Why going to University wasn't the right choice for me

I am 20. I finished high school eight months ago. I’ve learned about computer science, along with mathematics, for the past five years.

At a certain point of my life I had to decide: should I study computer science? Should I study mathematics? Should I study Engineering?

And then I realized that going to college wasn’t the right choice for me. Although I had good grades, and I really enjoy learning, I felt like going to University was the easy, not optimized, not so useful, path.

Hey hey hey, don’t get angry. Yep, I just defined University “easy”, “not optimized” and “basically useless” (for me). Please, hear me out.

First of all: why easy? I know your thoughts: “If this bitch thinks University is easy, she should definitely study Calculus. Or learn all the TCP and UDP port numbers, by heart, while walking on her hands and fighting against Hitler in WW2, as I did when I was her age! Fucking zoomer.” I think college would be easy for me because I’m used to the scholastic forma mentis. I know how to study, how to present things to the professor to show him that I really deserve a good mark. I master all the tricks, I can learn things by heart in one hour and forget them when the exam is finished. But I don’t think I will really need those tricks outside school. The hard truth is that being used to scholastic mindset, and subsequently having good marks, doesn’t necessarily mean being knowledgeable, or being able to do your job (the opposite is also true). If you’re 20 spending a couple of years studying is easy. You don’t have to deal with having a job, and building relationships with coworkers, and finding the time to clean your room when you’ve finished your 8 hours shift. You can relax for a couple of years and then think about a job. But I don’t like easy things.

And then… why not so optimized? University is standardized. If you want to be a CS Engineer you have to know how to solve an integral, how to balance a chemical equation, how routers work. But maybe you don’t care. Maybe you just want to type on your keyboard very quickly and then git commit. Oh, and you want to learn knitting. But there’s no University for knitters scientists! Sometimes you already know the topic, but not in the way your professor likes — sometimes professors are strict about notation or coding style, and you have to spend 3 hours a week taking notes about your professor’s preferences. I’m not saying I wouldn’t learn anything at University. It’s just that I would be learning things that I can learn by myself, reading a book, in my bed, without pants. And while I kind of like wearing jeans and faking in front of everyone that they’re comfortable… Learning things without pants just seemed funnier, faster, and way more comfortable.

And finally… why not so useful? I can find a job without a degree. I can learn without teachers (it could be more challenging… but I can do that). College could give me friends, connections, soft skills and pleasant memories — but I can get all of these even without school.

Well guys, back in school I had to learn by heart the most important TCP/UDP port, and while I didn’t find it particularly difficult (“20 21 FTP, 22 SSH, 23 Telnet…” like if it was a doggerel), I found it annoyingly useless.

And while I know that all professors are not the same, I wasn’t tempted by the whole idea of spending five years of my life dealing with teachers. I was ready for something out of my comfort zone.

I totally understand college students. If you think going to college is the right choice, do it! I’m just saying that (cheaper) options exist and they’re not that bad. I really like having a job, and I finally feel like I’m doing something useful.

And if I change my mind, I’ll still be able to get a degree. No worries.

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