There was a time in my life when I got to stay in bed 22 hours a day. Laziness became my core competency. There were no bills to pay because Mom took care of everything. Man, what a life.
Except I hated it.
Temporary insanity, that’s what it was. Imagine asking 500 girls or guys out on a date and being ignored every time. What would you do? You don’t know what you would do, and here’s why: You’d lose your sanity and therefore your capacity for rational thought.
Replace ask-outs with job applications; that’s what happened to me after college graduation. I applied to every company from ADP to Zenith. No one wanted to hire me, not even when I told them I had a marketing degree from Florida State. I gave up and ran home to Mommy.
I’m flattering myself when I say that no one wanted to hire me. More likely my application didn’t even make it through the screening process at many of these companies. My GPA wasn’t up to snuff perhaps, or I didn’t have the requisite work experience.
Helplessness spawned pity spawned indifference spawned laziness. I began to see myself as Will Ferrell in Step Brothers, still living at home at 40. The tiny voice of reason still left in my head told me to stop this from happening. But how?
I didn’t have an answer to that. The weeks slipped by without my notice. My new favorite habit was wasting away—watching TV and fooling around on social media all day. Then I saw Jeffrey Tucker tweet a link to a video by a young man who explained his choice not to go to college. That video was the first time I heard about Praxis.
(Ryan Matlock’s Why I’m Not Going to College Video)
A particularly potent bout of emotion coursed through me that day, and, for the first time in months, I cared again. I cared enough to write Jeffrey Tucker an email thanking him for sharing the video. And he cared enough to write back. He told me he understood what I was going through as so many young people today are roped into the myth that having a college degree guarantees you a job. “It’s not too late. You should apply for Praxis,” he said.
That email exchange changed the course of my life.
What is Praxis?
I answer this question differently each time I’m asked. To me, Praxis is an organization that helps people live the lives they want to live. It’s a nine-month education/apprenticeship program that gives young folks just what they need to succeed. The contract says Praxis will cost you $12,000, but you’ll make more than $14,000 just in the apprenticeship phase. You’ll end up ahead on the deal just by finishing the program. You can’t say that about college. But Praxis is about more than just dollars and cents.
Praxis also facilitates an online community of participants, advisors, employees, and business partners. This alone is worth the cost of the program. The support group is an indispensable resource for any Praxis participant. Over 100 people are ready at a moment’s notice to answer any question I might have. Be it something related to business, technology, or a personal problem I’m having, someone is willing to help within a few minutes.
Why was Praxis Right for Me?
Praxis is notorious for being anti-establishment, anti-college. Most of the participants are college drop-outs or opt-outs. I’m the exception. I graduated college, but I sometimes wish I hadn’t.
The inefficiencies of the collegiate system don’t exist at Praxis. It doesn’t take four years to teach a person about marketing. Praxis does it in a few months. There isn’t a Praxis Predators football team whose stadium needs to be renovated every other year. There are no professors at Praxis, and therefore no need to worry about tenure. Tuition at Praxis doesn’t go up every year.
My college experience could have been a lot worse. I made lots of friends and had a great time. My parents are paying off what little student debt I accrued. But for all the use I’ve gotten out of my degree, I would just as soon have those four years and thousands of dollars back.
I want to be a writer. That’s an extremely entrepreneurial career choice. The opportunities for autonomy and creativity that writing affords me are the same ones that Praxis offers its participants.
Praxis encourages you to customize your experience. If you want to learn computer coding, they can adjust your program to allow for that. If you want to be a graphic designer, they’ll make you a better one. The possibilities are infinite.
College just didn’t do much for me. I didn’t feel stimulated mentally. That is not a problem I’ve had a Praxis. Every day my fellow Praxians re-ignite my competitive fire. I want to be more productive than they are (a seemingly impossible task).
Praxis is the antithesis of college, and that was just what I needed in my life after being disillusioned the way I was.
A Life Well Lived
For all our differences, most of us ultimately want the same thing: to live a life of which we can be proud.
My ideal life involves freedom and atheism and words and debate and loudness, and it might be the exact opposite of the life you’d choose for yourself.
The point is it doesn’t matter what life you see for yourself; Praxis can help you live it.
Being a writer means being an absorber of experiences. Just in the couple months since I’ve started my Praxis program, I’ve built a blog/personal website, expanded my professional network by a factor of ten, begun learning Mandarin and am about to be placed at my business partner, which means I’ll be moving to an unfamiliar city.
Nobody ever lived a well-lived life by accident. You’ve got to go after it. For a long time, I didn’t know what kind of life I would end up living. I hoped the good life would fall into my lap. But I know what kind of life I want now. Praxis has helped me to know. And I couldn’t be more excited for the future.