What do Bill Gates, Gilbert Hall, Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Dell and Frank Albrighton have in common? They’re all university dropouts, but some names appear to be more recognisable, don’t they? Dropping out of uni is a double-edged sword. Some make it big, and some don’t. The Washington Post reports that 40 percent of first-year college students never make it to commencement. The reasons for dropping out may be subjective, but there are some common linkages. The purpose of this blog is to highlight the pros and cons of dropping out of uni.
Pros of Dropping Out
Ask any dropout the most important advantage of dropping out of uni, and they’ll say – Freedom. By dropping out, you are freeing yourself from the rigid clutches of your university. No more waking up for 8 am classes or staying up late to finish an assignment on the financial impacts of the G2 summit. You may be studying engineering but have dreams of being an entrepreneur. In a scenario like this, attending university makes no point. Such was the crossroads our very own co-founder Sayantan Biswas was at when he eventually dropped out of IIT Roorkee to start his entrepreneurial journey.
Most university students graduate in 2-4 years. That’s a substantial investment of one’s time. Not to forget, students are spending the most productive years of their lives following a structured and outdated education system. Dropping out means that you have the luxury of time to plan your next step. Use this time spent away from uni to plan your entrepreneurial endeavours.
Attending university can be expensive. Even if you secure a full scholarship, other costs like rent, books, travelling, food can be too much to handle. Most students resort to loans and spend a good portion of their professional lives in repaying them. By dropping out of uni, you can actually use the money you would spend on education on things you’re genuinely passionate about – travelling, starting your own business, donation, etc.
Cons of Dropping Out
The most apparent con on dropping out is not having a formal degree. This is often your ticket to a steady life with a steady income stream. But this doesn’t guarantee a hunky-dory life. Attaining this coveted degree is what stops many students from dropping out. Drop out only if you have a clear road map for what you want to do for the rest of your life. If not, continue pursuing your degree. Having some security is essential.
Your university is the best place to meet new and interesting people. Quite often, you will meet people from different nationalities and cultures. You will come across people who are smarter than you and working towards a different goal than you. If you play your cards right, you will make connections that will help you move ahead in your career.
Everyone looks back fondly at their schooling days. The same goes for university life. This will be one of the most challenging yet exciting times of your life. You will learn how to effectively manage your time, cook your food, and for some of you, even how to wake up early in the morning for lectures! Making new friends, taking road trips and hitting nightclubs on weekends will be something you will remember all your life.
Here’s one con that’s hard to take. By dropping out of uni, you will unequivocally lose the respect of people. Some of them may even be your close friends or family. The society we live in today values formal education, no matter how impractical it may seem. In spite of many drop out success stories, people will fret and make faces at someone who has dropped out of uni. It’s during times like this that you will realise that unless “you” have faith in yourself, you will go nowhere.