Wit & Wisdom

Game Changers & Tales of Triumph and Woe


SMW, April 2, 2010 11:05 AM


Not Everyone is College Material
The List: No College or College Dropout

See The List Grow:  Those Who Dropped Out Or Never Entered . . . you may be surprised:

M.I.A #3
Ted Turner
Woody Allen
Peter Jennings

M.I.A. #2
Bill Gates
Jack Nicholson
John Glenn

M.I.A. #1
Steve Jobs
President Harry S. Truman

Can you help us add to this list?
(Ed. Note:  This is not to disparage a college education.  Point being with these posts is that not everyone is cut out for college for various reasons and should not necessarily be labeled as "not smart enough", as you can see from this list.  Hopefully, we will
be more open to different routes people take in their lives.  However, we also think online learning opportunities may open up access to more people to continue their education forever eliminating some of the constraints for furthering education (i.e. time, cost, pacing), even after college.
Personally, I loved college and thought it was important academically among other things.  High school?  Now that was another subject -don't get me started on that one.   -- C.J.)

  • Katia Penttila

    I wish more people would write blogs like this that are actually interesting to read. With all the fluff floating around on the internet, it is a great change of pace to read a like yours instead.

  • Let the debate begin!

  • CJ Westerberg

    What TDR intends with these MIA posts is to break the myth that success = college. Imagine: there are productive, happy, &/or successful people who have contributed to society who never went to college or perhaps didn't finish college for reasons other than "they weren't smart enough" and there are enough college students who either drop out, use college as a means to delay reality, and/or are simply floundering/overwhelmed while in college, to dispel the notion that one-size-fits all, made doubly worse if the financial burden becomes more than the gain.

    Your journey is awesome. Think the idea of an apprenticeship for a year after high school and/or travel is really smart - a lot of kids might not have the courage. Most impressive is your self-realization:

    " . . .Motivation to learn, persistence, desire to improve myself, self-sacrifice, goals, plan of action, maturity, financial support, parental support (after my discharge), take a manageable workload, select good teachers, take math and English courses in areas I showed

    weakness. . ."

  • JS

    What does it mean: Not everyone is college material? How is college defined? What criteria would describe a person that is not college material? I remember many, many years ago, my father told me that the guidance counselor at my high school told him I was not college material. End of story. No career counseling. No explanation, No help. No nothing. I went to a catholic school where 94% of my class did go to a four-year college. I took three years of college prep with no preparation or direction on what do after graduation. My relatives told me you can't get a good without a college degree. When I went to the employment office, I was told I can't get a job because I will be drafted into the military. I took matters into my own hands. I enlisted in the army for three years. My parents were not happy with my decision. I got to visit such great places as South Vietnam, Georgia, Virginia, Okinawa, and Japan. I lived with people from different economic, education, and ethnic backgrounds. I saw both the good and bad in people. I made SGT before I was 20 years old. I had to be self sufficient and take responsibility for myself. I saved my money and went to college after I was discharged. I started at a community college, received a bachelor’s degree than a master’s degree plus 90 credits. So what changed? Motivation to learn, persistence, desire to improve myself, self-sacrifice, goals, plan of action, maturity, financial support, parental support (after my discharge), take a manageable workload, select good teachers, take math and English courses in areas I showed weakness. College for me was more than getting a “good job” and making money. I sure didn’t go to college to make money in as a teacher. It was pursuing my dreams. Not all of us are ready for college directly after college. For a young person today, I recommend get some job skills in a area you like and place you want to live. Learn a skill that will provide you a living wage and benefits. Go into an apprentice program and get a two-year degree in a high demand field. After you have had some time to chart a direction, go for a four year degree in whatever you want. Why? Because YOU want to!

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It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.
Leonardo da Vinci
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