Back in the days when country music topped the billboard ratings and college degree awarded the high-end jobs, a few good men stood out to break the Tao of Success. They challenged the shackle of traditional perspectives and opted-out of formal education, forming the “League of Extraordinary College Dropouts”.
Year 1972, Reed College, Oregon: Steve Jobs
Enrolled in for a duration of six months, Steve Jobs felt that college education was ruining his parent’s money. He decided to fall on the wayside and build his own boulevard to success.
Starting out in a garage, Jobs earned his way to become the CEO of the widely known Apple Inc.
“I’m glad I dropped out of college”, he said in his Commencement address at Stanford University in 2005.
Year 1974, Fullerton College, California: James Cameron
He went on to make The Terminator, Titanic, Aliens, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, True Lies, Dark Angel and Avatar, but failed to complete his graduation.
James Cameron got himself enrolled for a Physics major in 1971 at a community college in California. His academic life didn’t last long. He dropped out in the fall of 1974 and married a waitress. Until 1977 Cameron earned his bread and butter by rolling goods trucks.
In a TED event Cameron said, “Failure is an option, fear is not.”
Year 1975, Harvard University, Cambridge: Bill Gates
Termed as “Harvard’s most successful dropout” by Harvard Crimson, Bill Gates decided to do away with his undergraduate studies in 1975, two years after his admission to the prestigious Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
In the fall of 1975, along with his childhood friend Paul Allen, Gates founded the Microsoft Corporation.
In his commemoration speech at Harvard in 2007, Gates said “I’m the guy who got Steve Balmer to drop out of business school. I’m a bad influence. That’s why I was invited to speak at your graduation. If I had spoken at your orientation, fewer of you might be here today.”
Year 1994, Stanford University, California: Tiger Woods
Being offered a scholarship at Stanford wasn’t enough for him. His love and passion for golf drove him off the campus.
Two years into his major in Economics, Tiger Woods left Stanford to devote all his attention towards “banging the balls”. He went on to become one of the world’s richest sportsperson, with the career best earning of over 100 million dollars in an year.
Year 2004, Harvard University, Cambridge: Mark Zuckerberg
He dropped out of college, only to get dropped into the riches. Mark Zuckerberg founded the Facebook in 2004 from his college dorm in Harvard.
Facebook went on to become the biggest social network and Zuckerberg was awarded the TIME Person of the Year title in 2010.
The list of famous college dropouts is a long one, but the question that arises is “Is college education worth the value?”
Well, the funny thing about “College Education” is it doesn’t work by teaching us things. It actually works by giving us the impression that we’ve had a very good education, which in-turn gives us the insane sense of unbounded self confidence, thereby making us successful in later life.
But then, there are among us these extraordinary gentlemen, who defied the cliche. They rose above the fancy side of insubstantial self-assertion, giving way to their hearts and living out their passions.
Its all about pursuing what you love, and in case of these valiant professionals, they found their soul mates before completing their degrees.