I have very few regrets in life… but I can honestly say that going to college is one of them.

I don’t feel like I learned much or came out the other side with many benefits, just a drinking habit and a whole lot of debt.

Let’s be honest, anyone who spent four years in undergrad knows that it’s a crock (of shit, that is). Your degree hasn’t gotten you anywhere and you’re drowning in debt. You went to college because that’s what people do, right? Well, yes. But what if instead of testing the limits of your liver at the local CC, you traveled the world.

Could you do it? Would you have?

Except for the obvious professions (medical, law, etc.), your future employer probably won’t really care about where you went to college or if you earned a degree. They look for experience, ambition and how you present yourself, none of which come with a college price tag.

Ask any un or underemployed college grad (they’re everywhere these days) how much their degree has helped them in finding a job or how much they remember from their statistics class and chances are, it’s not much.

When the material isn’t right in front of us, we have a tendency to forget. That being said, with a new job comes new skills and whether or not you learned them in college, you’ll have to learn them again on the job.

And don’t even get me started on college debt, it hurts my brain.

Unless you’re a trust fund kid or get a full scholarship somewhere, expect to leave college with massive amounts of student loans. I don’t even want to think about the $500/ month payment I’ll be forking over for the next ten years, and that’s not even the high end of the spectrum. It really limits your opportunities as well, think of all the things you could do with $500 per month, that’s a plane ticket across the country or three months rent in Morocco.

Raise your hand if you have ever been personally victimized by Sallie Mae. *raises hand in shame*

Speaking of money, you know that quote, “travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer,”? There’s a reason it’s plastered all over everyone’s Instagram accounts. It’s true. Whether bungee jumping in South Africa, bathing an elephant in Southeast Asia or volcano boarding in Nicaragua, these things will all enrich your life in a way you’d never get stumbling home from a frat party.

And with every experience, you will learn.

You’ll learn about yourself, who you are and what makes you happy.

You’ll learn how to manage your money, so that you can afford rent and still have enough left over to go to that crazy full moon party. You will learn how to communicate and connect with people whose first language is not English and that the world is much bigger (and smaller) than you thought.

You will learn independence in a way that doing your laundry (all by yourself!) in a college dorm basement never could have taught you. You’ll push yourself mentally and physically and discover yourself in the process.

Traveling also gives you the wonderful freedom to reinvent yourself.

Whether you were a popular pretty bitch, a virgin computer nerd or thirty pounds heavier in high school, nobody has to know. When you’re moving around a lot and meeting new people, you can be whoever you want. Nobody will know your story and you can use this rare opportunity to put your best self forward with an entirely new audience. Try doing that in college cliques.

But won’t you be missing all the crazy parties?

If you don’t think travelers party, think again. You can still have amazing experiences getting drunk and acting a fool with your friends but instead of being at some sweaty dive bar with a bunch of people from the next town over, you’ll be dancing on a beach, in Thailand, with people from all over the world, sand in your hair and watching the sunset over the ocean.

These are things that can’t be taught in a classroom. Sure you can read about it, but why not live it? Get out there and see for yourself.

This all might sound preachy and like I’m living in a dream world. But I’m allowed, because I spent four years at a university and if I could do it all over again, I would choose life experience over formal education in a heartbeat.

Not going to college is a big decision and one that you have to make carefully, but if you dare to be different and take control of your own future, instead of letting society pressure you into what you “should” do, I can guarantee you will come out with a thousand years worth of unforgettable experiences and a view on life you could never get in a classroom.

 What do you think?
Did you go to college? Why or why not and if you did, would you do it again?
Let us know in the comments!


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