College? We don need no steenkeen college!

From an IM with my buddy Jack Deus:

Skid Vis: awesome.. I wish someone woulda done it (started a college fund) for us
Jack Deus: why? you turned out fine w/o a college degree
Skid Vis: I shoulda turned out finerest

Why do I get the feeling this post is about college?

Cuz you, my friend.. are a genius. Which, of course, makes ME a genius too!

Which, of course, makes US insane!

True dat. Anyway.. College. Ever since I was a widdle boy, I remember hearing the common mantras: “Knowledge is power”, “Success requires a good education”, and even “Knowing is half the battle”. So, I dedicated myself to learning.. I’d steal schoolbooks from older kids to try and get a head-start on higher education and I’d also skip school and go hang out at the public library.. picking out seemingly random books to expose myself to topics outside of the normal school curriculum. Anything I could do so that I could be smart and end up living a better life than that which my family presented as the only option.. Poor, Dumb, and on Welfare, with the highlight of life being the days when we would get a giant block of Government Cheese.

That WAS good cheese.

Anyway, fast forward 4,369 years and here I am. Most people would consider me a success. I drive a new car, I own a house that’s too big for me, I make more than the average Joe, and people often ask me for advice and tips .. all without a College Degree. I’m not a genius by any means, but I’m the smartest moron I know. For the most part, I’m pretty happy of where I am in life.. but occasionally I wish I would have gone to college when I was young.

What’s the point of going to college?

Well, I can tell you what it’s not! ..Knowledge. See I’ve tried my hand at college.. I’ve tried time and again to get myself one of them fancy pieces of paper to show my smarts off and maybe get an extra $10k per year tacked onto my salary.. but every time I try, I end up dropping out because the instructors are complete and utter morons. I’ve actually had to call the Dean on some because they were ruining the minds of young, defenseless noobs. I even had one stop the final exam to ask ME if the questions were right.. which about 10 weren’t. It’s become cemented in my mind that “Those who can, Do. Those who can’t, Teach.”.

Um.. I severely doubt all teachers are morons.. moron.

So true that is, my friend. Certainly I expect the fine staff at MIT, Harvard, Yale, and the other well-established mind-factories of the world to be nothing but brilliant, and I exclude them from the group in question.

So don’t go to college unless it’s one of those places?

No.. GO TO COLLEGE! Regardless of whether or not it’s a fine mind-molder. See, the whole point of college isn’t what you learn.. it’s who you’ll meet. One thing I’ve learned in my 76,238 years of life is yet another mantra.. It’s not WHAT you know, but WHO you know. Have you ever walked past your boss’s office just to catch him kicked back, picking his nose, and you wonder “how did this loser end up in charge?!”. Well, odds are he knows someone who knows someone and THAT’S HOW! Where’d they meet? COLLEGE!

Seriously.. sometimes I think you have too much time on your hands.

That may very well be, but it doesn’t change the fact that what I’m saying is true. Forced Associations.. Schools, Clubs, User Groups, etc., that’s the key to ultimate success. The more you expose yourself to people (not sexually, even though that works too for some), the more you’ll be networking yourself and putting yourself in the position to pop into someone’s mind when an opening appears that you can fill (again, not sexually).

Oh.. ok.. so this post is about networking.. why didn’t you just say that?

Because, Networking is certainly one of the most important things you can do to get ahead, but college not only provides you with a place to network, it also provides you with an education. You’ll know more stuff, you’ll be able to use big words and confuse the layfolk, and even if you don’t meet anyone that can further your career.. you’ll have a spiffy piece of paper you can brag about, and at least people will assume you’re not a moron right off the bat.