Pitt, my alma mater

Pitt, my alma mater

My parents paid for my college so if you’re reading this and still paying loans, you have every right to get mad at me for this post.

Today I was driving through a section of town where the individuals would be classified as “lower income”.  My brain started thinking that most of these people probably never went to college and then I thought about my college experience.  Is my 4 year college experience what actually separates me from these people with regards to job status and intelligence?  If I spent my 4 years developing a skill instead of college, would I be further ahead or behind?  How important was college?

I first asked, “what did I actually learn in college?”

  • Teamwork – I learned how to work in groups for class projects and reach a common goal that was bigger than what could be obtained by one person
  • Social Skills – I made dozens of friends from all over.  My Freshman roommate was Indian.
  • Independence – I lived on my own 5 hours away with little interaction with my parents.  It was me being me.
  • Education – I learned how to think.  What I actually learned was irrelevant to my life.


A few College Experiences

  • Two chipped teeth

    Two chipped teeth

    The first time I hit a bowl I blew the wrong way and the weed went all over the floor.

  • I got an underage the first week of school by beer bonging 5 beers in a 15 minute window.  I went down some steps, the cops came, they said everyone leave, I walked up the steps holding my beer and stumbled right into a cop.  I was the only one to get an underage.
  • I got frostbite on my foot after traversing North Oakland for hours in -10 degree weather.
  • I blacked out and made out with a swamp donkey who I couldn’t even fit my arms around.
  • I puked in the corner of a dance floor at a CMU frat house the very first time I drank at school.  I made out with some girl shortly after thinking nothing was wrong.


A Real Opinion on College From Someone Who Didn’t Need It

CollegeI was a finance major.  I was a B student and enjoyed the investing courses but wasn’t nearly as intelligent or hardworking as my peers.  This could have been because I had a family business that I planned to move into after college no matter what.  Most people in my situation would have spent as along as they could in school and given as little effort as possible.  I went to every class and studied as hard as I felt I should to get by.  I was just like any other student preparing for their future.  The fact that I had a job lined up didn’t change my work ethic (although as I write this post it probably could have).  So what did I take out of it?

Those 4 years were well spent.  It was an in-state school and tuition was probably 15k a year which is about as much as school should cost.  As I wrote before, I learned to think and how to work.  Sitting in a library for hours straight finishing assignments is a testament to one’s work ethic.  I carried that with me to what I’m doing now.  It was a stepping stone to entering the real world.

Once I entered the real world, I really grew as a person.  I took one week off after school and entered the workforce the Spring of ’05.  I was green as can be as college didn’t teach me how to answer a phone and sell a product to the person on the other end.  College never explained to me what credit card processor has the lowest rates.  Or how to negotiate a deal for 20 Soldering irons.  I learned that through 10 years of WORK experience which college could never teach.

I certainly don’t downplay the necessity for college but if a person has a work ethic and a desire to be what they want to be, college is really just a degree.