“Don’t you think it’s a little harsh to tell college students they’re wasting their time? Not all of them fit the stereotype that you portray in your blog posts. Some students will be really successful because of college.”

Are you sure? I know there are some wicked smart people currently attending college. But are they exercising their highest potential through the things they do in college?

Most high-achieving college students are high-achieving because of the things they do outside of college – not the fact that they attend all their classes and have a 4.0. It’s their side-business or their role as Club President or their starting position on the varsity team that makes them impressive.

Is it really false to say that an above-average individual is wasting his talent by simply attending classes and doing exactly what he’s told, and nothing more? When did “success” become following set rules, instead of creatively building unique solutions?

Maybe if I continue to poke fun at college, smart people will start to realize that they’re selling themselves short. I’m confident these people could use their talents much more effectively if they just bet on themselves instead of an outdated system.

If you really pry, you’ll find out that most people go to college out of insecurity. They choose a college, not based off an empowering position of confidence in their own abilities, but based off of an insecurity of their own abilities.

They grow up hearing about how college dropouts are failures and college graduates are successful. They hear this for years, and it starts to sink in. They start to associate personal success with what college they get into, instead of their own efforts to grow into their unique self.

It’s destructive. Once you are conditioned in this way, you must manually break the pattern. It’s tough.

Learn to get excited at the sign of uncomfortable situations – this is where learning and growth happens.

Learn to consistently apply your knowledge through action – knowledge without application is useless.

Learn to look at each situation for what it is. We use shortcuts like college=success and dropout=failure to describe patterns. But patterns change over time. The shortcuts we use must be continuously reevaluated and updated.

Learn to break the rules and suggest better ones.

Learn to actually learn, detached from any labels or credentials that come with it.

Learn to bet on yourself. Put yourself on the spot, and allow yourself the option to fail under pressure. In the real world, failure doesn’t get you an ugly “F” branded on your permanent record. In the real world, failure makes you smarter than you were 5 minutes ago. Period. Move forward.

Learn to stop relying on authorities.

Rely on yourself.