You Should Absolutely Go To College

Steve Jobs dropped out of school, and he was successful (by a lot of people’s definitions, anyway).

Bill Gates dropped out of college, and he is one of the wealthiest people on Earth (and he is making major contributions to the betterment of humankind).

Warren Buffet didn’t go to college right away, but eventually went to school.

Exceptions make for poor rules.

The key to success for Jobs, Gates, and Buffet was not their lack of education. There is also no evidence that they would have failed had they gone to school. There is more evidence that the names on this page, and many more names that are missing, continued a journey of lifelong learning.

Tabula Rosa

Your reptile brain, your cerebellum, performs its job flawlessly right out of the box. You start breathing immediately, and you are hungry without having to be instructed to be so, like a lion.

Your mammalian brain, your limbic system, does what it is designed to do, even though the whole emotions things is complicated, and there is a lot going on in these areas of the brain.

But your massive neocortex is different. It’s kind of like a computer. Programs like your language, your culture, and your values are going to be installed. You can also choose to install programs yourself, but most people are unaware or underutilize this power.

One of the choices you make about how to use your brain is to go and use it to learn things.

Feed Your Head

It is helpful to understand history. History is useful in understanding the big themes of humankind, and also as a predictor of where things are going. In high school history, the same guys who couldn’t remember dates could remember all kinds of sports statistics. You can know some things.

Reading the great works of literature is also very helpful. First, you learn a lot about the period in which it was written. You also learn about human thought, emotion, and psychology.

Psychology should be required for anyone who is going to build a company or lead people or manage people or in any way interact with other human beings. College courses can give you a strong foundational understanding, and it can help you interpret the human behaviors you struggle to understand.

There is no reason to walk around this Earth knowing nothing. A liberal arts degree is a good foundation on which to build. All this learning builds a powerful neocortex, and the experience can help with the mammalian brain, too.

In this Disruptive Age, lifelong learning is necessary. It’s mandatory. You are going to have plenty of time to hustle and make money. In fact, you can start a company while you are in college. You can also continue to learn and improve yourself throughout your entire life, just like the people who are used as examples of why you should not go to college.

Go to college, and educate yourself. After college, continue to educate yourself.

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