Written in April, 2017


I am not going to college immediately after high school. Well, not a traditional, 4-year college.

Not because I don’t want to learn, not because I decided to be lazy. But simply because it wouldn’t fit with what I want to do in life – become a remote working serial high-tech entrepreneur.

Here are the reasons and my point of view on busting college myths.

Myth 1: The underlying thought process of most people – going to college will at least give you a degree, the “essential” item to apply for a job, making it the safest route. Wrong. Seriously, in today’s world, we have an overflowing amount of college students, who are often underqualified for their jobs. You can easily beat that by showing your employers what you can do. In my case, starting lean startups like Pieter Levels will provide the best resumes. Nowadays, companies and clients value experience more than education. Even by creating a simple, yet awesome site about you will present them with the best resume.

My goal is, however, not to be employed by someone, but instead become “unemployed” by establishing sources of passive income.

My second argument for such is that in this ever-changing world with so many disruptive technologies, no one can be safe to assume anything. In fact, the most dangerous thing is to do nothing and follow the norms. Reason being, pretty soon, the “norms” will also be disrupted. Even the elite universities have to conduct significant reforms to save their asses from future competitions. Well, I guess they still have quite a while before everyone starts to realize that their fantasized illusions of higher education don’t actually fulfill their needs. These occurrences are not science fiction; they will become a reality before you know it, so might as well start something new and test things out while you can.

Myth 2: Going to college will give you connections.

The truth is, becoming a digital nomad and traveling around the world to meet people who are not only experienced in life and careers but also are as passionate and bold as you are is more likely to give you much more meaningful connections.

Secondly, “connections” is not what you need, but friends, friends who share the same visions and values as you do and who will guide you through adversities. This is something that’s much more effective than mere materialistic associations. Update: I changed my opinion on this after experiencing how powerful and efficient connections can give you. Furthermore, friends are often made through those initial connections.

Thirdly, a simple trick involving an email permutator with a free plugin called Rapportive can get you connected virtually anyone in the world (as long as they are on LinkedIn). There are other ways too. The only problem is explaining to the person how you got their email, without creeping them out.

The bottom line is, a genuine relationship can only happen when you provide value to others. People will automatically come to you when you have that value, and people will leave you sooner or later when you don’t.

Myth 3: College has been proven to be great. Statistically speaking, more successful people came out of college than those who didn’t. There are two components to this issue that have been overlooked by people, and some misconceptions have to be cleared before accepting this delusion.

First, you are comparing two groups of people. Generally, those who are motivated to achieve greatness for themselves – who attend college, and those who lack the will or opportunities to plan for their future – who don’t attend college. Because of the problems of the TYPES of people when compared, perception is often skewed by merely looking at the statistics and history of college grads, instead of why it is what it is.

Second, extending the first point, what matters is the people, not the college. Especially for big-name colleges, they have a system to FILTER people that are very likely to become successful, based on their past histories and records. In other words, those who graduate from highly selective colleges already HAVE the ability to be great, before they even attend the university. Yes, going to those elite colleges will be beneficial, but can the same be achieved even with higher value in other ways, with more efficiency and less cost? Some ways could be taking a gap year after high school and exploring what you genuinely want to do, starting a company to provide value to others, or starting a nonprofit for a better cause.

Myth 4: College provides knowledge and teaches people how to think. True. But please don’t tell me you don’t know that there’s such thing as online learning platforms, where you can quickly go in your own time to freely reflect upon what you think.

Also, people post the lectures of big-name colleges like the Ivy Leagues and Stanford online, such as Harvard’s Positive Psychology 1504. Furthermore, it works to sneak into those universities’ lectures because no one is there to catch you. Even better is if you go and talk to the students there and make friends with them so that they could bring you into the lectures.

Moreover, living and using the knowledge you’ve “learned” is unarguably the best way to educate yourself, not to mention how this way teaches you how to think in both real-life terms and creatively.

My Dream Schools: Despite all this, I will be applying for this school: Minerva. Students stay in San Francisco the first year and go to 6 other cities around the world the rest three years, one city per semester. I sincerely believe that Minerva is the school of the 21st century.