The American Dream Equation No Longer Includes College

The American Dream isn’t quite what it used to be. Or rather, it is exactly what it used to be, before it turned into what it was, before it turned back to what it was in the first place — let me explain. In the past, the American Dream was interpreted through education.

It meant going to high school, and then college, to get a degree in order to land a good job. The Dream meant the ability to work hard in order to achieve success. The Dream meant creating something from nothing. And that is what the American Dream has now become again.

College is great; I went to college and had a blast. I learned quite a bit about myself, and probably some facts that I forgot as soon as I handed in my exam. College is a nice vacation from the real world with the occasional mandatory mental exercise routine.

Now, while some people can afford such a pricey four year vacation (or like in my case, almost seven), we’re coming to the conclusion that paying so much for college is — how do I put this nicely — fucking stupid.

With college graduates using their degrees to make fire for heat or to wipe their asses when they run out of toilet paper, the heady conclusion is that the time and money may have been better spent elsewhere. Here are the three options that a high school graduate has:

1. Go to college and spend anywhere from about $20,000 to $200,000 for four years of education and spend the next decade or so paying off your student loans. If you factor in the current state of our job market, make that anywhere from 15 years to two decades before you are able to pay those off entirely.

2. Get a crappy job for a couple of years and go to college at a time when you think you may actually land a job post-graduation.

3. Don’t go to college at all and figure out how to make money on your own.

That’s what college is for — figuring out how you can make money. Parties and sorority bitches aside, there’s no other reason to go to college than to learn how to become a successful person. What many people are starting to remember is that the original American Dream didn’t include college; meaning that it is possible to become wealthy and successful without getting a degree.

Enter: the age of startups. Many intelligent Generation-Yers are realizing that spending four years at college may leave them four years behind.

Why spend so much time in school when you could be an entrepreneur now and have a successful business by the time your buddies are graduating? Sure, the life of an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone, but it makes you think about the necessitation of college and whether the American Dream would be better off without it.

Paul Hudson | Elite.