Reasons To Go To College – How Hollywood Got It All Wrong

The reasons to go to college that your average person has and the reasons to go to college that characters on the silver screen have are two totally different animals.

We've seen it over and over again.

The young prodigy, gifted, but broke, goes to college and comes out an all-star.

The new grad then has high-paying firms beating down their door to offer them a job.

Or the movie begins with a young talent just graduating and working for a tough firm with heart.

Or the racy frat comedy where everyone seems to have an endless amount of alcohol.

That's great for Hollywood. But then there is reality.



Reasons To Go To College

Here are some of the big reasons to go to college:

You make more money.
You study something you like.
You get a good paying job.
You make more money.

Yes, I said that last one twice. Honestly, why else would so many people take a four-year (or more) vow of poverty?

Here are some lesser-thought of, but still relevant, reasons to go to college.

  • College offers many students their first true taste of independence.
  • For recent high school graduates, moving to a dorm or other off-campus student housing allows them to learn about money management.
  • Learning how to juggle cleaning duties, classes, parties, and shopping.
  • Getting along with others in the same living space.
  • Growing up in ways that benefits you both personally and professionally.




That's just the beginning.

For many, college is a transition between high school and working career, or between military and civilian life. It is a personal renaissance, where the individual can cast off the  conventional and grow as a person.

This may be the reason why so much experimentation goes on in college – it is a chance to live outside the rules, outside of yourself before zeroing in on who you really are.

I still say most people go to get the better-paying jobs. Most, but not all.


Financial Reasons To Go To College

If the college experience is a gateway to life as a professional, then the college degree is the key to unlocking the door. There are more ways to get a job for people with degrees than without. Increasingly, even jobs that traditionally did not require a degree, now require a degree.

You educational creds are one of the first qualifications a potential boss will check out. Even if your degree doesn't match the job description (like many government jobs) you may still get the job over someone without a degree.


From a financial standpoint, college graduates have statistically earned more money than workers without a college degree. Careers that require a specific skill set often command higher incomes than jobs that do not require as much technical know-how.


More competition includes:
– Older employees work longer and put off retirement to make ends meet

– Laid off workers struggle to gain an edge in returning to the workforce

A college degree in such a competitive environment for jobs today is seen by many as a necessity to keep up with others vying for so few available positions and for the earning potential that the current cost of living demands.



Another important – and what could arguably be the most important – reason for attending college is the investment that pursuing an advanced education brings to your life. Yes, there is an expense and time element involved in pursuing a degree – this can be seen as a turn off – but even if a student never works a day in the career field for which they hold a degree, no one will ever be able to take away that education a student received.

No one.

The economy is a tide that ebbs and flows. Sometimes, a college grad can't use their degree right away. But, sometimes a door opens, or you hear a knock of opportunity, because of your degree.

And sometimes, the best opportunity is the one that open for yourself. The connections and knowledge you accumulated in college can lead you straight down the entrepreneurial road. Starting a business, like internet marketing, can definitely draw from your college expertise.


Reasons To Go To College – Or Not

There are lots of great reasons to go to college. Hollywood shows young, happy college kids, in brand new clothes, finding themselves in between parties and classes.

Here is a reality you don't see on the silver screen: the staggering cost of college.

Not only are college students broke when they go to school, they are also broke after they get a job because of the huge monthly student loan payments that go on for years.

More and more students are even struggling with hunger as stated by the Washington Post:

“At College Park, where the most common meal plan costs $2,065 a semester, campus dietitian Jane Jakubczak has in the past two years seen a sharp rise in students who can’t afford proper nutrition — a shift she attributes to changing demographics.”


While loans and grants do permit a student to attend college and achieve the dream of a college degree, finding a job in a tough, competitive economy is difficult. College loans still need to be paid, whether a graduate is working or not. Many times, graduates with advanced degrees find themselves in retail (and other minimum wage to just-above minimum wage jobs) to pay off loans.


But we just went over the financial benefits of going to college. Not going to college does not seem like a great option, in spite of the great deal of debt.


Reasons To Go To College: Deferred Admission or Simply Delaying College

Sometimes, college is a great idea. Just not right now. Delaying college or enrolling in deferred admission is a good idea for those who need a breather from school.

Others want to work and save up before being under the pressure of gargantuan student loans.

Still others start internships to get some experience under their belts.

While others need time to figure out what they really want to major in.

Some have started families and need help with childcare or flexible classes.

30 years ago, many went straight to work because jobs paid well regardless of having a degree.

Now, those jobs are farther and fewer between, but kids who grew up with a skill in electronics or digital media may really find some great paying gigs as freelancers and decide to go to college to get skills they need for their businesses. In their cases, they can go to school while they are taking work.


The college “experience” can lead to occurrences in life that students may wish to forget. Binge drinking and rowdy parties are a sad fact of life at many colleges and peer pressure to be part of the “in crowd” by participating in such events can be difficult to avoid.

Social media is there to make everything public.

Unfortunately, if a college student participates and regretfully, finds themselves on the wrong side of the law (e.g.  DWI, DUI), having a misdemeanor or criminal charge on a record can lead to tremendous difficulties in landing a job in the future. Not only that, embarrassing pictures can get people in trouble even if they never break the law.

Students may enter college with the mindset of their experience being strictly based on an education that leads to a career, but the temptation to conform with everyone else’s definition of “college life” can impact even the strongest individual.




Alternatives to Attending College

“Education is crucial; college is not.” In other words, there are tons of alternatives to attending college.

If a young worker has vision, anything is possible.

Trade schools were once the go-to option for anyone entering the workplace and they provide a valuable education for students still today.  If a given trade interests a student, such as construction or technology, seeking the proper certification and training to pursue a career in those fields is a viable option.  Many trade school graduates have taken the skills they have learned and launched successful businesses as savvy entrepreneurs. If a young worker has vision, anything is possible.

Simply finding a job at a company that does not simply cater to a teenage population can be a great first step in starting a career. A 20-something woman in Texas was a stay-at-home caregiver for many years. She postponed college, before graduating from a career school at age 30. She struggled to find work as a medical coder, a career for which she is educated and certified.  However, she landed a job in social media for a reputable Houston area wedding business and has since launched that into a freelance writing career without a four year degree.

Volunteering through an organization like Student Conservation Association provides students, 18 and older, with jobs and internships in various conservation programs. AmeriCorps offers hundreds of programs across the United States to young men and women looking to find their passions while making a positive impact on the world.


The Best Bet: Working Your e-Business through College

There are pros and cons of attending college,but you will still be better prepared for your future, if you find a passion and learn skills to help you achieve financial freedom.  If the financial burden of college seems too great, launch your own internet business while you study. Many started school, but then dropped out and became huge successes.

 10 most successful college drop outs by Mens Health


The number of budding entrepreneurs walking the halls of America’s colleges and universities today are growing. Entrepreneurs Organization in Alexandria, Virginia; a group that coordinates college student business competitions received over 1600 entries two years ago, compared to just 750 in 2007. In 2001, Rice University in Houston’s student business plan competitions paid $10,000 in 2001 and rose to $1.5 million in 2012, thanks to partnering with Indus Entrepreneurs.

A student choosing to run their own e-business while attending college enjoys several benefits.

First, he or she is better able to make additional income that can be put towards paying bills for rent, books or lab.

If a student can manage juggling school and running their business…

Secondly, the potential benefit of successfully running your own internet based business during college will help a student that decides to enter the workplace. If a student can manage juggling school and running their business, they will likely be able to tackle the multitasking that is often needed in the workplace to get everything done.

Next, today’s students are well-versed in blogging and social media, both of which are adequate and effective means to promote any start up enterprise.

Also, today’s college students are up-to-date on the latest and greatest technological advances and therefore, for many, the sky is the limit for the wide and varied possibilities young, budding entrepreneurs can consider for creating the business of their dreams.

Lastly, college students are surrounded by professors that often have a wealth of knowledge to assist a young entrepreneur with their business-oriented questions and concerns.

It is important to note that if the student running or planning an internet business is a perfectionist, many successful college entrepreneurs are satisfied with losing a few points on their GPAs to create a cash flow that benefits their present and future.  No one is perfect; working hard and making strides, a little bit at a time, will make all the difference in the world.

Business majors should use their company for every class project; those not majoring in business should consider taking a few courses to further their career path and plan. At the very least, a student with an internet business should watch and observe their fellow classmates and listen to their wants and needs. An idea for a potential enterprise or a way to expand upon an internet business idea a student is already running may be born. This is one of the greatest reasons to go to college, if nothing else.

The key to juggling collegiate life with a growing internet business is to maintain a positive outlook and a calendar to prioritize what must be done and what can wait for a break.  A social calendar may be important, but prioritizing friends with financial earnings helps to define that balance that will aid the internet marketer in the future.  The benefits of running your internet business while you pursue your college degree will be worthwhile in the end. And that, my friends, may be one of the best reasons to go to college of all. To learn the traditional way and how things get done online, today.

A place to learn internet marketing and how all that works out, you can do that while studying up on math, science, history… why not marketing?

I would recommend starting here on your journey to learning how the internet works with starting a home business and working on the internet here:


Lawrence Tam

Helping people since 2007 get online and make some money. Living a happy and healthy lifestyle by playing online and Generating his first million in 2013 with 3 kids and doing most of it part time while working as a Mechanical Engineer. Go through his 10 videos on Marketing by clicking here.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle PlusYouTube

17 thoughts on “Reasons To Go To College – How Hollywood Got It All Wrong

  1. Excellent post. I did go to college and enjoyed it. I learned a lot of what I still apply today. As far as generating income with what you learned, the sky is the limit Be smart with what you learn and apply it in a smart way for your growth to your success dreams.

  2. Great post Lawrence, my years of college have become very useful while building my business, I am now utilizing all my skills and knowledge acquired while studying. it is a shame that in most cases while working in the corporate world you never get the opportunity to apply what you learned ..

  3. A couple of important issues I see. Whether it is college or some other educational institution, Whichever, I feel attendance is necessary since the experience will also teach discipline. Secondly, a person will learn, “how to learn”, an invaluable skill since one will be faced with this all their life. If a business is contemplated, discipline and the ability to know how to learn is mandatory…PW

    • I feel discipline is something American’s is missing…

      When told to DO something.. many put forth more excuses vs just MAKING IT HAPPEN

      In college you can NOT just have excuses… You had to do it for fail.

      Be it education

      College prepares people to do things in a compressed time frame

  4. been to collage my self i am glad that i did! sometimes i asked lot of weird questions to our professor of which i found that their answers have help me reach some great milestones in my life.

    but sometimes get discouraged with most of our community who going to collage or university just to explore other staff rather than get in line and grasp cool skills and knowledge for their future since they believe that after collage, the getting a job is must and they find themselves end up in the statistics…

    As college students are surrounded by professors that often have a wealth of knowledge to assist a young entrepreneur with their business-oriented questions and concerns. There is nothing to stop them, for example if they can apply their skills and post an educative blog post like this one, everyday, one they could add value to the community, second could generate some astounding conversations like these and systems like that Lawrence has to generate some excess incomes for their lives..

    for sure going to collage is important, but in the end education and skills developing is crucial, it will be un_important the other way around! Thanks for the nicest post, hope to re-blog some of this great info to some of my Community and Friends! as they will like it!


  5. Awesome post man… Education is so important .. At the same time it doesn’t guarantee success. I personally did not go to colleage but i know many whom have and struggled.. Being laid off from their corporate jobs left to pay bills that never stopped coming in. Being your own boss is the way to go. Creating your own economy. Thanks again for sharing 🙂

  6. This was really a great thing to read. I got my degree in Musical Theatre and Psychology about 13 years ago. Although I never got employment to help me repay the student loans for my education, that knowledge and experience isn’t something I take lightly. I have to admit, if it wasn’t for college, I don’t know that I would be nearly as tech savvy as I am today. It has helped prepare me for leadership too, which is so important in the home business industry. Thanks for the great article!

  7. I didn’t have the opportunity to go to college. But through the various jobs I have had I have learned a lot. A lot about people and their hunger for information. The learning never ends. This is a great article.

  8. Excellent insight Lawrence about reasons to go to college. Its important to have a college education to have a lucrative paying job and be competitive in the working world. However, having an online business that enables you to learn to multi-task and help you clear up some of your debts, definitely helps your career options and your pocket book as well.

  9. This is a well-thought-out post Lawrence and a great read. College was all the above for me. It was just assumed I would go. I wrestled and attended college. My roomates were some of the wildest people I have ever met, some of the nicest too. I learned how to learn quickly, how to communicate an idea, how to socialize, and how to survive.

    Having a business after college teaches you how to earn enough money so that all the bills are paid and there is 5X’s the money left over at the end of the month, so you are free to think. You are free to think about going back to college for the pure joy of learning, for learning is a human trait. It makes us who we are. It’s sad that some people have to work hard all their life in college and after, and they never truly achieve time freedom. Time to think, “What’s Next?” Great article Lawrence, Thank You.

    • the joy of learning VS trying to fit into a career mold… or forced to take classes that make no sense (I took astronomy..which I found sure.. i get it.. but why am i paying thousands to go to class for this as an engineer?)

      the focus needs to be for the end goal…. at the time it was an Engineering Degree… but if I was already making say $5k/month in my internet gig as a college student I would have been taking very different classes (chinese language, programming, business management…)

  10. I went to college on a scholarship – and it got me a great job. Then I was to grad school, paid a FORTUNE, and it didn’t male me an extra dime.

    My boys are this age now and I wonder what they should do . . . for them.

Leave a Reply