Before getting to the point, please consider how the following cultural ideas influence our perspective of life:
– Life is lived to make money. The more, the better.
– Prioritize material purchases over life experiences. People will judge you based on the things you possess and you want them to think highly of you.
– Always strive to have more than what you currently have and better than what others have.
– Dedicate most of your energy toward your job or career. Any other pursuits are either risky or lazy.
– You can’t possibly make money doing what you enjoy, so stop wasting your time. Pursue something more “realistic”.
– The world is a scary and dangerous place. Strive to have as much as security and predictability in your life as possible.
– You must be the best to deserve respect.
– Social Timeline: Go to school, get good grades, get a degree, get a nice, secure job, get married and start a family, purchase your mortgaged dream house, purchase your dream car and the other nice things you want, rise up the ranks at your place of employment, provide a life for your kids that you never had, enjoy two weeks of vacation every year, retire when you’re 65 years old to do the things you’ve always wanted to do but never had time for and raise your kids to do even better than you.
Some of you might look at this list and think:“There is nothing wrong with any of that, and some of it is just the truth.”
I don’t want you to judge these values and ideas but just be aware of them and the ways our culture may cultivate and promote them.
The whole point of this article is to help you discover the best path for you.
You reading this is no accident. There is a desire in your heart to live in a way that is true to who you are.
You may be someone with a creative and non-traditional personality, a freethinker, and may have already realized that life is much more than the last bullet point above.
You have the power to live the life you want, embrace the entrepreneurial lifestyle, achieve financial freedom and see the world.
Your life does not have to be enslaved to a 9-5 job 5 days a week for 40 years.
This is the game society proposes to you.
Even if you cannot afford college on your own, you can always get the scholarships and loans from private institutions.
“Show up to classes, follow the rules and put in the work. Everyone has a fair shot at achieving their dreams, just stay in school.”
I have been through the feelings, the obstacles and learnings of the journey of realising that the “social timeline” is not the path for me.
I prefer the freedom, flexibility and happiness that leaving all that behind has given me.
Let me tell you my story, the good and bad things, the learnings, and key conclusions.
6. I have dropped out of COLLEGE
From a very young age, both my school and my parents have *tried to* guided me to the path (social timeline) and I was pretty convinced of that path.
I joined engineering school right after high school pursuing a degree a telecommunications engineering, it was supposed to give me all the knowledge and resources to thrive professionally and also in life.
Having a degree, a sure high-paying job and by those, the recognition of society.
I was very interested in technology and still am today, but shortly after joining, classes became boring, motivation was zero, and something was just wrong.
I did not enjoy any of what I was doing, I was feeling forced, even though the decision was voluntary, but highly influenced by society.
5. DO OTHER THINGS WHILE IN COLLEGE
Without thinking much about it, I skipped most of the classes to start learning programming by myself (a skill I recommend regardless of your field).
I designed webpages for small and not-so-small businesses in the first year.
Instead of studying physics, I was reading books about entrepreneurship, programming and design.
And instead of attending classes, I attended meetings with clients and started developing core competences like negotiation skills, and learning the importance of connections.
“The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.” – Steve Jobs
I was getting also very interested in finance, especially stock trading, which would become years after my main source of income and a real passion of mine (more on this coming soon).
I remember watching all Wall Street movies that I could find, reading all the major books about the financial markets and even getting a few profitable (and lucky) trades on Bitcoin.
Having being through these real-life experiences and realizing that was what I wanted, I made the decision to dropout of engineering school by the end of the second year.
When I mentioned it to my parents they absolutely freaked out in all levels (oops).
As I was getting interested in finance, they convinced me to at least change to business school and start pursuing a degree in Finance. Well, alright then.
I moved to another college and started a degree in finance, but with my priorities changed.
4. START LOOKING FOR THE FULL-TIME ALTERNATIVE
This may take some time, but start writing a list of your passions. Your main focus should be translating one of these passions into a job.
I was very interested in financial markets so I started learning how to develop my own trading strategies and also investing my savings.
Also, I started applying what I learned about entrepreneurship and by the end of 2013 I launched my first company: an online shop that sold fashion watches and jewellery, (You can still see the Instagram).
For the next year, this became my job, and after having sold in more than 30 countries and with a six-figure $ revenue, a competitor got interested in the site and bought us out.
This was a tipping point to confirm what I actually wanted to do in life, the entrepreneurial lifestyle and being the master of your destiny was the thing for me.
I wanted that in my life, and the college was a huge waste of time for that purpose, I decided to drop out for the second time at the end of the first year of college.
3. the risks are worth it
You may or may not relate to my personal story at this point; however, what I am sure you share the feelings of being trapped in an unhappy college life, being stressed, feeling different from the crowd and constantly questioning your path in life.
These are all signs of your soul screaming to be free.
These feelings experienced while considering dropping out are absolutely normal. They’re a consequence of an imperfect educational system that’s designed to only be effective and efficient for certain types of people who easily sustain it.
You aren’t crazy, lazy or deficient. You have the right to define what’s important and what holds value to you.
You may disappoint your relatives. For many students this is the primary reason to continue with studies that made them unhappy instead of dropping out.
Personally, the pressure came almost entirely from my mom, but even if parents want the best for their children, it is important to remember that they are human and they can be mistaken.
Let me tell you something: There comes a point when letting them making life-changing decisions for you is not an option anymore.
In my case, letting down the very person I love most in the world felt vile and wrong. It was extremely difficult, but when I finally managed to tell them my decision, they kept on loving me and trusted my criteria.
Your decision will not make any sense to people with the “social timeline” mentality, they are operating from a schema of what they’re supposed to do and what society expects of them.
Be kind. Their questions arise from genuine concern. Keep in mind that people may wish you good luck and secretly envy your courage.
2. Explain your feelings
And the effects that school had on you, your true aspirations, and your future plans.
This is your life to live. You may get more support than you imagine.
I was torn between the financial safety and social acceptance that college offered and the freedom, flexibility and happiness I could find by leaving it all behind. Before you make the decision of whether or not to drop out, think about what you want from life.
And be prepared: Everyone is going to have something to say. Backing your decision and staying resolute against the pressure from others, specially your parents, will show that you believe that what you’re doing is the best for you and it will make them understand and support you.
1. getting ready today
THINK THOROUGHLY ABOUT THESE things:
- Your new plan for life.
- Set goals and work on them right away.
- Define your own identity.
- Define what success means to you.
Pay your student loans
I’ve learned a lot from my experience at college, and I didn’t even graduate.
College helped me find out who I am, and what I really want from life. I realize I have to pay for this experience and I consider fair to do so. It’s only right.
I had an accumulated debt of about $10,000 both from a public university and a private graduate institution in Spain, and taking into account what I got in return, the price is cheap.
Tell people about your choice to drop out
And just hope they can understand.
The fear of disappointing your parents and not living up to their expectations is a huge one and drives the lives of many people. Just keep in mind, they will eventually have to accept your decision and get over it.
LEARN ABOUT PERSONAL FINANCE
This will relieve lots of stress, and will make it all much easier, start here.
ACCOMPLISH THESE THINGS TODAY
- Commit yourself to constant improvement.
- Read more. Fiction or non-fiction, doesn’t matter, but always be reading: Keep your brain active. Cool books here.
- Go to the gym and/or start running, eat better: Keep your body healthy. Read this article.
- Find an organization that does something you admire and become involved in it there.
- Get up early. One hour earlier each day. This is a productivity boost.
- Learn how to program, start here.
To drop out is simply to reclaim personal agency in determining the path of your life and what it will look like, and to consciously choose the values to which you’ll subscribe.
It is a rejection of the values, paths, roles and definitions supported by the social, political, economic, religious, and cultural institutions that do not align with your true self.
Dropping out is first of all getting to know yourself and being willing to discover yourself removing everything inauthentic to whom you are.
To drop out means to place yourself at the center of your experience of the world – to look at yourself primarily through your own eyes and not the eyes of society.
It means to define yourself and to accept those definitions – to recognize that everyone is on their own personal journey, have different experiences and different schemas.
Their beliefs, behavior and opinions reflect only them and are not a valid judgement of your path – which only you can ever fully know because only you can know the full context of your life.
“Despite whatever path you are now, start thinking of yourself as the person you want to be, the person you truly are.”
EXTRA: WHAT I DO RIGHT NOW
Well, you are looking at it! Valdour is an online publication focused on millennial entrepreneurs.
We produce content in the form of articles and videos that touch subjects like learning, mindset, mentoring, wealth, places and more. Everything is uniquely filtered and showcased with a visual appeal that gets you in the hustle vibe.
And there is more to come, stay tuned.
That is the beginning of my story, tell me about yours.
I hope this post had helped you in any way, whether to confirm the path where you currently are, to change some things along the way or to change it all. You can email me at email@example.com I reply to all of the emails.