October 27, 2021

How Do You Know if You Should Drop Out of College - Ep. 18

How Do You Know If You Should Drop Out Of College And Take An Alternative Path

Here's What You Can Do

If you’re currently in college and you’re thinking of dropping out, you’re in the right place! Watch the full episode to learn what you should do!
Welcome to Degree Free, where we explain what you can do instead of going to college, and how to teach yourself, get work, and make good money.
In this episode, we talk about:
  • How a lot of people are falling victim to the sunk cost fallacy and the different situations where you should drop out of college.
  • How to take an alternative path to get your dream job instead of going to college.
  • How different and challenging your life will be if you take the risk of dropping out of college. 
Hannah shares why she thinks that dropping out of college is her best decision ever made. She also shares the story behind why she decided to do it.
Ryan talks about how the whole world opens up to you if you just start working and how different it will be instead of just going to college.

Enjoy the episode!

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Links and Notes from the Episode

Episode Transcript
Please enjoy this transcript or our episode!

Please note the transcript may have a few errors. We're human. It can be hard to catch all the errors from a full length conversation. Enjoy!

Ryan: Aloha guys, and welcome back to degree free. We are your hosts, Ryan, and Hannah Maruyama. On this podcast, we share fundamentals we've discovered and the mistakes we've made while self-educating, building businesses, and making money. We'll tell you how to make it happen. No degree needed.

Hannah: Welcome back. Welcome back everybody to degree free, Ryan and I are happy to have you today. Please do feel free to like and subscribe, so you don't miss any episodes because that would be a huge bummer. If you are curious as to how to go about doing the things that we talk about in this podcast. Please check out our website, which is degreefreenetwork.com.

We actually sell a guide on there that will walk you through how to go about looking for jobs, how to go about applying and just different tactics and tips for studying to get different skills and certifications. Super useful.

Ryan: Yep. And I think we should just get into today's topic. Today, we are going to be talking about like, how to know if you should drop out of school? College?

Hannah: This is my favorite one.

Ryan: This is very similar to a episode we did a while back regarding should you finish your degree? But we got some questions regarding specifically dropping out of college. So figure, let's just do another episode and it's going to be similar, same, same, but different.

We're going over a little bit of a different, more specific. This is for people that are in college and are thinking about dropping out.

Hannah: This is my crowd, right?

Ryan: So I think this might be a good place to start is maybe just tell your own story real fast for those that don't know.

Hannah: Oh sure. So I was in school in Georgia and Georgia allows people who are in high school to clap or clapping is where you can test out of high school classes and then go straight into college.

And that's actually a process called dual enrollment. But if you clap enough classes, then you are allowed to fully dual enroll while you're still in high school. Instead of going to my senior year in high school, I actually, was enrolled at a university in the town that I lived in and I ended up going to college for a year and a half before I ended up dropping out.

I was bored out of my mind. I was so bored. I did not get along with my professors. And I, the only thing that I did, while I was there was I ended up writing for the paper at the school and that was kind of fun, but the rest of my classes bored me to tears. And I was in the middle of a midterm.

Like I sat down to take a sociology midterm, and I remember sitting there and I looked at this, I looked at my paper and I was like, Yeah, I'm done. So I took it and tore it and threw it in the trash and left. And that was it.

Ryan: So was there like a—what was the thought process behind it? I mean, other than for you, was it just that you were bored?

Hannah: I was, I was really, really bored. I remember this so clearly when I was sitting in an art class, and it might just be that I really disliked Jackson Pollock, like a lot. And this particular professor loved Jackson Pollock more than anything, but I was just sitting in this class. Listening to her drone on about Jackson Pollock.

And I was like, I cannot sit here another minute. This is so boring because I was writing, I was like, I was working on a book at the time, like a novel that I have never finished, but I was just working on a book and instead of paying attention, cause I was just so bored, I was just writing and I was like, why am I here?

Like, why am I here? I don't value this information. It's not useful for me. And why am I paying to sit here and listen to this stuff that bores me to tears.

Ryan: Interesting. So you didn't do any more like. Any more further analysis than that?

Hannah: No, no. I was also really young at the time, so I think for me it was more fortunate that I came to that conclusion that it didn't serve me, but I don't think it was as strategic as a lot of the people who are listening to this podcast.

And the people that are listening to this podcast are much smarter than I was when I was at age. Yeah.

Ryan: Well, it turned out well.

Hannah: It did, It was the best decision ever.

Ryan: It turned out well.

Hannah: Yeah. I would not go back for the world.

Ryan: Even though there wasn't as much analysis as some people might put into it it's still a massive decision for you.

Hannah: It was very difficult at the time actually. And I think that too, I think something that really goes overlooked and this is going to be controversial. People are not going to like this, but something that goes overlooked is that in the United States, if you come, especially if you come from a family where they expect you to go to college and you do not, or you drop out, it is much harder to drop out of college than it is to stay in college.

People can say all day up and down, or it's harder to stay in study notes. It's not. Because once you sign up to go to school, all you get to do is continue to go to school. But if you choose to drop out, if you choose to leave, if you choose not to go, you were immediately responsible for all your decisions and all of your adult life.

And I think that it is much harder actually, especially if your family and your friends are all telling you that you need to go.

Ryan: Yeah. I hundred percent agree with that. A lot. So obviously. You, and I, we tell a lot of people to do the analysis of going to college but majority of the time when people do the analysis or we say, probably don't go, I mean, otherwise we wouldn't really be doing this. But a lot of people say, whenever I say. A lot of people think that it's going to be an easier path. And I always say, it's not, it's really not going to be an easy path. And I know because I've done it.

So I did exactly what you said. I come from a college educated family and I, well, I have a very interesting family and I don't really want get to get into it right now, but let's just say thatit wasn't okay for me to not go to college. And so I stayed in college and I went and I got a degree. And then, but it was way easier.

It was way easier than because after I got out of college, I had to figure out what the heck I wanted to do. I had to blaze my own trail. And I think that when we tell people, well, if you're gonna drop out of college, it's gonna be a lot harder because college is just following this path and this path is laid out for you and you're supposed to go and you're supposed to get into that.

You're supposed to get a degree. And then with that degree, it's also automatically give you a ticket to a job, and then you're supposed to work that job and then pay off that debt and then buying a house, whatever live the American dream.

Hannah: And retire at 65, all that, all that jazz.

Ryan: Live the American dream.

And that world just doesn't exist anymore. No, that world doesn't exist anymore.

Hannah: Especially the social security you're supposed to get at 65.

Ryan: And When we tell people, we always want to say is this going to be harder because you're not going to follow that path.

Hannah: It was very lonely. I was fortunate in that I had two really good friends at the time.

And so it was not as bad for me, but my sister, my younger sister also is degree free. And she, I think for her, it's extremely lonely because what she's doing is much harder than what the rest of her peers are doing. They are living like kids. They have no consequences. They can go out drinking and do whatever they want.

Their parents are paying their bills. I'm generalizing a lot, but my sister is responsible for her own rent, for her own insurance, for her own phone bill, for her own groceries, she has to do laundry. She has to meal prep. She has to do everything. She's a grown person. But she's younger than the people that are graduating college and yet she's a self-sufficient person.

Ryan: And so that, that goes to say, and we're getting way off track here, but I think this is. Well, this is worth saying with that, I agree with you. I see the way that she lives and I, and then I see the way that other people, her age live and she lives a lot differently. And what I always say is that because majority of these people that go to college, they're living off of debt.

That's just statistics, right? Like the vast majority of people are in student, student debt. What they're doing is they're borrowing from the future. They're borrowing from their future work

Hannah: and future energy

Ryan: to pay for stuff now. And so they are living, so it looks like they're living a great life.

And it looks at because they are,

Hannah: They're living beyond their means.

Ryan: Because they're living beyond their means.

Hannah: They're living on future them's income, that they haven't earned yet.

Ryan: Exactly. They're living as if they had made all that money. They're living as if they'd made it.

Hannah: CNBC did a survey. Where they said that college graduates assume that they will make at least 60k starting. And so that is reflected in how a lot of them live.

Ryan: And I think it's interesting because I mean, I look at some of the college kids that I know and those outside just graduated from college and I'm looking at their lifestyles and I'm going to say, whoa, you live more extravagantly than I do.

And I'm like, that's crazy. I didn't know you made so much money. But I don't think that they do. And I think it's just the fact that they, they live in this artificial world in where all of their bills are paid for, with their future energy, with their future work and honestly, they didn't really earn that.

They didn't really earn it because like I've said many times nobody in their right mind, if you went out to the regular market, would I ever write that loan? Nobody would ever write that loan because you have no assets, you have no skills. You have no income. Why am I going to loan you a hundred thousand dollars?

The reason, let me tell you why. I wouldn't. But anyway, that's a long, that's a long way of just saying that. You've done this before. You've you've dropped off of school.

Hannah: Also, disclaimer, I want to say that it's, we're not hating on those people. What we are saying is that all of us are taught,

a lot of us are taught that if you graduated high school from an American school, you were told to go to college the whole time. They tell you, they tell us all that for 12 straight years. So understand that you were marketed to, you were marketed to spend in that way and to act in that way.

And while you have the chance to opt out of it, obviously it is understandable that you believe that to be true.

Ryan: Yeah, definitely. And then the entire time you're told you should go to college, you should go to college. You should go to college for 13 years. You're told you should go to college, but nobody, nobody talks about how you should pay for it.

So if you ask normal people how are they going to pay for college? One of the number one answers you're going to get is oh, I'm going to get a scholarship. And then okay. What kind of scholarship? Well, I'm going to get a sports scholarship.

Well, okay. There are not very many, there are not very many sports scholarships out there. NCAA rules and everything like that. Okay. There are a lot more academic scholarships out there, but even that even so that's still a very small minority of students that are getting those—that are getting that type of aid.

People aren't talking about the financial side of it, they're just saying that she should go. But I don't know. That teacher doesn't know your financial situation, right? The teacher, when you're in fourth grade, she doesn't understand what your parents— how much money your parents have and how much money that you have in a 5 29 account.

And how much, I don't know how much your future potential earnings are at the time, and when you're in fourth grade and you still have eight more years of schooling to go, but she's telling you in fourth grade to go to college was like, well, how about you wait until at least, I mean, it's a little bit more understandable if there's like, your junior year and you're like, Hey, you ever think about going to college? But yeah. I mean, maybe it maybe I should say, start thinking about it now instead. But anyway, I digress.

Hannah: No, that matters. And you know what what that makes me think of too is the fact that they say that most most kids end up with the same credit card as their parents have.

They tend to choose the same, the same bank, the same credit cards as their parents, because that's what their parents did because those are the people of authority in their life who teach them those habits. And something that that I've realized before. Is that like why? I was like, man, I know my parents told me to go to college.

I know that they did and it was expected and it was required, and everybody in my family, it was a big deal when I didn't go, like shame came from other parts, not really, not badly intention shame, but there's shame from other parts of the family. But I think too, teachers it's like confirmation bias.

Like they all have degrees. Of course they're going to tell you, you have a degree, they have a degree, even if they're still paying debt on that degree, they're going to tell you to get one anyway, because they think it's the best thing to do, even though financially for a lot of them, it maybe wasn't. And, but it's just so deeply ingrained that that's what you say, that's what you do. It's best for them. It's best for them. It's best for you. And it's it's their parents and then their parents, it's a whole, it's a generational societal problem, and it's repeated so often, that everybody repeats it to each other and it's expected. And I think that that's not pointed out often, but there are a lot of teachers, and if you think like you can't ask them obviously, but like a lot of your teachers that have been telling you that are 35, 40 years old, and they're still deeply in debt from their college degree. Truthfully, you shouldn't be taking financial advice from people that are still in that much debt at that age.

It's not really a good, it's not really a good financial decision. You need to evaluate it yourself.

Ryan: And that's the problem though. The problem is that,

Hannah: Or even your parents for that matter.

Ryan: The problem is that people do not view college as a financial decision.

Hannah: Oh, they do. Until someone tells them until someone shows them the numbers and then they say, oh, well, it's an academic Institute. It's it's good. It's a higher education. Like literally that's the argument, I see it on TikTok all the time. When I present the Hey 53% of college graduates are unemployed or underemployed. And they're just like, well college has an innate value.

I'm like, well, you just told me how to monetary value. And now when I told you that, maybe it doesn't now, your argument is it's an intrinsic value.

Ryan: It's a place for a critical thinking.

Hannah: Oh, yeah. When 45% of college graduates showed little to no improvement and critical thinking skills for the CLA.

Ryan: Critical thinking, logic and arithmetic and networking.

Hannah: Networking.

That's my favorite one. Guys, what word would four-letter word is in the middle of networking?

Ryan: Work.

Hannah: Hole? You know where you can network?

Ryan: At work.

Hannah: What a shocker.

Ryan: So anyway, we're off topic. Yeah. Super off topic. Let's rein it back in. And so I think the first question as with most of these questions, if you've been listening from the beginning, you kind of have a feeling of what I'm going to ask and that's, you got to ask yourself why you got to ask yourself, why are you asking this question, if you're listening to this episode and you're just like, yeah. Tell me how I should, like, how would I figure out if I should drop out of college? Well, then what I would tell you is to ask yourself why you feel like you're thinking about dropping out of college in the first place.

What's wrong?

Hannah: What's making you feel that way?

Ryan: Right? There's gotta be something and everybody has their reasons. And it could be something as simple for you as you were just bored. It could be something as complex as you disagree with what they're teaching.

It can be,

Hannah: they're teaching Socrates and you want to see Aristotle and there's no Aristotle.

And you're like, why am I here? I want to learn about Aristotle.

Ryan: And it could be something as it can be, as in-depth, as you don't think that you're gonna make enough money. That you can't afford it. That's a big one, right?

Hannah: Exactly. The biggest one, really.

Ryan: And it can be also be as simple as I don't like the people.

Hannah: Yeah. Like you don't like the culture of it. It's like, it's not interesting to you if you go to a school with a big Greek life and you're not into that, and you're like not getting a lot out of it or you don't have a lot of friends there cause you just don't have a lot in common.

That's a valid reason. Cause people leave companies for that reason. Yeah.

Ryan: Generally another big reason. It doesn't really get talked about much, but you're just unhappy.

Hannah: Yeah. And it's crazy. I see it. I know, I see it on TikTok a lot where people are just like, these people will post videos of them crying.

Cause they're so unhappy at school and I'm like, why are you there? Leave and, but they'll say that they're miserable and then they'll say, but I'm in, I'm spending so much money and well, then stop paying for something that you hate. I don't understand this.

Ryan: Yeah.

Drop out or to put it in a better in a positive light.

So that's a problem too. Is that like this whole like dropping out of school has such a negative connotation.

Hannah: Dropping out of school. You're breaking out of school.

Ryan: Right. Exactly. You're liberating yourself from school. And if you're unhappy about it that's reason enough to get the hell out of there.

You don't need to be there. And then exactly what you said on the flip side, you're paying them to be there. And so you're paying to be unhappy. That makes no sense.

Hannah: Why would you go eat at a restaurant? You don't like every night?

Ryan: Right? That makes no sense. And

Hannah: But it's because we're so far removed from the logical evaluation of it.

Like we're not allowed to evaluate it on a financial level. We're not allowed to question it on an intrinsic level and we're not even allowed to ask oh, hey, well, it doesn't make me happy, but apparently this is the only way to get work. So pretty much everywhere we go, they're boxing us in so they can charge us more money for this thing that we're supposed to buy.

And it's crazy. That's crazy. Yeah.

Ryan: I think affording it, being able to analyze the cost of it and whether or not it's worth it is very difficult. And the reason why it's difficult is there's just so many factors, right? I think generally speaking, as we've talked about many times before, I think generally speaking, our position is most people don't need college.

Hannah: Two-thirds of Americans don't have degrees.

Ryan: And so I think it's very difficult because all of the information out there as well is skewed in one way, and I think that the information is wrong and we can get into it in a different episode. We're working on some things.

Hannah: We were doing a lot of analysis.

Ryan: Yeah. We're working on some things and

Hannah: We're excited to share it.

Ryan: Yeah, we're super excited.

Hannah: Ryan has found some very interesting things.

Ryan: Yeah. Very. But just to know that, like the way that the data is collected on average salaries or average household wealth is not on purposely misleading, I don't think. But it is misleading.

Hannah: It obfuscates gets the truth.

Ryan: And. For reasons of you need unique guidelines of collecting data.

Hannah: And you have to have a consistent data set to measure against itself. Otherwise you can't do it at all, but at the same time, if you arrive at a conclusion that's inaccurate, that is then used as a talking point to sell a luxury product to children.

Ryan: And that's exactly what happened or that's what I fear as I hypothesize is happening. And so that's why I say that if you can't afford it, that is really, really difficult to do the math on because, because what the people that are going to say they're for college, you're going to do is, and you say, well, look up the average salaries of college graduates after school the way that a lot of what happens a lot of those numbers. How do you think they would get those numbers? Self-reported. Right? I mean, there are hardly any, there are hardly any numbers are based in fact, and based in reality.

Hannah: Also, what was the one that they stopped reporting in 2010?

Ryan: Oh, I'd have to look at it. I'm not sure.

Oh, it was average salary or median salary of a college graduate a year, one year out from school.

Hannah: Yes. That is very interesting. The emission is interesting.

Ryan: Right? And it was, it was trending downward. It was trending downwards and then they stopped reporting it in 2010 or 2011.

One of the two.

Hannah: Census data?

Ryan: It was a survey of consumer finances.

Hannah: Which is the study that they use to prove the value of college.

Ryan: It is one of the largest barometers used whenever I say colleges are worth it, and then people like quote this study and I was like, all right, but anyway, I will say this, that right now, it is difficult to do the analysis because the data is very dirty. There is not a lot of good data to be had. And it's such a large decision because college is so expensive. So my advice here is that you're thinking about if you're thinking about it and you think that you can't afford it, and you're thinking about just going to work, a good idea is to just start applying for jobs that you would have applied to had you have the degree already.

So if you're looking at this job, if you're trying to get this job, when you get a degree, why don't you just try to apply for it now? Right? Or listen to some of the other episodes that we did have a,of how to pick how to pick and learn skills, try to learn those skills and then try to apply to it and see if you can do it without it.

And then if you can do it without it, you obviously didn't need college. I think one of the things when talk of money about college. One of the things that happens a lot is people are like, well, I only have two more years. Well, I only have another year and it's okay. That is a point. It's not a very good one, but it's a point.

Hannah: It's not a very good one, especially because people still estimate, even though this is more people take 5.5 years to graduate college than take four.

And yet it's still well, it's a four year degree. It's not four year degree. It's a 5.5 year degree. It's a five and a half year degree, sometimes six and it's longer for some people. And so that one really gets under my skin because too, it's the marketing of it. It's a four year degree.

It's not for most people. That is very deceiving, and and it also for people that are at the point where they're feeling this way and for them to go, oh, I only have two more years. Do you really think it's only going to take you two more years to finish something that makes you this unhappy or that you dislike this much?

It's going to take you longer than that, and because of that, it's going to cost you even more than you've already put in. You're going to continue to pay for something that you really hate.

Ryan: That is definitely something to consider, but I'm talking about, so yes, I'm not negating what you said. Yes. What you said is accurate, everything you said is accurate.

And I agree with that, but what I'm talking about is that if you've actually done the math and you only have a year left to go, or you only have a whatever left to go, and you can convince yourself and convince yourself, but you know that that's all you have left. You've done the math.

Hannah: You sure.

Ryan: I see how you can reason that way is because you feel like on the other side, you're going to be receiving something of value. And also,

Hannah: Only you can do that math too. Only, you can decide that for yourself.

Ryan: But what a lot of people are falling victim to here is the sunk cost fallacy. A lot of people think, well, I already put two years.

Well, I already put three years into it. I might as well just finish up. Otherwise, everything I did will all be for nothing.

Hannah: I think that people are that way too, I partially think I have a suspicion. This is just a theory, but I have a suspicion too, that part of the reason it's so diffcult to get in, like not to get in, but like all the paperwork and the fast punches, all the forums.

So many fricking it's so much work to get in and get the aid and get all this stuff set up that by the time that you've done that even if you're a month in and you hate it. I think it's, I think a lot of people have a hard time thinking about even trying to leave because they've just put, it's been such a process to get themselves in there.

Ryan: Yeah. I definitely think that, I don't know if it's made that way on purpose, but I definitely can see what I see your point. Yes. I know. I understand. And I think that it's definitely yeah, it's definitely something to think about, but I don't think it's the fairest. And,

Hannah: I don't think so either, I just think it is hard though.

Ryan: Yeah. So what I was saying is that I think that, well, people don't think about is on the other side of making that decision. So if you drop out and you're like, okay, now I can go to work. Now I can not pay X amount of dollars to go to school. Now I can get paid. And now I don't have to take out any of those loans that I would have had to cause I can't, cause I can't afford to pay for it.

But you just keep thinking about all this money that you did waste. All you're thinking about, oh man, I'd spent 30 grand the first year and 30 grand the next year. And I have all this student debt. I might as well get a college degree. I might as well finish up and get it put, then now you're going to do another 30 and then another 30.

And then two years of your life where you're not making any money or you're only working part-time or you're working in a different job that doesn't pay you enough. Or doesn't pay you as much as you would if you're on the outside. And it's whoa. If you're thinking about it, forget all the money in the time that you already put in.

It's gone.

Hannah: It's spent already, you cannot get it back.

Ryan: You can never get it back. It's done. But what you can do is you can prevent yourself from spending the time and the money in the future.

Hannah: Yep.

Ryan: So don't cry over the spilled milk, although it's very hard to do.

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: Okay. If I stop now, I don't have to pay for the next year or the year after that.

And that is, that could be a massive win for many people.

Hannah: Yeah because $60,000 is going to hurt. Yeah. $120,000 going to hurt worse. Yes.

Ryan: So when I say it's a massive win is it's the savings on the side. Like you get immediate savings. Immediate,

Hannah: you immediately don't spend all that money.

Ryan: And so therefore you have more money right now.

Hannah: The unsunk cost fallacy.

All right. Another one is, if you realize why you were in school, that you no longer want to do the work that you are getting a degree for. This would be anybody who's gone in and started to like maybe dip their toes in the water like first they signed up for a major that they thought they wanted to do.

And it's hard. It's hard, man. 17, 18 years old. You have no idea what you want to do. And people can say all day long. Well, I did. It's eh, I don't know. I'm very, I think that there's a lot of people that have no idea what they want to do at 18, 17, 18 years old, you're a child, you're still a kid.

And so for those people that are a couple of years in, and they like dip their toes in the water, like they're starting to work in their field now. Like they they've started to work, do a little bit of part-time work in a field that they're going to school for and they hate it.

Get out get out. What are you doing? What are you doing? You've, if you've got in there and you're like, wow, this is awful. I hate this. I cannot imagine going to do this every day for the rest of my life. Then don't, and definitely don't pay for the privilege to do something you do not want to do any more.

Ryan: Well, this comes to the argument that what we hear all the time is, well, a college degree, we brought it up earlier, a college degree shows that you can do critical thinking, a college degree. Well, I'm just saying like a college degree. Means that you can stick to whatever it is that you're doing.

Hannah: Somebody on TikTok said, someone said, oh, it's people with degrees know how to think and people without degrees don't to which I responded the CLA, which is the college learning assessment, which is a college approved, all the colleges agree that this is the way we're going to assess whether or not people can critically think after they've gone to college.

And it showed that 45% of them show little to no improvement in critical thinking skills as defined by the examples that they use. Like being able to read the information on a credit card brochure and understand it and comprehend it. And when I said that. The person responded to with "so a majority then no, not to prove my point, but that is a very small majority".

And that critical thinking does not look very critical. It also does not look like thinking. That means that there is a 45% failure rate for it to do the very thing that people claim it does. That's like flipping a coin. If you flip a coin, pretty much, this side works. This side doesn't work. That those are not good odds.

Not good at all.

Like not at all. And it's so funny for them to look at that and make that assessment because I'm like, I think you're part of the 45%. You literally can't see the fact that you're paying for this thing and it doesn't even do what you've believed that it does according to them.

Ryan: Yeah. I think that that's going to be the argument and they're going to say that having that actual line on your resume shows that, gets your foot in the door in other jobs. It doesn't matter. So if you have a degree, if you have a degree in whatever we talked about this before, but if you have a degree in science that you're going to be good at, well I don't know economics, or if you're have a degree in history, you're going to be good at being an engineer or whatever, you know what I mean?

Or being a copywriter, or something. And it's just like that. Yeah. That doesn't equate. That doesn't make sense.

Hannah: It's really inconsistent thinking. It's really inconsistent critical thinking, because if you need a degree in the thing, if you need a degree in the field that you're going into to get into that field, that's a terrible argument because now what you're telling me is that any degree will get you into any job, but the people that go to college claim that your major matters, right? They're like, oh, well I'm a biology major. So I'm blah, blah, blah. I'm like, well, that doesn't make a lot of sense because you're claiming that you have an edge up on everybody because you have a four year degree, but you claim that because it's a biology, cause it's a biology degree that you have access to fields that other people don't have access to. That doesn't make any sense. That's extremely inconsistent. Do you know what I'm talking about? Have you heard people say that where they're like, oh, well it's just any degree. I'm like, well, if it's any degree, then why does your field matter?

Like it shouldn't necessarily.

Ryan: Yeah, definitely. Yeah. Anyway, yeah, it's a mess. It's out of the scope of this show. We're way off the rails. So I think that let's let you talk about the teachers.

Hannah: Yeah, that's a really good one. I think teachers, cause I know man, I give it to people that work with kids. Kids are exhausting. I would not want to work with children. When I was younger, I thought that I did though. And so for people who have, who are going to be teachers and they get into a classroom setting and they're like, wow. And it's not necessarily that they don't even like the kids, but they just don't like the work. They don't like the schedule. They don't like being in that environment. For them, then you shouldn't do it. You definitely shouldn't continue to pay to do this thing that you've realized you don't actually want to do it anymore. And also I think a lot of people feel trapped because they think that that's the only way to work in that field. Like you can work with kids and you can teach outside of being a traditional teacher at a public school. You can. There are avenues available to you. You can be a pod teacher. You can you can teach at private schools. People get really pissed when I say that because they—always on TikTok a lot I'll say, oh, well you need a degree to be a teacher. I was like, well, that's not true. I mean, you can teach at a private school and they're like, well private schools don't count. It's a school with kids in it, where they learn stuff. It does count cause it's school, it's schools, it's school. So I think that for a lot of people, they don't realize that there's alternative ways to go about doing what they want without having to do it in that way.

Ryan: So, that's that's pretty good. I think the next thing that I wanted to talk about is this if you would rather just work, there's nothing wrong with that. So there's nothing wrong with wanting to work and I've heard if you would rather work rather than go to college, then just get out.

And one of the things that I've heard you say in the past is that you should secure a job before you get out of college, and you said that a couple of times, and I never said anything about it because I was like, all right, whatever, that's your opinion. But I actually, I completely disagree with that.

And I think that, if it's between work and college, you don't need to wait till you get a job to quit college because you're paying for one and you're going to get paid for by the other. So stop paying right now, and it might not be, you might not get your tuition back. I'm not saying, I'm not saying you, you might've paid all of your tuition already, so you might not get that money back, but you're going to get your time, right?

If you know that you're going to drop out and you're not going back, or at least not in the foreseeable future. Then why wait another day, why spend any more energy or any more time thinking about it, worrying about it? Wondering if your, if your alarm is going to go off to get to class, why?

Like it makes no sense you're paying to be there. Drop out. Get a job.

Hannah: It is not often that you come down on a more extreme side of the argument than me, but this is one of those times. And you're right. There is an inconsistency in what I say. I think I say that because a lot of people are really afraid and they feel like it's like jumping out into the ocean, and they're like leaving the boat. And so I've used that as an example, but you're right. The thing is if you're paying to be in the sinking boat cause you're cause you don't want to go until it's sinking then it doesn't make sense to wait until it sinks to jump.

Ryan: Yeah, no, and I think that in the past you got it confused with what we say about starting businesses or getting another job and you've equated the two or at least you never said that you acquainted to the two, but in your thinking, you did. Right? That because what we say about starting a business is don't start a business. Don't quit your job and then start a business.


Start a business while you're working. It really, really helps. Man, it really helps. Okay. And then the other thing is don't quit your job and then get another job. Find a job while you're still working. And I think in your brain, you got college and a job crossed. I understand what you're saying.

Hannah: Yeah. I was trying to speak to the experience of the people who, how they're looking at it, but you're right. Like cause I don't actually think that because one is you're paying and the other one you're getting paid. They're fundamentally— one is negative and one is positive.

Ryan: Yeah. and if you'd just rather work, yep and you're like "I've thought this through. I'd rather work. I'm not going to college", and you're listening to this and you have class tomorrow. And you're just like, yeah, "I would rather work" like, okay, well then turn your alarm off. Turn your alarm off. Don't go to your eight o'clock class and you're done.

And then now let me wake up, and then now it's time. Now, it's harder, right?

Now you have to work.

Now It's harder. I'm not saying that it's going to be easy but now you've got to work. And now, you have the time and the energy to focus on that. You can focus on the job hunt. I understand how you said it.

And I understand for most people that's probably better as probably an ease. It's a much easier transition because it, because what it does is it avoids, their feeling of being stagnant. It avoids their feeling of not moving anywhere, right? Because after you jump out of college, now you're just a deadbeat. Society says that you're just a deadbeat and the society says that, well, if you're not going to school and you don't have a job. You're a deadbeat. You're worthless.

Hannah: I think when I was thinking about it too, one thing that when I was, when I picture who I was talking to, when I said that I was talking also to people who are currently living in, on campus, like in a dorm. And so for them quitting would immediately changed their housing situation to which does play into it.

If they don't have a place to go, if their parents don't have a room for them and they don't have a job yet, they would immediately be homeless.

Ryan: That's interesting because I don't, you'd have to check with your college

Hannah: to see what it's like. If you paid through the semester, oh well, you then you'd have to think really carefully about when you do it then, because if you're near the end of the semester and you have nowhere to go, I'm not like advocating for it.

Cause you know how I feel, but it's just something that I was thinking like when I closed my eyes and I was like, who was I talking to? When I said that, I was thinking of somebody who is living in dorms and who would immediately have to leave now. And if they didn't have anywhere to go, then that would be kind of risky for them.

Ryan: Yeah. I think each person has to check their college or university housing situation. Because if I remember correctly, I knew people that dropped out that stayed in the dorms.

Hannah: Really?

Ryan: Yeah.

Hannah: They let you do that?

Ryan: I'm pretty sure I might be full of crap. I probably am.

Hannah: That's interesting. I wonder how long they let people do that. I wonder if they've done it and they've signed a lease, like through the end of the year or something, they just have to let them stay.

Ryan: That's what I'm assuming.


I don't know. Anyway.

Hannah: Check your local regulations.

Ryan: Check your local listings.

But that's just something that I wanted to bring up.

Hannah: I agree with you.

Ryan: Because we've said this before, and if you'd rather work, the whole world opens up to you. And it's not to say that you are done learning. It's not to say that you're done educating yourself.

Hannah: But you've just started.

Ryan: You've just started. You've just taken the first leap. So if you're going to do this, if you're going to quit school to work, you have to analyze your own financial situation. And now you want to get your dream job. You might not get your dream job right off the bat.

If you need money, you might have to go and take a job that you don't want to do.

Hannah: And live with roommates.

Ryan: Right? You might have to live a certain lifestyle. You might have to go and work in the restaurant industry.

Hannah: You might have to live within your actual means.

Ryan: You might have to go and work retail. You might have to go and work as a valet.

Hannah: That's what I did. I immediately, after I dropped out of school, I worked in a restaurant.

Ryan: You have to do all these things, but on the side, you can learn the skills that you need in order to get your dream job, you can start a side hustle. You can start a business. You can educate yourself for free or for much lower costs.

And now your finances are going in the right way. For many people, your finances are going to be going in the opposite direction for the first time in their life, for the first time in their life, you're 19 now, and you got 50 grand plus worth of debt.

But at least you don't have a hundred.

Hannah: That is true.

Ryan: And now, You're actually making money.

Hannah: Keep in mind too, that when you do that, especially now, if you're out on your own, no, one's going to come and tell you what to do. No, one's going to tell you when to do things. No, one's going to tell you, you have to be here.

You have to accomplish this. No, one's going to check behind you to make sure you've done things except unless you're at work. And so that's something that people have to come to grips with as well is like, when you leave college, you got to grow up. Like you have to start, you actually have to work.

You actually have to pay for things. You actually have to live according to the market value of the money you're able to earn with the skills that you have and you actually have to make yourself study and you have to actively choose and decide and make strategy and goals as far as where you're trying to get and what you're going to use to do it, and how much you have to use to do it with.

And it's, it's a lot.

Ryan: So the last thing that I wanted to touch on real quick, before we leave is. For those people that are thinking about dropping out of school, but are studying or want to work in the common fields that often people think that they need a degree.

Hannah: So CPA, law, engineering.

Ryan: Basically. A doctor.

Hannah: Oh, doctor.

Ryan: Doctor, medicine basically submit to make it quick. Sorry, guys, you got to go to college.

Hannah: Basically only because I do think that will change in the future because the cost is too high. There are too few people going because of the cost because of the amount of time, because they recently and recently to history tacked on four more years for no reason, just because they wanted their money.

And they knew that they're professionals. So they'll rationalize the cost to themselves because they're gonna make money, and then for everybody else, though, there are alternative routes. There are. People can tell you all day to the loon face that they're not there are wrong. There are. There are legal and there are set out paths to do all of those things through alternative means.

Ryan: Right?

We talked about it. We talked about it before on a, on another episode, but if you want to be a lawyer, there's a few states that you can go to,

Hannah: to read the law.

Ryan: To go there, be a paralegal or rather an apprentice for a few years, then you can get sponsored to take the bar.

And then if you want to, there are plenty states after once you take the bar that you can go ahead and have a reciprocal and you can go and you take the bar in another state.

Hannah: And now, you're a lawyer.

Ryan: And now you're a lawyer, right? Yep. And a lot of people say that they can't do that because while then I have to move away.

Well, you were about to move away for college, anyway.

Hannah: I don't connect that. That's like the exact same thing. It's they're moving for work. It's the same as moving for college, except for it's actual work.

Ryan: And then now once again, your finances are going in the right way. Moving on. If you want it to be an engineer, it really depends on what kind of engineer you want to be.

There are plenty ways and plenty of companies that you can work your way up to be an engineer.

Hannah: There are some companies that we have it on good authority. These companies start with a T.

Ryan: There are many companies that have—there are many companies. Shoot. You can go to almost any power and gas company in the nation, and they're going to be engineers.

That don't have color.

Hannah: There's also going to be people in charge of the engineers that don't have college degrees, it's going to be CEOs in charge of the entire company that don't have college degrees.

Ryan: And then you can go to you—name it any, you can all the big companies, there are engineers in there that don't have a college degree. If they can do it, you can do it.

Hannah: Yep. People are going to be very upset about this because people do not like the fact that people can get to the same place as them with different paths.

They do not like it in all in fact too, they'll say, oh, well, this is the easy way. It's not, it's the harder way. It's the much harder way, but you know what? It doesn't cost. It does not cost you and financially speaking, you are going to end up on top because you did not pay, you were paid. It's just better.

That way. It just is because your finances go positive instead of going negative.

Ryan: Yep.

Hannah: And time and compound interest matter.

Ryan: And then CPA, there are a bunch of, same thing for apprenticeship, right?

Hannah: There are five states where you can study and then you can sit and take the CPA exam and then you would do the same thing.

You would take the CPA exam in other states.


Again, people get really up in arms. Really. You can, you can, it's not, this is not an opinion. It's a fact you were allowed to do that. People do it, people have done it. It's a thing. Yeah.

Ryan: Yeah, definitely.

Hannah: Also, if you're going to be in, if you're trying to be an engineer through working your way up mechanical and electrical are your best bets.

Ryan: Yeah.

Hannah: Yeah. It's hard with civil. Cause like you can work and be a draftsman and try to work your way up that way. But civil is very highly regulated. So it's harder to do that. It is possible, but it's very difficult.

Ryan: Yeah. We'll try to throw some of these resources into the show notes for people.

Take a look at it, a degreefreenetwork.com. So yeah, I think that this pretty much sums it up. I think that was good. Like I said, we had a bunch of people asking specifically about how to know if he should drop out and as with everything else, you got to know the why I'm going to at least ask yourself why you are even asking this question and it can be a complex answer. It can be a really minuscule answer or rather it could be a very simple answer. And if it's a good enough reason for you, it's fine. A reason as a reason, it could be as simple as I'm unhappy. Right?

Hannah: There's nothing wrong with not doing something, not especially not paying to do something because you're unhappy. People leave companies for that exact reason.

And if people can leave a paid position because they are unhappy, you can leave a paying position, a position where you were paying to be there, if you are unhappy.

Ryan: One of the things is going to be like doing the financial analysis is going to be very difficult. Figuring out if you can afford it or if you can't afford it.

Just because of what we said, the data out there is very dirty.

Hannah: We're trying to sort through and when I say we, I mean, mostly Ryan, but we are trying to sort through it because we found some very interesting, interesting things.

Ryan: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. And but you know, use whatever tools you can basically. Average salary is out there, even though those are real, not good.

Hannah: Those are hard to find too.

Ryan: And they're just not accurate, but you got to start somewhere, as we said, as you said in previous episodes, you gotta start somewhere, right? If we nitpick about this number and that number, this number, that number, we can never make it. We can never make a decision.

And so you've got to, you gotta do whatever you can. And so Google it. Pick a number that sounds good. Do the analysis figure out, okay, how long has it going to take me? How long is he going to take me to pay off all of my debt? This is what I should be getting paid, or this is what the average salary is going to be paid. In my experience, and I think in a lot of people's experiences, those average numbers are way off or I think there are estimated on the high side.

Hannah: First salaries for college grads.

Ryan: First salaries for college grads. Yeah. They're estimated way to the high side. And also on the flip side of that for people that don't have degrees, they're askew way to the downside.

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: So it's difficult. Soit's difficult, but just know that if you stop going, you stopped paying for it. You stop paying for it. So immediately, if you start working your finances go the other way. So the sunk cost fallacy is huge in this. We try to say, try not to look at the amount that you've already paid.

Try to look at what you're going to pay, right? Because you can never, you can't get back the money that you paid. You can't get back to the money in the time. For those years that you were already in.

Hannah: It is gone.

Ryan: They're gone, you've accumulated the debt and you've gotten it. And if you've decided that there is no benefit to the piece of paper that you're going to buy at the end of all of this, then why are you going to pay for it?

"It's well, it's just kind of good to have". And that rolls into the next point, which is if you're studying to be a certain thing and you don't plan. Working in that field, you should stop paying for college. Yeah.

So if you're thinking you're going to be a professor, but you don't want to be a professor anymore.

Hannah: Peace out, girl scout.

Ryan: Peace out and out of there. Yeah. Last thing is if you just rather work,

Hannah: and there's something wrong with that, man.

Ryan: And my advice, just part it's difficult because it's, because a lot of times you're going to feel like you don't know what you're doing.

It's my advice that if you'd rather work, just quit, just stop, liberate yourself from the debt, liberate yourself from going to the classes, stop spending the time, stop spending the money and then just go to work. And like I said, depending on your finances, which I imagine your finances are not going to be good.

You're probably gonna have to get a job in the interim before, while you're looking for your "dream job", while you're building up the skills that you think that you need. And now, like we said, it's this, once you've made the decision to drop out, it's going to be a lot harder.

It's going to be a lot harder.

But you're going to be in much better financial.

Hannah: And you'll be amazed, how much freer you actually feel when that's not on your shoulders. Because for a lot of us, we're more marketed too really hard. And we're young when we make that decision. And that amount of debt is a very heavy burden for somebody who is 18 to 22 years old, you should not have to carry it around to begin with and you definitely shouldn't have to add more to it if you no longer want to do it. So don't be afraid to drop out if you've decided you no longer want the degree and you just want to work.

Ryan: Yeah. And then if the last thing is if you want to go into one of those fields that commonly says that you need a college degree to get into

Hannah: just try and alternative route and see how it goes.

Cause you know what, you can always go back to college. It's a business and they want your money.

Ryan: Exactly.

Hannah: They will always take your money.

Ryan: That's exactly what I wanted to finish off on as well is guys, don't be afraid to drop out because this is a company. This is a business.

Hannah: It's a corporation.

Ryan: These guys will take your money whenever you want to give it to them.

Hannah: And I know in school they do try to scare us. They act if you wait five minutes after you graduate, if you do not have that locked in by the middle of your senior year at max, like, the middle of your senior year of high school, that they won't, that the college will not take your money.

That is not true. The colleges, are big businesses and they want your money and they want to take it from you. And so do not be afraid to leave. They will take you back. They'll take you back in a heartbeat because they need your money. So just keep that in mind, because it really puts a lot of the power back in your hands, because I know that a lot of high schoolers especially are taught that if you do not, if you do not get in, if you don't get in, they're never going to take, they won't take me again.

Yes, they will. It's like Walmart, if you go to Walmart, do you think that they're not going to take your money? Of course they will. It's Walmart. It's the same way with colleges and people can pretend that it's very oh, it's hard to get it. It's not. It's not, it's a business. They want money. It's that simple.

All right, guys. Thank you so much for watching this one. This is a good episode. I think. I hope this helped you with with this decision. And if you are looking for how to get a job without a college degree, we did make a guide for you. Folks is on the website it's degreefreenetwork.com.

Also all of our podcasts and transcripts are on there. So you can read those and watch those too. Yeah.

Ryan: Yeah. Excellent, and if you guys liked the episode, if you guys like what you hear, if you guys can consider leaving us a review, that's super helpful on apple podcasts or wherever it is that you get your podcasts.

Those reviews really just helped to get our message out there to everybody. Also, if you guys could if you are watching this on YouTube, if you guys can give us a thumbs up that's super helpful as well. If you guys have any questions, comments, concerns. If you guys just want to say what's up there was an email [email protected].

If you have any questions, drop it in there. And it really helps to see what you guys want to know, gives us some ideas for future episodes of what we can, of what we can do and what we can talk about. All right. Until next time guys. Aloha!

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