There is a good chance you have heard the sentiment shared, from the red-clad stage of a TED talk or from a YouTube video staring a now millionaire that left theirs all behind them.
I'm talking about college degrees. Your BA. MA. And any other string of letters you care to put behind you the last name on a business card
But before you assume too much I'm not here to tear down the institution or convince your teenager to take a gap year that turns into a passion for making minimum wage. I think higher education has a place but it has lost its meaning. I wouldn't want a doctor or a nurse who did not graduate with sufficient grades to become one anywhere near me with a scalpel and a needle, but there is something magical about someone who left college to become a massive success by mastering their life and circumstance.
From the ever polite and pleasant Bill Gates to the inspiring Ryan Holiday. There are dozens of examples now of people who are experts and stars in their field that never walked across a stage to receive a piece of paper saying they knew what they know. In this new age of internet and information, the value of a college degree is becoming a thing of the past.
But then there are guys like me. People who spent 6 years and a lot of my parent's money striving for a degree I finished 95% of just to land a job and later career that was unrelated aside from proximity to the degree and then found my life's purpose in writing which is a third type of different from those first two directions.
It seems like a big waste and for writers at least, where I find my deepest passion, the money I spent on a degree is something I can't help but wish I spent it elsewhere.
The 40,000 to 80,000 a BA in arts cost these days at your average college can pay for so much more valuable things than a piece of paper that says your a writer. Every book and article and poem already does that. The degree just says an institution, instead of a fan, agrees with you. And last time I checked my College never purchased one of my books but I've sold all of them so far to fans. The thousands of dollars spent on a degree could be spent on book covers and editors and of all things a writer truly needs these days, a library of books.
John Green said it best that " Book are the only apprenticeship most writers have."
I would trade my degree in a heartbeat for the shelves and books that would fill them if I could have spent even half of what I spent on college. But alas I did not and can not but hopefully, you reader of this tragic blog post, a hopeful writer in your own rights still might be able to.