If there was ever a time to remember your Mom’s wise words of “if all your friends were jumping off a cliff, would you do it too?” it was today! I can’t believe that “smart” college students actually look to people like Mark Zuckerberg as their sole role models and think that they should forgo their education for any reason. While I am a huge proponent of taking risks and challenging yourself, I truly believe in the value of lessons learned within the scope of the university setting.
There are so many things that I think young people learn from attending college/university that they might never learn if they never have to work for anyone but themselves. Qualities and characteristics such as patience, selflessness, compromise, team-building and how to communicate at different levels are things that I think are definitely learned or enhanced by being FORCED to work on group projects where a grade you earn is dependent upon another person’s work performance and contribution.
I’m in no way saying that I don’t appreciate risk takers like Steve Jobs and Mark Z. I think that what they have done for the realm of technology has been phenomenal. I just don’t think that it’s realistic for college students to believe that if they drop out of college to chase their dreams, they will become millionaires. While we frequently see Zuckerberg’s face plastered on the front pages of magazines, what we never see are the faces if students that dropped out of college to start their own businesses that ended up going belly-up. I think that if we saw more of those stories, young people would have a more realistic view of the harsh realities of the start-up world and understand that there is nothing wrong with continuing their education and conducting the base work for their future start-up business.