This article by Joe Martino was originally published at Collective Evolution.
When I was a kid I had this very strong feeling that no matter what, I would be OK if I dropped out of school. Strange! To be so young and yet have those thoughts. But they proved to be one of the biggest inspirations behind what I now do for my life’s work. Which is helping to create a consciousness shift in our world and creating Collective Evolution.
It was strange at the time, because it started when I was in elementary school. Something always made me feel like my potential or my skills were actually being held back in some sense by continuing with school. The more I heard of some of the world’s smartest and most successful people being drop outs, the more I was intrigued.
The older I got, the more I my intuitive feeling about being OK if I left school got stronger. One day, I finally dropped out of college for good and my entire life began to change. I went through a process of unlearning some of what I had been taught in school about myself, my knowledge, my beliefs, and even how I defined my intelligence.
Several times throughout my education I thought I was stupid or not as intelligent as my peers because of the way school functioned and how we were graded. I put faith in what my grades meant and in the importance of what I was learning to some degree. And as I struggled to find interest in memorizing what I felt were useless facts, or supposed facts, I felt I wasn’t smart.
But as I got older that feeling changed. Soon enough I knew more about who I was and what I was good at. I discovered where my brilliance was and what I was meant to do. As I began to act on that how my life unfolded was incredibly. I share my journey and where I ended up in my TEDx talk which you can check out below. [See Video at the end of this article]
I want to get deeper Billy Willson’s story, because like Billy, I had a near perfect GPA at the time that I dropped out of college.
Guy Drops Out With 4.0 GPA
All of the information you need in to learn things these days is online -or at least almost all of it. Now this isn’t to take away from what valuable things you can learn in school, but this is to say that the way we educate today needs to dramatically change for many reasons. But that is a whole different discussion.
One student, Billy Willson, from Kansas State University, realized after finishing a semester with a 4.0 GPA that college was a giant financial scam.
“I purposely made the post controversial because I knew it would help it spread so much farther,” Willson told USA TODAY College. “My goal with getting it to go viral is to reach out to those students who feel like they don’t have a choice, and to encourage those in similar situations as me to reach their goals and feel comforted in the fact they have someone to relate to.”
Willson made a public notice about his decision to leave college and shared a telling photo and description on Facebook. it went viral and you will see why.
Willson also says he has a problem with the pressure facing students to go to college, and the lack of other options for people for whom college may not be the best path.
“I quickly realized that I was learning so much more outside of class than I was inside of class (by) reading and informational videos on YouTube,” Willson says. “I feel like there are a lot of other students just like me who are really driven to learning and it doesn’t matter what the platform is, they’ll learn anywhere they go.”
“Now that I’ve finished my first semester I think it’s safe to say… FUCK COLLEGE. Now before all you of you go batshit crazy… i have a few points to make.
1. Yes I have dropped out after finishing my first semester (with a 4.0 GPA). And it’s one of the best choices I’ve ever made. Not because I am averse to learning, but actually the exact opposite.
2. YOU ARE BEING SCAMMED. You may not see it today or tomorrow, but you will see it some day. Heck you may have already seen it if you’ve been through college. You are being put thousands into debt to learn things you will never even use. Wasting 4 years of your life to be stuck at a paycheck that grows slower than the rate of inflation. Paying $200 for a $6 textbook. Being taught by teacher’s who have never done what they’re teaching. Average income has increased 5x over the last 40 years while cost of college has increased 18x. You’re spending thousands of dollars to learn information you won’t ever even use just to get a piece of paper. I once even had an engineer tell me “I learned more in my first 30 days working than in my 5 years of college.” What does that tell you about this system? There are about a million more ways you’re being scammed into this.. just watch the video I’m gonna comment if you want to see more.
3. Colleges are REQUIRING people to spend money taking gen. ed. courses to learn about the quadratic formula (and other shit they will never use) when they could be giving classes on MARRIAGE and HOW TO DO YOUR TAXES.”
Though Willson’s math may be slightly off, it is close. One study by the Government Accountability Office saw a 3x increase in tuition, relative to the increase in living expenses.
GAO found that:
(1) between 1980 and 1995, average tuition at 4-year public colleges for in-state, full-time students increased 234 percent, while median household income increased 82 percent and the Consumer Price Index increased 74 percent;
(2) the increase in colleges’ expenditures and a greater dependency on tuition as a revenue source were the two factors most responsible for the tuition increase;
(3) tuition revenues increased from 16 percent to 23 percent during this period, mainly because the revenue share provided by states decreased 14 percent;
(4) student grant aid has not kept pace with tuition levels, so students and their families are relying more heavily on loans and personal finances;
(5) increases in instruction, administrative, and research costs accounted for more than two-thirds of the 121 percent increase in total college expenditures;
Unless you want a job that requires a specific piece of education or unless you are very clear on what you want to do (and education is required) don’t rush into school and don’t let society pressure you to take its apparent importance seriously.
I created a very successful business built around my passion. I hired my friends, love what I do and we are changing the world together. Can this be the story for anyone? Sure! Why can’t you do something you love? Why is that even taboo to think?
If you are passionate about something, know how to take action on it and work at it, it will work out. It’s one of the key ingredients to almost every success story you hear out there.
I tell young people all the time now, truly focus on what you love and then make a decision about school. But learn! Learn as much as you can through life experience, work and other interests. More importantly, focusing on developing you! Self awareness, inner peace, knowing who you are, these skills are incredibly important and will take you further than anything else.
VIDEO: Change starts within | Joe Martino