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You may be aware of the social theory that attending college is pertinent to one’s success. The vast majority of employers in the United States require a bachelor’s degree, even for medium-skilled positions for which a degree is not necessary. As a result, young adults find themselves pressured into spending 3 to 4 years of their lives along with hundreds of thousands of dollars to obtain a degree, but is it all worthwhile?
Is a degree worth the hard work?
Receiving a college education undeniably has its merits. According to statistics, employees with a bachelor’s degree receive a median weekly salary of $1,137 where employees with a high school diploma earn an average of only $678. Not to mention, colleges offer a platform for young adults to explore their interests, both academic and non-academic. It also arms students with the basic knowledge and skills needed to kickstart their careers in their fields of interest.
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Does college guarantee success?
At the same time, however, a bachelor’s degree alone is not enough to excel in the career you’ve chosen for yourself. “How would you know, Andres?” you may ask. After all, I’m a high school dropout who has never been to college. While your question is valid, I’m a living example that real-life experience is far more valuable than passively learning from textbooks and lecture notes.
Let’s take my story as an example. As you know, my turning point in life was the self-help book, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. Millions worldwide have read the same book and many other motivational books, but not everyone has been able to see results as I have. Why? It’s because knowledge is not what gets us what we want in life; it’s putting the knowledge into practice that reaps rewards.
Learning Can be Forgettable
Studies show that much of what we learn from the books we read slips our minds within the first 24 hours, and more loss follows over the next couple of days, leaving us with just a fraction of the information we took in. If you can’t remember what you learned last month in college or can’t recall stuff from back in the day when you were a student, now you know why.
Thus, it’s important to put our knowledge into action when it’s still fresh in our memory. This is because when we do, we may run into difficulty, make mistakes, and see gaps in our knowledge that we otherwise might not have known about. By doing this, we’ll begin to understand the concepts from our perspectives rather than from others’, be able to relate to them and ultimately, remember them for a long time.
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While I encourage young adults to pursue tertiary education while gaining as many first-hand experiences as they can, I also believe that those who choose not to should not be treated like they’re at a disadvantage. Many successful figures that made history didn’t go to college. With Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg changed the way we communicate and socialize. With Apple, Steve Jobs went as far as changing the way we think. Without them, our lives wouldn’t be the same.
About Andres Pira – philanthropist, real estate tycoon, author, speaker, and global citizen. Andres Pira enjoys living in Thailand, where his journey began from Homeless to Billionaire.
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