College in part is about learning to synthesize and interpret knowledge, and ranking of importance of different pieces of knowledge. The best schools and professors prod students in this direction with challenging assignments and classroom discussions. Students who attend colleges where this is less likely to occur have to figure out how to develop their critical thinking skills on their own.
The best schools only prod students towards critical thinking because they realize spoon feeding of students cannot produce critical thinking. It is a student’s application of themselves to course material, classroom discussions, and assignments that produces critical thinking skills.
During a one year stint at Yale University, I took courses in Macroeconomics and Game Theory. There was not a lot of engagement with the Professors. Course content was designed to be challenging, however, so if you applied yourself to working out of assignments, you learned a lot about yourself and developed new critical thinking ability and skills.
College in part is about getting to know yourself — ability, skills, likes, dislikes etc. — better. But then a college graduate needs a source of income after college, which in absence of a self run business means a job. We end up then with intertwining of the process of self discovery and preparation for earning of income. Those who recognize this intertwining of objectives make the most of college education.
College has value for anyone willing to make the most of it. If alternative opportunities were to come calling while in college, opportunities which seem to trump the value of staying in college, the decision to opt out can of course turn out to be life enhancing. In absence of concrete opportunities that already have crystallized, and desire for a white collar type career, it is foolhardy to ignore college education.
By the way, how can the author of this piece be sure the $20,000 he was pulling in per month was not influenced by little things learnt in college that he subconsciously internalized? He hypothesizes increase in income to over $30,000 from avoidance of college. How exactly is he sure it could not have gone the other way to below $10,000?