We’ve all heard the saying, “College isn’t for everyone.”
James Altucher, a hedge fund manager and a controversial author, would agree. He would also agree that high school graduates shouldn’t attend college . . . at least not until later in their young adult lives.
Altucher has been quoted stating that many kids who attend college, learn very little or nothing at all. Instead, he says, many college students spend most of their time socializing, partying and doing a whole lot of NOT studying.
Today, the cost of college is skyrocketing faster than the cost of healthcare. When college students graduate, jobs aren’t guaranteed and students are stuck in debt for years.
Rather than taking a bunch of mind-numbing core classes, Altucher suggests some alternative routes in which students are able to gain “real life” experiences such as hard work, time management, organizational skills, and understanding of money management and, of course, socialization skills.
Start a business
The first and main alternative Altucher suggests is to start a business.
He says that every kid, at one point in their, should have their own business and this can be started through the help of the internet.
He says that it’s best to learn lessons such as failure at say, the age of 18 rather than 40-years-old.
It’s a situation where young kids would be able to gain hands-on experience and learn what it takes to run a business—success or failure.
Travel the world
Altucher also suggests that students should take the time to travel the world. Go somewhere far and foreign like India for a year and gain a new experience, a new culture.
By traveling to different parts of the world, students will have the opportunity to learn about poverty and and the value of the dollar. Traveling exposes you to different people, cultures and experiences which will inevitably change who you are and the choices you make. Traveling will also teach you how to survive under strenuous circumstances and challenges.
Learn how to create and be imaginative. Playing a musical instrument, writing a book or even learning pottery are different forms of art you may want to look into. Study the history of an ancient culture, learn where things comes from and how the past still influences the present and future.
Altucher says that creating art requires a very special type of discipline, focus and attention and that you should take advantage of the neurons your brain is creating while you’re still young.
Make people laugh
Got a talent for making people laugh? Spend a year on tour, working for a theater company or trying your hand at stand-up comedy.
Performing and making your friends laugh is a wonderful talent. However, making a crowd laugh takes practice, patience and skills. This will teach you how to write, communicate and to deal with difficult people and situations. Throwing yourself into a difficult and challenging industry will teach you to develop a thick-skin and this WILL inevitably help you not only in your career, but in life and love as well.
Interested in sales? This path will also teach how to sell a product which in this case, it’s yourself. You will learn what you are good at, what you need to work on and how to do it.
Write a book
Altucher believes that writing is a type of meditation. You learn how to observe and interpret life—a great form of education. What goes hand-in-hand with writing? Reading. Pick up a book and teach yourself something new or learn words you have never heard before; use them in writing and in speech.
Writing also teaches you great communication skills; you will learn the intricacies of the English language, get a better understanding of sentence structure and build your vocabulary.
There are other routes that Altucher suggests. College ISN’T for everyone. However, neither are these alternative routes. It’s all up to each of us to decide the route that fits us best, college or not.
Just remember, you only have one life to live so make it count!