correctness.

          People in academia that are critical of the corruption in the educational establishment are marginalized and attacked. Reformers are marginalized. Corporate predator types have taken over college adminsitration. Bank scams prevail. Universities are complicit on immigration scams that undermine the position of american industrial and tech workers.

          Conformism prevails, not original, critical thinking, or the defense of high principles and innovation.

          Colleges/Universities are, in general, not places that give rise to any real form of social change, paradigm shift, or anything like that anymore. Rather, they are gripped by dysfunctional postmodernism.

        • http://www.facebook.com/james.altucher James Altucher

           Thanks for your time on this. I’m sure the conglomeration of intellectuals are keeping you busy.

          My main point, which people are almost afraid to discuss: is that we are graduating a generation of indentured servants instead of entrepreneurs, artists, innovators, like America has always had. College tuition costs have gone up 3x faster than inflation. Thats a supply and demand equation. In order to bring down price we need to either increase supply (perhaps Internet education) or reduce demand. I am giving viable alternatives that help reduce demand and thus reduce price. College students should be thanking me for starting this discussion.

  • Anonymous

    You just don’t get it do you?

  • Pete

    Having written at least a couple of articles on the subject and numerous others that are interrelated in some way, why have you not started an un-college of sorts (to borrow the Mad Hatter’s naming convention)? It seems like you could take enterprising and entrepreneurial-minded young people and put them through a program that gives them the sorts of life skills you’re condoning, while taking a piece of their soul… er I mean first born… wait I mean a percentage of their future earnings, not entirely unlike the criminals… er I mean bankers who so kindly and generously lent to us when we were in school. If I were 18 again, literate, and forunate enough to have stumbled across your tomes, I would sign up for something like that in a heartbeat.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Cappella/1191922932 Michael Cappella

    Make a documentary, I have always wanted to do it!

  • CommonSense

    This is an article that I completely disagree with… Working in Higher Education, I have spoken to thousands of students who Wish they would have gone to college earlier in their lives because they see how hard it is when they are older with a lot more responsibilities. The author is a hypocrite because he received his degree, yet no one else go for it, or, why go for it. He obviously does not see the value that he has gained from receiving his degree. The most successful countries in the world are the ones who push for education. The reason a lot of people don’t know what they want to be when they “grow up” is because we are still kids at 18 and we haven’t even come close to maturing. College is not just about book smarts but it gives you the ability to learn how to analyze, comprehend, and solve problems. The fact that the author says, Don’t send your kids to college makes me think that he has no kids of his own. Truly pathetic article…

    • http://www.facebook.com/james.altucher James Altucher

      Well, “comon sense” I dont normally respond to people who insult me BUT you call me a hypocrite becase i “went to college”. how else would one be qualified to say it’s not worth it.

      • Dani

        I think her point is that you inherently can’t understand what your life would have been like without college or if you truly could have learned the same lessons or gotten the same opportunities. I think a lot of the things you gain from college also are changes that happen to you as a person that you might mistakenly attribute to something else.

      • Dani

        I think her point is that you inherently can’t understand what your life would have been like without college or if you truly could have learned the same lessons or gotten the same opportunities. I think a lot of the things you gain from college also are changes that happen to you as a person that you might mistakenly attribute to something else.

      • Dani

        I think her point is that you inherently can’t understand what your life would have been like without college or if you truly could have learned the same lessons or gotten the same opportunities. I think a lot of the things you gain from college also are changes that happen to you as a person that you might mistakenly attribute to something else.

  • http://twitter.com/statspotting StatSpotting.com
    • http://www.facebook.com/james.altucher James Altucher

      Anyone who took Stats 101 can answer that question. Any takers? If not, i will respond.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=663766825 Jason Williams

        Sorry, I was busy doing charity teaching people in India how to master ping-pong and didn’t attend college. 

  • dani

    Why do you think that working at McDonald’s or Wal-mart would help students figure out what they want to do with the rest of their life? The reason that most people in this generation go straight in to college is BECAUSE they hear so many stories from their parents about how they thought they’d just work for a little while but then got stuck and have been severely handicapped in the job market by their lack of degree. You can find yourself and passion in college, and still be successful.

  • dani

    Why do you think that working at McDonald’s or Wal-mart would help students figure out what they want to do with the rest of their life? The reason that most people in this generation go straight in to college is BECAUSE they hear so many stories from their parents about how they thought they’d just work for a little while but then got stuck and have been severely handicapped in the job market by their lack of degree. You can find yourself and passion in college, and still be successful.

  • Dani

    Are you aware that every additional year of education translates in to an 8% increase in earnings? People who graduate college make about 30% more than people who don’t. It’s obvious to me that you couldn’t possibly have taken advantage of whatever institution you were at. Every single thing you listed is something you can do within your university, while still securing your future.

    Instead of preaching the same trite list everyone has seen multiple times to the privileged youth about how much culture you can gain, you should be giving legitimate college alternatives. Not everyone should go to college, or is cut out for it, or will be their best from doing so. BUT that doesn’t mean the alternatives have to do with soul-searching on your parents dime. Why not talk about technical schools? Or internships? Or areas that require certification instead of formal education?

    • b-rigg

      VERY well put, Dani. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/james.altucher James Altucher

      Nobody has ever done the true statistical test on this. instead whats always quoted is this nonsense stat that anyone who took Stats 101 in college would see the basic problem: correlation does not equal cause. its the first thing we learn as a Freshman in College in statistics but I guess most college people don’t take that course. There’s also selection bias in that stat. Another thing that I learned in Stats 101

      Here is the true test: give me 2000 people who got into college. So we all know they are the sort of people who would be college-bound. Now randomly select 1000 and tell them “you can never go to college” and then see what they are like 20 years from now.

      This test has not been done. Nor will it ever be done. But, my main point is, the stat that everyone keeps quoting is utterly useless until the test i describe is done.

  • Dani

    Are you aware that every additional year of education translates in to an 8% increase in earnings? People who graduate college make about 30% more than people who don’t. It’s obvious to me that you couldn’t possibly have taken advantage of whatever institution you were at. Every single thing you listed is something you can do within your university, while still securing your future.

    Instead of preaching the same trite list everyone has seen multiple times to the privileged youth about how much culture you can gain, you should be giving legitimate college alternatives. Not everyone should go to college, or is cut out for it, or will be their best from doing so. BUT that doesn’t mean the alternatives have to do with soul-searching on your parents dime. Why not talk about technical schools? Or internships? Or areas that require certification instead of formal education?

  • Julia

    Do you have any particular reason for focusing on New Zealand?

  • Bro

    I can imagine this seeming so awesome and refreshing to read for people who didn’t go to college or aren’t going to go and then seeming really stressful and frustrating to read for people who did or are going to college.

    loved it.

  • Brittany

    “And I always sit and daydream, ‘what if..’, ‘what if..’ Its the easiest
    and most dangerous meditation to do: what if. Because that wish is like a
    wisp of smoke that can twist and turn until we disappear along with it.” Beautifully said. I’m currently in college, and sometimes I feel it isn’t for me. I’d much rather be out giving a direct helping hand to those in need instead of wasting my “most vibrant, and healthy” years. It makes me sad to think I’ve spent all this time reading articles and writing papers and stressing out when I’m ever-aging and in my prime. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/james.altucher James Altucher

      I like that as a meditation. It allows one to surrended to the fact that we’ll never know. 

  • Two_fishes

    Many countries have a mandatory military service after high school, which can be deferred to civil service i.e. community service. This is not a bad idea, and is certainly not equivalent to slavery.

    • Wpatton100

      They do get paid for their military service, though. You’re talking about forcing people to work for two years without pay. Work that you have to do and you aren’t paid for is certainly equivalent to slavery if you ask me. It’s not quite as bad, since the kids would get to choose where they worked and they could leave a job they didn’t like and they’d be done after two years, but still, forcing people to work is unethical and just a really, really bad idea.

      • Guillermo

        It doesn’t matter whether they get paid or not, it’s slavery anyway. Blacks were also paid for their forced labor (in food and housing), that doesn’t make any less abhorrent their slavery.

        On another note, what’s up with the orthography around here? There != their, than != then.
        That’s with you, @Theeternalseeeker

  • http://profiles.google.com/stevefoersterva Steve Foerster

    Yes, absolutely.

  • http://stocksonwallstreet.net/ jameshartje

     Great article James, I still think college is a great time to have fun and be doing what society deems right.

  • Johannes

     The big problem is that most 18-year-olds are not hearty when they hear “mandatory community service”.

  • Lundholm

    Courts are agents of the state. Courts have already  abrogated most of the Constitution. So what if they say it’s okay to force someone into labor? The fact that they sit on benches and wear black robe does not make an act that is inherently evil (unless it’s okay to by threat of violence coerce a person to act contrary to his or her own will) okay.

  • Kingkongfetus

    These are supposed to be alternatives to college? It sounds like hobbies to me.

  • Kingkongfetus

    These are supposed to be alternatives to college? Sounds more like hobbies to me. I’m sorry but the title for this article should be changed. So much is not even looked at here.

    What about trades such as HVAC, electrical & plumbing? they do not require college and there are certifications and/or licensing for that. What about IT certifications. Get an Education at Google University and start your own business? Learn on the job and from others. Hard work pays off. And for God sakes, don’t put AMWAY on the list. If I get approached by one more AMWAY rep I’m going to snap.

  • Kingkongfetus

    How’s this?
    What about trades
    such as HVAC, electrical & plumbing? they do not require college and
    there are certifications and/or licensing for that. What about IT
    certifications. Get an Education at Google University and start your own
    business? Learn on the job and from others. Hard work pays off.
    Better?

  • Kingkongfetus

    James, what’s with the comments being deleted?

    • Some guy

      They provide evidence to the contrary. Duh.

      • Fubar

        They also provide evidence that supports Altucher. 

  • Anonymous

     This was the most pointless comment I’ve seen all year. But we’ll let it slip, I guess your happy you know your definitions. Look up egoist lol

    • Anon

      you’re vs your

  • Thomasrippel

    You come from a good background, James. The kind of people you went to summer camp with also all come from good backgrounds. I would guess most of them earn at least 6 figure salaries today. 
    People of Jewish descent (I am phrasing it this way because I am not too sure how much of a practicing Jew you are. Reading the New Testament for spiritual guidance and all) are culturally bound to be extremely literate. Whereas Christians did a good job of systematically eradicating their literate population, forbidding monks and priests to fornicate and all and keeping the population at large illiterate. God forbid they started reading the Bible on their own and figure out they have been fed big load of bullshit for 1000 years.
    Of course nowadays just about everyone is ‘literate’. However a well educated Jew who is the culmination of generation after generation of scholarly pursuit can hardly be compared to the wider gentile population who barely learns the alphabet well enough to read a newspaper. 
    You never needed formal education because your culture steeps you it. On top of that, Jewish cultural norms make them extremely well suited to function well in the business world. To navigate all the mitzvoth and understand the Talmud you basically have to be a lawyer!
    This is of course all a horrible generalization! But if you look at how incredibly illiterate just about 95% of the population is (and I consider myself one of them), the above advice is simply not applicable. 
    But I very much agree with you that the American university system is a scam! Compare that to Western Europe’s university system (except UK) and you will simply shake your head. In Switzerland for example, only something like 20% of the population does high school. Everyone else goes off to vocational schools. After all, not everyone can become a lawyer, banker, accountant or doctor. Someone has to be the plumber, waiter and construction worker. You will probably find it shocking that anyone graduating high school, no matter what your grades, is eligible to attend any university and study anything except medicine without restriction. This includes some of the worlds top universities such as the ETH in Zurich (the European equivalent of MIT, ranked in the top 20 universities in the world) or the University of St. Gallen (best business school in Europe, producing the second highest earning graduates of any university in the world). Tuition: $US1000 per year. 

  • Thomasrippel

    James, would you say the same if university education was for free like in Europe? 

    • diocletian

      @Thomasrippel,

      Dolt, it’s not really “free” !

      Oh, sure ! It’s apparently free to the recipient, but NOT at all “free” to everyone else whom the government FORCES to pay for it via coercive, expropriatory taxation.

      Oh ! OF COURSE, you are in favor of receiving stolen property to fund your university education, your food, clothing, housing, medical care, etc. because, like the typical sociopath, including the one’s you vote for, you regard others as your personal serfs/slaves, as the means to your and your family’s ends.

      As you demonstrate by your comment, you are a dolt, and a malicious one at that !

  • Redhawk2344

    My grandson is 10 years old.  When he is 18,college age, it will cost him $147,000 to attend a public  California  college for 4 years.   This is insane!

    from a grandmother who will be helping pay for college!

  • Theblackvalor

    Let’s take this one step further:
    SHORTEN HIGH SCHOOL WHY ARE 14-18 YEAR OLDS BEING SHOVED IN CLASSROOMS 9 HOURS A DAY?
     Why hasn’t society realized the beginnings of how unnatural this is? Learning is falling on your ass. Getting robbed. Being dumped. Cooking an egg. We don’t need the classroom anymore. It’s been rendered obsolete. A kid sees a full moon and thinks “what is that?” he googles it and has a better rational explanation than any teacher could ever give. Forget the classroom. Waste of time and money!!!!!!

  • Theblackvalor

    Let’s take this one step further:
    SHORTEN HIGH SCHOOL WHY ARE 14-18 YEAR OLDS BEING SHOVED IN CLASSROOMS 9 HOURS A DAY?
     Why hasn’t society realized the beginnings of how unnatural this is? Learning is falling on your ass. Getting robbed. Being dumped. Cooking an egg. We don’t need the classroom anymore. It’s been rendered obsolete. A kid sees a full moon and thinks “what is that?” he googles it and has a better rational explanation than any teacher could ever give. Forget the classroom. Waste of time and money!!!!!!

  • Jdoring

    It takes more ambition, creativity and discipline for a young person to follow this route of self improvement and self learning, than to follow a herd of other young people through school doing as you’re told by authority figures. Congratulations to high school grads who can actually create an educational plan for themselves….a rare breed indeed!

  • L_mccommons

    Another idea: Learn a trade skill like Massage Therapy. You can always go to college later and you will have a way to earn a fairly good living at the same time.

  • L_mccommons

    Another idea: Learn a trade skill like Massage Therapy. You can always go to college later and you will have a way to earn a fairly good living at the same time.

  • L_mccommons

    Another idea: Learn a trade skill like Massage Therapy. You can always go to college later and you will have a way to earn a fairly good living at the same time.

  • Yankeesista

    If fewer 18 year olds weren’t notoriously ignorant, undisciplined idiots who would rather sleep all day and party the night away instead of doing any of the things you suggest they do instead of college, well, then your alternatives would actually be educational.  Unfortunately, without supervision, deadlines and the wrath of mom & dad, these young people would accomplish nothing.

    • Fubar

      One of the many elements of dysfunctionality present in post-secondary education these days is that so many students are being under-educated by the K-12 public education system. Even Obama and his Education secretary Arne Duncan are making a giant mistake in not reversing the “teach to the test” idiocy that reached a fever pitch under the Bush administration’s “No Child Left Behind” program.
       
      College/Universities are left with the task of remediating many students that did not get a “real” education in Elementary, Middle and High school.
       
      Of course Colleges/Universities ultimately share in the blame since most of the people in the K-12 educational establishment received degrees in colleges/univerisites.

  • Goggg

    Well put into words, by someone meaningful, something which is only becoming more apparent in these boom/bust “programed” times. I only wish i’d persisted in my desire to drop out of college to do what he advocates. I’ve been unhappy ever since doing the traditional routine( as my p’s wanted).

  • Bizlaw

    Colleges have basically transformed their student populations from “young people to educate in a professional career” to “young people who need to stay here for 5 years so we can fund all our research projects”. Learning French Literature is fine, but why is it a requirement to be an engineer? Does a journalism student (who faces one of the lowest paying careers upon graduation, BTW) really need to take organic chemistry?

    Unfortunately, the business world has bought into this “must have a college degree” scam. They require certain degrees to do a job, even though they know that graduates have no clue how to do a job. Ridiculous. The real problem is that colleges don’t teach students how to think and solve problems any more. It’s just memorize and regurgitate. 

  • S. Widman

    I’m glad there are some like minded people out there. James I have information on possibly the best idea for starting your own business to add to your list. You can get a hold of me at Widman.Shane@gmail.com.

  • Tom

    Almost same story here, except I did the military right out of HS.  Did 6 years, got electronics training, and got a job with that training after leaving the military.

    Went to school at night (on the company’s dime) to get my degree, so I could “check the box” with HR for my promotion.  I’m 39 now and making like 130k/yr, and never had any college debts.

  • Robert Warneford-Thomson

    As a fellow college student I completely agree, self-understanding is so important to finding the inner motivation and drive that will carry you through life. For me I came to college with little motivation and clue what I wanted to do, I was lucky enough that a scholarship means I won’t be mired in debt, but that’s a luxury the bulk of students cannot enjoy. The ‘eureka’ moment for me has been studying abroad in China this semester, so I’d agree with the article’s advocacy for foreign travel as immensely constructive, although I’ve met some whose narrow mindedness and distaste for differences has reasserted their desire to stay at home and haven’t seemed to gain any noticeable benefit from their time abroad. I think a large part of it is just having a spark in the beginning of wanting to learn, which I don’t know whether is an innate trait or something planted in us by our parents, society, or schools (I highly doubt the latter is true)

  • Tom59

    Working in a charity when you are still recieving charity from your parents is no-go with me.  I also believe that this constant push for people to do charity work has the effect of people seeking charity of others for their needs instead rather than become self-reliant.  Other than that, I like your article but I think it lacks the motivation of being cut off fiancially unless the kids are doing something productive. 

  • Tom59

    Managing a mandatory work-force is nothing but work with very little benefit.  If they don’t want to be there, they are not going to work and their attitude will spread like a bad cancer. 

  • 2cool

     James, you assume that everyone at the age of 18 has the confidence and mental skills to make decisions in their lives. Most go off to college because that is expected of them, once they land in college it’s the first time in their lives they are allowed to make decisions without someone watching over them. That is why college is so important.

    If they stay and live at home, their decision making skills are still retarded by the adults around them. Most don’t have the funds to make the choices you suggest, 10K is more money than most will see in a lifetime in a savings account. Travel and art supplies are all second to eating and paying rent for most of the youth today.

    Your advice for the starving is to eat cake. Painful for the youth of today.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      I don’t assume that but lets say they don’t have that confidence and mental skills to make basic decisions in their life. Even more reason I’m not going to waste $100k+ (or put them into massive debt) by havng them go to college. I’d prefer they work jobs until they’ve figured a bit more what they want out of life.

  • Anonymous

    9) Learn a trade

  • Anonymouse

    what “real world” are you talking about???  

  • Sarmahdi

    i know its a very old post, but I guess I just want to add some thing : besides starting a business (Which I will agree with Thomasrippel that not all are capable of it) I think can be done even while going to school. I went to a university in cyprus for three years, stayed there (Awesomely beautiful place) and then transferred to US and completed by bachelors there took a bit of a while but I finished it. not many of us are lucky enough i say, but you can travel or live in another country while studying. Who said you HAVE to go to a university in the US only, un less you are going to an Ivy league school. # 3 can be done in school too, take extra courses there. #4 is hard yeah, but can be done in off hours after school.
    #5 is a hmmm… have to think about it. People these days are actually writing their books. They just need to compile their facebook statuses, tweets and blog entries and Vallah!! u got a good book there. (Is your book a compilation of your own blog entries ). #6 working in a charity, yeah maybe a very good experience but never an alternative for an education, even a good CS degree might teach you to help other ppl in a very managed and process way making your charity work more effective and efficient. But yes its a good pre college exp. #7 and #8 can be done while in school too. Who studies 24/7 anyways… 

  • Sarmahdi

    Oh .. good blog though loved reading it… 

  • Anonymous

    Another suggestion is to plan alternatives for your kids before they become college age.  Save money for them as if they were going to be college bound and for instance, if you have a mechanic, ask them if your kid can work there for free or minimum wage after school while they are in their teens as an apprentice.  Have them learn the ropes of a trade or two.   Then when they are actually college age, you have the seed capital for them for a business.  

  • http://onlinedegree.botw.org/ Cimarroncowgirl

    I know very few 18 year olds who have the self discipline to attempt most of your suggestions. I wish I did, mind you. I see young adults who did not go to college out of high school. Some are now parents. Some work in construction with their parents’ friends. Some have entered the military-I’m all for the military option. The ones who chose the military are the ones doing the best. I’m quite proud of them, as are their parents. At any rate, my point is that sometimes college is good way to grow up, learn responsibility. It’s a difficult choice but I prefer to see kids go to college if at all possible. 

  • Bwill4032

    I’m a college graduate at age 58 and I’m leaning towards not encouraging my grandchildren to college rather to live a more adventurous life and really enjoy what they do.

  • Bwill4032

    Oh yeah and I do like this list.

  • Noybposterboy

    Lots of platitudes here without much foundation in metrics. College grads on the whole make much more money, but you have to get a degree that’s worth something and not pay out the nose for it. Public universities are great resources for good and reasonably priced degrees. If you’re paying ivy league money, you’d better be certain you’ll get an elite job from the people with whom you’re rubbing elbows.

    1) Start a business.Maybe. “Eating what you kill” makes for snappy reading, but doesn’t do anything to teach somebody how to properly cost a job and do their taxes.
    2) Travel the world. “Take $10,000.” How about, join the military?
    3) Create art. The world is full of starving artists. For most of human existence art was avocational and democratic, and is becoming so again.
    4) Make people laugh. Seriously? How about learn to build somebody a LAN so they can message jokes between rooms? Skills.

    5) Write a book. Better. It would be improved if you read some books about composition and communication to help hone skills. Or you could take a college class. But writing is a definite skill to develop.

    6) Work in a charity. Can’t argue with this. Mad skills may be obtained! But don’t starve at it.

    7) Master a game. WTF? At least college genEd classes are designed to round your developing skill set. To equate something seriously avocational like this is just ignorant.
    8) Master a sport. If you couldn’t get a sports scholarship to college, this is just plain stupid. Go to 6, or join the military.

  • Becker

    So, these are hobbies. Not alternatives to College. Should I put the number of classical instruments I play on my resume and include examples of my artwork  in my portfolio at an investment  banking interview? HELL NO. As someone who is about to graduate and is surrounded by peers who have recently graduated, I can honestly say that COLLEGE IS A WASTE OF GOD DAMN TIME. Its called “on the job training”. That’s the reason why a liberal arts major (what a fucking joke) can come out and make just as much as a business major at a sales job. The only reason why college is needed is for one reason. 1) Its a requirement to get hired for corporate positions with any ability to climb the ladder (this is completely asinine because any moron can go to college). As for everything I learned within my finance major, I could have taught it to myself in 6 months for free.

  • Anonymous

    1 Nc7    Rd8
    2 Ba4!  Nxc7 (forced)
    3 Rxc7+ Kf8
    4 b4      Nc4
    5 Rxb7  Nxa3
    6 Rxb6   and white should win

    However 1 . . . Rb8 appears to hold

  • A man that drove trucks.

    Get a truck drivers license and get in and out of your country carrying stuff people need. Truck drivers earn more and have more fun than many college graduates.

  • A man that drove trucks.

    Get a truck drivers license and get in and out of your country carrying stuff people need. Truck drivers earn more and have more fun than many college graduates.

  • Sandy Jensen

    I wish at the
    moment (grading finals!) that more of my students had thought of one or
    more of these things ten weeks ago!

  • Terafumos

    Mandatory? How about no. Slavery should remain abolished.

  • Telemann

    Compare European and Canadian universities. No frills advanced European universities may have yearly budgets of as little as one fifth of comparable American research universities. Some reasons may not be hard to find:  – expensive varsity sports and coaches, opulent student unions and administrative buildings, and diverse services. Fancy buildings and showy overbuilt graduate programs don’t necessarily add up to better academic preparation for student jobs and careers or informed citizenship.

    The French observer who wrote a famous book on Democracy in America after his visit to the United States in 1831 pointed out that American culture in the 1830s was already “exceptional”, i.e. very different than those in nations from which the immigrants came. Mostly the praiseworthy qualities are heard. We have tended to launder out the less flattering comments – like Americans tending to reject authority. They avoid voting for political leaders with vision and wisdom, favoring colorful,  charismatic pols who tell people what they want to hear.

    Bandwagon movements arise in U.S.  civil life and politics. Blessed with irrational zeal and optimism, Americans make horrendous mistakes until the consequences kick in.  When it comes to university policies I suggest that we are in a time when the bloated quality of American research institutions and the non-translatability of leadership in peer-reviewed publications by faculty into effective educations for students will gradually be discovered.

    Cordially,

    .

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bill-Walker/100000233575307 Bill Walker

    >How about a two-year mandatory community service requirement for all high school grads?

    How about two years of slavery for YOU while you think about the moral content of your brilliantly original idea.

    • http://www.736hundred.tumblr.com 736hundred

      What a peculiar comment. I would love to understand the point or idea you are making. Slavery?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bill-Walker/100000233575307 Bill Walker

         Two years taking orders and doing meaningless forced makework for some government agency, instead of using the two years when your body and brain are working the best to build your own life? Where would we be if Wozniak, Ellison, Blackburn et al had had their lives confiscated for “community service”?

        The point is, if you have some wonderful idea, then do it yourself or sell other people on it. Your idea doesn’t magically get better just because you force other people to do it at the point of a gun.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mason-Hymas/100001212442746 Mason Hymas

    or… we could treat them like human beings instead of farm animals and let them choose what they want to do with their lives :)

  • bill quinn

    Learn a trade. Become a plumber or a car mechanic or an electrician. I know a plumber who literally prints money. Can you imagine how much money car mechanics save themselves over the course of their lifetime–not just on repairs, but buying good used cars instead of wasting money on new, expensive cars. Too many kids and families dismiss learning a trade, as if it were “below” their “level”. A person with a trade, and some good common financial sense can end up far ahead of many of today’s college graduates who will be buried in debt for decades.

  • Anonymous

    Yes.

  • Not_here

    Funny how we accept and defend the idea of “mandatory service”. Service to whom? the state? the military?

  • Randy

    Garsnail, there are still low cost online programs which can alleviate the human resources need to present a degree (http://www.londoninternational.ac.uk/prospective_students/undergraduate/index.php). Thus, it’s possible to have it both ways. Most persons, however, have been conditioned by society to take the big loans and be saddled with a huge debt burden for life.

  • Randy

    James, I agree with everything you’d said, however, consider this … the college diploma (BA or BS) is a type of human resources barrier of entry.

    Only a decade ago, one can attend a community college and work as a paralegal full time. Today, a paralegal needs to have some bachelors degree to be ‘seen’ as appropriate for law offices. This can be a degree in English, basket weaving, or something substantial like Electronics Engineering. The actual base of knowledge doesn’t matter. And likewise, today, even Albert Einstein could not become a Patent Agent without a bachelors degree in the sciences/engineering and passing the US Patent Agent exam. The board would simply not approve his license to practice.

    Thus, I recommend this path for kids… get a GED; finish high school early. Then take courses at a community college and either transfer for a full time program in Nursing, Pharmacy, Petroleum Engineering, or some other licensed type of field (with co-ops/internships) or start a business. This way, one has both qualities, the ability to be *seen*, as white collar appropriate or a self-made entrepreneur. Realize, one can still get a final BA at a reduced costs thanks to lower cost online programs like London Univ (http://www.londoninternational.ac.uk/prospective_students/undergraduate/index.php) or others in the US with 2 years of credits transferred from a community college.

  • Lady

    I really think that saying that all of these things can’t be incorporated into a college education is ludicrous! I consider myself an anarchist, and I have some definite issues with our educational system but college is a great way to learn all kinds of skills. I’ve practically dropped out of society in every other way, but I think that a good college education is, first of all, not accessible enough to young people – I hear every day about people who join the military even though it is against their ideology just because they need the money to educate themselves. Our government needs to understand that educating our population is the only route to a sound economic future.

    The silliest part of all this is that you can do all of these 8 things IN COLLEGE, and if you’re smart about it, the government will pay for it. You can totally learn an instrument, take classes that teach you and give you tools and resources to start your own business, take public speaking and communications classes, and even study abroad to places like India and Europe. And who says that a person can’t go to college while they do stand-up comedy on the weekends, and work on a novel, and play soccer at the park on Sundays. If you think college makes you less creative, you should meet the art students I know who are geniuses and do so much artwork outside of their college requirements. All of these are great experiences but can definitely be done in an academic way if a person chooses, or in addition to one’s college curriculum. I myself have a blog I write in regularly, I make homemade jewelery and crafts, host music events at my home … and I go to school.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/74PJBAYFCAAWPIHN24WH4XAQHM Ken

    Pioneer – “Go where no man has gone before”  I believe Gene Roddenberry with Star Trek is famous for this line.  It represents wonderlust, exploration, adventures into the unknown.  It is true you learn more from failure than success, in which case I have learned a lot.  Maybe because I have less unscrupulous nature in unscrupulous times I am not rich but I have had a digital recording studio back in the ’90s with PC equipment, recorded bands in less than perfect conditions in HD audio, helped engineer prototype computer systems which no one had ever accomplished and wrote and performed my own music on the streets and bars of America.  I am not famous or rich except in the experience of life, the one true gift to humankind.  So I say adventure out and live life, it is more than money can buy.

    • Randy

      Ken, hate to say it but Star Trek was a Federation/military exploration vessel, which was always on-call to be used for a Federation military campaign. If anything, the only free person on the vessel was Kirk, because while the Feds weren’t giving him orders, he had full control over everything on the ship. Everyone else was a minion.

      And likewise, in Star Trek time, all kids enrolled at StarFleet Academy, just like kids today for college, who want to be in either a white collar job or a healthcare outfit. Exam scores and recommendation letters where the way for one to advance one’s careers, sans a few heroics by Kirk and company.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richie-Holschen/735768302 Richie Holschen

    I’m still stuck on the chess problem.  I see moving the castle to check, but he can still move back and to the right out of check.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richie-Holschen/735768302 Richie Holschen

    I’m still stuck on the chess problem.  I see moving the castle to check, but he can still move back and to the right out of check.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richie-Holschen/735768302 Richie Holschen

     I don’t see it either.  You can move the castle to put the black king in check, but he can still move back and to the right.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richie-Holschen/735768302 Richie Holschen

     I don’t see it either.  You can move the castle to put the black king in check, but he can still move back and to the right.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lorin.c.partain Lorin Chane Partain

    When my father applied to the Railroads for a job, he had a high school diploma. That got him a lifelong career. The Railroads won’t even talk to someone today who does not have a degree. A B.S. is the equivalent of the H.S. Diploma of 40 years ago. I wish it weren’t so.

  • ONLYTRUTHPLS

    Hello JAMES, i am leandro from argentina.am 43. have 3 kids. one is 17.
    mate I agree 100pct with your thinking! i have a masters degree taken in uk, also wife.
    but all university story and masters is part of the RELIGION plan we all take as a mandate!
    it is good to know people in us start raising voices against status-quo. We need to be more and more (but really fight is kind of David vs Goliat)!
    cheers to you from Buenos Aires!!
     

  • Jamison

    Only problem is that nowadays, > 3 month work visas, almost require having some college degree. 

    • Dave

      Its not hard to work around that if your really dedicated to teaching in that country. And that is usually for middle east countries were you wouldn’t get a job teaching in the first place with out a good resume, experience, and a degree. Though Eastern Europe, Latin American, Asia, and even Western Europe if your willing to work under the table are all viable options.

  • http://mcmimik.blogspot.com/ mcmimik

    Here is the russian translation of your post: http://mcmimik.blogspot.com/2011/08/8-alternatives-to-college.html

  • http://mcmimik.blogspot.com/ mcmimik

    Thank you and good luck!

  • Alwaysthinking

    I love this post. I unfortunately and fortunately went to college for two years and then dropped out because I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do. I figured it wasn’t smart to take out a whole lot of loans that I would have to pay back for something I didn’t want. Instead of going with the flow I bucked the entire system much to my mother’s and family’s complaints, pleads and constant barking. I am so happy I did it! I have spent the past 10 years searching out everything I even though I wanted to do. I have been an ordained minister! Ha! I have done acting! I started a talk show! I have done everything I have ever wanted and now feel like I am on the path that I am suppose to be. I can say having the first two years on campus was fun for the experience dropping out was one of the best things ever! I will eventually go back and finish with a liberal art degree, but at least now I will go because I want to not because I have to. 

  • Chrisgallagherr

    you must smoke crack how about u go do that and the rest of the world will work for money not love

  • Chrisgallagherr

    you must smoke crack how about u go do that and the rest of the world will work for money not love

  • Chrisgallagherr

    you must smoke crack how about u go do that and the rest of the world will work for money not love

  • Chrisgallagherr

    you must smoke crack how about u go do that and the rest of the world will work for money not love

  • Chrisgallagherr

     plus 2 years of service to help crack heads and fix cities that crack heads destroyed is senseless considering they will just destroy it again if anything 2 years of military service is better

  • ErinKate

    Excellent article.  I’m walking around with a degree in history of religion.  The only effects this has had on my life is a lot of debt and the ability to respond to some jeopardy questions.  I started my career, which has been successful, after I got out of college.  I would have been better off starting it at 20, after 2 years abroad, than at 23. 

    Some careers require schooling.  If you want to be a doctor or a nurse or an architect, a teacher or lawyer, ok, I get that some classroom time is necessary.  But those professions are the exception, not the rule.

  • Dj

    Join the military…

  • Angryfrank

    How wonderful it is for Mr. Altucher to give all the irresponsible parents of the world – including my nephew who has 5 children (4 of them girls) a free pass on their responsibility to at least assist in the provision of a college education. Last I checked, Al-f’er, you’re white and supposedly have balls… putting you in the most privileged class. What in the hell could you possibly know about the glass ceiling, or what it is like for most people who can’t take the ups and downs of self-employment, and all the insecurity it entails. Why, hell, we should all just be non-house owning, college-bashing college graduates like you, right?

    I get an email from my f-up nephew who can barely support the four kids he has let alone the one on the way, stating – read this Al-f’er he’s amazing. He gives me permission to be the total f-up of a parent I am. All he says is “college is b.s. man” “read Al-F’er”. Meanwhile of course Al-F’er went to college and was able to get a job at HBO in programming because of his college – was able to learn from mistakes on the job because he showed the initiative of actually finishing something… like college. But wait, now he can totally ignore all the demographic data pointing to the huge imbalance facing his opposite sex, should they listen to his biased “I’m a millionaire-genius, follow my totally radical ass plan for no-debt, no-education, no sense of self”.

    Hey genius, Al-f’er, how about you putting up the percentage of non-college educated women who make more than minimum wage. Or the even scarier statistic of young women without college opportunities who are already burdened by teen pregnancy, disappearing fathers, etc. Give me a break. F-ing brilliant, Al-f’er doesn’t think kids should go to college – we’re already one of the dumbest countries in the world when you look at our abysmal science and math performance.

    In an ideal world, of course Al-F’er is right, but last time I looked
    women still get treated like crap and suffer a “potential pregnancy” gap
    in pay the size of Al-Fer’s balls. There is no doubt, college is overpriced and isn’t for everyone… but as much as I agree with much of what Altucher has to say, he’s so out of touch with the problem here and so swayed by his own emotional hell he endured in college. Yes, Al-F’er, you are a certain kind of genius, and I’m betting that college wasn’t the key component in your success, but not everyone has the chutzpa to be their own business person… my irresponsible nephew is a veritable genius in his own right, and while he can’t work for people, he absolutely sucks at maintaining a viable business of his own – always taking shortcuts, bitching about how those who get ahead “had it easy” “had it handed to them” or “don’t even know what the f they’re doing despite their huge success”. Yet he’s put five children into this world who will be force fed the “college is crap” line… again, four of them girls. And while he somehow manages to almost land on his feet (with a boat-load of food and medical assistance no doubt to the same government he decries as “helping those old lazy people stay unemployed) who’s to say all of his kids will inherit dad’s ability to live by the skin on his butt.

    But keep preaching to those idiots who’ll use your words to avoid any sense of responsibility toward their children’s future. Hopefully they’ll just keep procreating, because all children are a blessing, and practically just take care of themselves when you get right down to it. Isn’t that right, Mr. Al-f’er.

    By the way, teach my friggin’ nephew how to actually stick at one of his genius ideas and have enough disposable income to actually help at least a couple of his children attend college if they want to, and I may forgive you. God knows your web presence could use his services. Perhaps you two geniuses could exchange ideas. You’ll teach him how to be a millionaire and he’ll teach you the meaning of what it actually means to be poor and listen to self-serving ideas that idealogically further one’s self from the hook they’ve put themselves on.

  • Angryfrank

    How wonderful it is for Mr. Altucher to give all the
    irresponsible parents of the world – including my nephew who has 5 children (4
    of them girls) a free pass on their responsibility to at least assist in the
    provision of a college education. Last I checked, Altucher, you’re white and
    supposedly have balls… putting you in the most privileged class. What in the
    hell could you possibly know about the glass ceiling, or what it is like for
    most people who can’t take the ups and downs of self-employment, and all the
    insecurity it entails. Why, hell, we should all just be non-house owning,
    college-bashing college graduates like you, right?

    I get an email from my f-up nephew who can barely support the four kids he has
    let alone the one on the way, stating – read this Altucher, he’s amazing. He
    gives me permission to be the total f-up of a parent I am. My apprentice nephew
    vehemently quotes the master, “college is b.s. man” “read Altucher”.
    Meanwhile of course Altucher went to college and was able to get a job at HBO
    in programming because he graduated college – was able to learn from mistakes
    on the job because he showed the initiative of actually finishing something…
    like college. But wait, now he can totally ignore all the demographic data
    pointing to the huge imbalance facing his opposite sex, should they listen to
    his biased “I’m a millionaire-genius, follow my totally radical ass plan
    for no-debt, no-education, no sense of self”.

    Hey genius, Altucher, how about you putting up the percentage of non-college
    educated women who make more than minimum wage. Or the even scarier statistic
    of young women without college opportunities who are already burdened by teen
    pregnancy, disappearing fathers, etc. Give me a break. F-ing brilliant, I say,
    Altucher doesn’t think kids should go to college – we’re already one of the
    dumbest countries in the world when you look at our abysmal science and math
    performance.

    In an ideal world, of course Altucher is right, but last time I looked women
    still get treated like crap in finance (and many other fields) and suffer a
    “potential pregnancy” gap in pay the size of Altucher’s balls. There
    is no doubt, college is overpriced and isn’t for everyone… but as much as I
    agree with much of what Altucher has to say, he’s so out of touch with the
    problem here and so swayed by his own emotional hell he endured in college.

    Yes, Altucher, you are a certain kind of genius, and I’m
    betting that college wasn’t the key component in your success, but not everyone
    has the chutzpa to be their own business person… my irresponsible nephew is a
    veritable genius in his own right, and while he can’t work for people, he
    absolutely sucks at maintaining a viable business of his own – always taking
    shortcuts, bitching about how those who get ahead “had it easy”
    “had it handed to them” or “don’t even know what the f they’re
    doing despite their huge success”. Yet he’s put five children into this
    world who will be force fed your “college is crap” line… again,
    four of them girls. And while he somehow manages to almost land on his feet
    (with a boat-load of food and medical assistance no doubt from the same
    government he decries as “helping those old lazy people stay unemployed)
    who’s to say all of his kids will inherit dad’s ability to live by the skin on
    his butt.

    But keep preaching to those idiots who’ll use your words to avoid any sense of
    responsibility toward their children’s future. Hopefully they’ll just keep
    procreating, because all children are a blessing, and practically just take
    care of themselves when you get right down to it. Isn’t that right, Mr. Altucher.

    Teach my nephew how to be successful enough to actually help
    those of his children that may want to try out college for themselves and I’ll
    forgive you… maybe he can teach you what it’s like to be poor and worship a
    mentor who’s bent on spinning the get-off-your-self-made-hook-with-ease dogma
    he regurgitates when confronted with his eager irresponsibility.

    • Anna Bob

      I – I think I love you.

      • Angryfrank

        I’m pretty sure I love you for loving me, Anna Bob. Spread the word, what Altucher preaches worked for Althucher. While it may be a bs litmus test, this whole “you’ve gotta have a B.S. in something to get any position not in our corporate mail room” it’s still very real… the lifetime salary numbers for non-college graduates are still very scary – excluding Mr. Jobs, etc. I myself could never work for people and took a long time to accept the rigors of sole-proprietorship… but as someone who’s written professional resumes and marketing materials for thousands of NY’ers, I can say that only a small percentage of people are cut out to be self-employed. Or “write a book” for that matter. Hell, have you seen what’s considered “writing a book” now… for Christ’s sake who in the hell wants to read a book by some 20 year-old uneducated  jackass who probably won’t kick in for his parents rent for another 12 years.

        This whole damn “don’t go to college” brainstorm will just leave more kids living with their parents until they’re 50 instead of our beloved “live at home until you’re 35” mean that’s taking place now.

        Taking up instruments and writing books can be done while going to college too, and hell, half the people I know that brag about being “well-traveled” are the same ones begging your sofa when they visit NYC. They brag about the deals they get abroad, imposing on a less-than-fair-trade cultural and currency exchange. Seeing the world is great, but not at the cost of an education… I think recommending study abroad would be a lot more useful than “pick up the guitar and see Spain”.

        Alas, I digress. I’ll shut up now.

        AngryFrank
        can be found at AngryFrank.com

    • http://isomorphismes.tumblr.com isomorphisms

      He’s from an upper middle class background and I think he’s addressing those parents (people who read the WSJ, etc).

      Notice the keywords: parents pay for college; going to India is an alternative; work in a charity. I think the point is: if you do have $200k to spend, there are probably better places to put your money.

      Many of the op-eds these parents read already state college is a waste because your kid will spend your hard-earned money on a class about MTV. An engineering degree is probably still worth the money today, but there will be no compensating wage premium for a BA in media studies.

      PS Do you critique your nephew’s fertility choices to his face too?

    • Russell Lamb

      Awesome response!  I agree that college is overpriced and doesn’t always provide students real-world skills.  Reading this article I would agree that there are plenty of alternatives to college for people with security in their life (e.g. parents with money to support them when they can’t find a job or mess up their lives).  For the majority of people, however, this is not practical advice.  Traveling the world, mastering games (I know a few  unemployed “masters” of video games), etc are lovely things to do but do not necessarily imbue you with useful skills.  You may get some great stories out of it, but when looking for a job I typically send people my resume–not a tale of my travels in India.  College is still required for most professionals to be competitive

      • http://twitter.com/MyronSlaw Myron Slaw

        This article isn’t for the majority of people….

        • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

          How do you know? did you ask the majority of people?

    • Fubar

      Stupid/irresponsible people will always find “something” to misinterpret so as to justify their mistakes. Altucher did not bring your f*up nephew into the world, or put him on the path toward idiocy or had his 5 children. I guess you need to vent, not think clearly. The idea that college education is a viable path out of poverty is a horrible delusion for most people. It was an idea that worked for a short time because there were a lot of smart people that had been held back by racism/sexism, and the primary “socially acceptable” method of climbing the social ladder was via college. A singificant amount of pure coincidence was involved. Most of the smart people from the ghetto would have flourished and been successful given ANY opportunity to break through barriers.

      Low cost college education was made available to “ghetto” people after the civil rights wars (riots) in the 60s. The establishment “paid off” poor people for stopping the riots by making AFFORDABLE college available to the smart people in the ghetto.

      Most of the smart people are long gone from the ghetto, leaving behind people with major cognitive problems compunded by tremendous educational disadvantages (caused by a dysfunctional education system run by people with advanced degrees who are nevertheless incredible INCOMPETENT at real reforms).

      Most smart ghetto people are now being exploited by corrupt college administrators and banks. The lucky ones get scholarships, not loans.

      China does more business in Africa that the USA. Chinese business acumen, and ability to do any infrastructure project anywhere in the world for as cheap as possible.is stunning.

      You will not learn that in college.

  • Leo

    I never went to college. At 18 I ran a very successful business on ebay, buying low, selling for double. I then went into fitness and physique modeling and bodybuilding and I was one of the top male fitness models in the world by 21. I then got into real estate in California with my father. I met the man of my dreams in San Francisco and we now live in Spain and are married. College never helped me make my first million and sure didn’t help me make a single cent after. I am glad I never went to college. I am a White Hispanic and am actually the first male to NOT go to college in my lineage (Spanish, Czech) and I am more successful than every male or female in my family, and they are all highly educated have PHD’s and Masters. I have extremely good looks and have a genius IQ. I also am gay, so no wife or kids to support. Straight men are not as lucky as I would be, they usually like to party very hard through college having promiscous sex with men and women and drink like fish and experiment with drugs. College doesn’t mean high IQ, it means middle class american kids with parents willing to spend 25k a year so their son/daughter can fuck around and drink every night without middle aged white mommy and daddy nagging them and grounding them. My older sister graduated from WVU, she says she drank every night her entire four years. She is now on many medications, she cant reason for herself, she has gained 110 pounds in 2 years she stayed with my parents after she graduated college and she finally moved out 1 year ago and has been working as a live in nanny for a young couple in Florida. Her brain is now fried from all the drugs and marijuana she was exposed to in college. I try calling and telling her to do something with her life. I guess she is just satisfied with her 4 year degree from college and doesnt want to do anything anymore. She is not the sister I knew before she went to college, that was smart, ambitious, healthy etc. College may not be for everyone, people have to respect that. I remember being in high school and my principal lecturing me after one time I got in trouble. He said I had a very different path than all the people in my class, he basically talked to me like an adult and I was able to relate. I finish the rest of my senior year graduating at the top of my class magna cum laude from a very prestigious prep school in the DC area. After I graduated high school, I knew for sure my formal education was over. I could have done anything with my high IQ which I get from my mom’s side, a family of lawyers, doctors and scientists. But I chose my own path and I made a life of my own and knew what I wanted at a very young age. Very disciplined due to my bodybuilders background. And also, I’m sorry, but suggesting to a kid that he needs to go to INDIA of all places and spend 10 grand for a year wasting their life is beyond ignorant, I dont even know what to call it. They can easily go to the “southside” of any major US city and see the same thing. I watch COPS, I know how it is in the SOUTHSIDE. But besides the point, this topic is subjective, as there are many different views on the matter. My mother always wanted me to go to college. That’s what parents are for, they must encourage a child to become better. A parent only wants what is good for their child, and many parents believe in the education system and having a “normal” life. You have to understand the psychology of a parent. Bottom line: a parent only wants the best for their children. Take parents who spank their children as an example, they do it because in the primitive, unsophisticated minds they are disciplining their children the best way they know how: through violence, shame and humiliation. Now given, every parent is different but the common thread is that every parent just want they think is “best” for their children. Ive heard it all before, oh your gay, oh you never went college, oh youll never make. But that all “pushed” me to become the man I am today and I can proudly say I live with NO regrets and am my own man. Which is more than I can say about others. Children reading: know your truth, dont let anybody change who you are and always strive to succeed.
    –LEO

    • Fubar

      Leo,

      You are fantastic, congratulations on your accomplishments. fwiw – I know spaniards/catalans that took their kids all over the world, including india, and they loved india. the kids are very sophisticated and creative, and will probably work in the USA movie/tv industry (after expensive special art educations in the UK).

  • Dinamitechik

    Oh yes, because everyone just has 10k sitting around where they can send themselves to a potentially dangerous, foreign place where they can fiegn for themselves while having no job and probably while not speaking the language either for a year. Starting a business? Great idea, but not everyone wants to deal with the responabilities of owning a business or even wants to own a business and they still want to make money.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      A couple of points: 
      A) if they don’t have 10k to travel, they don’t have the 200k to go to college. 
      B) not everyone wants to deal with the responsibilities of running a business, but that’s what makes it such a valuable educational experience. And, again, it’s just one alternative among many. 
      C) not everyone knows the language of the place where they travel to.What a great opportunity to learn. 

  • Wpatton100

    Your required to do the community service in order to graduate, but your not required to graduate. So you still have a choice.

  • Anonymous

    Hardly “volunteer” if it’s mandatory don’t you think? 

  • Anonymous

    Sure why not, we are all indentured servants for the federal government anyway huh?

  • Anonymous

    How exactly do you call it “volunteer” work if it’s mandatory? 

    Since you think it’s okay to enslave people to be part of society, why wouldn’t you support the same “volunteer” work for welfare recipients?  Why not just force every citizen to “volunteer” some work for the master? 

    • Anonymous

      Work not for the master but for the society, the people. There needs to be a sense of community and contribution. That shouldn’t be only left to the few who would choose to volunteer. Everyone benefits from society (unless they live the life of a recluse). Call it community service and everyone should do it for say, a year every decade or so. Elderly people could say read to young children after school and that would help working parents and offer the child interaction with another age group; middle aged people might help the elderly with their tax returns and the young can do more physical work like clear rail way tracks of overgrown vegetation. Doing some sort of community service periodically would probably cut down on crime and engender trust in our neighborhoods. The world may work better this way. We shouldn’t be too rigid in our ideologies, we should figure out what may work best, and venture to try new things (as long as they are thought through properly and they are not harmful). Slavery is always abhorrent but that is exploitation. We should strive for collaboration. And always reward people fairly. During times of high unemployment, people could be doing something worthwhile for society and really clean the place up! Unemployment benefits are provided by society and helping out in the community in return would grant dignity to those who happen to be unemployed. Also it would be good if students spent some time living in the outside world straight after high school to figure out what path suits their talents best. Too often they choose a path they know nothing about and find after much wasted resources that they don’t like it. 

      • Anonymous

        Unfortunately your sense of shared purpose and communal service isn’t shared by all.  Noble perhaps but slavery is slavery. When you force a citizen to do something regardless of its noble intent by someone who has a heart of giving and shared sacrifice, its still forced servitude and unacceptable in the context of a free society. 

        Your idea is the result of the collapse of the moral fabric of our society from a time when people DID have such sense of community and helping one another, as opposed to now when we simply do not. We have created a society of citizens who feel they are entitled to everything and unwilling to contribute because of their greed.  This is the result of the very social liberalism that you no doubt subscribe, and now cannot recognize the result but choose to apply a fix to the mess created with the natural progression of what your political philosophy brings- enslavement.

        • http://www.danaseilhan.com/ Dana Seilhan

          No, it’s the result of money being the ultimate value and nothing else meaning anything at all, which is the philosophy to which you conservatives subscribe. The “free market” is holy. Everything else is profane and sacrifice of it to the free market is acceptable social policy.

      • http://twitter.com/H_VAC D T

        What’s the difference between this and slavery?  You don’t think black slaves benefited society by providing food, textiles, etc.  Just because slavery benefits society doesn’t make it ok.

      • http://www.danaseilhan.com/ Dana Seilhan

        If someone’s making me do work, I am NOT going to feel “a sense of community and contribution.” What I’ll feel is imposed upon and pissed off.

        You can’t make people feel things and you can’t force others to live up to your own personal standards. Worry about what you’re doing. Go volunteer yourself.

        • Relatively Happy Person

          I have been reading this thread, and gosh you sound like a bitter pill. Grateful you are not in my neighborhood–stay home and feel imposed upon and pissed off. Would not want your attitude to rub off on the elderly or children. Or me.

      • Elie

        I just thought I would share on the weird and 2 year old debate regarding community service. Most public and private high schools throughout the US require community service before graduation. I did had to do it. It was honestly no big deal. It is a real life experience that I am thankful to have and honestly don’t think I would occationally volunteer my time now if I hadn’t done community service then. Also: Your incredible naive to think that community service or (free public) education or in anyway slavery. Have you studied history at all, or perhaps taken a look at at how the current world’s sex trade and human trafficking is growing?

  • http://isomorphismes.tumblr.com isomorphisms

    One big difference between going to college and not is societal approval. If you’re in school, that’s the answer to what you’re doing with your life. If you “just” play chess a lot, you have to come up with a story about why that’s valid.

  • http://isomorphismes.tumblr.com isomorphisms

    The most obvious alternative is: get course syllabi from the internet, and read all the same books yourself. If you need an outlet for your thoughts about the material, blog.

  • http://isomorphismes.tumblr.com isomorphisms

    Germany does that.

  • Doesitbotheryourmind

    Your students await… Why don’t you get back to teaching? Then you can tell them anything you like without risk of serious contestants.

  • bob deeg

    Right out of high school I started a 2 year electronics program at St. Paul, MN, Technical Vocational Institute.   There was no tuition for anyone younger than 21.  All I paid was the cost of books, bus ride transport and lunch in the cafeteria.  No tuition costs.  Thanks you, generous taxpayers of St. Paul.  Your gift of a good education is never forgotten.
     
    Years later I received the Microsoft MCSE certification and the A+ certification.  Best way to study for these tests is to spend a few hours in a Borders or Barnes & Noble reading their books.  Handle the books gently, make a note of the page you finished on Monday, and go back on Tuesday and continue on.  The stores don’t care.  They make $$ in their coffee shops anyway. 
     
    No need to pay for college unless you feel the need to drink with peers who also feel the need to get stupid drunk.  Four years of college is a complete waste of time. 

  • Ricky Foo

    Good article and agree with what you say. However, in Asia, these alternatives will look too bizarre to most parents… a college degree (or 2 or 3) is a necessary thing to have … else, your family, friend and people around you will look down on you — and employment wise, you will be restricted to lower level jobs… of course, one who is capable can always start your own business… (only a few brave souls will do this, and succeed)… failure is frown upon easily

  • WHAT OTHER OPTIONS MR.?

    Mr. Altucher, 

    I’m a college sophomore at a prestigious liberal arts school.  Sometimes I hate it because all I do is work and it feels like a rat race with no real learning.  However, I’m on a pretty hefty scholarship, and being at school is actually cheaper for me than being at home not being able to find a job.  You have to realize that people can be bright and hardworking, yet come from a non-NYC prep school/ Connecticut-esque background.  If you can find me a true college alternative, I would love to speak with you. 

    You have to be more specific about who you’re talking to, and you will get less people telling you that you don’t know what you’re talking about.  I actually agree with everything you’ve said… but it would apply for someone like my Greenwich, CT roommate, most definitely not someone like me.  

    • Fubar

      build a time travel machine, go back and volunteer to replace jesus on the cross so he could make sure his religion went to people that would actually bring about world peace.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UXENF5MINQ6GPPGWJG7ZXWSTFQ James

    Learn a martial art (mine was Arnis,  a Phillipino martial art I learned in Arabia from a master sensei): you learn discipline, a sport, and a different life-model–kindo of like doing tow or three of the above at once.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ronniedaymusic Tony “Flex” Guglielmone

    I am so glad SOMEONE is encouraging people to think for themselves. The word educate comes from educe, to bring out inner potential, to inspire. What inner potential have I found at UCLA? Well actually a ton! I learned that professors only care about their research and their own career, and that it is up to you to create your own path in life. UCLA inspired me to abandon “education” in favor of developing my own businesses. I am not only happier, but much more financially sound. School is for those who are afraid to fail.

    • Fubar

      Excellent.

      see the “howtheuniversityworks.com”  web site.

      universities are modeled on feudal society. the slaves and serrfs are the students. above them are the teaching assistants, low paid and exploited, hoping to finish their graduate degrees so they can get a job as a professor even though there is a 90% failure rate. the professors are in a hierarchy. they are the small middle class, but they too toil to serve the overlords: administrators. vicious turf wars are frequent. nonconformists are bullied and marginalized.

      sick stuff.

  • Tony “Flex” Guglielmone

    Great idea. This is basically what school forces you to do anyways if you plan on a career in the medical field. You volunteer at laboratories and hospitals etc. If you plan on going into industry, it is no longer called volunteering (they like to call it an internship–talk about slavery!), but is every bit as mandatory if you choose to pursue education. 

  • Anonymous

    Afterward:  Then when you’ve tried two or three of the above for some significant period of time, a year or more — go to college.  After experiencing some of the above, you’ll then know what you want to do for the rest of your life.

    Better yet, parents, why didn’t you give your kids a college education BEFORE they turned 18?

    • Fubar

      yeah. my kids finished two PhDs each before they were 7 years old, and they were poised for brilliant careers as wealthy hollywood celebrities, but they decided to study self-surrender under the Dali Lama instead for a decade each and then work for world peace in the most poverty stricken parts of africa during a succession of bloody, tribal wars. That is how we now have world peace. After they retired they invented medical cures for all of humanity’s worst diseases, which is why no one in the world is sick any more. They are now moving on to the thorny field of psychiatry, were they will solve every mental affliction known to humanity in the next couple of weeks. you heard it here first.

      • Fubar

        forgot to mention that their hobby is communicating directly with god (who was busy teaching yoga in an ashram at an ecotourism destination resort on the western coast of india, but promised to set some time aside one weekend) to avert the end of time predicted for 2012 in the mayan calendar. stay tuned for further updates.

  • AprilMay

    My son did every single one of these things BEFORE the age of 19. (Granted, we took him with us when we lived in Asia for 3 years, so he didn’t do that one alone!) He mastered chess, became a track star, formed a band and learned how to play the drums, wrote a book of short stories…OK. He didn’t do stand up comedy.  And then he went to college on scholarships and he LOVES it more than anything else he’s ever done! 

  • http://twitter.com/Tendaijoe Tendai Sean Joe

    Amazing and good reading! Thank you

  • AngryAndrew

    i agree with angry frank. i hate college but theres no way im dropping out to go master a game/sport. if i end up in my mid 20s with no house no money its not gonna mean squat if i have a good jump shot. traveling and mastering stuff and writing books sounds good and all on paper, but i (like most people) dont have the time or money to do any of it. take your college degree of your resume and go find a job then get back to me.

  • randomguy4815162342

    If it was announced tomorrow that in order to receive a high school diploma you had to volunteer for two years of community service then you would most likely get half a million hearty 18-year-olds and 2 and a half million really pissed off/resentful 18 year olds. In addition you’d have a whole lot more parents angry about having to keep their unpaid adult children for an additional 2 years. And thousands colleges would go bankrupt due to the lack of tuition while waiting for new students.

    However if you announced that this rule wouldn’t take effect until 2016 and the community service could be completed while they are still in high school, then grades would decrease a whole hell of a lot faster then they have been. Because high school students have a handful of priorities, and if you add community service onto the list you can bet they will compensate for the time loss by pushing school further down the list.

    I’m all for community service being required for graduation. There are already schools that do require it, but I think we should focus on fixing the quality of the public schools in America before we add on something else that will distract students.

    • diocletian

      @random,

      Your mind is a real mess !

      First you give two reasons why mandatory community service is a bad idea, then you finish by stating, “I’m all for community service being required for graduation.”

      As for the public schools, the ONLY way to really fix them is to get the government entirely OUT of them by completely privatizing them by privatizing, their operations, their ownership, and their funding !

  • randomguy4815162342

    If only a college education had taught you how to spell.

  • randomguy48151623

    There are many jobs where having work experience looks better to a prospective employer then having a college degree. In many free lance jobs people would rather see an example of your work then see your degree. I have a friend that started her own photography business straight out of high school. She already knew how to take great pictures, and when people go to her website do you think they look to see what school she went to, or see what pictures she has taken? All a degree would have given her is 40,000 dollars of debt.

    I also have a cousin that is a carpenter. When he graduated high school he had no idea what he wanted to do, so he went to college, after two years he had changed his major 3 times and still wasn’t certain of anything. So he dropped out, and he worked at a grocery store for a couple of years, until he got into carpentry. He then got into an apprenticeship with a carpenter in Vermont, that hired him because for the most part he was a blank slate, but his references said he was hard working.

    College doesn’t help you figure out what you want to do, and for those who already know in a lot of cases there are plenty of other ways to learn how to do it. I don’t care where my hairdresser went to school, or what degree the head chef at my favorite restaurant has.

    Of course if you want to be a Teacher, Doctor, Lawyer, or Engineer, then school is really the only option.

  • Fubar

    The fact is that only 30% of the USA population has college degrees. WTF are the rest of the people doing while educated snobs/a$$holes try to convince everyone elese that their “uneducated” lives have little or no value?

    Colleges are cauldrons of corruption, rot and social decline run by incompetent overpaid administrators (reflecting 20+ years of “corporatization” that has destroyed “real” education in the classical liberal tradition). About the only thing that most of the administratort fat cats are good at is paying for overpriced PR to perpetuate a “style over substance” mentality in how universities are run.

    Universities are a perfect example of the hollow shell that america has become, and the extent to which people will go to enormous lengths to keep the veneer shiny while deep rot sets in. The education system is premised on a (now) failed paradigm, and is largely incapable of embracing a new paradigm that satifies the coherence needs of a changed world.

    Universities have to digest the “TEACH TO THE TEST” generation, and I predict even more vast bloating and gas than has come into being since postmodernism’s pathologies “infected” academia during the 80s “culture wars”.

    The main cost is to perpetuate social and economic dysfunction, and a vast system of brainwashing the sheeple into a herd mentality (which depends on failed analysis, partial truths, a horrid lack of anything remotely resembling a sense of self-sacrifice for higher realization). And those costs are rising rapidly. Education bureacuracy is vastly conformist, and designed to perpetuate social injustices, oppression and un-creativity.

    Just like almost everything else in america, money and power (political/ideological “agendas”) have overtaken local, shared values and “authentic” education.

     http://lewrockwell.com/rep2/higher-education-bubble.html

    All of the over paid fat cat administrators/bureaucrats that run universities are just sitting around collecting giant paychecks for doing PR while the system crumbles. They represent what education is really about: inability to actually understand, much less actually solve, real world problems.

    Education bureaucrats are all about posturing and posing. They are clever liars. They are cynical careerists. An atmosphere has come about in academia that is uttterly lacking in profound self-examination. Dishonesty takes on the trappings of failed enlighenment.

  • Fubar

    MERCHANTS OF (EDUCATIONAL) DEATH

    As the paradigm of mass production (industrialism) was applied to education, the old, local, “authentic” model of classical liberal values (freedom of speech, liberty, etc.) was displaced and marginalized.

    Conformism and Corporatization set in, and began to corrupt academia at its deepest levels. All of the great innovators in social theory, sociology and consciousness studies described this in great detail over the last 25+ years, but few people are aware, or interested in, the truth. Which is Altucher’s real point. Education no longer represents truth, it represents organizational psychopathy and dysfunction. It has created a mentality and vast bureaucratic class of exploiters and predators (which is what “corporatization” means).

    http://www.preservenet.com/theory/Illich/Vernacular.html

    http://www.natureoforder.com/library/commentary-for-readers-of-book2.htm

    excerpts:

    A Commentary for Readers of The Nature Of Order, Book
    2

    By
    Christopher Alexander

    Many millions of people – by some counts (Paul Ray, Cultural
    Creatives) as many as sixty million Americans – are waiting for a
    paradigm change, and believe themselves to be in a paradigm change. They
    are convinced that society must change, that radically new ways of seeing
    the world are necessary in order to for us to get out of our present
    “mess.”

    So far, so good.

    But a real paradigm change – a way of thinking which really and truly
    changes our ideas about war, equality, money, jobs, leisure, family… all
    that may be easy to say, but is nevertheless very hard to DO. It is
    frightening to do, because to do it, we really have to change the things
    we are comfortable with. We may, yes indeed, be conscious of the fact that
    we are screwed up, and we may wish for better things for ourselves and for
    our children – but we remain enmeshed in a system which makes us secure
    (relatively), happy (relatively), morally OK (perhaps), and protected from
    starvation and disease (if we belong to the privileged 10% of the world’s
    population who are economically OK in the world today).

    But, we ourselves are enmeshed, deeply enmeshed, in the production of
    ugliness, zoning, banking, transportation, corporate America, making
    warplanes, destroying beautiful land by permitting and encouraging
    construction of freeways for our cars, and by permitting and encouraging
    the ravages of commercial development and strip malls. No matter how much
    we look down on it, and criticize it as bad, evil, and harmful – still we
    ourselves live off the product of this kind of America we hate. It is
    therefore easier to keep walking as a cripple with a pair of crutches,
    than it is to throw the crutches away, and take the huge effort of
    actually learning to walk again.

    We are part of that which we criticize and part of that which we hate.
    Yet we are sustained by that of which we are a part.

    So talking about a paradigm shift is nice stuff for armchair reading,
    but very much harder to DO.
     . . .

    That is what Book 2 is about: The nature of the life-giving processes
    which are needed to heal the built world, and first steps in an accurate,
    carefully thought out way of defining and implementing these life giving
    processes. Even then it is not simple to move the world in this direction.
    The idea that there are such a things as definable and palpable
    life-giving processes, was real to my students at Berkeley. Students are
    smart, they are fairly free in their heads, and they can see when
    something like this is true. So they flocked to the classes in which this
    was happening, and began not attending the classes that the “other”
    professors wanted them to attend.

    This HAD TO BE STOPPED by the authorities. Of course, because Western
    civilization would fail if it was not stopped, and the architectural
    establishment would collapse, and God knows whatever other dangerous
    things would happen, too. So the Department did their best to stop this
    material from being taught. We had quite a donnybrook at Berkeley, from
    about 1985 to about 1992, a first -amendment legal case between me and the
    Department of Architecture, which finally concluded after seven years, in
    the University agreeing that the new material must be permitted and must
    be taught. But it was so frightening to the faculty, that three years
    later, the University Administration turned tail, and found yet another
    way to make it impossible for me to teach these classes.

    So this is what you have in Book 2: The Forbidden Classes of
    Christopher Alexander at Berkeley, 1985 to 1992… all the knowledge that
    was too dangerous to allow the students to take, or to absorb, is
    presented in this book.

    Yes, it is dangerous. Because if you start to understand how everyday
    processes in our normal lives are linked (or not) to the creation of life,
    in us, in our neighborhoods, in our surroundings, …then everything will
    change.

    —end—

    linked from : http://www.natureoforder.com/library-of-articles.htm

  • Fubar

    Idiot. Altucher has a college degree.

  • Fubar

    It is typical for people in “rational organizations” to actually behave irrationally much of the time. Such irrational behavior is well understood by social theorists as the “unspoken” assumptions that underlie organizational culture.

    What this “FACT” clearly demonstrates is that education has failed to live up to the classical liberal tradition, which in its authentic form, exalts the uncovering of truth and the “discovery” of social myths.

    Most people are far more comfortable with the lies they understand and live by than with  full truths that upset conventional thought.

    Democracy has a horrible burden that requires the people to be informed of the truth.

    That burden is no longer acceptable, and education does not play a role in preparing people to assume it.

    The sheeple are perfectly willing to be regularly fleeced by the “predatory” class of social overlords as long as the illusion of a protective shepherd is maintained by the PR organs of society.

  • Fubar

    You are significantly incapable of understanding social responsibility. In other words, a typical product of the education system.

  • Fubar

    In other words, education has become part of the military-industrial complex.

  • Fubar

    From a Holistic perspective, the war industry and education are simply two parts of a complex society that has created a mass culture of servility and weakness.

    One part kills bodies, the other kills minds/spirits/creativity.

    All of the people defending education on this blog are utterly servile in their attitudes toward money and power.

    They are as incapable of any real insight as they are of any nonconformism or protest of the dehumanizing nature of the educational system.

  • Fubar

    Great if your goal is to research prostitution in every small port in north america. (no pun intended.)

  • Fubar

    There is no “studenrt loan solution”. The system has been gamed by those that have power and privilege, and you are one of many exploited people. Your only hope is a cultural revivial of populist democracy or civil war against the big banks and corporations.

    The first item on the agenda is to overcome your delusions.

    Rich people will not stop buying nice cars to pay for your student loan debt. The ruling paradigms (memes) in the upper classes are “achievement” and “creativity”.  Status symbols are needed to “signal” the status of such “achievers” and “creatives” to everyone else.

    Historically, labor activists opposed the excesses of the super-rich by threatening civil war. This is why the “new deal” was crafted by FDR: to give the lower/middle classes some hope of social advancement in exchange for them agreeing to be ruled by representatives of corporate exploitation! Clearly that was not a sustainble agreement, although it did work for about 30 years while the USA was internationally dominant after WWII.

    After the 1960s, the left was discredited (for reasons I won’t go into here unless upon request), and such “labor opposition” became associated with the discredited cultural aspects of leftism.

    Your “education”, and $100,000 in student loan debt, has not prepared you to understand california politics.

    Jerry Brown is “stuck” between the lunatic right wing tax cutters and the lunatic left that is incapable of understanding efficiency in government/education.
     
    There is no money to continue funding the vast waste and bloat in california’s public colleges/universities because a minority of right wing lunatics and their wealthy overlords holds the rest of politics hostage to premodern values.

    Jerry Brown is simply telling liberals/democrats to be “fiscally responsible”, or to engage in EFFECTIVE political war with the lunatic right wingers in order to raise taxes to pay for education. One or the other.

    However, liberals are mostly idiots who worship political correctness, and have never learned how to win the war against the lunatic right wingers. (George Lakoff and many others have explained this, in-depth.)

  • Fubar

    LIVING IN THE PAST?

    who is going to “be there” for those that the system fails? the rich pricks and technocrats that created the system have abandonded middle class america, and most college grads will not find good jobs to pay off their exhorbitant loans.

    the system was always premised on exploiting poor people, now it is premised on exploiting the middle classes, which are becoming poor.

    in the future (assuming a revolution does not throw the corporate overlords out of power), the only reason to get an education will be to work for the exploiters, and that will be maybe 33% of the existing middle class, maybe much less, in “creative” versions of middle class jobs. everything else will be vaporized by the exploiters, or outsourced to cheap-labor countries (Daniel Pink).

  • Fubar

    therre are 1,000,000 organizations world wide edicated to environment and social justice:

     http://www.wiserearth.org/

    you will not learn about this in college.

  • Fubar

    most seriously disabled people never get jobs. the availability of social security benefits creates a “disabled ghetto”. some do get jobs due to government quotas, so look for internships, including the federal “workforce recruitment program” for college seniors, or those that just graduated with a bachelor’s degree within 6 months. you may find that your state government will help pay for “rehabilitation” benefits for disabled, including trade/vocational school, or in some cases, a four year degree. see your county social work department to start with, as well as non-profit advocacy groups. there are philantropic groups whose specific purpose is to provide career assistance for disabled people.

    there is a “disability industry”, including tech consultants, ergonomics people, etc. it is mostly funded by liberal government programs, or educational bureaucracies. they keep several really crappy software compaines afloat, along with a bunch of consultants that help disabled people learn the crappy software.

  • Fubar

    45% of college attendees never get degrees, so your advice to go to college is very bad for a lot of people.

  • Fubar

    re: “USA is the land of opportunity. Please allow the diversity of college life to shape the land of opportunity for the future.”

    Those statements are “broad brush strokes”.

    Far more people have a lack of opportunity in the USA now than in the last 50 years, some because your family was allowed in to take away other people’s opportunities.

    There is very little real “intellectual” diversity in colleges. academia has become mind numblingly conformist, which of course you like being from a backward, traditional cluture.

  • Fubar

    Cognitive/linguistic sciences are at the cutting edge of the evolution of knowledge, keep up the good work. Most cutting edge science/theory involves great upset of those holding to conventional wisdom, including large areas of the educational establishment populated by those protecting their “turf”.

    Some items that might stimulate your thinking about the unlimited possibilities in lingustic research:

    Human potential movement and transformational learning:

    http://www.esalenctr.org/display/confpage.cfm?confid=1&pageid=33&pgtype=1

    Beyond Postmodern culture – new learning paradigms:

    http://www.cejournal.org/GRD/neville.htm

    Integral Leadership as Supporting Epistemic Sophistication in Knowledge-Building Communities:

    http://www.archive-ilr.com/archives-2006/2006-10/2006-10-murray.php

    “Gilles
    Fauconnier and Mark Turner show that conceptual blending is at the root
    of the cognitively modern human mind – the mind that human beings have
    worked with since the Upper Paleolithic Age. Conceptual blends themselves
    are repeatedly blended and reblended by people and their cultures to
    create the rich fabric of the way we live. Learning and navigating these
    blends is the crucial mental activity of the developing child. ”

    http://markturner.org/wwt.html

    “Cognitive scientists routinely consider the social aspects of cognition.

    But the reverse is not yet true: social scientists do not routinely consider the cognitive
    aspects of how people interact. Graduate programs in the social sciences—economics, political science, law, management, anthropology, sociology—do not begin with foundation courses in the cognitive aspects of their subject matters.”

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1728262


    1. How do we think?

    Like other primates, but
    with a big difference. Other primates integrate conceptual structures in
    rudimentary ways. We integrate them in both rudimentary and advanced
    ways. We can integrate them even when they clash in core structure, such
    as causal, temporal, spatial, modal, and aspectual structure. Our
    advanced form of conceptual integration, called “double-scope blending,”
    is the big difference: it gives human beings the capacity for
    higher-order cognition and behaviors: art, music, religion, language,
    mathematical insight, scientific discovery, culture, fashion, advanced
    social cognition, advanced tool use, sign systems. Other animals are for
    the most part restricted cognitively to a local scale. But human
    beings, thanks to double-scope blending, can anchor vast networks of
    conceptual arrays in human-scale blends. We use those human-scale blends
    as platforms from which to understand, manipulate, grasp, and work on
    these networks. Human beings can think at network scale, which is much
    larger than human scale.

    2. What is the deep meaning of art?
    Double-scope
    blending is a species-wide mental ability that makes culture possible.
    Art is at once a great flowering of that species-wide ability and a
    remarkable demonstration of how it endows us with the capacity to evolve
    culturally, that is, in cultural time rather than evolutionary time.
    There is no evidence as yet that basic human mental operations have
    evolved during the last fifty thousand years or so, but during that time
    almost everything we regard as marking our humanity has been invented,
    art often leading the way.

    3. What is language? How did it arise? How did it evolve?

    Gilles
    Fauconnier and I provide our answers to these questions in chapter nine
    of The Way We Think. The evolution of double-scope blending solved the
    central problem of language and made it possible for our species to
    advance far beyond the sorts of impressive communication we see in other
    species.

    http://ilevolucionista.blogspot.com/2009/09/linguistica-cognitiva-entrevista-mark.html

    INSTITUTIONAL EVOLUTION IN THE HOLOCENE: THE RISE
    OF COMPLEX SOCIETIES

    http://tuvalu.santafe.edu/~bowles/Holocene.pdf


    I have begun to think about practical applications of cultural evolution.
    Russell Genet,
    Dwight Collins, and I have a project to
    apply ideas derived from what Boyd and I called the “tribal social instincts”
    and “workaround”  hypothesis to questions of managing businesses and other
    medium scale human organizations. Innate aspects of our social psychology
    coevolved with cultural institutions as an adaptation to tribal social life.
    These tribal instincts are the raw material out of which all human social
    systems are built. Businesses and other medium scale social systems are much
    like tribes except that they are embedded in a web of other organizations that
    make up our complex societies. The institutions of complex societies include
    workarounds to finesse the problems generated a psychology adapted to a rather
    different sort of social system. We aim to have a comprehensive science-based
    theory of organizational management that properly accounts, for example, for
    human propensities to cooperate and for the fact that organizations are
    dynamically evolving entities. This project is supported by the
    Collins Family Foundation. We are
    seeking comments on sketch of this project which can be found on the CFF web
    site,
    http://www.des.ucdavis.edu/faculty/richerson/richerson.htm

    • Fubar

      also:

      http://www.panarchy.org/koestler/holon.1969.html

      excerpts:

      Arthur KoestlerSome general properties ofself-regulating open hierarchic order (SOHO)(1969)

       

      Note The idea of the “holon” was introduced by Arthur Koestler in The
      Ghost in the Machine (1967) and was presented again at the Alpbach Symposium (1968) in a paper titled: Beyond
      Atomism and Holism – the concept of the holon. The “holon” represents
      a very interesting way to overcome the dichotomy between parts and wholes
      and to account for both the self-assertive and the integrative tendencies
      of an organism.


      1.4 Biological holons are self-regulating open systems which display
      both the autonomous properties of wholes and the dependent properties of
      parts. This dichotomy is present on every level of every type of
      hierarchic organization, and is referred to as the “Janus phenomenon”.

      1.5 More generally, the term “holon” may be applied to any stable
      biological or social sub-whole which displays rule-governed behaviour
      and/or structural Gestalt-constancy. Thus organelles and homologous
      organs are evolutionary holons; morphogenetic fields are ontogenetic
      holons; the ethologist’s “fixed action-patterns” and the sub-routines of
      acquired skills are behavioural holons; phonemes, morphemes, words,
      phrases are linguistic holons; individuals, families, tribes, nations
      are social holons.


      4. 1 Every holon has the dual tendency to preserve and assert its
      individuality as a quasi-autonomous whole; and to function as an
      integrated part of an (existing or evolving) larger whole. This polarity
      between the Self-Assertive (S-A) and Integrative (INT) tendencies is
      inherent in the concept of hierarchic order; and a universal
      characteristic of life.

      The S-A tendencies are the dynamic expression of the holon’s wholeness, the INT tendencies of its partness.

      4.2 An analogous polarity is found in the interplay of cohesive
      and separative forces in stable inorganic systems, from atoms to
      galaxies.

      4.3 The most general manifestation of the INT tendencies is the
      reversal of the Second Law of Thermodynamics in open systems feeding on
      negative entropy (Erwin Schrödinger), and the evolutionary trend towards
      “spontaneously developing states of greater heterogeneity and
      complexity” (C. J. Herrick).

      4.4 Its specific manifestations on different levels range from the
      symbiosis of organelles and colonial animals, through the cohesive
      forces in herds and flocks, to the integrative bonds in insect states
      and Primate societies. The complementary manifestations of the S-A
      tendencies are competition, individualism, and the separative forces of
      tribalism, nationalism, etc.

      4.5 In ontogeny, the polarity is reflected in the docility and determination of growing tissues.

      4.6 In adult behaviour, the self-assertive tendency of functional
      holons is reflected in the stubbornness of instinct rituals (fixed
      action-patterns), of acquired habits (handwriting, spoken accent), and
      in the stereotyped routines of thought; the integrative tendency is
      reflected in flexible adaptations, improvisations, and creative acts
      which initiate new forms of behaviour.

      4.7 Under conditions of stress, the S-A tendency is manifested in
      the aggressive-defensive, adrenergic type of emotions, the INT tendency
      in the self-transcending (participatory, identificatory) type of
      emotions.

      4.8 In social behaviour, the canon of a social holon represents
      not only constraints imposed on its actions, but also embodies maxims of
      conduct, moral imperatives and systems of value.

      5.5 In the performance of learnt skills, including verbal skills, a
      generalized implicit command is spelled out in explicit terms on
      successive lower echelons which, once triggered into action, activate
      their sub-units in the appropriate strategic order, guided by feedbacks.

      5.10 In perceptual hierarchies, filtering devices range from
      habituation and the efferent control of receptors, through the constancy
      phenomena, to pattern-recognition in space or time, and to the decoding
      of linguistic and other forms of meaning.
      5.11 Output hierarchies spell, concretize, particularize. Input hierarchies digest, abstract, generalize.

      9.5 The opposite type of disorder occurs when the power of the whole
      over its parts erodes their autonomy and individuality. This may lead to
      a regression of the INT tendencies from mature forms of social
      integration to primitive forms of identification and to the
      quasi-hypnotic phenomena of group psychology.

      10.1 Critical challenges to an organism or society can produce degenerative or regenerative effects.
      10.2 The regenerative potential of organisms and societies
      manifests itself in fluctuations from the highest level of integration
      down to earlier, more primitive levels, and up again to a new, modified
      pattern. Processes of this type seem to play a major part in biological
      and mental evolution, and are symbolized in the universal
      death-and-rebirth motive in mythology.

    • Fubar

      also:

      http://www.panarchy.org/koestler/holon.1969.html

      excerpts:

      Arthur KoestlerSome general properties ofself-regulating open hierarchic order (SOHO)(1969)

       

      Note The idea of the “holon” was introduced by Arthur Koestler in The
      Ghost in the Machine (1967) and was presented again at the Alpbach Symposium (1968) in a paper titled: Beyond
      Atomism and Holism – the concept of the holon. The “holon” represents
      a very interesting way to overcome the dichotomy between parts and wholes
      and to account for both the self-assertive and the integrative tendencies
      of an organism.


      1.4 Biological holons are self-regulating open systems which display
      both the autonomous properties of wholes and the dependent properties of
      parts. This dichotomy is present on every level of every type of
      hierarchic organization, and is referred to as the “Janus phenomenon”.

      1.5 More generally, the term “holon” may be applied to any stable
      biological or social sub-whole which displays rule-governed behaviour
      and/or structural Gestalt-constancy. Thus organelles and homologous
      organs are evolutionary holons; morphogenetic fields are ontogenetic
      holons; the ethologist’s “fixed action-patterns” and the sub-routines of
      acquired skills are behavioural holons; phonemes, morphemes, words,
      phrases are linguistic holons; individuals, families, tribes, nations
      are social holons.


      4. 1 Every holon has the dual tendency to preserve and assert its
      individuality as a quasi-autonomous whole; and to function as an
      integrated part of an (existing or evolving) larger whole. This polarity
      between the Self-Assertive (S-A) and Integrative (INT) tendencies is
      inherent in the concept of hierarchic order; and a universal
      characteristic of life.

      The S-A tendencies are the dynamic expression of the holon’s wholeness, the INT tendencies of its partness.

      4.2 An analogous polarity is found in the interplay of cohesive
      and separative forces in stable inorganic systems, from atoms to
      galaxies.

      4.3 The most general manifestation of the INT tendencies is the
      reversal of the Second Law of Thermodynamics in open systems feeding on
      negative entropy (Erwin Schrödinger), and the evolutionary trend towards
      “spontaneously developing states of greater heterogeneity and
      complexity” (C. J. Herrick).

      4.4 Its specific manifestations on different levels range from the
      symbiosis of organelles and colonial animals, through the cohesive
      forces in herds and flocks, to the integrative bonds in insect states
      and Primate societies. The complementary manifestations of the S-A
      tendencies are competition, individualism, and the separative forces of
      tribalism, nationalism, etc.

      4.5 In ontogeny, the polarity is reflected in the docility and determination of growing tissues.

      4.6 In adult behaviour, the self-assertive tendency of functional
      holons is reflected in the stubbornness of instinct rituals (fixed
      action-patterns), of acquired habits (handwriting, spoken accent), and
      in the stereotyped routines of thought; the integrative tendency is
      reflected in flexible adaptations, improvisations, and creative acts
      which initiate new forms of behaviour.

      4.7 Under conditions of stress, the S-A tendency is manifested in
      the aggressive-defensive, adrenergic type of emotions, the INT tendency
      in the self-transcending (participatory, identificatory) type of
      emotions.

      4.8 In social behaviour, the canon of a social holon represents
      not only constraints imposed on its actions, but also embodies maxims of
      conduct, moral imperatives and systems of value.

      5.5 In the performance of learnt skills, including verbal skills, a
      generalized implicit command is spelled out in explicit terms on
      successive lower echelons which, once triggered into action, activate
      their sub-units in the appropriate strategic order, guided by feedbacks.

      5.10 In perceptual hierarchies, filtering devices range from
      habituation and the efferent control of receptors, through the constancy
      phenomena, to pattern-recognition in space or time, and to the decoding
      of linguistic and other forms of meaning.
      5.11 Output hierarchies spell, concretize, particularize. Input hierarchies digest, abstract, generalize.

      9.5 The opposite type of disorder occurs when the power of the whole
      over its parts erodes their autonomy and individuality. This may lead to
      a regression of the INT tendencies from mature forms of social
      integration to primitive forms of identification and to the
      quasi-hypnotic phenomena of group psychology.

      10.1 Critical challenges to an organism or society can produce degenerative or regenerative effects.
      10.2 The regenerative potential of organisms and societies
      manifests itself in fluctuations from the highest level of integration
      down to earlier, more primitive levels, and up again to a new, modified
      pattern. Processes of this type seem to play a major part in biological
      and mental evolution, and are symbolized in the universal
      death-and-rebirth motive in mythology.

  • Fubar

    Cognitive/linguistic sciences are at the cutting edge of the evolution of knowledge, keep up the good work. Most cutting edge science/theory involves great upset of those holding to conventional wisdom, including large areas of the educational establishment populated by those protecting their “turf”.

    Some items that might stimulate your thinking about the unlimited possibilities in lingustic research:

    Human potential movement and transformational learning:

    http://www.esalenctr.org/display/confpage.cfm?confid=1&pageid=33&pgtype=1

    Beyond Postmodern culture – new learning paradigms:

    http://www.cejournal.org/GRD/neville.htm

    Integral Leadership as Supporting Epistemic Sophistication in Knowledge-Building Communities:

    http://www.archive-ilr.com/archives-2006/2006-10/2006-10-murray.php

    “Gilles
    Fauconnier and Mark Turner show that conceptual blending is at the root
    of the cognitively modern human mind – the mind that human beings have
    worked with since the Upper Paleolithic Age. Conceptual blends themselves
    are repeatedly blended and reblended by people and their cultures to
    create the rich fabric of the way we live. Learning and navigating these
    blends is the crucial mental activity of the developing child. ”

    http://markturner.org/wwt.html

    “Cognitive scientists routinely consider the social aspects of cognition.

    But the reverse is not yet true: social scientists do not routinely consider the cognitive
    aspects of how people interact. Graduate programs in the social sciences—economics, political science, law, management, anthropology, sociology—do not begin with foundation courses in the cognitive aspects of their subject matters.”

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1728262


    1. How do we think?

    Like other primates, but
    with a big difference. Other primates integrate conceptual structures in
    rudimentary ways. We integrate them in both rudimentary and advanced
    ways. We can integrate them even when they clash in core structure, such
    as causal, temporal, spatial, modal, and aspectual structure. Our
    advanced form of conceptual integration, called “double-scope blending,”
    is the big difference: it gives human beings the capacity for
    higher-order cognition and behaviors: art, music, religion, language,
    mathematical insight, scientific discovery, culture, fashion, advanced
    social cognition, advanced tool use, sign systems. Other animals are for
    the most part restricted cognitively to a local scale. But human
    beings, thanks to double-scope blending, can anchor vast networks of
    conceptual arrays in human-scale blends. We use those human-scale blends
    as platforms from which to understand, manipulate, grasp, and work on
    these networks. Human beings can think at network scale, which is much
    larger than human scale.

    2. What is the deep meaning of art?
    Double-scope
    blending is a species-wide mental ability that makes culture possible.
    Art is at once a great flowering of that species-wide ability and a
    remarkable demonstration of how it endows us with the capacity to evolve
    culturally, that is, in cultural time rather than evolutionary time.
    There is no evidence as yet that basic human mental operations have
    evolved during the last fifty thousand years or so, but during that time
    almost everything we regard as marking our humanity has been invented,
    art often leading the way.

    3. What is language? How did it arise? How did it evolve?

    Gilles
    Fauconnier and I provide our answers to these questions in chapter nine
    of The Way We Think. The evolution of double-scope blending solved the
    central problem of language and made it possible for our species to
    advance far beyond the sorts of impressive communication we see in other
    species.

    http://ilevolucionista.blogspot.com/2009/09/linguistica-cognitiva-entrevista-mark.html

    INSTITUTIONAL EVOLUTION IN THE HOLOCENE: THE RISE
    OF COMPLEX SOCIETIES

    http://tuvalu.santafe.edu/~bowles/Holocene.pdf


    I have begun to think about practical applications of cultural evolution.
    Russell Genet,
    Dwight Collins, and I have a project to
    apply ideas derived from what Boyd and I called the “tribal social instincts”
    and “workaround”  hypothesis to questions of managing businesses and other
    medium scale human organizations. Innate aspects of our social psychology
    coevolved with cultural institutions as an adaptation to tribal social life.
    These tribal instincts are the raw material out of which all human social
    systems are built. Businesses and other medium scale social systems are much
    like tribes except that they are embedded in a web of other organizations that
    make up our complex societies. The institutions of complex societies include
    workarounds to finesse the problems generated a psychology adapted to a rather
    different sort of social system. We aim to have a comprehensive science-based
    theory of organizational management that properly accounts, for example, for
    human propensities to cooperate and for the fact that organizations are
    dynamically evolving entities. This project is supported by the
    Collins Family Foundation. We are
    seeking comments on sketch of this project which can be found on the CFF web
    site,
    http://www.des.ucdavis.edu/faculty/richerson/richerson.htm

  • Fubar

    In western europe, people are screened for intellectual competency in the study of medicine. Those that show promise are selected for government subsidized educations in medical schools. When a european doctor is finished with his/her medical education, they have little or no student loan debt, and are paid much less than american doctors, reducing the social burden.

    Do you now understand how USA colleges/universities are GIANT SCAMS?

    • Fubar

      Please note: you will NOT learn the above in college, but by travel.

    • Fubar

      Please note: you will NOT learn the above in college, but by travel.

  • Fubar

    In western europe, people are screened for intellectual competency in the study of medicine. Those that show promise are selected for government subsidized educations in medical schools. When a european doctor is finished with his/her medical education, they have little or no student loan debt, and are paid much less than american doctors, reducing the social burden.

    Do you now understand how USA colleges/universities are GIANT SCAMS?

  • Fubar

    They are also unrealistic unless a person has a creative personality. OR is an innovator or entrepreneur. Altucher’s point is that the educational establishment frequently thwarts creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial skills. So, people have to seek out alternatives and fight the BIGOTRY and PREJUDICES of the existing system.

  • Fubar

    They are also unrealistic unless a person has a creative personality. OR is an innovator or entrepreneur. Altucher’s point is that the educational establishment frequently thwarts creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial skills. So, people have to seek out alternatives and fight the BIGOTRY and PREJUDICES of the existing system.

  • Fubar

    But at least he has a blog that people read and care about, unlike you.

  • Fubar

    But at least he has a blog that people read and care about, unlike you.

  • Fubar

    kinds of hard to do if you are dead, or suffering from physical or mental disabilities arising from military service that prevent participation in educational activities.

  • Fubar

    kinds of hard to do if you are dead, or suffering from physical or mental disabilities arising from military service that prevent participation in educational activities.

  • Fubar

    Anyone that is not a native spanish speaker should be an exchange student, or otherwise live some place they can learn spanish on the street to basic competency, before completing their degree. Spain itself is a very interesting place to visit or live. This also places you near arab countries, which would potentially provide opportunity to study some basic arabic, which 25% of “spanish” words are derived from.

    BARCA: MES QUE UN CLUB!

  • Fubar

    Anyone that is not a native spanish speaker should be an exchange student, or otherwise live some place they can learn spanish on the street to basic competency, before completing their degree. Spain itself is a very interesting place to visit or live. This also places you near arab countries, which would potentially provide opportunity to study some basic arabic, which 25% of “spanish” words are derived from.

    BARCA: MES QUE UN CLUB!

  • Fubar

    I agree. James Altucher should have the same hair as Newt Gringrich’s wife. It reminds me of expensive (what else?) cake frosting. Then, everyone could talk about licking James Altucher’s frosting-like hair on the the internet. James himself would write interesting, confessional blog entries about how even he licks his own hair to see if it tastes like cake frosting.

  • Fubar

    I agree. James Altucher should have the same hair as Newt Gringrich’s wife. It reminds me of expensive (what else?) cake frosting. Then, everyone could talk about licking James Altucher’s frosting-like hair on the the internet. James himself would write interesting, confessional blog entries about how even he licks his own hair to see if it tastes like cake frosting.

  • Fubar

    human learning, including complex systems of culture, evolved for at least 500,000 years without the modern “formal” educational system.

    learning at its most basic level is simple: someone that knows something conveys knowledge and skills to someone else that has a talent for the item to be learned. What is required is a location, tools, and economic motivation and resources.

    some education is designed for social elites, some for working people/techs.

    a lot of modern public education was intended to be “factory learning”, a gastly idea, dehumanizing, sterile, devoid of spirituality.

  • Fubar

    Please be scientific. What does human evolution tell you? Monogomary is an artificial construct of culture and religion, it is not human nature. There is a cultural value in teaching self-sacrifice in traditional societies, but it is destroyed in postmodern culture, which encourages narcissism and distraction. The trick will be to turn self-absorsion into self-realization. Yoga and other contemplative practices are one path toward enlighenment.

    • Fubar

      correction: “Monogomary”  should have been “monogamy” .

  • Fubar

    You do realize that the collapse of the economy was caused by people taking advantage of people like you that insist on narrowly “following rules” including the “rule” of trusting those in power?

  • Fubar

    Oh please. Just admit it, if you had the exact same hair as Newt Gingrich’s wife, everyone would love you because they like to lick cake frosting, which is what her hair reminds everyone of.

  • Fubar

    The military is in the same toilet as everything else.

    http://fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/2011/05/02/27207/
     
    excerpts:

    Careerism and Psychopathy in the US Military leadership
    2 May 2011

    by GI Wilson

    A summary view of our senior officer class:  “Glibness,
    Superficial Charm, Grandiose Sense of Self-Worth, Deceitful, Cunning,
    Manipulative, Lacks Remorse, Callous, Lacks Empathy, Does Not Accept
    Responsibility for Own Actions, and Impulsiveness … “  That’s the
    conclusion of GI Wilson (Colonel, USMC, retired) in this important
    essay.

    FM Introduction

    The internal workings of the US military had little significance to
    the overall state of the nation, except during wars – until the
    post-WWII era.   With the military dominating our foreign policy and
    being one of the most trusted institution, the character of our senior
    generals may become a major factor shaping our future.  Hence the
    importance of this chapter by GI Wilson from The Pentagon Labyrinth: Ten Short Essays to Help You Through It, edited by Winslow T. Wheeler and published by the Center for Defense Information and the World Security Institute. 

    The Department of Defense (DOD) that I have observed all too closely
    for over three decades is an overgrown bureaucracy committed to standing
    still for, if not actively promoting, poorly conceived policy agendas
    and hardware programs funded and supported by Congress. Coupled to that
    is the task of attracting the blind loyalty of senior military and
    civilian actors on the Washington, D.C. stage. For the careerists in
    America’s national security apparatus, it is all about awarding
    contracts and personal advancement, not winning wars.

    Careerists serve for all the wrong reasons. They weaken national
    defense, rob the military of its warrior ethos and drive away the very
    highly principled mavericks that we need to reverse the decay. This can
    only be remedied by rekindling the time honored principles of military
    service (i.e. duty, honor, country) among both officers and civilians.

  • Fubar

    American Capitalism = socialism for rich people.

    Corporate Welfare is massive. The country is crumbling for various reasons, mostly because the system has been transformed into a Plutocracy, or Kleptocracy.

    As the concentration of wealth has increased massively (through corporate crime), poverty has similarly increased, threatening the middle class, which is beginning to vaporize.

    No “service project”, aside from service in a civil war against the corrupt ultra-rich, will solve the real problems.

    The real problem is that the foundation of liberty is being eroded by the combination of the (corrupted) police power of the state with the economic power of corporations.

    http://exiledonline.com/tea-party-republicans-are-nothing-but-big-government-whores-just-like-their-billionaire-masters/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAhHPIuTQ5k

  • Fubar

    You have described irrationality, bigotry and prejudices, all reinforced by the educational establishment. And you wonder why people are beginning to understand how much of a SCAM education has become.

  • Thomas Jefferson

    Yeah – – how about the writer of that ‘suggestion’ be subjected to a year of involuntary servitude (a.k.a – – – serfdom). The ‘state’ doesn’t own another’s life, even if they are 18 yr old kids.

  • Dave W

    Learn a trade instead of college. There are still many trades that will give you a decent living out there. Serve an apprenticeship under a journeyman of your choice and pay the price of lower wages to learn a good way to make a living. Suggest you find something that you like to do rather than a trade that you hate. It makes all the difference in the world.
    One advantage might be more time to be with your family as they grow up. A lot of trades still work a 35 hour week. And they have the advantage of decent wages. It is tough to find a secure trade in today’s world. But it is not impossible.

  • guest

    I’m 43 and was thinking of going back to college. Instead of taking Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Basic Design, Drawing 1 and Intro to Graphic Design this spring what would you suggest?

    • Fubar

      network security, but its not for dummies.

  • lau

    I am a college student right now, and I do agree that not everyone has to go to college. However, I do not think that your alternatives are any better than falling into college debt. All of these alternatives still lack the financial reality that you would face. Where are the day to day spending going to be coming from? 

    The debt that college puts us into is reality; however, living life through your alternatives will equally put one into debt as well. Everything costs something. Gas fare, meals, shelter. For example, (option 2) Traveling is not possible unless you have preexisting financial resources (i.e. parents) or the same way you get money for college, get a loan. And (option 3) Art is not a cheap hobby. Trust me. 

    The financial realities goes on. The truth is for present day society that for most people, college is the greatest path for a stable future. If stability is not what you are looking for, then knock yourself out trying alternatives. 

    But my comment is not just to remind the fiscal truth, but college is a great experience. I love it here and I wouldn’t trade these years for anything. Even after college, I can do everything you mentioned above instead of working 9-5 in a cubical. 

    If you really don’t want to spend these years developing your mind in a institutionalized way or whatever, then why wait until you’re at the fork of the road to decide? Don’t even finish high school, just test out of it early. Then you still have time to do shit to your life as a minor.

    • Fubar

      education teaches most people to be in the herd of sheeple, mindlessly shuffling along in a socially conformist pattern of what they hope is happiness. meanwhile, the people running the system became corrupt, and no one was brave enough to be honest about the corruption because the education system became what Altucher calls the “divine hymen” of american culture. the pinnacle of unspoken and unexamined assumptions that are contrary to what was supposed to make america great: freedom, creativity, innovation, etc.

      so we now see that education is really about: indoctrinating people into a dehumanized state of existence in a socially stratified society where a small number of ultra wealthy people act as corporate overlords. College administrators are incompetent fatcats, collecting big checks while the system falls apart.

      Research indicates that the trend is toward only 20% of college students being men within a generation.

      If you aren’t afraid of what a society will be like that will exclude 80% of young men from the opportunity for social advancement, you are in deep trouble.

  • http://filmschoolsecrets.com Seth Hymes

    Thank you! I have had the exact same thoughts, as an NYU grad who has never gotten a job due to my degree. What’s amazing is that people do keep herding their kids into college like lemmings with no idea what to do after, and rarely do look at the question “what to do instead”. Great suggestions.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7LXWCSFS65WOI63RD7232YXD6M supriya

    What about studying medicine?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sarah-Foe/504725890 Sarah Foe

    mandatory community service? sounds a lot like slavery to me….

  • SSM

    So your idea of the real world is a world where people where as free labor? Maybe in communist countries but not here.

    • SSM

      I meant work as free labor.

    • http://www.danaseilhan.com/ Dana Seilhan

      Oh please. Free labor is a capitalist’s wet dream.

  • http://debauched.tumblr.com/ Jordan

    I’m slightly miffed that you’ve classified Ping Pong as a game instead of a sport. It’s been an Olympic event since 1988. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_tennis)

    • Fubar

      Curling is better, the pants are way more cool. And they have little brooms that were probably originally designed by shipwrecked viking warriors. which they use to sweep the ice in front of sliding rock. awesome stuff.

  • Tflipz

    question, lets say I go travel for year. but then what? I have no money and no education from just traveling around. i’m sure I will look at things differently since i have gained perspective of the world but I’m jobless and broke.

    • Fubar

      uuuuum. if you were clever and resourceful enough to figure out how to travel cheaply, you would probably also be smart enough to find work. Altucher wants people to be more creative, innovative, think outside the box, be entrepreneurial. One way to start is to take an unvarnished look at unexamined assumptions, conformist constructs and weird social fetishes associated with education and state capitalism.

  • Emmisedbergh

    Lets be honest about this, the Community Service that is being discussed here is not simply providing a service to the community, there is a self gain side to all of this and this is really gaining work experience, so all of you who thinks that this is in some way a slavish approach to becoming an enthrepreneur need to get off the soap box.  Getting work experience allows individuals to gain experience in the real world while figuring out what it is they want to do and where their ideas will work to their best advantage, whats so wrong with that. 

  • http://MikeSlatton.com slatton

    Thank you for putting in writing what I’ve been saying ever since I graduated college!  Many conversations of this topic led to my little brother’s-in-law (twins) joining the Navy, after taking a couple of course in community college and not seeing the value.  One is now a nuclear engineer, and the other is an electronics engineer.  Their educations are useful, practical and PAID for by the federal government.

    Personally, I got a degree in Political Science.  No one told me when I enrolled that there is no such job as a political scientist.  FAIL!  So I’ve spent the last decade learning web development on my own.  I now have 2 servers, a thousand hosting clients and a successful web dev firm.

    After graduating college, I’d tell people “You don’t need college.  It just gives you the papers to travel in certain social circles.  It’s like a couple of dogs that look exactly the same and say they’re poodles, but one has the papers to prove he’s a poodle, and the other doesn’t.”

  • sheevani

    cmon whatever you have acheved now came from the foundation created in college.  You built upon that.  The technical mid was developed thru the studies done in college.  Otherwise you will be just blank paper without dot. Now you have learned to connect the dots.  Some people get connected late.. but effectively.  Be glad that you had college education…. How you survive withou this… I feel the world will go out of balance.

    • Fubar

      You seem to miss Altucher’s more interesting point: in the USA, education is what is lacking in balance. College has become fetishized. Just as has much of the culture in general become removed from reality and nature. College has become a scam, deeply intertwined with the corrupt aspects of state capitalism, such as bank fraud and student loans, and false social stratification. In most cases, college enslaves the people from the lower classes, that is was supposed to lift up and liberate.

  • Makemerryjon

    How about telling about Jesus Christ to all you see, as this is what we were called upon for

    • Fubar

      Some people are called to something higher than the partial truths that some religious people claim are full truths:

      Hitchens was certainly correct about much of what he saw as silly and flawed in religion.

      But, he was hardly able to escape his biases and the cultural limits
      of his paradigm. Not that he tried to make any such escape. His genius
      involved using the limited tools in his belief system to peel away [the
      veneer covering] horrible and ugly human flaws that religious and
      political people prefer to leave unexamined. And he should be celebrated
      for the deep humanity of that genius, not insulted for small minded
      reasons.

      Hitchens lived up to his ideals, which were both deeply noble and
      deeply flawed, to a much greater extent than 99% of most religious
      people do theirs.

      Hitchens was not afraid to embrace a complicated, messy human nature.

      Hitchens was not afraid to examine the various missionary projects
      of western culture in the most unvarnished manner possible, and to
      conclude that no such imperial project can ever lead to anything but
      debasement, oppression and social injustice. For over 1,000 years, such
      missionary projects have attempted to replace the divine feminine and
      the “snakepits of culture”  with “sterile wards of professional service”
      (Ivan Illich). Hitchens saw the deception and hypocrisy, the bartering
      of spirit and meaning for debased reasons, that is a major part of
      western religion (mythic religion = ethnocentrism+imperialism).

      The decent thing to do is to respect all mourning, suffering and
      loss, not use it as an opportunity to engage in small minded and flawed,
      narrow polemics.

      Religion has been one of the main tools used to oppress humanity for
      at least 8,000 years. Any person that attempts to rescue humanity from
      such oppression has made a far greater contribution to the world than
      most religion ever has.

      Any form of absolutism is bad. religious absolutism is bad, scientific absolutism is bad.

      Gene-culture coevolutionary theory
      scientifically examines the ACTUAL ARTIFACTS that form the basis of
      culture and meaning (including religion). No science (which is based on
      external/systems perspective) can ever address the actual inner
      “emotional” experience of transcendence that is “beyond” rational
      awareness (divine unity, ultimate emptiness, etc.).

      I see no reason that the poetry of religion (spiritual liberation) can’t be complementary to scientific rationalism.

      The problem with modernism is that it creates a form of culture that
      lacks authenticity, and eventually erodes local wisdom, shared value
      commitments, etc. This is what Habermas refers to as the “colonization
      of lifeworld by systems” (systems being “externals” such as money and
      power, lifeworld being shared meanings and the inner sense of beauty or
      the sublime).

      Religious people need to take things up several notches to be able
      to coherently address the problems inherent to modernism and
      postmodernism.

      Spirituality needs to be restructured and placed in a different
      context because human history has changed, and the old conceptual models
      are experiencing a “crisis of legitimization”. Partial truths can no
      longer claimed to be full truths.

      Hitchens actually did religious people a far bigger favor than most
      of them probably know: he pointed out what is silly about the aspects of
      prerational culture in religion so that they could then contemplate how
      to elevate their spirituality to a higher plane of meaning that can
      satisfy the “coherence needs” of a changed human condition.

      If religious people fail to elevate how they think about how they
      think, they miss the most important form of service to humanity possible
      in this age of relativism: adding spiritual authenticity to the
      discussion of a paradigm shift toward a more socially just world.

  • Mark Lepine

    When you travel how about going somewhere with no foreigners and mastering the language?

  • Sushil Gupta

    I’d have gone to Africa and wrote a book while learning.

  • LC

    I’m sitting here trying to write a paper that is due tomorrow and I literally can’t get started on it. This is currently my second attempt at college; I’m 19, almost 20. Maybe college just really isn’t  right for me. It seems so long and demanding. I’m so young, I feel like I should be having fun and doing something much more creative. When I go to bed and dream at night, my mind is so vibrant and expansive. There has to be something greater out there for me besides going to lame community college classes 3 days a week and working my stupid waitressing job. I need help. I need an idea. I need to find some inspiration and a way to put myself into the world and make sure I leave something amazing here on this Earth.

    • Fubar

      Learn to meditate. Find a community of support or mentor. Learn to serve poor people, or some other form of compassion/altruism. ? The world right now wants to suck you into the soul killing ego/greed paradigm.  You can fight that evil and find higher meaning in life. You are in my thoughts for peace and happiness.

      http://worldwidetippingpoint.com/

      http://www.bhavanasociety.org//main/quotes_full_page/

      “There is, monks, an unborn, unbecome, unmade, unconditioned. If,
      monks, there were
       no unborn… no escape would be discerned from what is
      born, become, made,
       conditioned. But because there is an unborn…,
      therefore an escape is discerned from
       what is born, become, made,
      conditioned.”

      ~ The Buddha

      Ud 8:3

      Translator: Bhikkhu Bodhi

      Udana 8:3

  • VE

    Parents, don’t shuttle your kids off to college thinking they’ll find themselves, and encourage them to major in some BS major. I they want to do something in the arts, fine, but you don’t need to major in one of those things nor spend 100K to do it. Nobody ever said someone that majors in an engineering/healthcare/or practical business discipline can’t be a writer/actor/musician, etc.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nick-Aites/100000724973686 Nick Aites

    That would’ve really made me mad. I barely got out of high school without trying to burn it down or something. It was a pretty abusive environment, peers and staff alike. I wouldn’t even call them peers, that would assume that they had a single bit of useful insight that wasn’t about drugs, teen pregnancy, or violence. I left that place hating everything.

  • LvM

    Or they could work on a cotton plantation! Yay! Good for the economy, their physique, and they might even discover they like it!

  • nutroll

    ffs how does white win ?

  • T8keapixur

    One reason to send your kids to college, from a 45 year old who dropped out and spent two extra years and lots of money to finish it last year:  lots of employers won’t even consider you without that Bachelor’s.  It does open doors.  Some promotions are impossible to get without that sheepskin.

    On the other hand, I’m in huge debt from sending my daughter to college and she doesn’t even WANT to do the specialized field she learned in college.  The job she is currently at wouldn’t care where she got that Bachelor’s from.  She would have benefited more from writing a book and/or traveling for two years and wouldn’t have accrued nearly as much debt.

  • http://twitter.com/GillieDunn Gillian Dunn

    I judge someone who chooses to spend money on a freakin car than education. But thats just me. 

  • Fubar

    re:
    “$5.3B goes to students who government says don’t need it,”


    “You don’t give the bloated guy the cheeseburger when the starving man is starving.”
    One reason universities do this, according to financial aid directors
    and observers, is to vie for applicants with good grades and high test
    scores, who often come from affluent communities with top-rated school
    systems.

    “If they want to increase their rankings in U.S. News & World
    Report, an easy way to do that is to bribe high-scoring students to come
    to your university with non-need-based aid,” said Richard Kahlenberg, a
    specialist in education at the Century Foundation.

    Universities say they have been forced to pay out more to people who
    don’t need it since Harvard, Yale, Stanford and other elite schools
    started waiving tuition altogether for families that earn as much as
    $130,000 in a battle for cream-of-the-crop students.

    Chronicle of Higher Education:

    Billions to Non-Needy Students

    December 1, 2011, 5:52 pm

    By
    Richard Kahlenberg

    Last week, Jon Marcus of the Hechinger Report
    wrote about the billions of dollars in federal and university aid
    that goes to students who would likely attend college without it.  His
    article, a version of which appeared on the front page of USA Today under the headline
    “$5.3B goes to students who government says don’t need it,”
    centered around the rise in non-need institutional merit aid and the
    ballooning federal tax breaks which go to families earning
    up to $180,000 per year.  “It just doesn’t make any sense,” one
    low-income student told Marcus.  “You don’t give the bloated guy the
    cheeseburger when the starving man is starving.”

    Several new research reports underline the disturbing trends.  In addition to the College Board’s
    “Trends in Student Aid 2011,”
    which finds that institutions are providing more than $5-billion in
    non-need based aid, the National Center for Education Statistics
    recently
    reported
    that non-need institutional merit aid from four-year public and private
    colleges has surpassed need-based institutional aid, a reversal of the
    earlier emphasis on need.

    On the federal level, the College Board’s Trends report found that
    roughly $4-billion goes in the form of tax credits and deductions to
    families with adjusted gross incomes between $100,000 and $180,000 a
    year.  (The total cost of the tax breaks was $14.7-billion
    in 2009.)

    Ironically, the big subsidies to relatively well-off families first
    originated under the Democratic administration of Bill Clinton.
    Clinton’s Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, a Wall Street financier not
    known as a wide-eyed radical,
    advised
    Clinton at the time that increasing grant aid would provide a
    better-targeted method of expanding higher-education access.  But tax
    credits were seen as more politically viable,
    both because they benefit more powerful constituencies and because tax
    cuts are symbolically associated with shrinking government.  A 2003
    National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper by Bridget Terry Long
    vindicated Rubin’s position, finding that the Clinton higher education tax breaks did not broaden access to post-secondary education.

    Yet the program has continued to grow.  According to a new National Center for Education Statistics report,
    “Federal Education Tax Benefits,”
    in 2007-8 college tax benefits went to 47 percent of American
    undergraduates, compared with 27 percent receiving Pell grants.  Since
    then, the Obama
    administration has expanded tax breaks both up and down the income
    ladder–raising eligibility levels to $180,000 but also making the tax
    break refundable, which benefits lower-income families who don’t owe
    federal taxes.

    Critics rightly worry that the growing tax breaks are problematic on
    two grounds.  Because they are built into the tax code, they don’t have
    to go through the discipline of surviving the regular annual
    appropriations process.  And tax breaks for those in
    the $100,000 to $180,000 range, more than double the median family
    income, don’t usually tip the balance for students deciding whether to
    attend college.

    The silent and automatic nature of the tax breaks make my Innovations Blog colleagues Sandy Baum and Michael McPherson
    ask why
    there isn’t more “scrutiny in this age of attempted austerity” for
    “government expenditure through the tax code.”  Likewise, Sara
    Goldrick-Rab of the University of Wisconsin
    notes
    that tax credits for better-off families provide “extra money to make
    sure they can have a vacation that year, or they can buy another TV or a
    nicer car,” but “it is not for putting
    food on the table, and it’s not paying the heating bill, and it’s not
    deciding whether or not the kid goes to college.”

    This
    state of affairs is aggravating for those of us think that the public
    interest in funding student aid for higher education–the reason we all
    pay for other people’s kids to go to school–is strongest
    when that aid makes the difference between attending and not
    attending.  The frustration is compounded when important access programs
    for working-class and low-income students are taking deep cuts.

    A number of years ago, higher education authorities Arthur Hauptman and Michael Timpane suggested (in a
    book
    I edited) that proportionally more funding should be allocated to
    programs like TRIO and GEAR-UP, which support academic preparation and
    transition to college.  Yet it is precisely
    these programs–which together in FY 2011 spent $1.1-billion–that have
    been subject to
    intense cuts
    during the Obama years.  Couldn’t some of the $4-billion in federal tax
    breaks to relatively wealthy families be shifted to protect these types
    of programs?

    I
    understand that families making nearly $180,000 wield more political
    power than those who are eligible for programs like TRIO, but at what
    point does it become embarrassing to policymakers to keep feeding
    the bloated guy when the starving man is hungry?

  • Just Saying

    I will leave this comment about college for each individual, But my
    experience, I dropped out of high school while I was 15 Yrs old in the
    9th grade.. I started working as a cashier at a convenience store part
    time making only $6.00 an hr, when six months later (I was 16 yrs old)
    it lead to full time shift manager making $7.50 an hr… After 2 years
    (I was 17 yrs old) I was promoted to Assistant Manager, making $8.50 an
    hr. Then 3 years later (18 Yrs old) I was recruited from a convenience
    store competitor’s District Manger (he stopped in quite often scouting)
    and he asked me to leave that company to become an assistant  manager
    making $9.50 an hour.. After just 6 years after dropping out of school
    in the 9th grade.. I became store manager (21 yrs old) making $12.00 an
    hour… and 8 years later (29 yrs old) I had 5 job titles for this
    company making $65,000.00 a year.. I was also a recruiter at job fares
    hiring for the company and at these interviews I had denied many college
    business graduates because they had NO Experience… and expected to
    make $50,000.00 a year… As a Store Manager starting out.. So it goes
    to prove college isn’t for everyone.. I am now a business owner who has
    my own business which is a convenience store.. and it wasn’t any
    education  professor that taught me anything I know about business.. It
    was working experience that taught me more than any college ever could
    have!

  • Colleen

    Do like my kids did and have 2 1/2 years fully accredited college credits in the bag before they ever graduate high school.  My kids are not geniuses. They just used high school (actually, their senior year) to get as much of the undergraduate stuff as possible handled through College Board Exams (CLEP) plus DSST exams.  Each course cost them under $150.00 for the REA book and the test itself.  No brainer.  Save money.  Save time.  Save your youth for something better.  Check to ‘college degree’ box and move on.

    Home education has tons of advantages, but one of our favorites is that at 17 and 19 our sons will have a fully accredited BSBA International Business degrees from a regionally accredited college in the bag and they can use their ‘normal’ college years to travel the world to do meaningful and fun stuff.  Just use high school for college.  

  • Terryneal1

    no such thing as madatory volunteer , get you head out your butt

  • paul

    Table tennis is a sporting game but primarily a sport. 

  • Somebodywhocares

    If you read a little bit more about student loans and college you will eventually realize that you are enslaved regardless of whether you “like it or not” Nothing has changed in our society EVER, its just got newer, prettier names, folders, and places to hide :)

  • matt foster

    Nice. Simply nice. This is the only life we have to live, and worse than early death is a long life of ‘what ifs’.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=743645203 Nate Wilson

    Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you.

  • Fubar

    re: [Chuck] You forgot to mention the black helicopters!

    In the recently unsealed archives of Wallace Stegner, founder of the Creative Writing program at Stanford University, some interesting documentary material was found about ARAMCO’s use of “unmarked” US military helicopters to suppress pro-democracy worker revolts in the Saudi oilfields in the 1950s. These are “facts” that are inconvenient to the imperialists that pay lip service to patriotism while serving the false god of state capitalism.

    Fast forward to now, and we have the case of REAL patriot Thomas Drake being indicted for treason for attempting to expose fraud and waste inside the NSA’s project to spy on the american people:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/05/22/60minutes/main20064396.shtml

  • Ajayrokmani

    James Altucher, why do you care what other people choose to do between the ages 18 and 23? Also, what makes you think so many people look back and say, wistfully, “What if?” Because you do it? Finally, by your own premise, even the people who choose not to go to college to start a sole proprietorship on-line or off-line will later in life sit with a cup of coffee staring out a cafe window and think, “Why didn’t I go to college?” Live your life as you see fit, not by the prodding of a salesman.

    • http://twitter.com/jaltucher jaltucher

      Why are you so upset?

  • Glover9369

    This article was very insulting to me. I love college and learning. I am wirking 2 jobs and busting my ass to get myself an education. If you are trying to convince someone something don’t insult them the whole time- it renders your argument useless. You aren’t persuading anyone because your whole rhetoric is off. Think about your aim and how to make it successful. If you want college kids to explore different opportunities- don’t piss them off. We are not all rich kids mindlessly coddling ourselves. Audience is key to any argument sir. Funny, I learned all this in my argument class. It was really rewarding.

    • http://twitter.com/jaltucher jaltucher

      Has college ever taught you how to handle an opinion different from yours?

    • Gingermichael

      Don’t worry, when you grow up you’ll learn how to not take everything personally.

  • http://twitter.com/agirlandajeep Stephanie

    I’m thinking many people didn’t get the idea of his article…. college isn’t for everyone, not everyone needs a 4 year degree… some of the most successful people I know didn’t finish college… as for giving back, it isn’t for everyone, but the peace corps and organizations like that give pay and allow a person to grow and see the world. I see many young people today who are in college to take a degree that they are not interested in, but their parents want them to major in it… they are wasting their time and money. If they took the time and maybe did something out of the box… instead of going to college like is “expected” of them… they would have a great appreciation of college when they are ready, or might realize they don’t even need it to do what their passion is.  

  • Nuloup

    Morally repugnant?? Slavery?? Broadening your entitled white American scope would benefit you. 

    • Wolfgg265

      I’m neither american nor white. Tell the same to me A-H***.
      Forced labor is slavery, no matter what your hippie socialism makes you feel about it.
      BTW, If you like social servitude so much, you’re more than welcome to come live in Venezuela, were we have plenty of that. 

  • Bepetersn

    Yeah–involuntary schooling is also slavery. Involuntary education is a misnomer, because you CAN’T learn against your will.

  • Anonymous

    Most kids who were good at editing and comedy will try comedy if they don’t succeed. Their outlet will be youtube, websites/forums, and stand up. It was very hard back in the day to get a following but now in today’s youtube it’s 20x worse all the content has to be yours. It’s a big and hard risk to take but if your working a crappy job and you think you can do it then you can make it. Not just comedy kids play video games and do make-up tutorials stuff like that. Shane Dawson even though i don’t like him is a college dropout who lost his job because of the videos little did he know his youtube videos would make and give him 20x more then his old job/opportunities. Oh there is big money RWJ said he made 1million dollars on youtube. He’s a big name though. 

  • northendnorman

    how about taking up a musical instrument

  • Walia

    This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read, kudos.

  • A college student

    Where is the money for these ideas going to come from.  “Take 10,00 dollars and go to India…” from where?  I totally agree that college is a waste of money in most situations.  If you have money to waste you should go, because the narcissistic American teenager could benefit from four years of a pseudo-real world before the real world comes to bite them in the ass.  College is also fascinating.  I suggest you go the RIGHT college- for YOU.  Art school or alternative education.  Somewhere where the knowledge you gain is valued above the grade, where the experience is valued above the length of your essay.  Yes it will be overpriced, but there’s an experience to be gained there too.  If you look for value in college besides the degree, you WILL find some.
    Some people are fine living off food stamps or hand-to-mouth for a little while, but the world’s economy is crap right now.  I say leaving the world in the hands of the previous generation for a few more years might help our “chi,” but its going to do nothing for the state of corruption in the world and it certainly won’t help anyone relying on us.

  • College student

    Where is the money for these ideas going to come from.  “Take 10,00 dollars and go to India…” from where?  I totally agree that college is a waste of money in most situations.  If you have money to waste you should go, because the narcissistic American teenager could benefit from four years of a pseudo-real world before the real world comes to bite them in the ass.  College is also fascinating.  I suggest you go the RIGHT college- for YOU.  Art school or alternative education.  Somewhere where the knowledge you gain is valued above the grade, where the experience is valued above the length of your essay.  Yes it will be overpriced, but there’s an experience to be gained there too.  If you look for value in college besides the degree, you WILL find some.
    Some people are fine living off food stamps or hand-to-mouth for a little while, but the world’s economy is crap right now.  I say leaving the world in the hands of the previous generation for a few more years might help our “chi,” but its going to do nothing for the state of corruption in the world and it certainly won’t help anyone relying on us.

  • J Hellmann

    Tell me … how is an 18 year old going to get a loan for $10,000 much less pay it back?  Unrealistic.  I wonder …do you live in the real world?

    • KM

      Parents who gave them college savings can give the 10,000 to them and spend one fourth of what they’d spend on college for a year, and maybe the kid would actually get something out of it.

  • cobalt

    Just wondering how a high school graduate could work to cure malaria in Africa with few to no tangible skills or knowledge to bring to the table. As someone with formal biomedical engineering, public health, & medical training who has worked on malaria research at the NIH & in East Africa, I’ve been striving to build a foundation of knowledge & experience that will hopefully help me contribute towards reducing the global burden of malaria. I think the years I’ve devoted to higher education (and all of the tremendous learning opportunities there were both inside & outside of the classroom) have been well spent.

    I think higher education can be extremely valuable if it is spent developing tangible, useful skills as well as pursuing meaningful growth experiences (which I think you were trying to capture through your “8 alternatives”). Also, higher education also doesn’t need to lead to massive debt if practical decisions are made. Turning down the most prestigious acceptances I had for undergrad & medical school for very good (but not as highly ranked) schools that offered generous scholarships & financial aid were two freedom-generating decisions on my end. I personally felt that my undergraduate years were incredibly enriching, meaningful, and useful. My engineering skills & degree helped me land a decently paying job in industry after graduation and I was also academically prepared to enter medical school later on. Meanwhile, involvement with volunteering and extracurricular activities helped me further develop personal values as well as “soft skills.” Universities can be amazing places to be if people continually push themselves out of comfort zones & actively pursue formal and informal learning opportunities from the talented people around them.

    I do think that it’s wise for people to not attend college if they’re not prepared and eager to make the most out of the experience. If that’s the case, I would recommend a couple things. First, work a menial, minimum-wage paying job for a while. That will make people more averse to taking out unnecessary student loans and take their studies more seriously. Second, volunteer in a variety of settings, especially settings that take people outside their comfort zones & that allow interaction with different types of people. There’s a lot that can be learned. Nursing homes, hospice, inner city schools, homeless shelters, non-profits serving various communities, etc. Volunteering with sweatshop factory workers and seeing their harsh working environments / extreme hours / low pay made me grateful for the opportunities to study and work in professions that valued my mind. Also, I want to mention that international travel, particularly to developing countries, can lead to eye-opening and highly impactful experiences. However, it can be quite expensive AND I’ve encountered many backpacker scenes primarily centered around sight-seeing, drinking, & hooking up — sounds like some college experiences just without the coursework & with more foul-smelling clothing. I would say that prior to embarking on international adventures, it would be more useful to travel domestically. See urban & rural poverty in the US first. Learn about the complexity of social issues facing people of different socioeconomic classes. Experience culture shock in your own city vs. an ocean away. If someone’s learned from those experiences, then, perhaps consider traveling abroad. Also, international experiences are usually richer if you’re going for a purpose. Think about what you can contribute in addition to what you can learn.

  • Anonymous

    and this, this is exactly why Asia will overtake the West. They take education a bit more seriously than we do (biggest understatement I have ever made in my life). 

    With this mentality the only charity work we will be doing in the future is spit-shining China’s shoes.

    this is quite possibly the dumbest shit I’ve ever read. (@ 10 More Reasons Why Parents Should Not Send Their Kids to College)

    People say: Kids learn to be socialized at college. Are you kidding me? No I’m not kidding you. Learning to socialize is just a bonus. Don’t assume everyone that everyone is a party slut either.

    Statistics say: College graduates make much more money than non-college graduates. Even if it can be said that most people go to college, there are only so many ways you can earn more money than a lawyer, surgeon, doctor, nuclear physicist, biomedical engineer, etc without a college degree. Have fun testing your luck with whatever non-college bound method you’re taking.

    One person said: Not everything boils down to money. “N*ggas with no money act like money isn’t everything” -Drake. And as an Asian American, I know many other Asians that will see it was ‘worth it’ as they graduate only to earn six figures soon after they come out of Cornell, Yale, Duke, Harvard, insert any Ivy league school here. Tuition is small time, essentially pocket change.

    My Experience. lololol. I could make up a story too! In college but still virgin club!

    Parents are scammed. Just because you do _ doesn’t mean everyone are going to do what you do. As far as drugs so, weed is as far as I’m going. Shrooms can make you feel like you’re dieing, not a pleasant feeling. Crack is too addictive, stay away.

    • KM

      The question is, did you go to a college in an Asian country or an American country?

       I would assume that colleges in Asian countries are a much better use of time than wasting four years learning “Philosophy” and “Art Appreciation” and “Women’s Studies” required for general education requirements. They probably teach students how to do a job.

  • slave to who

    I like how all the comments are just arguments about slavery and volunteering from idiots instead of more ideas to expand a persons world, which is what the posts are for…
    My idea is teaching english in a foreign country. Some organizations will help a person file for the required paperwork to leave the country, help find an apartment in the country, and find a paying for you. (argue about slavery on this topic!)  You can learn about a different culture and maybe a new language, while traveling the world, and if thats not good enough; you get paid to do it.

  • the cunt punter

    hey you dumb fuck maybe this would have been a good article if i was interested in 8 ways to waste an assload of my time instead of going to college.  when people want alternatives to college they don’t want to hear “go spend a year jacking off” they want something that has the benefits of having a plan. assfor dickwad

  • KM

    I am graduating this semester with a degree in broadcasting and video. When I have children and they are 18, they have three options:

    1. Get a scholarship, because I will not pay for college, nor allow them to cripple themselves with school debt.
    2. Enlist in the military for 2+ years
    3. Start a business

    My parents always wanted me to graduate college and marry a college graduate, because they dropped out of college and got married when they were 20, and my dad joined the army. I don’t know why they have this delusion that college is worth something.

    My dad is extremely brillliant, and makes VERY good money, much more than most college grads. Getting his college degree in his 40’s changed absolutely nothing. He can’t get a job in his field because there’s no opportunities out there where he could make more than what he makes now. However, he does have much greater financial knowledge for when he starts his own business.

    I married a man in the army. My parents were supportive, of course. But they worried about him being able to support me without a degree.

     Here’s the difference between me and my husband:

    I got a four year degree. He enlisted straight out of high school.

    I had a 3.4 GPA in high school and a 3.0 in college. My husband graduated high school at age 20 and failed English several times.

    I got a 1,500 dollar scholarship with a ton of writing and recommendation letters and good grades and hard work, that didn’t even pay for books for one semester. All his training was paid for just for enlisting.

    I will graduate college with 20k + in debt. He graduated AIT with a 10k bonus up front, and 1k more each year he remains enlisted.

    It took me 4 years to learn a whole lot of pointless fluff that I have just forgotten along the way and has nothing to do with a career. It took him one year in AIT to learn a career that will last a lifetime.

    I will make nothing, because there are no jobs in my field where we live. He makes about 25k+ per year. (I don’t know the exact number because there is housing and clothing allowance to factor in. Great perks!)

    I am begging for receptionist positions posted on craigslist and pushing my “impressive” resume every day with no responses. He has a few job offers lined up for when his enlistment is up, where he will make triple his current salary.

    I worked for a year for a horrible boss who treated me like garbage in college, and my “networking opportunities” with professors have amounted to nothing. He has friends and likes many of his superiors at work who have shown him what kind of opportunities he has when his enlistment is up.

    I gained 50 pounds from my first day of college until now, because I had no time to cook or excercise and got stuck eating fast food crap on campus, and now I’ve got high blood pressure and can’t do half the things I used to love before I destroyed my figure in college. He is forced to do PT every day for an hour and looks absolutely incredible, and can do anything.

    I have to pay off college debts when I graduate. He has the choice to go to college for free with his GI Bill if he wants.

    I sit at home, a bored housewife trying to find my place in the world, feeling like a failure because I didn’t live up to my own expectations. He is doing a real JOB that actually means something.

    College is not the institution it once was. It has no focus on how to do a job. Most of the degrees are pointless things like Philosophy and Women’s Studies and African American Studies that do not translate into a JOB. And even those degrees that ARE for a job, such as broadcasting, are comprised of so much gen ed filler and made up “film appreciation” fluff they don’t even teach you half of what you need to know for a career. And either way, all the jobs are taken by middle aged men.

    While the military has its drawbacks such as deployment and a few B.S. things here and there, in both the short run and the long run it is worth so much more than a college degree. You can’t buy job skills.

    I’ve given up on finding a job the traditional way. I’m giving myself a second chance and starting a business where I can hopefully use my knowledge from the two useful classes I took in college. If I had it to do over again, I never would have spent a dime on this foolishness and I would have spent the past four years doing something worthwhile and making something of myself. College is the biggest waste of time and money ever created.

    My parents will be proud when I get my degree. At this point I’m only suffering through the pretentious nonsense for their benefit. Personally, I am ashamed that I was stupid enough to be pressured into wasting what was supposed to be the best years of my life.

  • KM

    I disagree with the mandatory part because the government shouldn’t be running people’s lives and telling them what to do. But I do think it is a FANTASTIC option for those who choose to do so.

  • KM

    I think some of these like learning a game or moving to India and being poor and getting dysentery are a bit of a ridiculous waste of time. And the military was completely left out of this, even though it’s probably the very best option. But some of these were good- starting a business, writing a book, charity work etc. as long as they are doing things to improve their resume and making some income somehow and not living 100 percent off their parents’ dime.

  • http://twitter.com/EntreprenKorner EntrepreneursKorner

    Awesome Post once again, I have just sat here for about 1-2 hours reading through a weeks worth of blog posts that I have missed. Like someone said below me, I think your attitude is also an important factor why you have not gotten a cold.

    James Check Out This:
    When you have time.

    http://bit.ly/wgGiZQ

    Thanks.

  • Kirk cornwell

    I recommend 1 1,000 mg envelope of Vitamin C every AM.(Linus Pauling DID live to a healthy 90.)

  • jade

    that defiantly helped me with my decision about school or travel. I was debating on going to school next fall but i don’t think i will now. I’m 20 year old and i need to do a little exploring. :D

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/SZ4SNB5VU72R6KFBD6ASLJQSNM pandb

    Repugnant is different from service.  Service is civic responsibility.

  • Grady

     Work a summer job during high school, put the money away to travel the world, during which time you attend a summer school program at an overseas University. At that point you are getting one heck of a world view and a taste of traditional education, with a twist all at once. It’s like eating a several course rich meal all at once, it doesn’t get better than that! Then upon return
    to your home country, travel that country. Pick up jobs as you go to pull this all off, it will be worth it in the end. Then once you have filled yourself up on a real world experience start your own company and work for yourself. During the time of creating and running your company
    make sure you create a strong network and maintain the one you created during your time of travel and that you are a positive roll model to those around you. Create a win win situation everyday as much as humanely possible and pay attention to the winds of change as time goes on. Knowing when and how to change your company is the difference between success and failure. Lastly maintain your health and stay as independent as possible no matter what,
    no one cares about you and yours as much as you do, never put yourself in a position of owing everyone and their brother, it’s not necessary to your success. Old equipment is often as good as new  equipment for example, and you do not need to run up a loan to acquire it. Good luck
    to all.  And thanx for another great article James

  • Kokocachoo

    For that argument below me- you know what slavery is like? Doing things that nobody else would want to do because of its difficulty and hardship, so you make OTHER people do them. These OTHER people also do not have freedom of choice at all, do not get paid, and work for life doing whatever their owner would have of them.
    Having a mandatory 2 year community service- a SERVICE- for people to help others by the examples listed by Idickstein is NOT slavery, since instead of being owned by another human being, you are simply helping YOUR society by following the rules of said society.
    Maybe people would actually stop being so sefl-absorbed for once and spoiled, and actually think about the world as a whole before doing something damaging…..
    I think its a fantastic idea

  • Guy

     Just because you have the right to not do anything, doesn’t necessarily mean you should use it.

    You have the right to sit on your ass all day and slowly starve to death since you also have the right not to get a job or get and education to pay for shelter or food.

    This isn’t about the individual, its about our society, and it sure as hell needs more people helping eachother than people yelling about their rights as an excuse to do nothing all their lives, or complain because they don’t always get what they want.
    Considering that we don’t chop off the hands of thieves because they steal food like other countries, or allow all religions to be preached, or try (hard as we might) to give fair coverage to both political parties, we have a pretty cushy life already. Taking sometime out of learning the samething youve been learning since before highschool, I’d say some hard work would be a much needed wake up call for most people.

    “Not the center of the universe”
    yea no shit

  • Maribell_ge

    Finding a passion:  most of the young people start to study without really know what they want, or what they care, or what they love in life or even what they are good for.  Many times they think that our passions or the things we love to do are just that.  but they don’t know that this things are the doors to the peace and happiness of living the rest of their lifes.  

  • Fubar

    EXAMPLE OF WHAT IS WRING IN ACADEMIA

     http://www.alternet.org/health/154225/would_we_have_drugged_up_einstein_how_anti-authoritarianism_is_deemed_a_mental_health_problem/?page=entire

  • Fubar

    EXAMPLE OF WHAT IS WRONG IN ACADEMIA:

    http://www.alternet.org/health/154225/would_we_have_drugged_up_einstein_how_anti-authoritarianism_is_deemed_a_mental_health_problem/?page=entire

    excerpt:

    Would We Have Drugged Up Einstein? How Anti-Authoritarianism Is Deemed a Mental Health Problem

    We are increasingly marketing drugs that essentially “cure” anti-authoritarians.

    February 20, 2012 

    In my career as a psychologist, I have talked with
    hundreds of people previously diagnosed by other professionals with
    oppositional defiant disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder,
    anxiety disorder and other psychiatric illnesses, and I am struck by 1)
    how many of those diagnosed are essentially anti-authoritarians; and 2) how those professionals who have diagnosed them are not

  • Michael

    Okay, I give up: In how many moves does white win? Certainly not 1.

    • GagaHonk

      It’s in a lot of moves.  But I did see a ways down in the comments someone found the same move as Shredder … white knight to C7 is the winning move.  Then either black moves its rook out of danger and loses to a big king walk by white or black takes white’s rook and loses to not being able to protect the pawns on the B file and the pawns on F, G, and H files at the same time (from white’s rook (B file) and white’s bishop, the others).  So it’s not immediate, but it becomes very quickly a one-sided game after white plays 1.  Nc7.

      • GagaHonk

        I meant then either black takes white’s KNIGHT (on c7), not rook, and loses to not being able to protect all its pawns.

  • GagaHonk

    Why didn’t anyone wonder what the answer is to the chess problem?  I am at a loss.

  • GagaHonk

    I’m glad you didn’t think to include it. 

  • GagaHonk

    Oh, ever since youporn.com (etcetera), porn doesn’t pay the bills like the old days.  Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?

  • Guest

    How am I supposed to get a job without a degree?!? I’m NOT working at Papa John’s for the rest of my life!

    Here’s what I am doing (I’m a Senior right now):

    Going to Louisiana Tech on a full ride (free meals, board, tuition).
    Writing a book instead of sleeping around in my free time.
    Enjoying my independence…. and 
    *sigh* Working at Papa John’s…

  • Guest

    I did not waste 17 years of my life in school just to spend another two working for others.

    It’s high time I did something for my SELF that would better MY life.

    Yes, I’m being selfish. No, I don’t care. You go save the planet.

  • http://jameshamlett.com/ James Hamlett

    It is refreshing to know that someone can express that there is an alternative to college without feeling guilty about it.  There are many success stories about people following their innermost desires intelligently and becoming quite successful.  Love this post.  Stay free in your thinking James.

  • Dapo

    Point #7 could easily be applied to Business

  • http://statspotting.com/ Statspotting

    I mentioned this elsewhere  – stats are against this argument .

    http://statspotting.com/2011/05/education-equals-employment-statistics-say-so/

  • Paula

     It’s slavery if they are forced (especially if they don’t get paid). I seriously doubt those teens were forced to work their summers away in the city for free.

  • Paula

     What draft??

  • Paula

     Would they get paid for this work? Or are we going to enslave them and tell them that no matter what expenses they have, they MUST work for others for free?

  • Paula

    Would they get paid for this work? Or are we going to enslave them and
    tell them that no matter what expenses they have, they MUST work for
    others for FREE?
    More importantly, would they be provided Health Insurance coverage during this time? don’t 18-20 y/o’s need to see a doctor? How about Workman’s compensation if they happen to get hurt on-the-job? And for how long? Just the 2 years? Or for as long as the injury hinders them from gaining employment? What if this involuntary mandatory service permanently disables the 18-20yr old? Then what?

    • http://www.facebook.com/katlampi Kathryn Lampi

      Yeah I think we have a few great programs like this.. otherwise known as AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps, and Teach for America. I was thinking the same thing Paula — at minimum, there must be a stipend involved. Though I think it’s a great idea. And I actually think kids might learn more from this experience than they would from traditional schooling. 

  • Guest

    You say that college is not worth the money. I completely agree with you. I go to a Top 20 university, and I’m constantly amazed at the number of people that are blowing $56k+ a year to get a bullshit degree in something like Communications. Furthermore, I think that your eight alternatives are great, and something every high school grad should make every effort to do. My question is, what if you get a full scholarship to college. A merit scholarship to a Top 20. And you can still do these eight things while going to school. Is it still worth it to go, or is it better to focus on the alternatives instead?

    • Michael

      well they are fools. however most of us go to school for a real degree. I am engineering, meaning I am going to be hired when I graduate and my specialization makes over $60,000 a year starting salary.  

  • 234

     others’

  • DarrelSchmidt

    Colleges should force students into part time jobs or internships in their desired majors.  That way you have hands on experience, a decent network, and an exit strategy for a financial, and work standpoint. Your potential to pay off the debt would increase that much more. 

  • Michael

    This is absurd.  First off where are you going to get $10,000 to go to India for meditation? There is a perfectly good place to do this: your house.  How about you get a job?  that works. Also, how can you run a business if you know nothing about the economy, accounting, or business law?  Thank you for reading this.  

    Sincerely,
    a concerned college student

    p.s. if you do in fact heed to this advice, I thank you for decreasing my competition as I search for a job! :D

    • Michael

      I would also like to add: Colleges offer opportunities to study abroad, whether it is learning or service.  This is different from the meditation/religious experience you suggest because you actually can help those who are less fortunate!

  • http://www.facebook.com/blue.nobu.chan Blue Nobu

     over here we have to do 60 hours of community service or we don’t get to graduate highschool, they let us choose what to do and assign us to places (I got into a hospital)
    let people say what they will about it, it’s not slavery, it’s education.
    you get a real-life experience from doing this not to mention it helps the community.
    but 2 years is too much, a month or 2 would be better suited

    • diocletian

      @Blue Nobu,

      Quite the self-righteous, compliant, naive little sheep, aren’t you ?

      You were COMMANDED to perform community service, and you were TOLD where to work at the job that you chose to perform, and you got an “education” from it, but ALL within the context of coercion–being forced to engage in it.

      THAT is slavery !

      And you have allowed yourself to be mentally/psychologically conditioned to believe that this coercive arrangement has been beneficial to you.

      Congratulations ! You are a graduate tool ! Elizabeth Warren, George Bush, Harry Reid, and all of their fellow statists in government, and in your neighborhood look forward to employing you and your fellow indoctrinated sheep to achieve their statist agenda.

  • Anonymous

    I think you’re my soul-mate (if that even exists).

  • Simon

    What is the answer on the chess move in the post?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWCETELRWJFYJGDPLHK7FQX75A Justin

    Serve as a volunteer, intern or apprentice in some field you think you may enjoy.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWCETELRWJFYJGDPLHK7FQX75A Justin

    Learn another language.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWCETELRWJFYJGDPLHK7FQX75A Justin

    Go to a trade school instead of a traditional college.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWCETELRWJFYJGDPLHK7FQX75A Justin

    Become a monk.

  • kb2222222

    need experience to get job, need job to get experience

  • http://twitter.com/hotincleveland Truly S.

    You have some good ideas, but you fail to explain where the money for them is supposed to come from. At least it’s possible to get money for college, even if in many ways that’s a scam. When I graduated from high school, I didn’t have $10,000 to “take” and go to India with instead, or start a business, or live on while writing a novel. I suspect many other young people out there today are in the same boat. So it’s off to college where they can do all the things you said they’ll probably do that may seem to you to have been a complete waste of time, but at least they found a way to pay for it.

    Really, yon need to get realistic. Right now, you sound like Mitt Romney, who suggested that instead of taking out huge college loans, kids should borrow money from their parents to start a business. Well, that works great for the entrepreneurially minded whose parents happen to have money. What about everyone else?

  • http://twitter.com/jeffbritton007 Jeff Britton
  • http://profile.yahoo.com/OZHCCWYMU2BZQJXMASOKHGRUV4 Beth Ann

    Let’s assume for a moment that you find the means to accomplish one of these. Then what? Very few of these options seem to lead to a career path. I’m not saying that these pursuits are not worthwhile, just that unless you have huge savings you may starve trying to pursue them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alex.sandrosiqueira Alex Santos

    I’m going to college nowadays, but your text made think more about how I am spending my life. I think that both theorical and pratical knowledge are very important to me.  I want to get my degree in Business, I also want to do 1 or even more than one of the things above. I think I can graduate and still doing nice things like these. So I’m going to consider doing things diferently hereafter. Thanks for the useful advices and keep writing, you’re good at it.

  • Fish Cop

    I liked the pictures in the article. 

  • Rockymnthodad

    how bout not being a complete control freak.. ! land of the ‘ free’ … not the socialist.. slave labor OMG… mandatory nothing,,, btw.. I’ve done much all of the above so don’t crap mouth me.. you do it from a free heart not mandatory.. how bout mandatory classes on what facism and socialism really is… you won’t get that in college btw, you get the opposite ‘ Political Science’ ..lol.. now if that is not an oxymoron I don’t know what is . 

  • JR

    Thanks so much for writing this. This article is very encouraging. l was raised in quite “unconventional”  circumstances and have been traveling and doing humanitarian work all my life. Now, in my mid-20’s it seems like all the pressure from society is to “get your degree or you’ll be worth nothing” unless you’re some kind of young wunderkind who starts the next Google or Zappos from your garage before you turn 25. Lifelong learning is a constant goal and I still like the college courses I’m taking now, but it’s nice to see other kinds of learning or experience valued. I just found your blog today, and I’ve been reading the posts for the last hour and a half. Love it!

  • http://kenid.myopenid.com/ ken

    James, thank you for offering an interesting look at reasons not to attend college. It makes me happy after reading this, and I hope many people read this and follow your advice.

  • Visit contracthireguide.co.uk

    don’t count on that being true for very long as long as we have socialists running Washington.Don’t think for a second Obama won’t try to take away your rights for home schooling and have mandatory state schooling.

  • Ryan

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention joining the military! I joined the USAF at 19 years of age and spent 6 years traveling the world, serving my country, learning leadership skills, AND going to college to top it all off. Furthermore, joining the military does not preclude one from doing #’s 1 – 8 all at the same time, while also getting a pay check!

  • solonjr29

    Yes I do think it is slavery, honestly. I and plenty others never actually went to school (we were unschooled until we went to college, voluntarily), and we are reading this article to learn how to avoid that “necessity”.

  • HoresTores

    Introduce children to the world of business is good. But I did not say that formal education is unimportant. I think the formal and informal education are two things that should be developed in a balanced way. sell home in houston

  • nife

    You are a seriously smart kid – yay for you, no irony

  • http://www.facebook.com/marinarg Marina Gonzalez

    I agree with many of your suggestions. Many of these life lessons are critical for success and the vast majority of college students are not likely getting these types of experiences while in college. I am a college counselor. I couldn’t agree more.

    That said, students who come from low-income, first-generation college attending backgrounds benefit enormously (this is based on an handful of higher ed research articles that speak to the benefits of a college education) from the socialization process that comes from attending a university. I can quickly find you these articles if you are interested.

    Here is the argument. Send a student, like me (and many of my friends), a first-generation college student from a working class background to a campus like UCLA. Most of us unknowingly went through this socialization process where we also graduated with a new set of middle/upper class values. It was here that we sort of learned the unwritten rules of the game. For many of us, this is the only place that we were going to learn this “culture” and UCLA was THE ONLY ticket in. More importantly, many of us now had connections to folks in academia, and more significantly, connections with many other students with well connected parents and contacts. We learned A LOT from them. So I would toss this back to you. These particular students will not likely get this sort of an education (or foot in the door) without a college degree.

  • http://www.e-bookcoverdesign.com/ e-Book Cover Design

    While I like #5, the reality is that writing an e-book takes a lot of time, and for many, there will never be the huge return they might be expecting. If you write a book, write it because you are passionate about it, not because you want to make money. Having said that, it is cool to say you are a published author!

  • mom

    I say: Go to college, then do 1 – 8 at 22. you are better off :)

  • Chris

    “Most kids who are not getting anything from college
    fail because they don’t know why they are there to begin with.” -Laura

    True. They feel pushed into a system of expectations of what
    they are expected to do. More kids than ever are going to college than ever.
    It’s not that they don’t want to learn or have the potential to learn. It’s
    more like some are being forced into a system that does not induce learning for
    them because it it not the right environment for all of them. That’s the point
    of this article – to find the way that works for you. It doesn’t mean you are
    lazy, incompetent, or any less deserving of a person. It only means that your
    way of learning and inspiration is different. It does no good to belittle
    others just because you do not understand them. Instead, let’s encourage others
    to find their own way in this world. I think that when we encourage others and
    let them be themselves, we will be surprised by the results. Remember that
    people will be what they think you think they are. Cramming everyone into the
    same system is a fail on our society that we should try to mend, not point fingers
    of blame to the victims.

  • Lana

    It’s not that different from mandatory school subjects… just one is a service req.

  • Jessica

    I loved this article. Thank you so much for posting. I’m in college right now and its become a heavy burden and very uninspiring. Although I fully intent to complete college, this article was still refreshing. Thank you for reminding me life has so much more to offer than school and work.

  • J L

    These are all good suggestions, but #2 is a bit problematic. A lot of us don’t have $10,000 just lying around.

  • Swiiila

    Sometimes volunteering just doesn’t work. I volunteered in a hospital. They didn’t know what work to give me much of the time, so I was put on filing. I did not get to interact with and help people like I envisioned. I was a Big Sister. My “little sister” was unappreciative and called me a goody two shoes. Her parents were just using the program for a free child sitter. I used to pick up trash on the street but people threw it right back down. I began to feel like a fool. My daughter has experienced the same thing. She volunteered at a daycare, but they had more than enough help so she sat there bored. Volunteer agencies aren’t going to have enough placements for every high school and college-aged person if society requires community service. Volunteers have to be supervised and this takes salaried employees. People who suggest mandatory community service are living in a dream world. They don’t know how things really work.

    • CZ

      I’ve had similar experiences volunteering with youth, and food banks. The youth just want to sneer at you and get away so they can go spray paint walls. And I don’t get food banks: they’re always crying about needing food. I have personal knowledge that a lot of food goes to elderly folks whose children earn 6 figures. They cherry pick the good stuff, give the leftovers to their neighbors, who in turn cherry pick, and so on down through the chain. And my own wife winds up bringing home bags of brown rice and dried beans, with food bank labels, that’s too boring for the “starving” people who received it. And I take it back to the food bank. I mean, don’t they do any means-testing?

      BUT I volunteered/interned in organizations during college where I learned a lot and got good stuff on my resume.

  • D Laws

    That is a false image of what the social safety net does. As a single mother, I worked full-time and went to school full-time, living on my own and still qualified for social programs like medicare and food-stamps for my son. What a ridiculously biased statement.

    I’m one year away from a double master’s in Teaching and English Lit, and people are always surprised when I tell them I was on welfare. Being judgmental is far different from having good judgement. Learn the difference.

    • Rhondayes
    • http://www.nomadcapitalist.com/ Nomad Capitalist

      What you might accomplish or are working on does not mean you should take money from the rest of us. For everyone who says “money isn’t everything” as the answer to childless people furthering their education and getting good jobs, you had the joy of having kids. Why force us to pay for it?

      • teslacoitus

        So I’m sure all of you with this opinion are in support of free birth control and mandatory sex education/child development classes in early HS? So that people can have the option to not have kids and be mindful when they do?? Yeah? ..Please?

    • Nemo Nusquam

      What will you teach? The joys of statist dependence in
      iambic pentameter? You are a moocher and I want my money returned.

    • Mark Portman

      No. You were still mooching off of loot stolen from others by the government. You can sugar-coat it and call it judgemental all day. It is what it is.

    • Serial Entrepreneur

      Since you were just a year away with two master’s I hope you finally went to work and quit sucking off of the government and the rest of us. Most school systems will hire you with a bachelor’s and then you could work, pay for yourself and finish your master’s on your dime finally.

      There are those of us that work, go to school and could qualify, but don’t take it. I just don’t believe that I an entitled to have other people pay for my stuff.

      • teslacoitus

        It amazes me how people in this country don’t feel responsible for one another. This is your country. These are your people. These people effect the economy you live in. You don’t get to live in america, benefit from this country, and then act like you’re separate from Americans that need help. To the point where if a single mother is getting her degree and meanwhile needs to pay for her kids to eat, shes shamed as a mooch for not pulling herself up by her bootstraps and grabbing money out of thin air! The economy is falling apart! The unemployment in this country is crazy! Should we punish the victims of this? Or should we look at a broken system for what it is?

  • D Laws

    The comments on this thread equating community service to slavery is beyond ignorant. Comparing community service to nazism/totalitarianism is totally irresponsible.

  • SeaDragon ST

    screw the real world, I’d rather kill myself and go back to god again.

  • Ranjith

    I like to read this post again and again :)

  • MB

    Thank you for the write up. I have a daughter with Aspergers and although I could push her into doing more school, which she already hates and dreads (too loud, too much pressure, too many people, ect), I am looking for alternatives. College can’t be all there is. I have thought about the owning a business route or even taking time to learn a skill…but hadn’t thought of some of these other ones. Thank you!

  • Guest

    Well what else should they do.” And this amazes me. I guess its really
    hard to figure out what people of the ages 18-23 should do during the
    most vibrant, healthy years of their lives when they grow from being a
    child to an adult.

  • Salient

    ok, these ideas are fine. but other than the things like running a business or mastering something you’re actually talented enough to become a pro, what should people do after this year or two after high school? I agree not everyone has to or should go to college but after someone paints or writes novels for a year, what should they do?

  • Samantha

    my only problem with that idea is (and i could be wrong) but whether i learn anything in college or not, future employers like seeing a degree on there id probably be immediately crossed off the list for a job if i didn’t have one volunteering, writing novels, mastering a sport, and going overseas are all really great ideas, but what do i do when i start applying for jobs, there’s no place to put “total master of jinjitsu learned from some guy in Japan” on a job application

    • lynn

      if that job is stunt double then sure. I found this article endearing. My parents don’t care what i do as long as I get some post high school education. People from the last generation don’t understand why I’m nervous. Junior year, grades have gone down the gutter, and constantly being compared to my stepsisters in their 20’s–all happy and successful. I want to be involved in broadway, media and entertainment in general. Everyone just tells me to be realistic. I don’t want to be one of those people who sit in a cubicle, regretting their young adulthood.

      • Jo

        Regretting what? Not going out to clubs? Build a service or product and make a billion. You wont regret anything.

  • http://mikezentz.com/ Mike

    They could pick cotton. Mandatory service is slavery, not a great idea.

  • http://mikezentz.com/ Mike

    Yes mandatory school is slavery and worse its indoctrinating slavery.

  • Connie, Tejas Angel

    I agree! I am against our school system which forces every child to think they HAVE to go to college. When my kids were young I believed the hype because that was what was offered to me. My adoptive parents said I could a nurse a school teacher or a secretary…. I became an RN. Now I see how there are so many other opportunities and I am open minded enough to see that some people are destined to be entrepreneurs, car mechanics, writers, etc. Life is too short (and too long) to do what the mainstream pushes. Take a chance, explore life!

  • http://www.danaseilhan.com/ Dana Seilhan

    If you could force people to work for the air they breathe, you would do it. Grow a sense of decency and then come back.

  • http://www.danaseilhan.com/ Dana Seilhan

    You need to look up the dictionary definition of “volunteer.”

  • http://www.nomadcapitalist.com/ Nomad Capitalist

    Great. We’ll send them all to North Korea.

  • http://www.nomadcapitalist.com/ Nomad Capitalist

    Great article. The countries that think outside the box will be the ones that dominate in the coming century. Too many Americans have a limiting belief of “go to college, get some meaningless degree, get a soul-sucking job, wait for promotion, die at a cubicle”.

    Just spending a year or two traveling the world through up-and-coming places would teach you so many things. First of all, to not be dogmatic in life. And the most amazing opportunity for business and/or life might come from it.

  • Coder Camps

    There are many opportunities to learn that are outside of college. In my industry, I think more than half of the people that I meet are not trained as programmers, so it’s not as important as it once was. Much like the governments tried to convince us that everyone deserves a house of their own, we bought their line about college is a right for everyone as well… it’s just not true or smart for some people. A shortened stint at a camp like http://www.codercamps.com or http://www.devbootcamp.com would be much better for people coming into my industry.

    Hell, if you’re going to get out of college and not be able to work, then why go in the first place? You can party with your friends at home for much cheaper.

    • Jo

      Its always been like that. I started “working” in 1980. Almost all of my coworkers had no formal a degree in programming NOR classes in it for that matter. A few training classes and on-the-job-training which for some very odd reason is unheardof these days….

  • Alabama.Brian

    Learn to Farm.

    “Blow up your TV, throw away the paper, move out to the country, …” J_Prine

    HighSpeed now available, Rural.
    Any business, any city, then come home, WORK DOUBLETIME. Share the cost of expenses with your mate, or just team up with some older_Farmer who’s looking for someone to take over his/her farm. Learn to raise a garden, fix broken equipment, fend off a snake, fish, hunt, learn OLD FASHIONED FIELD GOLF, make your own golf course, too … canoe, all without having to seek out adventure, cause, you’re living the adventure, while not working that real gig.
    Seems I’ve met some savvy folks in my life … most of them are Farmers. They must have learned it by doing. There’s a boy traveled the world, landed in Indonesia or Singapore or somewhere similar, made a family life over there, and shares some pretty good info with the rest of us. Thinks me he says the same thing, but different.
    Best part about the lessons: Learn to Fear not, alone Above.
    Lots of folks need an extra pair of hands to help ’em get through life. Learn how to Be that extra pair of hands. Hands gotta learn how to become good at being hands.
    Yes, Hone the skills while young. Practice begins by Doing. Don’t worry if you get it wrong. Keep a smile on. Then, do like James says, “help someone else smile,” cause maybe they forgot …
    James sure does write good lessons. Glad he shares them with us.
    Cheers!
    Alabama.Brian

  • ThatOne

    Where do u suggest we get the 10 grand for traveling, dude? This is a guide for pre-recession bonanza kids.

  • tmac

    how can you be self-sustaining with any of these outside of running a business? It would be nice if you could talk about how mastering a game/sport or even traveling abroad would provide income.

  • Name

    How bout a job-… oh right…

  • jack

    Most jobs an 18 year old can get ARE AKA slavery. Mandatory 2 years in the service OR Civilian, unarmed or non-combatant service option is an idea that’s been kicked around in this country for ages. Other 1st world developed nations believe it instills a lasting sense of national pride, personal fulfillment and the situational awareness/maturity that come from having a stake in, and being a part of the community/city/state/nation these young adults are born into. I wish I’d had these options. I did however do a 4 year (1 enlistment) in the military and became more jaded to the politics, hypocrisy, and war/exploitation-based economy of my country. But it did open my eyes. Didn’t it? I know I am a slightly more knowledgeable/enlightened person than if I had just found the nearest shit-paying job and worked my way through life from there. Or if I had spent a year backpacking across Europe or some such trite. Also G.I. bill: My earning potential would be 30% of what it is today if I hadn’t done my service (similar to current friends who never pursued a degree or further studies past high school. So meh.

  • Jason Derulo

    How about a grain of reality though?
    It’s incredibly hard to not go to college >.<
    http://monsternomics.com/2013/06/14/the-stockdale-paradox-why-do-optimists-lose/

  • latePoster

    Definitely food for thought, I’ve been thinking recently about what it means to be a man, and my experience and that of my relatives. Thanks for your blog and for not worrying about being politically correct, because rigid political correctness is BS and causes brain damage.

  • Dixie Darr

    I really enjoyed your ebook on this topic and have recommended it to everyone who’s thinking about college.

  • Spaceghost

    Idickstein- wow, two years of slave labor supporting the project of your dreams. just what the world needs. you should run for office.

  • scrollplay

    i think it is. not getting a GED as early as i could was the biggest mistake i’ve ever made. school held me back from my potential. i was barely scraping by in high school. i failed both chemistry and sculpture. but shortly after leaving school i started working as a prototype technician (sculpture) and have since progressed to becoming a polymer chemist. school is not an effective environment for learning. it failed me on all fronts. i was better educated than all my educators by the time i graduated. all i had to do was research things i was interested in on Wikipedia everyday. our education system, top to bottom, is not up to date. i don’t really have a solution. but it is a disgrace. in a world where i can type questions into a search engine and get an answer, why do we still educate in such a counter-intuitive way?

  • Pat

    Looks like I’m way late to the party, but I have to repectfully disgree with option #2. First, in most cases, you will need a J-O-B in order to have the $10,000 that you will need for travel. Also, in this day and age of terrorism, it’s not as safe to travel the world as it once was. Although, one might learn a lot by surviving an act of terrorism, I personally don’t feel it’s worth the risk unless you happen to be a U.S. Navy Seal.
    Most of the other options have at least some merit and look fairly appealing.

    • Daryl Victoriano

      Lol, you are more likely to get pick pocketed in a foreign country than you are to get killed by a terrorist. Hell you are more likely to die in that plane you are using to travel to said country than you are to get killed by a terrorist. Unless you are going to Afghanistan, terrorism is the last thing you should worry about overseas, especially India.

  • Julian

    Hmm. Idea. Use community service as a punishment for students. Everyone knows detention is a joke. If you aren’t someone who cares about nerd reputation or wasted time in a classroom doing nothing. And no (ostensible) slavery is needed.

  • Bud Wood

    Yes, today is a good time to eschew college. However, many years ago (when I went to college), it was virtually unthinkable not to follow the path that parents laid out. One is generally a product of the times. Back then, the deal was to get a college education, graduate into a good job and faithfully follow the trail to a successful retirement. Now your ten reasons can at least give a person a sense of being one’s own captain of one’s own destiny along with the uncertainty thereof.

  • Daryl Victoriano

    9) Get an entry lvl job, then work your way up: My wife dropped out of High School and got her GED, afterwards she got a job as a cashier at a gas station. Couple years later and a few odd jobs here and there, she is now employed at an Airport as a supervisor making $32 an hour. Not bad for a woman who only has a GED

    10) Join the military: Many are hesitant to join the Army or Marines during war time, that’s fine, you can join the Navy/Coast Guard/or Air Force. You get free healthcare/dental, free housing, and retirement benefits. You also get to travel the world. If you decide not to make it a career, then get out and use your hard earned GI Bill which pays for college, books, and housing.

    11) Go to a trade school: A friend of mine went to one and learned how to weld. He is now a welder for Siemens AG and makes $6,000 a month just for melting metal together. He told me it’s hard sweaty work though, which shouldn’t be a problem for anyone 18-23yrs old.

    12) Join Law Enforcement/become a Fireman/EMT: Jobs with benefits, retirement, and a steady paycheck. They might even be gratifying as well since you get a chance to help people.

    13) Start a youtube channel: If you have the time, a devote interest in something, and the money to buy some equipment then why not? Many people earn money on youtube by doing video game reviews, shooting guns, talking about the latest tech, discussing politics, or just answering random questions (Vsauce). Pretty sure a few of them are now millionaires.

    That’s all I can come up with.

  • John Wilson

    Two year “mandatory community service?” Slavery or indentured servitude is still a bad idea. I thought that was behind us. There’s always someone who wants to bring it back. Of course a government program and agency would be required to round the youth up to make this happen. No thanks.

    Let people decide on their own who and how to help.

  • Ken_Long

    I still like the idea of my son going to a university with many options and choices and following that path. Unless he has other ideas or goals, and they have been offered and discussed, I think this is still a great opportunity. The State university is not expensive for residents and it gives him the chance to explore and make choices for himself. Until such a time as he wishes to work, or start a business, or do something else for himself, I would prefer to keep him in school.

  • Ken_Long

    Some countries have mandatory military service, are you in favor of that too? Personally I’d prefer my son to stay in school until he wants to make his own choice.

  • Neale O Books

    I think this article has a lot of good advice. The author doesn’t say never go to college, just that you don’t have to immediately after high school. Some people might find their calling without going to college and some will find working crap jobs for minimum wage is a good incentive to go to college and get a degree. Many of these things can be done while you are going to college, too. Travel on summer break, paint, write or master a game during your free time (instead of binge drinking at a frat party) and when you graduate, start a business. Even if it fails, so what? You have a college degree to fall back on.

  • Brian

    “There are many businesses a kid can start, particularly with the Internet. On another post I will list the possible types for first businesses.”

    Can you link to this article/post? I cannot find it, but I am curious about other types of businesses my kids could start.

  • PaultheConsultant

    Mandatory means government imposed, with sanctions of some type to put the sting into non-compliance. How about letting the intrepid choose their own path, and everyone else theirs?

  • PaultheConsultant

    How about join the military? See the world, meet different people, perform a function required by the Constitution, preserve freedom for millions and millions.

    • Ed D

      You obviously never served. Anyone can tell you these days the military SUCKS! I served and I couldn’t wait to get out.

  • brumo

    so no one has commented on this post in 3 years~~ very interesting~says Colonel Clink!

    My then 21 yr old son called me from Orange Cali where he was playing basketball for the Division III team,, and studying entrepreneurship. This conversation began with him telling me he was planning on “staying out of school” so he could focus on building a residual income with the international wellness company that his cousin was having some massive success with.

    Knowing how independent and stubborn my son was, (and as I was-am?) I knew this was going to be a tuff one to turn around. Vegas would have me a heavy underdog with my “you said you wanted to get this entrepreneurship degree and play college basketball”, bla bla bla… about 2 hours later, we got off the phone shortly after he reminded me that we would have about $47,000 more in STUDENT LOAN DEBT if he stayed in school.

    So, fast forward from August until Thanksgiving (2012). He had attained a “residual” income of just over $2000 a month, and drove to Thanksgiving with a BMW that his company was paying for!

    He now is earning over $100,000 per year on a residual basis, and has no intention of returning to school, instead, pouring self development books and youtube’s into his brain.

    Now his fellow 2009 high school grad friends are struggling finding entry level positions that utilize their college diploma’s.

    James, damn you, I have to get up and work tomorrow and I blame your writing for igniting some area in my brain that has me locked into my computer screen!!!

    I guess this isn’t really another number, but warrants a 1A, since he in essence has started his own business. And, I must admit, that now I am an affiliate partner because of 1) I have been drinking the different products (healthy energy drink, green tea, protein shakes) that are extremely healthy (even Dr. Oz drinks the energy drink~ha), and you get PAID for telling others about it…
    http://www.ibsmhealth.vemma.com (is this LEGAL or am I breaking the rule??? hah)
    .. however, I STILL am wanting to publish my book.

    question: do these words count as WRITING every day? lol. I may have discovered my “passion and purpose” lol

  • Cortney Matz

    Make a documentary! Pick a topic you’re interested in and go interview anyone who will talk to you about it. It can be made and posted online for next to nothing. And you’ll learn a ton – about your topic of choice and a lot of other things too.

    James, I just discovered your blog through Behance, and I am addicted. Your writing makes me excited about life. Thanks for encouraging my creative entrepreneurial passion for weirdness.

  • Mark Portman

    Slavery is evil. I don’t care what “good” you think you can accomplish with it.

  • Mark Portman

    I do think forcing children to go to public schools is wrong. Force outside of self-defense is wrong, period.

  • fmaa_2014

    This is an excellent list. I’ve been reading your stuff a lot lately, and it is really inspiring me. Thanks!

  • Taylor Gray

    I just have a question. What do you recommend to those of us who want to pursue a carreer in something which requires college or licenses. I am one year out of high school and I’m in vocational school for nursing. I love it. But I don’t want to go off and destroy the next thirty years of my life by getting a BSN. So far all I’m thinking of realistically is community college. But I just don’t know in a place like the medical field, there’s pretty much no way to not go to college if you want to be paid more. What do you say to people like me?

  • shrug

    I agree, though as a 20-something struggling to decide what comes next after dropping out of college, a millenial WPA doesn’t sound like such a bad option

  • Kelzang

    become a monk. that’s one way

  • http://www.livefortheliving.com/ George

    The way kids are forced into college out of high school is what makes college so unworthy. Everyone else is doing it. So I went. Took me 3 years, but I finally realized if you’re doing what everyone else is doing what to you expect to become…just like everybody else. I dropped out 2 months later.

  • Samar Misra

    I think one valuable item to be added would be AmeriCorps, PeaceCorps or Teaching English Abroad :)

  • Samar Misra

    In a way I agree how forcing is unacceptable. I think anybody who is dead set on working in social services must be provided payment and accommodations to be supported. Honestly, one must always does what he/she wishes with an interest and be able to support him/herself.

  • jacob

    no new ideas will be tolerated in these comments. anyone who says something that anyone disagrees with will be called names!

  • GreenKizmet

    Hey,

    Just wanted to drop a note and thank you for this article. I am a college student who has been “going through the motions” for a couple years now, and have been miserable quite a lot of the time.

    If I had to add one thing to your list above I would add this: Read a library worth of books.

    Honestly, with the wealth knowledge just lying around (even at public libraries)… it’s astounding how much of it is over looked. I was blessed to have parents that raised me via homeschooling, so I am used to DIY learning… Now if only more of college was like that instead of “convertor belt” learning.

  • peter connor

    The discussion here has devolved into the typical spinning your wheels type of extremism found in US politics. The author brings up some good points. I told my son to simply develop a passion and develop it as best as possible. He has chosen some art-centered career. He may go to college, but it wasn’t what I had in mind. I told him about this gardener that learnt every possible nuance of his trade. He runs a flourishing nursery and is a much sought after gardener to the stars. i.e. George Michael, you remember the I want to have sex song in the 80’s? …..well at least he’s a gardener to mini-stars lol. Military is a good option. Join it and become the next Dwight Eisenhower you’d have to go to college to be officer, but it would be paid for so that would count as no college for purposes of argument….

  • tommo_montana

    What move is white to play and win?

  • Sara M.

    Here’s the deal. Most people who don’t go to college, choose not to because they can’t afford it. If they can’t afford college, then they aren’t going to be able to afford to “take $10,000” and go to India just because. These people can’t afford to take a year learning to paint, or play a game, or play a sport. People want REALISTIC alternatives to college, not examples of how to goof off for a year or two before getting a job that pays minimum wage.

  • Jordan Poulton

    How about join a Web Developer Bootcamp like http://www.MakersAcademy.com?

  • Quiet_Professional

    Mandatory “community service” is an oxymoron.

  • Kaizer Chief

    Hmm… how does White win on the next move?!

  • Maria Kostala

    I really enjoyed your article! Full of fresh ideas, but how about combining studies with travel, story telling, writting and playing games, mastering sports etc? In each one’s own pace and preferences.

  • Veronica

    Hope this doesnt get lost with all the other comments! Here is the conundrum, though, IMO for many 18-23 year olds: 1) All of your K-12 education is essentially flowing you towards college; Thats what a lot of high school boast about, is their college acceptance rate of grads. Your parents tell you you’re going to college, the government tells you you’re going to college, society tells you, etc. – It’s really, really hard to break out from this pressure! Especially when you aren’t reading articles like this until you’re much older… 2) Capital. As someone who was ‘herded’ into college with the rest, my biggest fear is long term debt, and short term being broke. If your parents aren’t willing to let you live at home until you’re 27, and you’re off volunteering, starting a business, travelling, etc. Where does your income come from? How are you paying for food, clothing, transportation, investing in your start up, investing in hobbies, etc? Even though I’ve graduated and have a decent job, I still struggle to pay the bills every month – How do people who don’t work, get money, to do all these great things? This problem is something that’s confused me as well when I read articles saying that you should spend your 20’s experimenting, travelling, self-discovery – I would love to drop my lease and travel around the country, but what happens when you run out of gas, or $ for train tickets? Stories about young men hitch hiking are liberating, but as a young woman in a vulnerable situation such as being broke in the middle of nowhere, the outcome seems dangerous. Maybe my problem is, I’m afraid. How do you solve the problem of fear?

  • tarthurpoudrier@yahoo.com

    The Peace Corps, like Americorps, ought to be completely, permanently, and unconditionally terminated because they are both FORCIBLY funded by means of coercive taxation. If you want to volunteer, do so entirely at YOUR OWN expense, NOT at anyone else’s involuntary expense !!

    I rightly have nothing but contempt for Peacecorps/Americorps volunteers who chose to play the role of smug, self-righteous, volunteer “do-gooder” at everyone else’s FORCED expense while receiving stolen property in the form of a FORCIBLY-funded stipend, and believe that everyone else was obligated to fund their “service” !

    To Peacecorps/Americorps “volunteers” and other such parasites, go fuck yourselves !

  • diocletian

    @Chris brayed,

    “Before going to college his parents paid for him to travel Europe for a
    year. I understand this is not possible for America because our culture
    is less socialized…”

    You are correct. It is not possible for America because America is a place, not a person.

    The political philosophy upon which this country was founded is one based upon legitimate individual rights–individualism, NOT collectivism/socialism–and thank the Founders for having had the wisdom to understand both philosophies and chosen the former rather than the latter !

    That so few so-called “Americans”–including YOU, Chris–grasp and appreciate the difference between those two philosophies, and value their legitimate individual rights (i.e., one’s right to one’s own life, personal liberty, private property regardless of the amount, freedom of association and freedom of contract, and pursuit of one’s own happiness) demonstrates how little real education they received in those alleged “institutions of higher learning” that they attended.

  • http://www.inter-grosshandel.ru/ Kamile Ko

    I still think that the best sollution is to go to college, ofcourse if there is a possibility :) Believe me :) I graduated from this one- Medicina
    ir sveikata
    and I believe that it was the best sollution I have ever made :)

  • Suli

    I very much enjoyed reading this article thank you.

  • Joel Mwaura

    I think he left out joining the military (voluntarily) for 5-10 years!

  • Joel Mwaura

    He also left out acquiring an excellent mentor!!!!

  • James R

    Does anybody know what the move to win is? It says white to move and win but I don’t see it. Thanks

  • http://www.fracasandoqueesgerundio.wordpress.com/ Victor

    I remember very clear when I finished the high school that I though about having a sabbatical year to travel through the world. However I was afraid that maybe I would never go to university after it and I wanted to do physics. At the end, it would have been a good decission anyway, but I was so intoxicated with these “have to do” preconceived ideas… Great post!

  • Reidy

    It’s a decent article

    • maxine

      Your stupid

  • http://www.crazytrainreviews.com/paper-writing-services/bestessays-com-review/ bestessays

    This is exactly a good alternative in college. All the things that you have putted here is so much useful when it comes to learning because it discuss more about how to overcome great degree of education in college study.

  • madhur mishra

    may be they can sit and read your blogs (18 year old) :-D

  • joker159

    Thank You :))

  • pwndemic

    I was going to write a long story about how this whole article is very relevant to my life and go into a detailed explanation. Instead, I’d like to say that I’m really grateful to you for taking the time to write it. Very uplifting and inspirational.
    I think societal norms don’t do much to create healthy, happy people. They do the exact opposite, to be honest.

  • umblondie

    Um my son is going to college so he can master the sport of football. He’s already bright but a litl lazy…so I told him he’ll need a degree. Seriously…why even send them to any school. Being force fed info u have no interest in and simply memorizing and forgeting what they want you to just for the grade is boring. I was a straight A student thru college yet bored to death. My son was bored by second grade. If I would have instead started that business out of high school like I had wanted to, I wouldn’t have felt the need for a degree. I certainly would have learned many things at a much younger age. The current k-12 education system is based on the industrial-age. All grades will be available online for free soon if Khan Academy (originally funded by Bill Gates) and other online programs succeed. I homeschool one son who is special needs. The other son could not compete in sports as a homeschooled kid like he can in high school. Most of my time in educational institutions has been a waste. Traveling in the military, starting my own business and attending job-required classes taught me more than my public/state/university education.