In less than a month, most of my coursemates will become university graduates. But not me. I decided to drop out.
About two weeks ago, I decided to drop out of university. A controversial decision for sure. But the right one for me. Why? Well there’s a couple of reasons.
1. My premise going to university was wrong.
About three years ago, I had to make a decision. For many, it’s an important one. For me, it was simply an unavoidable step. Which university to go to? And what to study?
From early on, I’ve had a clear understanding of the end goal. Entrepreneurship. And some science. Why? Because it seems the only logical choice if I want to be the master of my own time. But how come I still had this question of what to study, and where? Well, it just never mattered to me. At 14, I read Rich Dad Poor Dad and understood something others might not agree on. Education doesn’t always matter!
But then, why go to university at all? I’d done much before and during high school. Enough to get to Cambridge interviews. But nothing that would pay the bills. Nor was I willing to simply go catering. Therefore, I was dependant of my mother.
My first choice was to go study in the UK. I hadn’t focused on my science grades throughout gymnasium, so engineering wasn’t an option. But I had enough extracurricular activities to apply for politics and economics. Just to make an exchange to engineering once I was accepted. But this didn’t happen. Apparently, my grades still weren’t enough, nor wasn’t I motivated to follow them through.
So what next? Something in Estonia. City of Tartu resembles City of Cambridge. And same goes with the university itself. Let’s go there. But to study what? University of Tartu focusses on theory. So no science for sure. How about economics? “Nope,” said my father. What else is there? Law! It might be useful when building the next business empire. Children of wealthy families go there. And they have lots of good looking girls.
2. There was an awakening.
A couple of weeks in, I understood that my premise had been wrong. Apparently, we now had free education across all public universities. Meaning, only the ones that had good enough grades were accepted. Others had to find a private university or go to another country. Therefore, almost no children coming from wealth nor pretty girls. Or at least not as many as I expected. But I decided to take the maximum out of it. Head student. Debate Club President. 45+ credits a semester. A startup with three engineers. Lots of poker. Etc.
But then I went to Draper University. That was the best decision for me. But the worst for my studies. Because it opened so many doors that I now had a choice of what to do next. Start a new startup. Close it and join another one. Teach at a university. Join an accelerator. And drop out of university.
Although, I wouldn’t have had to drop out if the system would’ve been adaptable. In my mind, it wasn’t that much of a choice to drop out, but a must.
Firstly, it didn’t support the path I had taken. I like law, when I see where I can use it. But instead of letting me use it as a tool, they tried to fit me in it. E.g. make me write a fully theoretical thesis that wouldn’t help me get any further in life. And I don’t like to be fitted into anything I don’t belong in.
Secondly, they tried to make me pay for something I didn’t care for in the first place. I have nothing against paying for my education. When it’s practical. And useful for me. But they didn’t even teach me anything about taxes. Although yes, I now know how to read the law and understand it. Which already is a great skill to have.
All in all, I’m thankful for everything I’ve learned so far. But that’s not enough for me to see the point in going further with this nonsense.
3. The future’s better off this way.
But what next? My mom still wants me to have a degree. And I don’t like to quit anything. Unless it’s a pivot. And that’s what it is. I’m still going through with this thing. I’m just not getting a law degree from University of Tartu. Instead, I’m following my father’s footsteps.
Don’t try to change the system. Change the environment. And build a new system, if needed.
I still believe that I shouldn’t be getting a degree for the sake of it. And everything’s going great with Shipitwise, so I probably never need to show it to anyone but my mom. But I never got to the environment I was seeking at the first place. Yes, I got it for a few weeks at Draper. But that’s not enough. And I don’t have time to go seeking such a thing from any distant place. So I’m currently in talks with Estonian Business School to get a degree from them. Not sure, if I’m still going there to look for pretty girls. But they do have the wealthy minded younglings.
So yes, it’s not a total drop out, but a change for something better. Hopefully it doesn’t distract my real passion that much, and offers some great contacts for the future. Or at least happiness for my mother. Because what’s the point of going there if not just making her happy. Or off my back… And when I say mother, I really mean all relatives and other people who still don’t get that a degree isn’t necessary to get along just fine.