I bash college all the time. I dropped out after 3 semesters, and it was the best decision of my life. Most people who know me would be surprised to hear me say that I’m actually glad I went to college. Given the opportunity, I wouldn’t go back and change anything about my experience.

Mainly, going to college taught me why I, and so many other people, don’t belong in school. I despised my classes, and had I not endured them, I wouldn’t have truly understood why it was so wrong for so many people.

Light is only light when compared to darkness. Color is only colorful when compared to something black & white.

Without spending so much of my time in school, I wouldn’t have developed such a deep understanding of what true education is and should be.

I’m grateful for my college experience. It launched me into an adventurous, entrepreneurial, growth-intensive part of my life. While I wouldn’t go back and change it, I would not choose it again.

There are some things college gave me that nothing else would have been able to, other than my deep understanding of education.

No other time in life can you make 20 new friends by the end of the day by leaving your door open and sitting in your living room.

No other time in life do you experience maximum freedom and minimum responsibility.

Your life is your own, your choices are your own, and you are utterly independent for the first time in your life. You are surrounded by hundreds of people your age who are entering a new stage of their lives, and naturally open themselves up to new ideas.

It’s such a unique social experience, and you have enough independence to explore it to the fullest extent.

I still don’t like college, and I recommend against it for most people. But these facts beg the question: Is there a way to get the benefits of that independent, pivotal, social experience without going to college?

Does it have to cost thousands of dollars? Does it have to be counter-productive for an entrepreneurial career?

This is a tough problem to solve. Programs like Praxis give the career benefits of college. Students graduate the 9 month program debt-free and with a guaranteed full-time job. The Praxis community and social experience is a pretty impressive contender, too, but it isn’t quite the same as living in a dorm with hundreds of other people your age.

The college social experience is great, but I’m not sure it’s worth paying tuition for just that benefit.

What have you done to build a social circle outside of college?