Why Are You Going to College?

Written on April 29th, 2013. We've got comments, too!

With the new academic year coming up, I’ve been asked to talk to fresh high school graduates about their education plans. Shockingly, a huge number of kids have no clue what they want to be when they grow up, but they go to college anyway. They don’t even know what department or faculty to take — they just want to be in it.

This, to me, is complete lunacy. If you’re a graduate aiming for a campus, make sure you know what you want. Otherwise, you cannot enter a university — no matter how prestigious or famous — and walk out a successful man or woman. Don’t let anything affect what you pick — take what you want to be.

Last year, I actually met an IT student from the so-called best university in Indonesia, who did not understand the concept of regular expressions. In disbelief, I asked, “so why did you decide to be an IT student?” His reply — forever a reminder that we’re lucky to be in a field fueled by passion — “because my parents told me IT pays well nowadays.”

As one of my mentors (I truly wish I remember who said this) told me a while back:

A student in college without a dream is like a kid with a wad of cash in a toy shop: he’ll wander around, look for the shiniest and most expensive toy, take it home, and give up trying to assemble it in a few hours.

Know what you want to be, and be it. Don’t follow anyone else.