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RANT Ended Up in University: I Regret it Already

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VicFountain

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So a few months ago, right after high school, my parents kind of "persuaded" me to go to University (crabs in a bucket mentality, once again).
So it's been 3 months now and I feel like my life SUCKS. It feels like I'm wasting my time. I believed I could both study and run a side-hustle. I was wrong. Doing both GOOD is simply impossible. If you try running your business and studying for exams at the same time, you'll get mediocre results at both. Is it even worth it at this point?

Right now I'm feeling dizzy as shit. Burning out is very easy at this point. In fact, I burnt out multiple times already.

After reading TMF and Unscripted I simply cannot bring myself to study and spend time at University. Call it "demotivation", if you will. I know this might seem laziness at first glance, but I've been actually learning more stuff on my own these 3 months than at University. How? By reading books and...APPLYING them on my side-hustle.

This is what I hate about University. The huge amount of theory they teach and the low amount of practicality.
Even as a kid, I used to work as a graphic designer with skills I had learned on my own, simply browsing YouTube tutorials. The funny thing? Customers didn't care I was 15 or that I did not have a degree. I had a better portfolio than most "professionals" with a degree.

Now, I'm studying for an Economics degree. I'm not saying studying Economics is useless. What I hate is the Slowlane approach. Study 2000 pages without applying shit, pass some exams and only then go out in the real world. I've been always a preacher of reading/learning and applying right after. What University does, on the other hand, is preaching the "study and apply all this shit in 5 years". I don't know, it feels very wrong to me.

So now, back to my problem. As I haven't been focusing 100% on University (as I've been also working on my side-hustle), my grades are mediocre. And yes, I'm even struggling to get mediocre grades.

It seems like the only way to get good grades is to study 24/7 and forget anything else. I simply don't see how people can do other things in the meanwhile and still get above average results. Yet, studying 24/7 for 5 years without applying (and getting real-world feedback) is worse than death to me.

Now, you might be thinking. "What is this kid asking, exactly?", and you are right. I don't even know what's the exact question on here. I just know I'm feeling lost and confused about the situation.

My biggest dream is becoming rich young, and every time I think about University/study for exams, my dreams shatter...

Now, again. I could drop out of University and focus on my side-hustle. What if the side-hustle fails? Then I can learn new skills and try something else? I mean, I feel like there are endless opportunities one could pursue besides University. Most people are simply blinded and believe University is the only place where you can expand your brain cells.

Clearly, this is a choice only I can make. But what are your thoughts about this? What's your experience? Has anyone succeeded in running a lifestyle business and getting good grades in University at the same time?

Note: I'm sorry if this is once again another post about University, but I'm sure there are many other kids like me having this problem.
 

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scottmsul

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Good on you for figuring this stuff out so early!

Like you said, only you can make this decision. MJ mentioned his value-weighted sum trick in his first book, going through that might help you work through all the trade-offs and make the decision more clearly. I've put some considerations below.

Pros of staying in college:
  • Degrees do make it a lot easier to get a job. I know you're on the fastlane path and probably don't want a job long-term, but if you ever need a job short-term or decide to switch paths the degree can really come in handy (this matters more than you might expect).
  • Choosing the right subject can help you learn information useful for a fastlane business. For instance CS can help you learn to program, engineering could help you design a new product, etc. This might not matter as much though since learning by doing is usually more efficient anyway (unless you're doing something which requires specialized knowledge).
Pros of leaving college:
  • No student loans. For some reason the "script" passes this off as not a big deal. It is. Not having debt weighing you down can free you to focus more on your business.
  • More business attempts earlier and faster (assuming you're focusing only on your business if you leave). Starting a business takes a bit of luck where you might need to try/fail/try/fail a few times before hitting success. Each attempt gives you more experience and knowledge and increases your odds on the next try. Going through that loop faster can reduce the time to long-term success. By staying in college there is an opportunity cost.
Some things to keep in mind:
  • Don't let your judgment be clouded by the fact that you're struggling in the moment, fastlane isn't an "easy way out". School is hard. Business is also hard. There will be ups and downs no matter which path you pick.
  • If you're finding economics doesn't seem useful or practical you can switch majors if you're only one semester in.
  • Don't let your parents influence your decision (in either direction!). School might be the right decision after all, even if you feel annoyed that they tried to pressure you into it.
 
Last edited:

Lex DeVille

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Clearly, this is a choice only I can make. But what are your thoughts about this? What's your experience? Has anyone succeeded in running a lifestyle business and getting good grades in University at the same time?

Note: I'm sorry if this is once again another post about University, but I'm sure there are many other kids like me having this problem.
If you don't like University you can quit anytime. But it is possible to run a business and go to school. A couple of thoughts:

  • What stops you from studying something of interest if you stay?
  • What stops you from quitting if you want to leave?
  • What if you went to a school with different time or study commitments?
  • What degree will support your long-term goals?
  • What stops you from putting your degree to use and getting real-world feedback right now?
  • What business could you build using your degree?
  • How else can you make it worth your time to go to school?
I hated undergrad. But I didn't have a purpose for attending. I passed and got a degree, but it took 10 years because I wasn't focused on how it could be useful or practical in business. I didn't pay out of pocket for that degree. When it was over I said I'd never go to school again. But then I realized how it could be useful in business, so I started a Master's program.

Since it's out of pocket I built a passive income system to pay for a degree in a field I already use in business every day. Not only do I study something of interest, but I apply it in the real world and get to see how it works. All of that studying is a tool for my business, and I study harder than others because it's relevant to my life because it's something I want to do.

screenshot (3).png

I can't make your decision for you, but I can say it IS possible to build a lifestyle business and get good grades in school. Spend some time to find a sense of purpose. Then work on time-management to make it work for you. Or quit. There's no wrong answer. Just the path you choose.
 

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createyourpath

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Jan 3, 2020
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Thank you for ranting, internalising these thoughts really feeds the frustration that you're currently having. I absolutely know this because I'm also a uni student, currently on my FIFTH year of my double degree (holy shit what a load of what I *could* potentially think as wasted time). Do I regret this "wasted" time? No. Why? Because I can get shit done no matter how hard it gets.

Mindset is everything. And I can see that you're thinking too emotionally at the moment, which is OK. But, I think a few things need to be realised.

1. Uni isn't just about the degree. If \you only think of it in that way, then you're going to dig yourself a hole of "this is a waste of my time". Uni is the perfect place to NETWORK, find long-term MASTERMIND groups, get into a PARTNERSHIP with another student and build a side-hustle - you can even pitch to your uni and get FUNDING, gain exposure and get international recognition. The opportunities are endless. This is the perfect place to form long-term relationships that will benefit you and your business in the future. Take advantage of this. You're still young and have a long way to go in terms of personal development and learning.

2. Even if you drop out, you're always going to be a student at something. You're always going to encounter something that you absolutely hate but you have to grit your teeth and get through it - it's the only way. Learn to study smarter, not harder. Learn to love how much you hate it and take control of the entire situation. Imagine if you completed your degree AND have managed to have a side hustle - you can DO ANYTHING.

3. Study something relevant to your side hustle. This is where you will find like-minded students and even lecturers who are experienced in the field - ASK questions and BE involved. Why don't you take an accounting course? Apply that to your side hustle finances and if it works for you then that is a MARKETABLE skill and/or COURSE you can sell. Learn to network with the people around you - they will know more than you do and there is always something to learn to apply to your own life/business.

4. Uni isn't the problem, it's you. Blaming an external factor (i.e. uni) for how you think, feel and perceive things is all in your head and it's controlling all of your thought processes causing you to act emotionally. What happens if you drop out, give everything into your side hustle which fails and then "something else" is causing you grief - who is accountable? Yourself. Do you see how this mindset doesn't change and it remains with you unless you shift your mindset NOW. Stop blaming something else for how you feel, instead think: what can you do NOW to take advantage of the situation? What can you change right now? What would someone with a growth mindset do in the current situation? Regulate your internal thoughts and take control, this is a mindset skill you can develop right now.

I could go on and on. But, you can get the gist that the negative mindset that you have isn't doing you any favours. You need to take advantage of EVERY situation and get your perspective around how you can benefit from it. Everything is a grind, get used to it and TAKE control of it. I hope this has helped you because this is what I have learned in the last few years. Goodluck :)
 

Real Deal Denver

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You can do this. You don't want to. That's completely natural. Who WOULD want to study when you can jump in the middle of the party and have fun every day?

I'm an unusual person because I like to study. I study more than I have to so I can really understand something completely. I recognize that some subjects are just plain dry and take more time to understand, so I pace myself so that I don't become overwhelmed, fall behind, and then grow to hate whatever it is I'm studying.

How to do that? For me - flash cards. I put questions on the front and answers on the back. Use index cards. I use them so much I have a "recipe box" that holds them all together by groups. Carry them with you everywhere you go. Even if you're sitting at a stoplight, you can go through a dozen of them. Repeat, repeat, repeat. It will become a part of you in no time. You will absorb it, and the confidence you gain BY absorbing it will GREATLY improve your learning ability.

I programmed myself to think like this: If you are not a nerd, you will work for one. I wanted to be the guy in charge, so I studied constantly. I just gave some business advice yesterday to a colleague. He was amazed and said he couldn't believe I knew that. Damn - what I told him I learned over two decades ago. I remember it because it's important in business. Fundamental - but still important. You are learning the fundamentals. If you don't have those, you're on a path to learn things the good old fashioned way - by running into brick walls. You're going to learn one way or the other - your choice.

IF AND WHEN you figure out how to study EFFECTIVELY - you can EASILY do both. It took me a long time to realize that I don't have to make choices in life - I can have it ALL. THAT'S the mindset you should have.

My advice - look at the big picture of what you can have and where you can be in five years. Then go for it. If you want to quit, fine. But don't quit because it's just "too" hard. It's not. Don't let the weak side of your brain convince you that you're working too hard, or that you're not smart enough, or that you can only have one or the other.

And finally - here is the secret sauce. Find someone that has done more than you have, at a great disadvantage. The single mom that scrubs floors at night while going to school in the day, and is raising a family all by herself. Yeah - the one that nobody notices. Not the superhero jock, or the intellectual. The one in the shadows. Then tell yourself you can take a stand and do that too. Or don't. But face reality before you make a decision.

Feed your brain constantly. Add inspirational/motivational books to your list.

And buddy up with someone you respect. Coach each other - in whatever path you decide to take. Find someone stronger and/or smarter than you to associate with.

As the saying goes, "What does not kill you will make you stronger." Your ultimate goal should be to be stronger.

Only you truly know the answers. Do what's right for you - but do it for the right reasons.
 

Real Deal Denver

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Thank you for ranting, internalising these thoughts really feeds the frustration that you're currently having. I absolutely know this because I'm also a uni student, currently on my FIFTH year of my double degree (holy shit what a load of what I *could* potentially think as wasted time). Do I regret this "wasted" time? No. Why? Because I can get shit done no matter how hard it gets.

Mindset is everything. And I can see that you're thinking too emotionally at the moment, which is OK. But, I think a few things need to be realised.

1. Uni isn't just about the degree. If \you only think of it in that way, then you're going to dig yourself a hole of "this is a waste of my time". Uni is the perfect place to NETWORK, find long-term MASTERMIND groups, get into a PARTNERSHIP with another student and build a side-hustle - you can even pitch to your uni and get FUNDING, gain exposure and get international recognition. The opportunities are endless. This is the perfect place to form long-term relationships that will benefit you and your business in the future. Take advantage of this. You're still young and have a long way to go in terms of personal development and learning.

2. Even if you drop out, you're always going to be a student at something. You're always going to encounter something that you absolutely hate but you have to grit your teeth and get through it - it's the only way. Learn to study smarter, not harder. Learn to love how much you hate it and take control of the entire situation. Imagine if you completed your degree AND have managed to have a side hustle - you can DO ANYTHING.

3. Study something relevant to your side hustle. This is where you will find like-minded students and even lecturers who are experienced in the field - ASK questions and BE involved. Why don't you take an accounting course? Apply that to your side hustle finances and if it works for you then that is a MARKETABLE skill and/or COURSE you can sell. Learn to network with the people around you - they will know more than you do and there is always something to learn to apply to your own life/business.

4. Uni isn't the problem, it's you. Blaming an external factor (i.e. uni) for how you think, feel and perceive things is all in your head and it's controlling all of your thought processes causing you to act emotionally. What happens if you drop out, give everything into your side hustle which fails and then "something else" is causing you grief - who is accountable? Yourself. Do you see how this mindset doesn't change and it remains with you unless you shift your mindset NOW. Stop blaming something else for how you feel, instead think: what can you do NOW to take advantage of the situation? What can you change right now? What would someone with a growth mindset do in the current situation? Regulate your internal thoughts and take control, this is a mindset skill you can develop right now.

I could go on and on. But, you can get the gist that the negative mindset that you have isn't doing you any favours. You need to take advantage of EVERY situation and get your perspective around how you can benefit from it. Everything is a grind, get used to it and TAKE control of it. I hope this has helped you because this is what I have learned in the last few years. Goodluck :)
29552
 

xhcsurge

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Signed in for the first time in ages, just to reply to this thread.

My advice, stay in school.

First of all: I don't know where you are, but if you're in the UK or USA and you're digging yourself deep into >$50,000 of student debt, then maybe leave school indeed. My advice is only relevant if going to school is cheap for you or your parents (which is the case in most western EU countries).

The main reason why I say this: your years in university or college can be fun. You have 4 years to go out, party, drink and date. Afterwards, during your 45-year career, this will never return. Even if you're rich by the age of 30, you can't bring back the college experience. Maybe then you can have fun, but your friends can't.
---> this reason doesn't count if you really have to study every day for 18 hours in order to pass your exams. But that would surprise me.

Second reason, which worked in my case: Later, if you're starting a business, in a lot of cases it's valuable if you can tell your prospects and customers that you have a masters degree in X or Y. It creates confidence.

Third reason: Today you're thinking about starting a business in web development, or graphical design, etc... <--- things you can learn on YouTube. The problem with these skills is, everyone can learn them on YouTube so you have a lot more competition (and BTW this is 2020 so the entire world is your competition nowadays). In a high-profile job (which you landed with your degree) you will end up working for companies that build products or services that 99,99% of earths population have never heard about. This is a good way to identify needs and stumble upon your million dollar opportunity.

Last remark: As an entrepreneur you'll often get in touch with finance stuff (loans, legal things, raising money, taxes, etc...). Your economics degree could really help in this case. Maybe choose the specific courses that could be useful as a future business owner.
 

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