The vast majority of young people are told that they must go to college to succeed. Colleges send people to stand behind high school booths to show students that attending college is the next step after high school graduation. High school students then meet with a counselor to discuss their interests and what they want to do with their future. You may have had a different experience, but I remember colleges visiting my high school and discussing my professional future with my high school counselor when I was not even in my twenties.

After attending college and graduate school, it is time for people to ask themselves, does this even make sense? Why send young people to college when they don’t know themselves? How did going to college become the standard for society? There are many other options besides learning from an old professor lecturing you about what you need to know to pass your stupid test. The reality is that you have many more choices than you know.

12 Reasons Why Young People Should Not Go To College

Sent Off To College When You Don’t Know Yourself

The first problem is that you are sent to college when you don’t know yourself. You are still learning what you enjoy doing, your strengths, and your skills. At least, that is what someone in their twenties should be doing.

Instead, society has said that sending these twenty-somethings to college is acceptable.

No one wants to discuss this significant problem with the entire higher education system. How do you expect someone in their late teens to early twenties to know what they want to do with their life? They don’t even know themselves. They are still trying to be part of the cool kids’ group in high school and college. While they would rather party, college only encourages this behavior. What do most students do after they finish studying or take a test?

Rather than becoming a student at a college, young people can be encouraged to become students of life. They can try different things. Have a range of different experiences. Figure out their likes and dislikes. Young people should be learning what they are good at rather than going to college. Once they know their skills, they can find ways to monetize them.

A person will likely switch majors at least once in college precisely because they do not know their strengths. Young people have no idea what they want to do with their lives because they don’t know themselves. College does not help, and it hinders this vital process.

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A Critical Decade Wasted In The Higher Education System

Second, you waste your most critical decade by going to college. Your twenties are foundational to the rest of your life. It will affect your next decades if you don’t get a solid trajectory in your twenties.

There are better ways to use your time that would benefit you than going to college.

You could travel to see the world or visit another state. While you are there, get a job as a barista, bartender, or server. At the very least, you will get some interesting stories and experiences that could be valuable later on.

You could shadow someone. You could work to learn new skills, then apply for internships or jobs.

You could work part-time or full-time while you work to start a traditional or an online business.

You will spend your time reading old books, most likely learning ancient computer programs and receiving lectures from a professor without practical life skills. After all, that is why he is a professor.

The bottom line is that you want to get as many experiences, try as many things as possible, learn your strengths, and make money as soon as possible in your twenties. You cannot do those things while in college.

Go Into Debt

The third problem is going into debt for college. According to U.S. News & World Report, the average cost of tuition from 2022 to 2023 ranges from $10,000 to $40,000 for an academic year.

That does not include the cost of room and board, books, and living costs, from groceries to transportation. The price also does not include entertainment and going out with your friends in college. The cost could easily double depending on what you do outside the classroom.

Unless you are working while you are in college, you are losing money and going into debt while attending college. It is the worst of both worlds. You want to start making money as soon as possible to build up your net worth. While you are making money, you want to continue improving your skills to increase your income over time. You cannot do either of those things while in college. Receiving a college degree does not means that you will necessarily get a higher-paying job as is marketed to younger people.

The worst financial mistake anyone can make is getting into debt. Yet, according to Forbes, more than 50% of students have student loans. They likely won’t be able to pay off their student loans because the average salary in the United States is just under $55,000 a year.

Overall, the higher education system is a bad idea. In most cases, it is not worth young people’s valuable time to attend college when they could learn practical skills elsewhere. There are better alternatives to college today with the Internet that cost less than attending a single college class. A better solution is replacing the Legacy Education System. People can now learn from people with a track record of success through digital courses rather than reading outdated books, learning ancient programs, and learning from a professor who only teaches because he has tenure.

[bctt tweet=”College is a waste of time. It is not worth going into debt for.” username=”@secure_single”]

Party Culture

Fourth, partying is common at college. If you think sending your kids off to college and they won’t party or potentially take part in the hookup or drinking culture, then you may be naive. Partying is common in college. Once the quizzes and tests are done, it’s party time!

Most twenty-somethings are likely following sports, watching popular television, going out with friends, hooking up, and drinking. In other words, partying is what mostly happens at colleges. Partying is the main attraction of college, rather than studying. Studying is for nerds.

While there is a time and place to enjoy yourself, this has become one of the primary focuses of going to college. It is not about getting an education. It is about going out with your friends to a bar or club on the weekend. It is about hooking up with your class’s hot man or woman. It is about fitting in—one of the main ways students try to fit in at college is by attending parties. Drinking often happens at these parties. The parties are where the cool kids are. Peer pressure is a problem at college. Everyone, for some reason, wants to be part of the cool kids club.

The latest drinking trend at college is the Borg, which stands for Blackout Rage Gallon. The Borg recipe calls for half a jug of water, electrolytes, vodka, and some flavoring. This drink has always been variations at college, from shared punch bowls to drinking out of bottles or keg parties. Drinking is part of modern college life.

At the Borg or frat party, the college students want to try to hook up with someone.

There could be frat parties. It could be hosting a small party in your dorm or apartment. It could be sneaking out with friends after hours to meet the popular students or even hook up with someone. College students care more about partying than doing well in school.

[bctt tweet=”College is about partying. It’s not about education.” username=”@secure_single”]

Told It Is The Only Way To Become Successful

Fifth, young people are brainwashed to believe they won’t succeed if they don’t attend college. Society sells young people the myth that you must go to college to be successful. The reality is that there are many ways that you can become successful. There is no one route to success.

On the contrary, the most successful people are entrepreneurs who dropped out of college or never attended college. Or, it was people who discovered what their talents were at a young age. They learned their strengths in their teenage years or their twenties. They then found ways to monetize them.

Young people have a range of options to choose from. You don’t need to go to college. One of the best things a young person could do is to find a mentor or someone they can look up to learn about something that interests them. Their interests may eventually change, but the skills they learned from someone may help them later.

Another option would be to learn a skill and see if they can be hired to perform it by an employer. You could negotiate with a potential employer who may need skills that you have to start you off as a paid intern. Once you complete your internship, your employer will meet with you to tell you whether you can stay on. Today, that could be getting employed by a business where someone may live to become a freelancer online at a site like Upwork or Fiverr. You could try freelancing to see if you enjoy it or not. You could also

Yet another option is to become an entrepreneur. This option will take on the most risk but has the biggest reward. You can become an Internet entrepreneur and create multiple income streams by producing content on various platforms, from YouTube to your website. You can then find ways to repackage that content in a range of ways for customers.

The bottom line is that you have many options. This is especially true today with the range of possibilities that result from the Internet, such as working remotely, freelancing, or starting an online business.

Miss Out On Learning Hard Skills

Sixth, young people are missing out on learning hard skills by going to college. College does not teach you hard skills. At least, you won’t get enough experience from a college program to compete against people who have learned technical skills while on the job.

Even if you take STEM classes as I did in graduate school for cybersecurity, I only took six labs on various topics over three years. Those are too few numbers to proficiently learn about a skill for any employer to take you seriously. Most of the students I was with in graduate school already came from an IT background. It was mostly going back to school to advance in their careers or because the military was paying for their education. They were in graduate school to appease their employer to move further up the employee hierarchy. I did not fit in, yet I thought I was “smart” because I was in graduate school. In reality, I was stupid to think I could get a career in IT without the right experience, but I thought a university degree would help me enter the field. I believed in society’s myth that a degree helped to get you places.

Your twenties are a vital decade where you should learn hard practical skills to improve your life. Hard skills are what employers care about. With a few exceptions, like STEM, you don’t learn those skills in most college classes. Even then, you may learn an outdated program that companies no longer use or not take enough labs to sufficiently be competitive against other applicants with years of practical experience using current technology.

[bctt tweet=”Hard skills include trades, science, technology, health, medicine, and business. There are then subcategories within these broad categories.” username=”@secure_single”]

In your twenties, you want to develop skills you enjoy and excel at. You want to continue to hone those skills. The sooner you can figure out your strengths, the faster you can make money. When you begin to make money, you can start to save. When you begin to save, you can build a rainy day fund. Once you have a rainy day fund, you can begin to invest.

You can’t do that when you must read from a book to pass a test. College teaches you passive knowledge, not active knowledge. Practical knowledge that you can apply in the real world is what matters. Ideals. Ideologies. Knowledge that does not improve your life in some way is what you want to focus on. That is applied knowledge. You learn that by doing things on the job or troubleshooting something independently, not by reading an outdated book that your college professor requires you to read.

Read Professors’ Books And Outdated Books

The seventh problem is that when you go to college, there is a high likelihood that you will be reading your professors’ books. There is the additional problem that many books will be outdated that you are required to read to pass your tests in your class. College professors often make their student purchase and read their books for their courses. They would not get book sales otherwise because professors often write boring books on a dry subject that an ordinary person does not want to read. Do you want to read dry writing about history? How about boring writing on how to write a proper sentence for English Majors? Or a book summarizing the works of modern philosophy? For most people, those would be a hard pass. Those are the types of stale books young people have to look forward to in college.

You will likely be paying thousands of dollars to attend a class to read a professor’s dull and dated book.

It could also be a book no longer relevant to modern society. The book could be behind on technology or another critical skill you need to know, but you are reading about Windows 95 when Windows 11 is the newest program. Why not buy a book on that topic and learn about it yourself? It will save you thousands of dollars, and you will still retain the information that you find interesting too. You don’t need to read a boring book by a professor.

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Learn Outdated Programs

The eighth problem is you will need to learn updated programs. This will likely be the case, even with a STEM degree, putting you behind your peers. Even if you are learning a current program, you won’t do enough labs for it to make a difference for you to compete against people who have expertise and experience using those programs.

I did six labs throughout my graduate career while trying to get a cybersecurity degree. Are you going to be proficient in a technical piece of software or hardware if you only do six labs? The rest of the program was about the theory behind cybersecurity. The most critical part that would help students get a job, labs, was focused on the least in the program. It is no wonder why no employer wanted to hire me.

The technology you will be using at a university will probably be dated and slow because a university does not spend the resources to keep everything up to date as private companies do. Students are there to study, and you will likely have to pay a technology fee to use the technology you must use for a STEM course. The library is associated with universities for a reason.

You have better options to learn about technology if you are interested in an area in the tech field. You can find modern online alternatives that will help where you have more updated technology. You will often receive a certificate or sign of completion after completing the program. TechTarget lists some of the online courses here for cybersecurity. You can find something similar in another tech field. Solutions like this will likely continue to happen in the Internet Age to compete against the traditional higher education system model.

Some employers now want a degree or enough work experience to interview for a job. If you had actual work experience in the tech field and one or two certificates from a program or two, that would be a better use of your time than going to college. You can later study to get the approved certificates your employer may need to advance in your field.


The ninth problem is the higher education system is pay-to-play. Your official education must continue after you receive your overpriced piece of paper from your university. That is because the educational industrial complex consists of many parts. All of the parts are pay-to-play. You pay to attend college to network and get recommendations for your first job after college. You must continue to get certifications to move up in your chosen field. You will also be encouraged to join membership organizations to network with other professionals in your field. All of these things cost money. You will find yourself paying hundreds of dollars a year if not more, to maintain your standing in a field. This is especially true in some very litigious fields like medicine.

With the Internet and sites like LinkedIn, there is no longer any need to go to a university to network and meet others. You can build up your reputation within your niche and become a master in your field. You can then contact other people on the site if you like, and others can connect with you too. The Internet, with professional networking sites such as LinkedIn, has now made the concept of going to college to network outdated.

Not Taught Self-Responsibility

The tenth problem with college is that students are not taught self-responsibility. Instead, they are led to believe they are planning for their future by attending college. This makes them give up on self-responsibility. They can casually go through their life because they have nothing to worry about. Once they receive their degree, life will be alright. College markets to students that they can get a good job because they attended college.

The education and higher education system teach students that there are “experts.” Those are the only people who can make good decisions. Those are the people who should dictate your life. The people with a fancy title by their name or are in a position of “authority” are the people you must respect.

On the contrary, the people with fancy titles are often the most unworthy of respect.

Controlled Academic Space

The eleventh problem is that college campuses are separate from the real world. Even if they are located in a major city, they have a college campus that is usually very nice. Sometimes, the college campus could be nicer than the city or town it is in. Students get used to being in this safe and controlled academic space without being exposed to the reality of how the world operates. They are not taught critical thinking skills.
In some cases, students are not exposed to ideas or concepts that go against the university’s values. Or, students want to have their own “safe spaces” that eliminate challenging ideas from the campus. This has become more evident over the last decade on college campuses.

When someone comes who discusses an opposing view or belief, they are shut down and censored. Instead of being a place to discuss various ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and rationally debate, the modern college campus has become a prison.

The modern university system teaches you what to think, not how to think. If you don’t go along with the “approved ideas,” you will be labeled a series of slurs ending in ist and ism.

Think Everything Will Turn Out Fine After College

Twelfth, students think that everything will turn out alright after college after they have received their fancy piece of paper. You are taught that your only option is to become an employee by attending college. You are told that by attending college, things will turn out fine, although you will likely end up at the bottom of the financial pyramid unless you can work your way up in a STEM area.

College students after graduation average around $20 an hour. Unless you develop other skills that make you more valuable to employers, that is the most that your overpriced piece of paper can make you worth. That is not enough to cover expenses as an adult.

Unless you are in a valuable field like STEM and are a good interviewer, you may have a chance to make more than the estimated $20 an hour. The United States has become a service economy, meaning most jobs are in the service sector. Even if you did not plan to work in the service sector because you think going to college would help you, that is where you may end up.

Unless you are in a valuable field like STEM and are a good interviewer, you may have a chance to make more than the estimated $20 an hour. The United States has become a service economy, meaning most jobs are in the service sector. Even if you did not plan to work in the service sector because you think going to college would help you, that is where you may end up.

There are better options than going to college, and the higher education system only teaches you how to be an unthinking employee.

[bctt tweet=”You are not taught about the three other models to make money: self-employed, business, and investing. This is intentional because the education and higher education systems’ roles are to create employees.” username=”@secure_single”]

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These are twelve reasons why young people should not go to college. There are many more reasons not to attend college. It is ultimately up to each individual to decide if college is worth the investment of their time, attention, and money. There are not enough people presenting an alternative position against college. This is why it is critical for young people to know there are more choices than simply applying to different colleges to see which accepts them only to come out on the other side in debt and working a dead-end job.

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James Bollen is the Founder and President of Secure Single. He is an entrepreneur and a content creator with the goal of helping all different types of singles to learn to thrive as a single person.
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