You can turn college into a huge money maker.
Here is the thing that most college sales folks (teacher, counselors, etc.) won’t tell you: big money is not a given.
These folks will tell you that “college is an investment” but keep in mind that most of these people know almost nothing about investing. They might put a few grand a year into their 401k but odds are, they don’t even know what they’re investing in.
College is not an investment.
Sure… it can be used as an investment but for most students, college is a luxury. It’s probably one of the biggest luxury expenses you’ll ever be able to purchase.
(You’re not going to find many people willing to give you a $100,000 loan for a new car today unless you do very well in life.)
There is nothing wrong with luxuries unless you’re lying to yourself claiming it’s an investment.
Honesty is key.
Are you going to college to do something you love as your job? That’s probably not an investment…
Or… are you going to college to learn something you love? That’s probably not an investment…
Or… are you going to college to drink a lot and make friends? That’s probably not an investment…
These are all luxuries.
You’re not entitled to do something you love as your job. You’re willing to pay for it. That’s cool.
You’re not entitled to get professionally educated on a subject you love. That’s a luxury that I absolutely love indulging in.
And certainly, drinking and making friends won’t pay the bills (or it doesn’t work very well for most folks. At least, it doesn’t work well alone.)
An investment is something you expect to make money off of in the future. Taking tens of thousands of dollars in loans pretty much crushes any small income increase you get from college.
To make college an investment, you need to see a huge increase in your income and employment potential.
So, you want to make big money from college?
There are 3 major factors involved with making college a good investment:
1. Don’t Major In Something Stupid
I get it… I get it… you love philosophy. That’s cool. I don’t intend to be Aristotelian mean here dude but keep your loves in life balanced.
Your first priority is putting food on the table. If not, then there are much better ways to learn what you love than going to college.
(Delay college. Get a minimum wage job and a room to rent. Go to the library daily and read for hours on end. I lived that life for months. I learned crap tons and loved it but at a certain point, I realized the opportunities I was missing out on.)
Investments have a reasonable prospect of paying a return.
Doing what you love in college won’t necessarily pay a return.
(Of course, doing what you hate won’t pay a return if you never do it. You can’t expect to make a career out of that either.)
You’ll typically hear the good majors listed as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.
That’s a reasonable starting point but don’t base your decisions on that. You need to look up the options yourself.
Sometimes you’ll find opportunities that make a major unusually advantageous to you personally.
So… majoring in philosophy may be a luxury for most students but if you happen to be best friends with a highly successful philosopher that could get you awesome gigs (you know, philosophizing for money or whatever) then it could end up being an investment.
It comes down to your major and your life.
2. Go To Parties And Be Awesome
Okay… I know I said going to parties and drinking was probably not an investment. Probably was the key word.
Parties are actually one of the best investments you can make.
That sounds nuts, right?
I would have thought that years ago too.
This is why it’s not nuts.
Relationships are the most important factor involved in your career success.
Friends will get you:
These are the things that can create your career out of nothing.
Sending out resumes and filling out applications is the worst way to get a job. It’s essentially the lottery ticket approach to a job search. Maybe you’ll luck out…
(Don’t want to make friends? Hopefully, you’re good under pressure because you’re going to have to be more impressive than the other dozen interviewees. If you lack charisma then this is almost completely useless.)
The traditional strategies don’t apply to people with friends in the business.
You can get away looking like a sub-par interviewee because you have a friend verifying you’re not an idiot. (I was involved with hiring for years. Ruling out idiots and flakes is the hardest part because anyone can sound impressive in an interview.)
The people you’re drinking with are the same people that will be getting your foot in the door later. The more of these people you know, the more options you’ll have in life.
What does that mean?
- Make lots of friends
- Be fun
- Don’t look like an idiot!
Take note of that last one… being the most excessive drinker isn’t a good investment because the people that love you as the life of the party aren’t going to recommend you for a job.
3. Twinkle Toe The System
Being successful in anything has three steps.
College is one of the best places you can practice this approach.
Step 1: Learning the system
If you want to be successful at something then you have to define that something. The better your define it, the more successful you can be.
If you want to get good grades in a class then you need to break that down into its components.
Good grades in a class are the results of the grades on your individual papers and tests. Those good grades are the result of knowing the answer to different questions.
If you want to make a ton of money then you need to break that down into components.
Making money, hopefully, comes from having other people want to pay you for something. How do you get that something? What is that something? How can you get more people to want more of it?
Notice how much easier it is to learn about getting good grades because…
Step 2: Analyzing the best
In school, your syllabus will regularly bring you to this step of twinkle toeing the system.
Your class syllabus might say 10% of your grade is test scores and 90% is homework and essays scores.
That’s an analysis of the best possible approach to spending your time.
In that example, since tests are only worth 10% of your final grade, you could literally get a zero on every test and still get an 90% in the class. That means you should do your homework before you worry about studying. Right?
It means a lot of things if you’re well practiced at this process.
This is a process that you’ll always be improving at.
If you wanted to make money then you might analyze an hourly wage. Being paid an hourly wage is always limited by the amount of time in your day. You need to increase that hourly wage to increase your income past a certain point.
Once you start practicing this process regularly you’ll find there are unlimited opportunities to take advantage of in life.
The world is throwing opportunity in your lap every single day of your life. This process teaches you to keep your eyes open for those opportunities.
Step 3: Practicing the steps
Once you understand the system and you know how to do well at it, you still need to do it.
If you learn that homework is only 10% of your grade and essays are 50% of your grade, you still need to make the choice to invest 50% of your class time on essays and only 10% on the homework. (Or you need to approach it with whatever strategy you deem most effective.)
And you certainly can’t take advantage of 50% of your grade coming from essays if you suck at essays! There is a learning curve to taking advantage of certain things.
Never let yourself wing it when it comes to improving your ability at dealing with the system.
You need to practice the steps consistently enough to see the results. That way, if you don’t see results, you can notice that and stop doing what you’re doing!
Create a system to manage it
Follow your system.
Watch the results.
If the results are disappointing then something is wrong and try something else.
If the results are awesome then keep it up.
If you don’t follow that system then you will never be able to judge the results or learn your lessons.
The system is what’s important because it tells you just what you need to do next.
Aaron Richardson took his grades from fighting F’s to Easy A’s. In the process, he read over 300 books on personal development. Today he’s founded 2 blogs on studying including Smart Student Secrets. He’s written 3 books on the subject. His work has been featured on some of the biggest news, psychology, and student sites on the internet.