November 24, 2021

How to Tell Your Family You Are Not Going to College - Ep 22

How To Tell Your Family You Are Not Going To College And You're Taking a Different Path

Here's The Best Way To Do It

Telling your family that you’re taking a different path from college is one of the hardest things you’re gonna do. There’s no easy way to do it but we prepared this episode so that you can make it easier and learn from our experience!
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 to prepare and tell your parents that you’re going to be degree free and take a different path.
  • Why you don’t need to have a college degree to be skilled and educated.
  • Why a college degree isn’t an investment and what are the alternatives you can do to achieve your goals instead.
Hannah talks about why she dropped out of college and how there is an element of societal shame for women who don’t have a degree.
Ryan also shares his experience growing up in an Asian household and what did he do to convince his family that he’s taking a different path.

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

Hannah: Welcome back.

Welcome back everybody to the party. Please do and subscribe if you have not already. Thank you for joining us again, and also if you found something actionable in one of the past episodes or in this episode, and it was just so good that you're listening again, then please check out our website, which is On there, we have a guide that will teach you how to get a job without a college degree. It's going to tell you all the basics of how to go about looking, applying, and just really other good tips for studying and finding good jobs without college degrees.

Ryan: And let's get into today's topic today. Today, we are going to be talking about one of the things that is probably one of the hardest things that you're gonna have to do when you decide to go to degree free, especially if you're a young individual, or if you're currently in college, if you're a high school senior, a high school junior, or you're currently in college, we're going to be talking about today, like how to tell your family, you're not going to college or that you're breaking out of college.

Hannah: This did not go over well in my household that I did this.

Ryan: I think it's a very difficult conversation to have. Everybody, and their mother has been indoctrinated that,

Hannah: This is the way.

Ryan: You have to go to college in order to be successful. In order to be a value to the community, but also for your benefit, for your personal benefit for you to be a contributing member of society, but also for you to make good amount of money. You need a college degree.

Hannah: I think this is really, heavily applied to women nowadays, too. I think it's more, more heavily applied to women than it is to men, because there's now an element of societal shame that applies to women where if you do not get a college degree, then there's almost an assumption that you're dumb or they can only be a stay-at-home mom, and all of those things are completely ridiculous blanket statements. They are generalizations about people and they're inaccurate for most, for the most part. But I think that there, that element also exists where for my family, even it was, if I don't get a college degree what am I going to do?

I'm going to be a mom, I'm just going to get married and stay home and not do anything. And again, This is something that I do want to be at home with our kids in the future, but there is like an element of shame, which is really odd, and you've met my mom. My mom is the most supportive, encouraging, like proud of everything that we do, my siblings and I, but she still this was just, told to her for such a long time, this line go to college, you gotta go to college.

You gotta to get a degree. You need a degree. There's something inferior about you, if you don't.

Ryan: Yeah. I think also this is important for women because the vast majority of people that are in college are women. And so guys are having an easier time leaving college or not going to college and women are still in there and not seeing causation, not because they don't know how to tell their family that they're not going to college.

This is the reason why they're still in college. I'm just saying that for the vast majority of people that are in college are women, and our market is 60% of women that we're speaking to because they're already in college.

Hannah: Yeah, and cause it's implied and told to us by our parents, our teachers that you're, not sufficient unless you have a degree, like you have to have a degree to prove that you're more than just a woman.

That's the implication. I think actually I've never really said it out loud, but I do think that's the underlying sentiment that I heard. That's what I heard for sure. And for years, like even when I had achieved success by a measure. I had achieved more success than most average college graduates do, but my mom would still tell me you should get a degree, you should get a degree.

Why, should I get a degree? I have surpassed the result that a degree would get me in the field that I'm in, and she still just wants me to go. Why? Because it's like a security blanket almost. It's you have to like, you should have it.

Ryan: Yep. It's an identity issue. Yeah, it's it's an outer reflection of supposed self-worth I think.

And when that's completely wrong. Because what college is supposed to be is college supposed to be job training. College is supposed to be training to get employment so that you can make money in the future. But you notice how we haven't spoken about any of that, because that's not what college is anymore.

And so I think once you've decided you don't want to go, or you're done going, there's really no easy way to break that.

Hannah: No.

Ryan: There's no, for the most part, even if you have the most supportive parents in the world, it's still going to be difficult, especially obviously if they wanted you to go to college, right?

This whole conversation is for those people that have parents that want them to go to college and want them to continue to go to college, to get a degree. I think the first thing that you have to do is you just have to be honest.

Hannah: You have to know your own mind. You have to really think about this on your own a lot before, before you do that or at least have not like I sat and poured over it a lot, but you definitely have to know that you don't want to do it anymore. You have to be sure about that because it's like you're going to get grilled for it. Like your, parents, your peers, your family members are going to try to break you down to get you to go back because they've been marketed to and scared into thinking that you have to have it in order to succeed.

They think that the only way to have a good life is with a degree, and they think that if you don't get a degree, then your life is going to turn out less than ideal. That's what they've been told. That's what they've been sold. And now they're telling and selling that to you. And so you have to be sure about what you want or don't want before you go into this conversation.


Ryan: And I think that a lot of people after they've received the news, that, okay, you're no longer going to college. Their first reaction is going to be well, why? And then most of the time, it's going to have some sort of quantitative meaning. Negative connotative meaning of what are you going to do to just be a deadbeat?

Hannah: Right.

Ryan: Like what, are you, going to do? Just going to serve tables for the rest of your life.

Hannah: You're just going to work and not go into debt. Yeah.

Ryan: Which is, there's nothing wrong with serving tables for the rest of your life. There's nothing wrong with that.

Hannah: There's nothing wrong with working.

Ryan: No, not at all. And I think what helps this after you've sat them down and just said, Hey look guys, I'm not going back to college. I am not finishing. I want to pursue this, and this, and this is my plan on getting there and it's not going to be perfect, but this is a much better path for me. I feel. Instead of spending my time and my energy and my money in college. And so having a path forward and at least the first couple of steps, at least have a direction that really helps because then it shows that you've at least thought about it. The problem here is that you're talking to people that deeply love you and deeply care about you.

Hannah: And they believe that this is what's best for you.

Exactly. That you must, in fact, they believe not only that it's best for you, but that terrible things will happen to you if you don't get it and your life looks dismal without it.

Ryan: And you want to just tell them that that they love you and that they care about you, you are going to want them to be okay with this path.

Because that path is what you want. Most people are going to be at least a little receptive to it. You know what I mean? There are definitely those cohorts of parents and family members. That are never going to be okay with it.

Hannah: Even my extremely supportive mother for 10 years now, I just realized 10 years has been, she just stopped. She just stopped in the last year telling me that I need to go to school to get a business degree when we run multiple businesses. And I think there's something that you all have to come to terms with is that if somebody believes that a college degree is the end all be all which a lot of Americans do, they are never going to stop telling you to go back.

If you strike out on your own, be that in work or in business, and every time you fail. Every time you fail, every time you show weakness, for the most part, there's going to be somebody up at your elbow telling you to go back to school. That is going to be, that is going to be the case. I really do think that because as I said, my mom is extremely supportive, but still she did that exact same thing.

And I think I'm pretty articulate on my views of why that doesn't make sense for me and why that doesn't work for me. But it didn't. And I was the one, I was going to be the one paying for it too. Like I did, and I would have been. And so it wasn't even her money. It was my money and it was my time.

And I had my reasoning set out and still, that was the reaction, every setback I faced, and so you have to understand that people are going to come out of the woodwork every time to tell you to go back and it's going to take years before they stop. Years. Yep.

Ryan: And it might not ever stop.

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: And that's something that you have to be ready and that's something that you're going to have to quote unquote, defend forever. I think what really helps when I'm talking to other people's friends and families about their kid or their family member not going to college is telling them that the life you're choosing by not going to college is not going to be easier.

It's going to be much harder, but at least you get to direct your life. At least you can put in the work where you want to put in the work. You can spend your money and your time where you think that you should spend your money and your time.

Hannah: Or not spend your money and your time, where you do not want to spend your money and your time.

Ryan: Exactly. You can direct your own quote unquote education, right? College isn't a place for education anymore. Maybe it was at one point it's a place to go get a piece of paper.

Hannah: I see this on TikTok a lot, but college is a place where you can purchase access to a type of education.

It is not education. Do not conflate the two, and do not allow other people to tell you that college is education. That is not grammatically true. It is not actually true. And it's not even philosophically true at this point. So don't let people say that to you. You can be extremely educated without stepping foot on a college campus.

Ryan: Yep, absolutely.

Hannah: Yeah. Especially in the internet age we live in.

Ryan: There's a good scene in a Goodwill hunting, that movie is so good.


Hannah: We're going to start playing video clips on this show.

Ryan: I literally, the only reason why I just thought about this is because I literally just went. You made me watch it with him. I just watched this clip. It just, I was scrolling YouTube as wasting time as everybody else does.

And and then I just saw it as oh yeah, I like that clip. And then I say, oh man, it's so good. And was basically like, oh, we need to put it in the show notes. We'll put that clip in the show notes for everybody. I don't want to ruin it.

See it for yourself.

Here. Yeah. But yes, even back before the internet was a thing, you could still go to your library and read books and educate yourself.

You don't need a college to do that for you.

Hannah: No. So you need it less now than you ever have.

Ryan: Definitely.

Hannah: Less now than you ever. And throughout history, there have been people that have been so self-educated that they built the great things of the world. They really did. Men, women, they built great things with no formal credentials.

And it's so funny to hear people, try to argue that now with YouTube, where you can learn quantum physics and where a six year old can watch quantum physics videos and learn things that it is less accessible now, that you need college more now, which is so funny because college curriculum cannot keep up with technology.

It is the funniest thing when people try to backwards argue that to me, I'm like, that's absurd. Did you learn that critical thinking in college? Because that doesn't make any sense?

Ryan: A bunch of stories about how, nowadays, there are a bunch of professors that tie in YouTube video clips as part of their, as part of their curriculum.

There are a bunch of places that only watch YouTube as their curriculum.

Hannah: There's a girl that I follow on Tiktok. She's at marketing. She's 20 years old. She has a pretty, pretty healthy like YouTube channel about social media marketing, and she has talked about the fact that there are professors that play her videos to teach marketing concepts.

Because there's students and it just makes my head want to explode because it's, one, good on her. Good on her. That is amazing. That is amazing. I'm so proud. Oh, it feels good, cause she doesn't have a degree. And so it's just so funny because I saw that and I'm like, man, if that doesn't prove my point, I don't know.

I don't know what does. I don't know what does.

Ryan: So to reign it back in. One of the next things that you're going to want to tell your friends and family is you're good. Just want to gently remind them that for the most people, it's not their money that they're spending, and it's definitely not their time.

Nope. Most people are taking out their own student loans in order to obtain this education, your family doesn't have the right to put you into debt.

Hannah: Nope. If you are over the age of 18. Actually, if you're under the age of 18, they don't have the right to take out debt in your name.

Ryan: Yep. That's just not a thing.

And that's going to be a rough one for them to hear, I imagine. But it is true. It's your money and it's your time. Spend it how you want.

Hannah: I think I have a question for you. So I think when I was talking about women having a really hard time with this, I think that I do think that women have a harder time breaking this type of news to their family because of what I said, because it carries more weight for us almost like we need it in order to feel validated.

But I think another group that tends to feel that way is either the children of immigrants, or people who have Asian parents. I do think that there's a different type of pressures. It's true though. I'm right.

Ryan: No, no, no. I disagree.

Hannah: Holy crap. I just found this out you guys. Holy crap. This is I'll, get over this later. I'm sure. But in the meantime while I'm getting over it, can you please, if you were to, so we've talked about this before, I think, but because I do feel strongly and I've seen it that there's a different expectation placed on the people in that demographic and I think how would you, with the knowledge you have now put yourself in 17, 18 year old you shoes, how would you tell your family that you're not going to go? Because I think the shame that you would have faced for that is, I can't even imagine because, I experienced it, but it is not close to what that would have been.

Ryan: Okay. I come from very Japanese family and, yeah. And what that means for the viewers at home is there just a lot of expectations. Just like any other family, but everybody's very stoic in my family and everybody is very quiet and everybody judges people and has high expectations, and their expectations, are basically what they think should happen in your life.

My life was mapped out for me from a very young age and I was supposed to go to college and I was supposed to get a white collar job and I was supposed to make a lot of money. Okay. So I went to college, I graduated, I did get a white collar job and it didn't make a lot of money.

Eventually my version of this, it's a little bit different because I, did go to college. I did get it. But I had to get off of my family's expectations, which is in the broader picture this is exactly what we're talking about. So it's not exactly what we're talking about, but it's applicable in the same way.

And I had to eventually in my early twenties, how to get out of, or off of the path that was blazed for me or not blazed for me actually, but rather laid out in front of me. I was miserable. I hated my job. I was depressed. I didn't make a lot of money and I was just, there was an inflection point where I just had to tell my family exactly this kind of stuff, and I have to sit them down and I had to tell them, Hey, look, I'm going to quit my white collar job.

I'm going to go back to bartending. I don't know what it is that I'm going to do. I'm not sure yet. And that's okay. Like that's fine. I think that I might want to get another degree in mechanical engineering. I think that I might want to work at animatronics for Disney. I'm not sure.

Hannah: He's thought about being a pilot.

Ryan: Thought about being a pilot.

I still want to be a pilot.

Hannah: Yeah. Got a couple more years.

Ryan: Maybe. Maybe not in commercial

Hey life goals. Maybe one of these days, I hope to have my wings. So it was difficult because I had to go, I had to butt up against a lifetime of being on this path. And I was so far down the path that they had just expected me to stay on it because I had already done 20 something years on this path.

I had already gotten the degree. I already did it

Hannah: You checked all the boxes.

Ryan: I got it. I did it. I was on the way, and I was just like, guys, this isn't for me. When I was growing up, I was always working on cars, always working on cars, always working on car audio, always working outside, always had projects to build.

I like working with my hands, not to say that I can't work in an office because I worked in an office all the time. And I had to, for those jobs too. But for me, some mixture of the two is perfect, right? So for example, right now in my life, I'm a firefighter. So I work outdoors. I sweat, I go do hard manual labor.

Hannah: Climb mountains.

Ryan: And on my days off I'm in an office setting and I am in an office for 14 hours a day. Some sort of mixture is perfect for me, but that's not what my family wanted. They thought that the only path to success, which was making a lot of money because people in my family and my culture, what they value. They thought that only going through white-collar work is the way to make a lot of money.

Hannah: I want to say, too, this is not this is not connotative. We're just saying there's nothing wrong with these cultural differences. It's just a matter of if you're trying to get a different outcome and you feel a lot of pressure on yourself and you're not sure how to communicate what you want or what, or rather just let them know what you're going to do.

That's what this is for.

Ryan: Yeah. And so it was just it was it was a conversation as many multiple conversations because I was raised very close to all of my extended family, but what people would call extended family. But I just call my family, my immediate family, but generally people, my aunties, my uncles, my grandfather, stuff like that.

It was tough. I just sat down with them and I just told them, Hey, look, I told them exactly what I just said, is I can't live your life anymore. I can't live the life that you want for me. That's not what I want for myself. And the one, the people that love me, which is all of them after I sat down and they realize what they've, what I let them do to me you know what I mean? Like it's not their fault. It's my fault for letting that impact me like that for so long. But after I told it almost every single one of them there, all right, Ryan, that was never my intention. Ryan I just want what's best for you, right?

They love me. Of course. They just want what's best for me. One thing I will say, and not everybody is like this, but what helps me in those times and when you're dealing with something like this, that has a lot of people that are very invested and that are a lot of emotions involved. What really helps me is to write.

And I'm not saying that you have to be a great writer. I'm not saying that you have to write all the time, but writing things down really helps to just get your thoughts in order and then externalize it onto paper. And a lot of times it might be easier if you just were to take that and put into a letter form and you send it to those people, you send it to those people and you say here you go, dad, here you go, mom, uncle, grandma, grandpa or whatever, cousin, sister, brother. And you're just telling them, this is what I'm doing with my life. And this is why. And like I said, for the most part, people are going to be okay with it.

Hannah: So I think that, I want to make sure I get the essence of the question, which is because I remember that happening, but you were 24, 25.

Ryan: I must've been 24.


Hannah: Yeah, so older. So put yourself in 17 year old you's shoes saying no.

Ryan: Sorry. It was a long winded way of saying of that was a long winded way of saying, sorry, I went way off there. That was a long winded way of saying do that.

Hannah: Okay. I just wanted to, I want to make sure, because I feel like that was really valuable and I want to make sure we're clear about your advice on it.

Ryan: I'm saying that my advice is to just have that hard conversation and the way that you do it the way that I find is best to get my thoughts in order is to write things down prior, right? Write down why it is that you don't want to go, what it is that you think you're going to do. And for me, like I said, now I'm thinking back on it.

I didn't know what I wanted to do. Like I didn't know.

And that's okay. And that's what I told. That's what I told. That's literally what I told my family. I said, I don't know what it is that I want to do. And that's okay. For the first time in my life, I don't know. Because my life was laid out for me because they laid it out for me. But when I told him that I wasn't going to live their life, it was the first time that I didn't know what I was going to do, and I was scared. I was super scared, but that's okay. It was the first time that I ever felt liberated to make my own choices, to do my own thing, to make my own mistakes. Before you talked to them, write it down, sit down. Sit down with them. Talk with them, send them a letter of you after.

Hannah: And if you're not a writer, then just do some bullet points about why you're feeling that way. But just to keep you on track, because if it gets emotional, you want to make sure you stay on track. If you have three bullet points, like I don't want to spend that time in college. I don't want to pay that money for college.

I want to work. Those are sufficient bullet points because you know what, even if the conversation gets twist, it's hard to talk to family about this kind of stuff, especially when it's emotionally charged and there's money involved, and there's every people's hopes and dreams like pinned on these things.

And so I do think that's really important so if you're gonna, if you're going to have this conversation, at least jot a few things down, so at least jot a few things down so you can keep yourself on track if the conversation gets emotionally charged.

Ryan: Just bringing it back. One of the biggest things is the money.

Hannah: Like probably the biggest thing really.

Ryan: It costs a lot of money to go to college, and you're going to go into a lot of debt if you don't have the money already saved up. Majority of time, you are going to go into the debt and just telling them, look, I don't want to go into that much debt. I would rather work. I would rather my finances go the other way.

Me make money, save money, instead of going into debt. That's a logical argument.

Hannah: It is.

Ryan: And you can't disagree with that. People will, but it just doesn't make sense.

Hannah: Yeah. If it was any other investment and I put quotes up, I put air quotes up because I don't buy that. I don't buy into that.

I do not believe that's a good way to look at college. If it is an investment for half of more than half, the people that make it, it is not a worthwhile one. But to look at it in that way, you could never picture people's parents pressuring them to invest that amount of money in a company that early at 17, take out a giant loan and buy $30,000 where $60,000 worth of X company, that's insane.

That's insane. And if you wouldn't do that on a company whose drive is to actually make money, then you definitely shouldn't do it for something that is just, it's a product. You're buying a product. It's like buying a yacht. It's like buying a car. It's not an investment.

I do not accept that definition of a college degree. And if, though you were to define it as an investment, you cannot imagine any sane parents forcing their child to take out a loan for that amount of money at that age and then invest it all in one company. That's insane, especially for the socioeconomic demographic of most people that are going. People like my family, that's insane. My parents would have never made me do that ever, but they were soberly sanely telling me that was the best decision for me to make.

Ryan: Yeah. I think the argument there would be the best investments that anybody can make is in themselves. That's what they're going to say.

Hannah: I agree. But I disagree with what they're saying is a good investment in yourself.

Ryan: I agree, and it's going to be you that actually spends the time and effort to get the degree.

Hannah: Hey guys, 4 years is a long time. It is a very long time at that age. Like such a long time. It's the entire amount of time you were in high school.

Like it's, quite some time and, you're going to be paying the entire time you're there. And not only that, most people take five years to graduate, not four. And so you might be there a very long time and that's really something to consider because in that amount of time you could do anything else.

Ryan: Literally anything, it could be anything, it could be,

Hannah: You could do nothing. You could watch every movie ever made. You could travel the world. You could backpack, you can work, you can start a business, you can do whatever. You can collect beanie babies. It doesn't matter what you do, but you can do anything else for with that amount of time.

And for a lot of people, you can do whatever anything else is much. If you want to be, you could become a classical violinist in four years and you would pay less if you were paying somebody to teach you how to play violin than you would like, if you want to be a concert violinist you could learn that in four years, and you would pay less than you would for the average college degree, just to put it in perspective.

Ryan: I think the last thing is if you're over 18 even if you're if you're considering college already, you're pretty close to being an adult. Call it what it is. You're an adult.

Hannah: You're a grown ass person. Sorry.

Ryan: Just do whatever you want. Yeah. If, you don't want to go to college.

Hannah: Do not.

Ryan: Don't go to college. If you want to go to college,

Hannah: if it makes financial sense, that's up to you though, cause you're a grown ass adult.

Ryan: Right? I think if you there's nothing wrong with preferring to work, if you'd rather go work, just tell them.

Hannah: Yeah. I will say most people are so well-intentioned, but it really is asinine that people imply that there's more nobility in spending money you don't have than there is in just working.

Ryan: It's easy to tell people to spend their money. Like you spend your money.

Hannah: I think a lot of parents though feel, and this is I'm sure this is going to come up. People listening to this. I'm sure you're going to have this thought, but I'm sure there are a lot of people who are, who were thinking my parents saved up half of it or part of it and they're going to pay it so therefore I have to pay the other half. No, you do not. You do not because the worst case scenario of you not going, is your parents get to keep all that money. Oh, no.

Ryan: Yeah, and so a more nuanced conversation as well would be like, okay, what if your family saved all of the money, right? And so this is going to be a very specific topic for very small subset of people. So I'll just spend a couple of seconds on it.

Hannah: Few Americans can afford to do that.

Ryan: So if your parents have saved up everything for it, and they've saved, it saved it up in a 5 29 account into a tax advantage education savings account, and that it's grown over the years.

And then your parents are going to say, look, I can only spend it on XYZ because in a 5 29 account, it grows tax-free because you're going to be spending it on eligible education expenses, things like tuition books but things of that nature. Okay, you can just tell them. Thank you so much for doing that.

I still have to spend my time doing it and I don't want to do it. There are, there's a laundry list of eligible expenses for the 5 29 plan.

Hannah: Like coaches and tutors.

Ryan: A lot of coaches, a lot of tutors are eligible for it.

Hannah: A lot of flight schools.

Ryan: A lot of books are eligible for it. There's a laundry list of things.

Hannah: Professional licensures also.

Ryan: Okay, if you don't want to do any of those things, maybe they want to maybe tell them to put it back in their name and then they'll do it. Okay. If they don't want to then tell them, Hey, we're going to give it to me anyway. Give it to my kids when they grow up.

Hannah: Yeah. Keep it for my niece or my nephew.

Ryan: Keep it in my name, and then when I have kids put it into their name and that can help me pay for their schooling, their education throughout their life. And it doesn't have to be college. You can pay for private school, you can pay for tutors. You can pay for books on learning throughout life.

Like I said, this is a very specific,

Hannah: on a racket that 5 29, it is such a it's a good deal, except for, you can only spend it, like you can spend it on alternative learning, but it's a very limited list.

Ryan: Yeah.

Hannah: It's just such a, it's just such a it's so well-intentioned, but it's just not at the same time.

Ryan: It's well intentioned for sure.

Hannah: I guess it's in a shifting sort of way.

Ryan: It's a never ending wheel. So I think the impetus of the reason college,

Hannah: It's like a gift card. You can only spend it here.

Ryan: Yeah. I think the impetus of the reason why college tuition has increased is the fact that federal student loans became a thing. That's just, you can see when federally.

Hannah: You can look at it, you can look at the graph.

Ryan: When the federal student loans were, it became a thing 1965 or whatever it is.

And then there's a shot up and it's through the rain. Through the route from there, the 5 29 plan was established so that people can save their money so that they could,

Hannah: They can earmark it.

Ryan: They can earmark it and save it, the gains tax-free so that you can pay for the ever increasing cost of college.

Hannah: Which is increasing because they started the federal student loan.

Ryan: But then there's more money being saved and then the colleges can charge more money.

Hannah: It's self-feeding. It drives the artificial demand. It's just the whole thing is a mess. Yeah.

Ryan: Yeah. So anyway, that was very specific.

Hannah: Yeah. There's not a lot of people that have all of their college, I'd love to see the numbers on that, but I bet it's not a lot.

Ryan: Yeah.

Hannah: Yeah, you'd have to have a lot of money to do that.

Ryan: So we heard my story to finish off, I'd kinda like to hear your story of how you told your parents that you're not going.

I know that you had a, I guess you could just for people that are new to the podcast that are listening for the first time, I guess you could drop the story of how it is you decided not to go or like how it happened? Just quickly.

Yeah. Yeah.

Hannah: So basically I had a pretty influential high school teacher who told me to dual enroll at the local college.

And so in Georgia, what that allows you to do is it allows you to clip out of classes, which means you can test out of classes that you already have sufficient knowledge in. And then what they allow you to do is they actually allow you to attend college full time, even though you're enrolled at a local high school.

So that's what I was doing. So my senior year of high school, I just went to college, and I got a taste of it then, and I was about, I was halfway into my, what would have been my sophomore year, but was technically my freshman year, and I was just sitting in this sociology class and I was about to start a midterm and I just looked at it, and I was like, dude. I'm so bored. I think I'm just, I was just bored out of my mind the whole time. I'm the only interesting I did was I wrote for the college paper, which I liked, but I, was just so bored with most of the classes and I just found that there was a general, like lack of intellectual discourse and that if you asked questions or you had any. Dissenting viewpoints about anything. It was not well received. It was shut down and it was reflected in your grades. And that to me just seemed oh, like, why am I paying? Like, why am I paying for this? I'm bored, I'm annoyed, and this this stuff is not interesting to me and I was working.

I think that's really, what did it for me is I was working I was working in a bar and, because I was working, I was getting more out of working. Like I was feeling more proud of my work. I was seeing cash in my hand, and because I was working so much, I think that's really what did it, where I was like, I'm just going to work because I don't want to pay for this.

And I already have a job. And I went in, I sat down, I looked at the midterm and I picked up my pen and I was like, yeah, I'm done here. So I just tore it in half. I threw it in the garbage. I did not, I didn't talk about. It with my parents. I, had been like slowly getting to the point where I was just fed up.

I was just bored and annoyed and I didn't want to pay for it. And so I think that, it just got to a, it just got to a point for me. I was like, yeah, I'm done. I'm done here. It was very much a complete feeling where I was like I don't belong here. So I left and then I told my parents that night I went home and I just said, I'm done.

I'm not going to go anymore. I was paying for it to at that point. So it was like a moot point. I was still living at home, but I was paying for it, and they tried to talk me out of it because they're like, no, you really should. I was like, no, I'm not going back. I'm done. I have a job.

I don't. And I don't think I had given much thought to what I was going to do instead. I will say I was young. I was 18. And I, did not give very much thought to what I was going to do afterwards, but they not, just not just my dad, but also extended family members, piped in their opinions too.

And I heard my parents' version of their opinions about me not going to college. And that continued for years. Thinks you should. I'm like, God, I don't care. That's cool that thinks that I should go back to college, but that's my time and my money.

And I did feel a sense that they didn't have a right to tell me that. And so while I don't think it was nearly as fleshed out as this, it was definitely like this is, it's mine. Like it's my time. It's my money, and I don't want to do that. So I will not.

Ryan: Yeah, I think for both of us, I guess the,

Hannah: It doesn't hurt that I was working like 60, 70 hours a week too.

Ryan: So I was working full-time too.

Yeah I didn't drop out, but

Hannah: I also moved out. That's another thing that I think if I had stayed at home, I think they eventually would have talked me to it. I think what really into me and that I would really suggest, and this, it goes into our, remember that you're an adult.

And I was 18 and I moved out and I think that not out of spite or anger or anything like that, but I was 18 and I had a really good friend and actually two really good friends. And we were like yeah, you know what? We're going to live in our own place, and so we rented a little house altogether and that I think really cemented it for me, that I was on my own path.

Like I paid all my own. I was paying my own bills. I bought my car from my parents, and I was paying rent. I was paying groceries and I didn't have healthcare or anything like that. But paying for urgent care bills, like I was responsible for myself. And I think that was what cemented to me that I was going to make my own decisions.

If you're struggling with this, I would highly suggest moving out because I do think that really helps. If you're, if I had stayed at home, I think I might've gone back because they would have worn me down.

Ryan: I think, not as a perfect place to wrap it up. For those that are thinking about doing this, like we said, just be honest.

There's no easy way to do it. You got to remember though that these people, they love you, they care about you. They have these judgements and these feelings because they want what's best for you, and they think what's best for you is for you to go to college and you don't want to go to college.

You don't want to go back. You want to get out of there. You don't want to go in the first place. And those right there are good enough reasons just because you don't want to go. And that's okay. You can stick, by that, right?

Hannah: It's your life.

Ryan: Right? You, didn't have, you didn't have a direction that you just said.

Similarly, when I told my parents that I didn't want to, my parents, my grandparents, when I didn't want to stay on the path that they lined out for me. I didn't know what I wanted to do, and that's okay. I just know that I don't want to do this anymore.

Hannah: And that's all you need to know.

Ryan: Yeah. We find that it helps that you, if you do want to be a little bit more prepared, to have your next actions already lined up. So yeah. I'm going to get a job doing this. I want to work in this industry. I'm going to do this, until then. I'm going to do uber eats until whatever. I'll get a job at a bar or go work at Abercrombie and Fitch. Whatever.

Hannah: If you are going to, is that even a,

Ryan: I have no idea.

Hannah: I didn't think that business exist anymore.

Ryan: Damn.

Hannah: I don't know.

Ryan: If it doesn't exist.

Hannah: Outdated.

Ryan: Somebody, somebody let us know. Somebody let me know, hit me up. [email protected]

Hannah: Tell me how old I am.

What's the one that's dark inside? The Abercrombie and Fitch.

Ryan: Hollister.

Oh yeah. I

Hannah: don't think Abercrombie and Fitch exists anymore to be honest with you.

Ryan: Is Abercrombie the one with that the Eagle?

Hannah: No, that's American Eagle.

Oh Jesus.

Holy crap You're a million years old. No, that definitely doesn't exist anymore. I don't know.

Ryan: We're going to get to the bottom of this.

Hannah: Don't work at Abercrombie don't work. It doesn't exist.

Ryan: I'm going to go work at the north pole. Oh, we want to sound as elves. Oh, I got it all figured out. Don't worry about me.

Hannah: Having a Moonlight with the Easter bunny.

Ryan: Exactly.

Hannah: Anyway, so definitely don't tell your parents are gonna work in a business that doesn't exist that will not help your case. But that is a good point.

What I will say about that is if you're going to tell them a specific thing in a specific timeline, you do not have to stick to it. But if you think you might not tell them, do not tell them this is exactly what I'm going to do at this exact time. If you do not plan to follow through on it, because it's going to make you look flaky. And now you just look like a quitter and I'm not saying there's nothing wrong with being a quitter. I'm a quitter. I quit things that I do not want to do, and there is nothing wrong with that. It was actually a big victory for you and I, when we walked out of a movie that we didn't like.

Ryan: Yeah that was huge.

Hannah: Yeah. That was huge. It is okay to quit things or not spend time doing things that you do not want to do. I'm not suggesting you don't follow through on things that need to be done. I'm saying that if something does not suit you, if you do not wanna pay for it, if you do not want to spend your time on it, you do not have to do it.

And that's true for jobs and college. But if you're going to tell your parents like I'm going to do this instead, and especially if your parents are strict or they're very worried about it, then I would not give them a hard timeline if you're not going to follow through on it, just be consistent. Yup.

Ryan: And then just remember that it's your time, it's your money. Remember that you're going to be an adult, if you're aren't already an adult and you make adult decisions and,

Hannah: sometimes they have adult consequences, which might mean that you have to pay your own bills too.

Ryan: Yeah. And then you're going to have to do adult things.

That's okay. You got to grow up sometime.

Hannah: Yep.

Ryan: And then whatever adult bills that you are going to start paying, it's way less than whatever college is going to start charging you.

Hannah: Do keep that in mind, if you're afraid about paying your cell phone bill and your car payment, you should not be taking out a college loan.

Ryan: Yep, exactly. Exactly.

Hannah: If you can't handle that, if you can't handle your groceries, your cell phone, in your car, you have no business taking out a college loan.

Ryan: Yep. Yeah. I think that's pretty much it.

Hannah: Yeah, I think so this is a good one. Good luck to you guys. If you're thinking about doing this, I will say good luck to you.

We wish you well. If you are looking for actionable ways to go about looking for jobs without a college degree. Finding certifications or licensure for anything, please do check out our websites We do have a guide on there that you can grab that will teach you how to apply how to search for jobs and how to teach yourself skills that you need to know.

So do check that out and make sure to like, and subscribe.

Ryan: If you guys want to hear more about what we're thinking or just follow us on the socials, you can follow Hannah. She is @hannahmaruyama on the socials and I am @ryankmaruyama on the socials as well. We're trying to be better about it.

We're pretty terrible at it. We're trying to be better at, posting

Hannah: Hey man, speak for yourself.

Ryan: And posting a little bit more. Yeah, you're right. You're right. I'll speak for myself. I am terrible at it. You're really good at it. You can follow our show too at @degreefreepod on the socials as well. All right. Until next time guys. Aloha.

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