Don't go to college! Advice for a younger self.

Here’s what I would have wanted to hear two years ago. This piece is NOT advice and should not be taken as such. I wrote this article when I was deciding whether or not to return to university for my junior year and as such it reflects my thoughts at the time: 

Don’t go to College!

Instead, take the time to reinvent yourself; start an online business. Stay at the home of a friend to cut costs, focus on learning real-world skills, pick up a side hustle to pay the bills, and make it happen. 

If possible, start your own business.

Focus on what you are good at (not what you enjoy), find a problem, and identify a solution. 

Ask yourself: What can if fix that is broken? How can I make my life easier? What things do I dislike? If you still don't know where to begin, start on a skill you love:

  • Graphic Design
  • Videography
  • Copywriting
  • Coding
  • Writing
  • Public speaking
  • Web design

We all begin somewhere. I can't tell you what exactly you should work on, that's for you to determine but what I do know is that there are thousands of opportunities waiting for you! It's up to you to find them and sell your solution. Talk to business owners, friends and family, yourself, or even people that you meet at the local deli. Take control of your own destiny.

In 2021 it's possible to learn by watching YouTube tutorials, by taking online courses, or better yet by trial and error. 

Get your hands dirty and show that you are dedicated. In my experience, successful people will go out of their way to help those who are young, driven, and making things happen. 

Start building something. Anything. 

Learn to tell a story.

Make your first website.

Shoot your first video,

Record that podcast or write your first article. 

Get your work in the hands of consumers and correct your mistakes. Taking action and creating will teach you more about yourself in a short time than months of lectures and written assignments. Focus on making your work the best it can be, not on making the best business. If your product is excellent, people will notice. Give people a narrative that they can identify with.

Start small, and you will grow big. You do not need the latest tech products or expensive software. Learn to master your trade and tell a compelling narrative that people can latch onto.

Believe in yourself! You have more power than you think with a computer in your hands and a smartphone in your hands your future is only one click away. Modern technology gives you access to more information and innovation than the library at your school as well as access to a vast network that will teach you more than your professors. Think of the internet as a classroom without walls that you can take wherever you want; a lecture that you can steer in the right direction, a lab with limitless resources and scope.

To succeed in the business world, you will need to stop educating yourself and begin creating. School and college have taught you to listen, consume and regurgitate. But that is not how life works. College teaches you to be an academic with a passive mindset. Instead, you need to adopt a passive mindset; attacking the problems in front of you with tenacity and creativity. This will not be easy, and your friends will not understand what you have become. But share your ideas with your creative community and people will help you. Use your tuition money in a fungible way to leverage your success.

But rather than focusing on the negatives, use this experience and the mass confusion that it has caused to your advantage. Control your own destiny and start a business. More people than ever are spending a significant time of their days on the internet. It is up to you to exploit this trend in your favor. Use this to increase your digital revenue and grow your business on the greatest invention in the last hundred years: the worldwide web. As someone who has grown up in the internet age, leverage this expertise in social media and computer science in your favor.

If you do so, you will soon find that starting a business is far from what you are taught in school. Rather than being penalized for collaborating with others, in real life, you can work with others as much as you like. Rather than writing to an audience of one, you have the ability to reach a global audience. Rather than being told not to use your notes or your computer, you can work with the technology at your disposal to reach the maximum result. The sky is the limit. In reality, you don't need college or college loans to learn, you need drive, discipline, and motivation. Reach inside of you and push yourself to be the best.

Whatever you do, don't pay $40,000 a year to attend university. Learn, grow and think for yourself. Spend that money on actually investing in yourself. Attend courses, boot camps, and try new things. 

Above all else, make sure that you work hard.