We Don’t Need No Education?

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David Bowie. Steven Spielberg. Abraham Lincoln. Richard Branson.

Would you guess that none of these people had a college education?

During college, it’s pretty much drilled into your head that if you get this degree it’s a golden ticket to job paradise. Oh boy, have I found out since graduating in 2008 that you can have a piece of paper saying you are the destroyer of boredom and get further than having a degree, especially in these very tough economic times. A year later and still unemployed with a very expensive piece of paper in a frame and still paying off student loans. However, what I did learn in college with a BA in Communications is the technical skills necessary to creating my own brand. I’ve accomplished more than I would ever expect in college guidance councilor’s wildest dreams. By learning photoshop, how to do my own video and press releases has saved me tons of money in having to hire others. But did I need to spend the money to learn this in an institution or could I have self educated myself?


This was recently brought to focus when I over heard a conversation with a young man to his mother. He had a business plan and seemed to have a driving passion to get it off the ground. He was arguing with his mother, he wanted them to spend the money for college to invest in his passions, she wanted him to go off to an expensive medical school. Seemingly, completely different path than his idea. I felt saddened by his inner fire being extinguished by others dreams and a financial prison.

It was almost painful to hear this conversation as I have had so many extremely talented friends get forced into going into college only to be completely disinterested and better off being self educated and self employed. Most of these friends ended up dropping out of college and becoming quite the entrepreneurs. However, I believe that my experiences in college made me grow to who I am. I think some of us need those years to explore our different interests, heck, I wanted to be a International Business major and I almost moved to the Netherlands. Around my last year in college I really started focusing myself and finding my true passion in life, social media.

The best advice I can give to those parents that are financially strapped for college right now, I recommend community college first then a big university. Why? My community college days allowed me to get general requirements out of the way while staying closer to home, cutting on housing costs and with a comparison of $60 per credit hour to $400 a credit hour at a private university.

Remember that movie Rushmore? I was that brainy kid at my community college, in every single club and student activity board. I worked my ass off, being on campus more than most of the staff from 6am to 10pm some days between classes, clubs, meetings, events and working on campus under work study. It paid off big time, all those clubs and volunteer hours sure helped out get the financial aid and scholarships to afford the bigger private university to gain my B.A. degree. I could easily say I saved $50,000 on my college education by attending community college and getting involved.

Above all, you are all students of the world. Learn from those before you and decide for yourself on your future. Fight for it if you have to, I can’t count the number of times I went in front a Board Of Trustees telling me I couldn’t do something or I couldn’t afford something. Doing so, I was able to afford to attend a private university and get a trip to Europe all while fighting against poverty and distance. Believe it or not, I actually didn’t attend most of my last year of school while being in Greenville and they don’t normally offer distance learning classes. How? I fought for the ability to educate myself with guidance from educators, honestly… that was my most productive year in college because I was able to focus on my passions. (Thank you to all those professors that stuck with me in those very hard times!)

Kudos to all you beautiful young brains, graduating high school soon. If you know where your passion lies… learn one word. Autodidacticism. It’s your choice, your life. Poor or rich, you can make yourself into who YOU want to be if you fight hard enough. Keep fighting.

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7 comments on “We Don’t Need No Education?
  1. Great stuff, Miss D ^_^
    I went to some community college about 6 years back and took a art class there. All it got me was failed attempts to pick up chicks. As the need to develop my drawing abilities grew larger I simply hit up the intertubes for everything I needed. If I wanted to draw better I would just look up nude models (the tasteful stuff) and grow up and get used to looking at a glorious naked man to better my anatomy knowledge!
    I never got a pricey piece of paper to stick on the fridge, but as the years have gone by I have learned to be super nice and gracious on the internet and share my "gift" for everyone to enjoy. This place is my only audience and as I slowly grow a little following and more allies then I suppose I can use it all to steer my life in the direction I want it to go in. This 'comic artist' dream refuses to die!

    PS: a Miss D comic should totally happen this year ^_^

  2. Great post!!! I am TOTALLY self educated and now going to school to "get the paper". I do have to add that in some professions, the lack of a degree can hinder a promotion track because of "old school" of thought. I cannot tell you how many times my old boss (last years) would tell me "but you don't have a degree" when I posted for my current position. Luckily, I had a person in the company that had vision and could see my ability and saw what kind of contribution I could make to the team.

  3. I think it is entirely possible for people to be self taught and be highly successful. I think this recession will teach people and businesses a lot of lessons on how and where to spend their money and also on how they hire/promote people. I do not think i will frame my college degree until I make enough money to pay it off!

  4. My thoughts: Too many people I know don't jump in and end up fiddling away in community college, taking 10 yrs to get an AA. I absolutely recommend going away for school, even if it is at a CC. Going away makes you independent; it makes you stand on your own two feet. I also recommend college for those people who need to be more open minded, that's what the AA classes are for – to force open your mind. At least that's what happened with me. After four years in the military, I jumped into a state college (the cheapest in FL), got my BA and my MA and then settled into a career. My problem now is trying to recapture that openness and creativity in a field that is notoriously close-minded.

  5. I went to college for business and decided after 2 semesters that I’m not a business minded person. So I switched to English Lit and European History. Those are both not very promising fields to find work in
    later. But to me, college is not only about finding a job later, it’s about finding yourself and becoming a well-rounded human being.
    Sometimes you have to take classes that you are absolutely not interested in or that seem too hard, you bite your way through it, you might even learn an interesting fact. And I’ve never met soany people that are so different from myself, willing to share their views and listen to mine. Of course you can gain experience from life itself, but college is essential…in my humble opinion

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