10 More Reasons Parents Should Not Send Their Kids to College
1. People say: Kids learn to be socialized at college. Are you kidding me? I’m going to spend $100-200k a year so my kids can learn how to make friends with other people their age? Let me tell you about how your kids will be socialized in college and you know this to be true:
—-Your kid should put a dime in a glass jar every time he or she has sex in his first year of college. After the first year of college, he or she should take a dime out every time they have sex. They will never empty that jar. I might be exaggerating (its hard for me to do the math on numbers in four digits like this when I look back at my own experience). So assume that’s step #1 on the socialization of our children in college.
—–Do the same exercise above with the dimes but replace “sex” with “vomit”. Thats part #2 with the socialization.
—–You can also do the above exercise with the dimes (give your kid lots of dimes before they say, “ok, Dad, see you LATER!” when you drop them off in the parking lot of college.) but instead of “sex” or “vomit” say “classes I will skip because of either sex or vomiting.”
2. People say: Kids learn how to think in college. This argument was said to me by Kathryn Schulz, author of “Being Wrong”, a good friend and author of an excellent book. But she knows more than anyone that no matter how much you think you “think”, you’re going to be wrong most of the time. And by the way, does it really cost several hundred thousand dollars to learn how to think?
I would argue that college is a way to avoid learning how to think. If I want to learn how to play tennis, the best thing to do is go out on a tennis court and play tennis. If I want to learn how to drive a car, I better get behind a wheel and drive. If I want to learn how to live and how to think, then the best thing to do is begin living my life and thinking my thoughts instead of still having my parents pay for my life and my professors giving me my thoughts. See below to see how I learned how to “think”.
In a related blog post, I will also write “ways people can learn how to think”.
3. Statistics say: College graduates make much more money than non-college graduates. Clearly anyone who states this has failed “Statistics 101” in college. We might know correlation but we don’t know cause-and-effect here. Since our generation (post-baby boomer) basically everyone goes to college except people who absolutely failed high school, then of course it makes sense that achievement-minded people make more money than individuals who are not achievement-oriented.
A better statistical study, which nobody has done, is take 2000 people who got accepted to Harvard 20 years ago, and randomly force 1000 of them to not go to college. Then, at the end of 20 years to see who made more money. My guess is that the 1000 who didn’t go to Harvard would’ve made more money. They would’ve been thrown out of the nest to learn how to fly that much earlier and a 5 year head start would’ve made enormous difference (I say 5 years because thats the average amount of time it takes to finish college. Not 4, as many think).