I’m 18 and I’m Not Who You Think I Am
Lily Bolton

Dame Julia Andrews, Oscar Winning actress, writer, author, director and famous high school dropout. (source)

Why College?!

I wonder if you might question the established learning hierarchy just one more time. Actually, I’m begging you to do so.

My niece and nephew were home schooled. I was one of those doubters that questioned my brother’s parenting choices — until I saw with my own eyes how wonderful the entire experience can be when you have dedicated parents.

My son, who attends a Grammar School in England, is likely on track to attend something like Oxford or Cambridge and yet I find myself asking ‘What if?’

What if we don’t expect our children to go to college?
What if the world is changing in weird and wonderful ways that make traditional college almost irrelevant or just a choice?
What if accruing so much debt is just that, debt? Not investment.

You, Lily, have been given a huge gift by your parents. It’s a rare and special gift that is akin to a magical power. This gift?


Instead of it being beaten out of you for 13 years by our current Victorian-styled school systems, yours has been amplified. Do you think a college degree will deliver something you can’t get for yourself? I wonder.

I’m not judging or demanding you do one thing or the other. I’m just asking you to tap into your curiosity and ask some big questions about the next step.

At this moment…

  • Mozilla is working on badges. It’s in version 1.0, but version 3.0 is likely to look like the digital equivalent of an artist’s portfolio. This will revolutionise how we hire, select business partners, and contract services.
  • E&Y, one of the largest consultancies in the world just declared the diploma irrelevant to their hiring practices. You don’t need one to get hired into this prestigious firm. They aren’t axing the requirement because they are in touch with their inner child, the data pushed them.
  • You can learn everything online, almost for free, from incredible teachers inside and outside the establishment.

And I could go on. College might be the right choice for you, but you will never really know if it’s right unless you ask lots of questions — the kind that make so called ‘grown-ups’ nervous.

Go forth and prosper.