When I moved off to college, I was 18 years old and ready to begin the next chapter of my life. I was looking forward to exploring big ideas, meeting ambitious people, and navigating the beginning of a fulfilling career.
I was hungry, curious, and ready to go.
When I showed up for my first day of class, the experience felt all too familiar. The setting was slightly different, but I was still reading a cookie-cutter syllabus, and the topics seemed bland. As the first weeks progressed, school continued to feel the same. In many cases, I was reviewing the same exact material that was covered in my AP high school courses. There was no deeper level nor broader range of discussion. The experience was just hours of power point slides full of useless, bland material. Assignments held all the same arbitrary standards, and nothing about the process was enlightening. I found myself playing the same old game I played in high school: Memorize, regurgitate, and go home to do something better. “I guess this is the buffer period, surely it will get better next semester” I told myself.
I trudged along in my course work, bored out of my mind. In a series of very fortunate events, I joined the entrepreneurship club and an economics book club. In the weekly meetings of those two organizations alone, I learned exponentially more than all of my classes combined. I found myself reading extra books, meeting with professors at coffee shops to dive deeper into the ideas, and networking with a whole community of student entrepreneurs. I had finally found my tribe! These kids were ambitious and smart, a different breed. When I inquired about their experiences, they echoed many of my sentiments. “you have to stick with it to get the degree” they said.
Sophomore year arrived. At this point, I was presiding over two student organizations and held a part time job. Insofar as I took advantage of these opportunities, my grades suffered, yet these were the only experiences that contributed to my development at all. I realized that all of the high caliber kids I met sacrificed academic performance to pursue their incredible projects. I was meeting student entrepreneurs that were developing their human capital in amazing ways before they could legally drink, yet I was being told that they should prioritize class.
Most of these classes were garbage. In order to take the few good classes, you had to endure the lower level required trash for two years.
A few examples:
- Marriage and Family (angry professor mumbling about obvious phenomena)
- Plants and Humans (high school biology one)
- Architecture Appreciation (man in black turtleneck ranting about how to “articulate surfaces” to business students)
- Intro to Communications (speech class….. again)
- Organizational Communications (how to build a forgettable resume)
- Sociology (Marxist class theory indoctrination 101 taught by a grad student)
Who can blame the ambitious kids for spending their time pursuing more valuable objectives?
I didn’t come to college to be forced into useless classes nor did I come to become well-rounded. I came to college to study a particular field and differentiate myself in the job market. Even when I finally took some good classes, they were delivered in horribly inefficient ways. Anyone could learn this material from books and free online resources.
After 3 years of disappointment and thousands of dollars of debt accumulation, I was fed up. I stopped being afraid of stupid things and decided to break the mold. It was time to follow my gut and jump into Praxis.
It was the best decision I have ever made.
I am no longer enduring limbo. On the contrary, I am surrounded by dozens of bright young professionals relentlessly developing themselves. The programming is full of actionable ways to get to the next level every day. In one month of Praxis I have moved closer to my goals than a year of college.
Yes, it is that rapid.
I have undergone a psychological rebirth and realized even more how inept college is at preparing anyone for anything.
College is a toxic environment that slowly kills your creative and curious soul. The ambitious cannot let the average hold them back by sacrificing their talents and aspirations to the mold of secure mediocrity.
In this day and age, there are far too many superior alternatives to these obsolete institutions to waste your twenties accumulating debt and moving further away from the life you want.
If you want to live the life you have always wanted, a life on your terms in which you become the master of your own destiny, college is the last place you will find it.
The only way to build that life is to pursue it without fear of dumb things.
Stop feeding the monster and break the mold.