formal schooling versus self learning

By this point of the game, I’ve already jumped through the hoops, almost twice.

Higher education, while they may be touted as ‘the way to go’, at this point of my life, I really can’t think of ‘playing that game’ anymore. I don’t want to go back to school to become ‘XYZ’, I don’t need another useless degree in a field where I’m only lukewarm about. There are certain things about a job I will not do, on principle, and every single time I’m asked to do so, I feel that my integrity gives away, little by little.

There’s no “suck it up Princess, this is life.”

I think of it as, “shove it old man, this is a new era. I’ll do it my way.”

Yes, this can be linked into another issue altogether – how the older generation see millennial as a generation of ‘quitters’ but you know what, every time we quit, we quit to something better – can they really say that about a profession which they’ve repeated for 20 to 40 years?

No wonder they’re having midlife crisis left and right.

It must be suffocating not being able to make choices and always care about what other people thought of you. Keeping up for appearances sake so you don’t look like a loser. Just imagine the self imposed misery.

Except now I’m getting sidetracked, back to this ‘formal’ education thing. Let’s think about it this way. Average degree takes 4 years, at $30,000 a year – there’s no guarantee that you’ll find a job afterwards, so the math as follows, $120,000 after 4 years off your life. Conversely you’re also giving up potential earning, let’s say you could make $30,000 a year but you decided to go to school, which means another $120,000 sacrificed.

Totally: $240,000 / 4 years LOSS.

Yes, read that, loss, for a piece of paper that holds no guarantee for anything afterwards.

Why are we doing this? Because we’re ‘told’ it’s the right thing to do? Because we want to be somebody? Because we want to be accepted? Sure, that’s one way to go about it, but it’s not the only way.

Now take another example, if I was to work to earn $30,000 / year for 4 years, while I taught myself job ready skills (and incorporating those skills as I work for 4 years) wouldn’t that make more sense? At least that way, I get to cut my losses by half, but then it wouldn’t really be a loss, because there’s no outpour of funds to tuition payments.

However, institutions do have one advantage over self-learners, and that is the organization of information presented at least 3/4 of the time. But at the same time you’d be also required to take ‘prerequisite’ and ‘electives’ as filler that has nothing to do with your future career path, however you’d still have to do it.

Self-learning on the other hand, despite it being unorganized, has more potential, more to offer than traditional institutions. Not only that, it prepares you for the real world, because in the real world, your 90% average means NOTHING to an employer if you can’t produce, it’s not just write this term paper, do this term assignment then you’re done. No. The real world is different. And after time bouncing around ‘the real world’ per se, I look back at time spent doing things ‘the right way’ critically, and ask myself, who is this ‘right’ person, that requires everyone to doing things ‘this’ way?

Right does not mean optimal.

Right does not mean, the opposite is ‘wrong’.

Right is just a direction.

You’re a human being, capable of making intelligent decisions for yourself.



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