How to Skip College — and Thrive

After excelling at two of Philadelphia’s best schools, I shocked everyone — including myself — when I decided I wasn’t going to college. Am I risking my future … or have I found a better way?

Grace at her South Philly home. Photograph by Adam Jones

Grace at her South Philly home. Photograph by Adam Jones

The lecture hall is packed. The elephant-gray room is set up like a mini-arena to allow for maximum capacity and good acoustics. It’s new but generic — there are probably a million of these very same tank-like spaces in universities around the world. The concrete step I’m sitting on cuts into my back as I shuffle my feet to make room for the other kids and parents who are streaming in. My mom — in her usual chic all-black attire — is perched above me; my friend Carlo and his mom are on a step right below. We are at McGill University in Montréal, the first stop on our college tour — a high-school student’s version of online dating, where we pick out some colleges we think we would like, schedule a visit, and see if sparks fly.

We look toward the middle-aged speaker, one of McGill’s top faculty members. As he rattles on about the perks of being a student here, I feel myself pull away, hearing only background noise — the audience laughing at a joke, someone standing up to ask a question. I can focus only on my quickening breath, attempting to slow it down. None of this feels right.

The program ends, and the crowd surges out of the room, chatty and eager to attend the next lecture. We make our way out the front door, and I’m blasted with a gush of arctic air. Thank God it’s cold here, I think; I can bury my face in my scarf and my hands in my pockets — no one can see that my lips are pursed tightly together, that my jaw is clenched, that my hands are in fists, that I’m doing everything I can to not cry.

We go to a French bistro for lunch, and I excuse myself to the bathroom. The lock on the heavy wooden stall door clicks, and the battle is over: My face is soaked with tears, and my mind is racing. This is supposed to be my time, the first chapter of my adult life. This isn’t nervous energy I’m feeling; it’s just plain dread. People are always reminiscing about their college days — the adventure, the possibilities, the freedom, the emotional evolution. All I can see is a socially acceptable prison.

I fake my way through lunch. We talk about junior-year exams, about which summer jobs would improve our college applications. All I want to do is something real, something meaningful, something new. As the waiter brings our check, I wonder how much he makes a year, and if it’s enough to live on. I try to figure out a way to tell my mom that all of this isn’t right for me. That college isn’t the answer to my dissatisfaction about high school. I had imagined college would be different — challenging classes, worldly people, professors who are passionate about teaching. But today had been a profound first date: I couldn’t sit in another classroom. I wanted to really learn.

This overwhelming stream of emotions was the inception of a clear and sudden reality: I wasn’t going to college.

I’VE ALWAYS BEEN EAGER to get to the next place I’m going. In middle school, I couldn’t wait to get to high school; once there, I wanted to graduate early so I could start college. Every new phase of my education taught me something about the way the world worked and how I interacted with it.

My parents are accomplished people, so school has always been important in our house. My mother, a Penn grad, has carved out an impressive career based on her passions. She co-founded the popular jewelry line Maximal Art, wrote a Sunday column for the Philadelphia Inquirer magazine, launched (and still runs) DesignPhiladelphia, and is currently the director of the Philadelphia Center for Architecture. My dad attended Boston University, where he played the trumpet and worked at the school newspaper, then went on to own his own business.

As is the case for many Philadelphia families, we moved because of the neighborhood elementary-school catchment. I attended Greenfield Elementary near Rittenhouse Square, which has a reputation as one of the best public elementary schools in the city. Even at a young age, I recognized that Greenfield wasn’t working for me — it was too crowded, and it was too easy to get lost if you were the kind of student who didn’t respond to traditional teaching methods, like I was. I could easily get through the math-problem busywork, the vocab pop quizzes, the forced silent-reading time, but not much stuck. I didn’t hate learning; I hated the way I was being taught. At home I would assign myself art projects based on my favorite mystery books, reenact David Sedaris’s monologues, and go to gallery openings and museum exhibits with my parents.

By the time I hit fourth grade, my parents were exhausted with my nightly fits over my severe dislike of my situation. They were concerned about the environment and my lack of interest in classroom learning. So I transferred to the Philadelphia School, a private school that I attended from fifth through eighth grades.

TPS was an eye-opening experience, as the teaching methods were hands-on. We called teachers by their first names, memorized Spanish vocab words through songs, took weekly field trips for science and agriculture lessons, and improvised scenes from Shakespeare plays. My happiness and grades soared. I saw that I learned the most from interactive experiences, and that finding the way that worked for me was as much of an education as what I was actually learning.

When it came time to apply to high schools, I panicked. The pressure was unspoken, but palpable: College is considered the first step of your adult life, and so which high school I went to was a big deal.

In 2007, I became a member of the 270th class of Central High, sleeping through most of my classes while maintaining mostly A’s and B’s. I was back to being bored, unchallenged, and thirsty for something that was going to have an immediate impact on my life. When junior year rolled around, we had planned to visit a slew of colleges, but I ended my tour after McGill. I had made my decision. And I was petrified.

OF MY 580 GRADUATING classmates at Central, 574 went on to college. The ones who didn’t most likely made that decision based on circumstance, not choice. Of my friends from high school, grade school, art class, family friends, I was the only person I knew who wouldn’t spend the summer buying extra-long twin dorm-room sheets and stocking up on ramen.

When conversations turned to what college I’d be heading to in the fall (as they often did), it was clear that my decision was bold but not unfounded. Business degrees and the sciences weren’t for me — I wasn’t interested in being an engineer or a computer programmer, a lawyer or a marketing major. Like most of my friends, I had no idea what I wanted to study. I would have most likely concentrated on one of the countless humanities majors. Art history or English would have been fascinating, but four years later, I would have been in a pool of highly educated graduates with no actual skills.

Traditional education is under attack, and my trepidation was in synch with the unavoidable data: College prices are soaring; the post-graduation job market is weak; online education is challenging the idea of what one truly gets out of going to school.

The newsmakers of my generation are the ones who took the traditional way of doing things and flipped it upside down. You never hear those people saying that college was their catalyst. Their message is bigger: To be successful today, the most important thing one needs is gumption.

My rationale was met with a surprising number of nods of agreement from adults. They had a different perspective — but also, I wasn’t their kid. (Thank goodness, I could hear them think.) My friends were supportive and understanding but scared for me. Most of them tried to convince me to at least apply to a couple of schools. How could they not be worried? Hell, I was freaking out, too.

For the first time in my life, my plan was a non-plan. Explaining that to my mother and father was my first challenge. My parents have always encouraged me to be true to myself, mapping out certain expectations they had along the way, like getting good grades, staying out of trouble, no drugs … the usual parent stuff. They are also incredibly open-minded and caring. Still, I was terrified to tell them about my decision. At first, it didn’t go over well. I’ll put it this way: I had one conversation with them about the fact that I date both men and women. I had eight conversations about not going to college — in the first week alone.

Once they came around to the idea, we sat down together and sketched out what a non-college life would look like for me. There were ground rules. I had to work and support myself until I figured out what I wanted to do. They would supplement me financially, just as they would have if I’d gone to college. When I became economically stable, I’d move out. I’ve always loved to work and had savings to fall back on, but I was still scared.

I landed a job as a nanny right away. After about a year, I was working with so many families that I could have started my own child-care agency. Working with kids was rewarding and enlightening. I figured out how to watch as many as five young children at a time. (The key, I discovered, is to create actual activities, not just plop them in front of the TV.) I was forced to be flexible, adapting to each family and each child’s challenges. There was no guidebook — being prepared and imaginative was crucial.

Being a nanny made me realize that I want to have kids. Lots of them. Working with these families opened my eyes to the fact that kids aren’t cheap. So I decided a more lucrative path was important to my future. I tapped into my creative side and got an internship working with the Mural Arts Program.

Being around creative people was inspiring, and I was surprised to discover that I had a passion for organization and management. I decided to take two eight-week courses at Temple Real Estate Institute to get my real estate license — a field my dad is currently in. It’s an in-demand industry that I had the skills for and the interest in, and the total cost for the courses was around $600.

For the past year, I’ve been working in real estate property management and freelancing as a social media manager. The jobs have given me financial independence and the freedom to pursue other interests. At the age of 20, I was able to move out of my parents’ house and pay my own way, which was an education all its own.

At the time that I was looking for somewhere to live, my parents were searching for an investment property. We went to see a house one day, and I loved it right away. It’s a stereotypical South Philly house and was preserved in its full 1970s glory, with shag carpeting, wallpapered ceilings and wood paneling. A few days later, my parents put in a preliminary offer and asked if I would be interested in fixing it up.

I moved in with two roommates. We had an official contract with my parents — in exchange for discounted rent, we would clean and renovate the space. The challenge was daunting, but I was excited. I was going to get to redo an entire house.

My first lesson: Never move in with your friends. After about three weeks of working on the house (after work and on weekends), I had cleaned and painted my room, both bathrooms and a walk-in closet, and had started de-carpeting the living room. My roommate was still on the first coat of paint in his room.

It was around this time, as the house started to shape up, that I finally felt like my decision was working out. I began to be more confident. My friends would come over and marvel at the vintage decor I picked out. I took pride in being the one responsible for paying the bills (especially because I was the youngest in the house) and in having a large-scale project to work on. I had tasks, and I knocked them down. I felt like I was becoming the kind of person I wanted to be.

As I settled into my independent life, I had more time to explore. I went to First Fridays in Old City, where I was exposed to all kinds of art. I volunteered at Philly AIDS Thrift, where there was always someone interesting to talk to. I checked out new neighborhoods. I went to free concerts at the Piazza in Northern Liberties and saw new bands. I started reading again, too. I hadn’t really read on my own since high school, and I enjoyed reading whatever and whenever I wanted to. I wouldn’t let myself slow down.

I DON’T REGRET my decision, but that doesn’t mean it’s without challenges. Given my education, background and socioeconomic status, non-college has come to define me a bit. It’s a regular topic of conversation with everyone from my parents to random people I meet in bars. Actually, it’s a great conversation starter. The first question I’m asked on a date is usually “So, where’d you go to college?” The way people react to my answer tells me immediately if they’re the type of people I want to spend time with. Surprisingly, I’ve found that most people tend to understand why I’m doing it this way. There was only one guy who, on our first date, was actually offensive. His reaction to my situation: “Well, don’t think I’ll be supporting you ’cause you can’t get a job since you don’t have a degree.” Just for a frame of reference, at the time he was working (unhappily) as a bike mechanic. His degree was in philosophy.

If there’s one thing I’ve missed out on, it’s the social stuff. The first year was the hardest. While my friends were posting pictures on Facebook of the ’80s-themed and toga parties they were going to every weekend, I was spending my nights looking at their Facebook photos. I was happy for them, but keenly missed having a go-to group. Most of the people I’ve grown close to these past few years are in their early 30s — about 10 years older than me. I’ve met a lot of great new people, but it hasn’t been easy.

Not all of my high-school friends understand my decision, but I’ve stayed close with the ones who respect it. When I go visit my friends at their schools, we talk about their classes, and they show me projects they’ve been working on. When they visit me, they stop by my office and hang out with my new friends. Carlo and I have remained close. We like to reflect on our separate decisions — we had completely different journeys, yet our priorities are the same. He recently graduated from McGill and has landed a job in politics, a field he’s wanted to work in since high school. When we compare our lives and those of old classmates of ours, Carlo always notes that he admires how I didn’t waste time and learned in my own way.

I know that for the rest of my life, I’ll have to explain myself to future employers. My hope is that my work and life experience become of such high quality that my education (or lack thereof) will fall off the bottom of my résumé. I’m aware it will be an uphill battle. Traveling was always a part of my plan, and last year I applied to the Peace Corps. I was told I was rejected for one reason: my lack of a college education. It was a speed bump, but I wasn’t deterred. In fact, I recently left my real estate job for a nine-month volunteer community-service-focused exchange program in Israel. I’ll work in a school, learn about agriculture, and be immersed in different cultures.

I’m not sure what kind of person I’ll be when I return, or if I’ll come home with any clarity for what’s next. But I’m confident that I’m putting myself in a position where I’ll be forced to grow and change, and situations like those have always been my best learning experiences.

If I had gone to a traditional four-year college, I would be graduating next spring. For some of my friends, college has been a great tool. Others were unsure what they wanted to do going into college, and feel the same now that they’re coming out. I think I’m no worse off than they are, and am proud of all the things I’ve accomplished and learned. I look at my path as just one of the options. It’s not for the lighthearted or unmotivated. Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll even find myself walking onto a university campus. If so, I know I’ll be there with purpose.

Originally published as “College? Nope.” in the September 2014 issue of Philadelphia magazine.

More From College: The Backlash

Why Am I Paying $110,000 a Year in College Tuition?

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • PRCzar

    Hello, hello. Love letter to myself. “I am exceptional. Have exceptional parents. Do exceptional things. Smarter than the average bear. Really exceptional. I am so smart, that I am a freelance Facebooker who manages apartments full time. What an accomplishment!” God, this woman is insufferable with her own opinion of herself.

  • T.Liz

    This article actually makes me really glad I went to college

  • Maxim Affinagenov

    Not pictured: Multi-million dollar trust fund

  • Lionel Messiah

    Even though this article kind of sounds like entitled rambling, I think she made a good decision, and not everyone should go to college. I did go to community college in the Philly suburbs with the little savings I had at 18 to pursue an engineering degree, but once they wouldn’t help me with grants because I only went part time, I opted to drop out and go into the trades. Plus the relationship between college programs and the job market has very little correlation. My advice to anyone (Who doesn’t have a scholarship to go to college) is to wait it out for a few years, study a little bit, and decide if college is for you. Don’t mindlessly go to college RIGHT AWAY like some friends I know who are up the creek without a paddle once the loans start coming in.

    • PRCzar

      You are right, Lionel. Sounds like entitled rambling. While your story sounds like a guy who is working hard, banging it out. Your hard work will be rewarded. Best of luck.

  • Serge Zwicker

    So her parents bought a house and leased it to her at below market rates? That is a sign of success these days?

    If my parents once took me out for steak and lobster, does that make me accepted into the one-percenters club?

  • Need I Say More?

    You go girl. You are showing people who choose not to go to college AND people who don’t have the opportunity to go to college that it is possible to thrive and be optimistic about life. I can totally see how its very easy to conform to society and feel like we all have to be on a certain path to be considered successful or live happily. I am happy that you find your own happiness in life.Also, despite what people have said, I didn’t feel like you were just given your house from your parents. Like you said, you had an agreement. That agreement would have worked the same way if you were renting out from anyone else’s home. People can say all they want, but you are proud of who you are and your decisions. That is not easy to come by. Props for rocking “you do you”.

  • justthetruth

    Back in the 70’s when I was 19-20 the last thing I wanted to do was associate with people of that age group so I did go to college, but it was about an education so I went locally and lived at home. These days it seems like it’s mostly about status (the parents’) and “the college experience” (which intensifies and encourages d-bag and a-hole behavior – and, yes, that includes the females). As far as education, I’ve about had it with younger people with graduate or law degrees who can barely put a grammatical sentence together. Not entirely their fault, of course. Colleges are so bogged down with PC hoopla it’s amazing that anything is taught, or retained if it is.

  • Giuliana Rose

    How is she thriving? She’s a girl in her early 20s who is still dependent on her parents. She’s a self-described “real estate property manager” and “freelancing social media manager”. In other words, she’s a landlord who spends her days on Facebook and Twitter. She needs to get over herself! I’m actually offended that Philadelphia Magazine would print this garbage for their readers. Not only does it read as though it was written by somebody with simply a high school education (go figure!) but it did very little to persuade me into believing that college or acquiring some type of trade is not necessary in life. By the way, now that I have posted my response to this terrible article, I am now going to add “Philadelphia Magazine Online Edition Editor” to my resume. Get my drift?

  • ST

    “Art history or English would have been fascinating, but four years later, I would have been in a pool of highly educated graduates with no actual skills.”

    This is a little insulting. You’re implying that unless you major in something that directly translates into a specific job in the workforce (such as accounting), you will graduate with no marketable skills. I can’t speak for all the humanities, but as an English major, I learned how to be a great critical reader, thinker, and precise writer. These are important and flexible skills. In the professional world, knowing how to write is vital. You’d be surprised at how many successful career people have no idea how to write argumentatively or persuasively — English majors are brought into companies and organizations because they have excellent writing and communication skills. I’m only in my mid-20s and I’m comfortably settled in a great job at a place with long-term career potential. I have my own apartment, car, and pay my own bills. Little old English major me landed this job because of my ability to write and communicate well, which I demonstrated with a portfolio of samples from my undergraduate and graduate programs as well as my previous job.

    Before all the naysayers rush in to say how the humanities are useless: Are there tons of these jobs? Do they pay as much, at least in the beginning, as something in accounting? Nope. But strong writers and critical thinkers are needed in a lot of places. All the men and women I graduated with from my English program are doing very well in their professional lives.

  • RedBaron159

    Grace, I love your writing style. You missed your calling. I suggest that you read some books on how to write a novel and then possibly take a course in creative writing at a community college. Then start writing mystery novels. You’ll make a fortune as a writer.

    As for the naysayers, they are all jealous of you and are just expressing sour grapes. I know that you don’t have a trust fund and that you are paying the going rate for rent – and that you are supporting yourself. The naysayers apparently don’t follow the news on the “fair and balanced” radio stations and TV programs or they would know that in today’s marketplace a liberal arts degree is often worth less than a driver’s license since you can at least use the latter to drive a cab. ST makes a good point about the value of writing and communications skills, both of which you already have.

    Please send me an autographed copy of your first novel.

  • RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

    Pretty clear this girl doesn’t value education, and values learning even less. I guess her parents are lucky they didn’t have to waste five or six years of tuition on her, although something makes me think they’ll wind up paying more down the road.

    • Erica

      Please. Just stop. Education =/= school. Learning =/= school. Formal education is not the only kind of education there is, nor is it often the most effective or meaningful type of education. The sooner people learn this, the better.

      • RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

        Funny, that’s the same conclusion she reached without the benefit of either. Helps to be a spoiled rich kid.

        I could have written this story in three minutes. “I never cared about learning anything, so I blew off high school…too afraid to go to college, so I didn’t…I’ll be OK, mommy and daddy are rich.”

        Did I miss anything? That was the point of the story, right? That and about 25 paragraphs about how self indulgence is really self discovery?

  • Travis

    dang. let the girl speak her mind! good on ya for not going to debt-land, where most of us post-college grads are. TRAVEL!!!! it’s how you actually learn how to live. wish I listened to my mom when she said I should do that before going to college…

  • Erin

    Is it weird that I’m not impressed that a young woman who’s the child of two upper-middle class, educated, (seemingly) white professionals is making it in the world without a college degree? This article is why people hate white people.

    • whitey

      So you hate white people?

  • Skeptical

    Is this satire, or did Grace just take the clueless, privileged, self-entitled Millennial meme to the next level?

  • Tom

    Colleges and universities (even the top ones) are useless, you gain zero knowledge. The only good thing is that in the end they give you a paper that implies that you are a “serious”, educated, responsible individual, something that helps landing a job. The thing is when you work somewhere no matter how many degrees you have if you are not good and don’t have the necessary mentality you will get fired. You made the right choice Grace. (this is coming from someone that studied business in a top-tier uni)

    • AC

      By your lack of ability to appropriately punctuate, I’m assuming you did not actually attend college.

      • Tom

        (English is not my first language)

    • James Jancs

      So a business major doesn’t think you gain any knowledge from school? The jokes almost write themselves. Of course you don’t learn anything as a business major, because you’re not being asked to do anything remotely challenging. Try picking up a STEM degree and then come back to claim uni teaches nothing.

  • rogueteacher

    White privilege. What this young woman has done is not extraordinary in any way. She has an educated and somewhat socioeconomically thriving family who supports her decisions emotionally and financially. They provided roofs over her head. Not many have the option of renting a house from their parents. She may have never been approved to rent elsewhere at that point. She has worked to discover her path thus far, but is just beginning her life. Being able to go abroad and do volunteer work is yet another privilege most can not afford. Most would lose their rental home if they made such a choice. If this article was to invoke some sort of empathy for her situation, then she missed the mark. However, if it was written to show other well off white kids that they can skip college and still life a somewhat comfortable life in their early 20s, then she hit spot on.

  • Mercedes Powers

    this article is coconuts. as a fellow chs alum (and temple might i add!), i was fuming after reading this. i am all about people (and women! #girlpower) being successful without a college education but she’s really just learning lessons that a regular middle class person already knows. paying bills? doing manual labor? working hard? your life isn’t that hard. is this really a sign of success? or a typical day for a middle class person? some of us did all that she’s doing WHILE a full time college student (AND paid for it themselves!) i’m sorry to see this published – probably with her mother’s connections – because it is not an accurate depiction of “finding a better way” in lieu of college.

  • Daedalus

    what a joke of an article.

    daddy, please let me “manage” your investment property at below market rent while I surf twitter all day and bemoan my god damned SOCIAL PRISON of facebook while my friends are all having fun and I’m not doing a god damned thing with my life.

    don’t worry daddy, I have no ambition, motivation, discipline, or responsibility, avoiding college was the easiest, best choice in life! You don’t have to worry about me partying, getting too wasted to remember anything, no guys oogling over a rich college princess you created, or your amazing only-daughter failing classes.

    I can allocate your money a lot easier without all the hassle!

    are you convinced yet daddy? oh dear daddy! how I would love you forever and ever!

    you, too, mommy! but only if you supplement my minimum wage job with the same cash you’d have appropriated me while I was in that SOCIAL PRISON! I’m a FREE woman now! I’m only imprisoned by my lack of values, responsibilities, and awareness that nothing in life comes free.

    But daddy and mommy, you are providing me a FREE rental place because, guess what? Your supplemental income…yep, going straight back to your wallet and purse! Yippee!

    I absolutely cherish the thought, while waking up each morning, of scraping by for the remainder of my life, being a hippy in the confines of your invesment property’s unSOCIAL PRISON…I get to sleep in, go to bed whenever I want, do everything and anything I could dream of while growing up.

    If only I had the money to do it ALL. Now wouldn’t that be something mommy and daddy dearest? Hmmmmm…..

    with that thought, please add a few thousand dollars a month to my supplemental income. It’s only fair. George Washington University would have cost you guys almopst $5,000 a month for me to be in that awful SOCIAL PRISON. But now I can be imprisoned by my own ignorance and the awful reality of life! Sounds great! I can’t wait for your monies, mommy and daddy dearest!

  • Frances

    Grace, Thank you for telling your story. I’m sorry that so many of these comments are negative. Take heart there are many people out there who have chosen non-conventional life paths. I have found that the older I get the more I hear these stories and am fascinated by them. You should check out the website “Good Life Project”. It if full of interviews with individuals who have chosen to pursue what they love even when it takes them into uncharted territory. Also, if you ever decide that what you want to do requires a college degree it is never too late to go back. I also chose not to go to college after high school but after 6 years decided that what I was passionate about required a college education. Since then I have completed my undergraduate degree and my masters and am a couple of years away from my PhD. (And have fully supported myself for all but two years of this journey for those who want to yell “white privilege”) While I do sometimes wish that I had started my advanced education earlier, overall I am convinced that this was the right choice for me. I attribute much of my success to the fact that I waited until I had the life experience to know what I wanted. Best wishes on your journey. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  • msbook

    Grace’s viewpoint is a little fey, respecting her own anxiety, but hardly acknowledging those whose choices were of necessity, not merely selection. Most everyone who makes a transition from high school to college experiences considerable anxiety. Some take gap years, some go to community college. Grace herself suggests that she needs some experience. Get that, Grace. But when you write an article (clearly written, by the way), you might take some alternative into account. And to the Editors of the mag – shame for the click bait title. Yes, we can call what Grace did “skipping college”, but we might find out in a very few years that she “deferred” college. And what about online alternatives, or Godard College, or Bard? Narrow thinking begets narrow choices.

  • Sharon Kamron

    very lovely essay, and fascinating, too, to read the comments here–many are making swift assumptions about “white privilege” although all we learn about the author’s parents is that one of them owns a business he founded himself. Listen, friends, this girl is a real smartie: has a career, skills, digs in south philly, and not a cent of debt. Zero dollars. Nada de nadiensis. Ikke en skid. Unlike untold tens of thousands of college grads, she is free in a sense that most millennials cannot imagine. You you don’t have to be Peter Thiel to hope that more people would follow her example.

  • Amy

    I skipped college and my hubby and I (who skipped college too) both became self taught designers and business owners. We now have a very successful 3000 sq ft store and also support our families. None of our parents went to college or could afford to support us after high school. Dont fall for social norms, you have to know what you want, dream big and MAKE it happen. Lack of direction wont cut it. If you work long enough and have faith in God, it WILL happen.

  • Ross Woods

    Some people get above the degree race. When you’re high enough up the ladder, a degree is sometimes irrelevant.

    A relative of mine got jobs on the basis of his (quite remarkable) CV and good industry reputation. Employers don’t care about his degree, even though he went to one the top school in the world in his field.

    One of my friends never finished high school and spent ten years doing all the bad stuff. But she turned her life around, was good at learning on the job and from everyone around her, was exceptionally good with people and motivational speaking, and is now top performer in her field.