What school is for_Blog #3

What school is for_Blog #3

My graduation picture is right next to my bed.

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 6.39.06 PM

I pass by it everyday but don’t take notice of it. The only thing I notice is my clock.

I graduated with a First Class Honours in Chemical Engineering. Here’s my degree.

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 6.42.40 PMI wasn’t naive enough to believe that this degree would change my life.

(It didn’t.)

I kind of remember a little bit about thermodynamics, but I don’t remember where I put this piece of paper.

I thought about school today because of two reasons:

1. A few of my friends have started doing their Master’s degrees and

2. Most of the people I really like don’t have a college degree. Let me list them here:

Casey Neistat

Elizabeth Holmes

Richard Branson

Steve Jobs (doesn’t need a link)

Oh, and also because I’ve been reading about stuff from a funny, crazy guy named Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

This book:

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 6.56.41 PM(the one in front, called Antifragile)

I might have been living in a cave all my life, but it’s the first. FIRST time I’ve ever read anything saying that education is the result of wealth, not the cause of it.

Let me say that again.


not the cause of it.

I know a lot of people who make a lot of money and/or changing the world who don’t have a degree. They may not be on the cover pages of magazines or newspapers but these people are making a decent living, much better than most people I know who do have a degree.

(but hold it there, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with getting a degree. We’ll get to that in a sec.)

There are a few 21 year olds I know who dropped out of school in their teens to start small retail business really young who make five or six figure incomes monthly.

It got me thinking. If education is not for wealth creation (since many people without education have become much wealthier than those who did) then what is it for?

My theories:

1. To make friends and to learn

2. Because you simply enjoy attending classes and being in a formal system where you are graded

3. You don’t know what to do with your life, so you’re stalling, cruising

(My friend Sing Yien came up with the last two theories… I fully agree with her)

But no, it’s probably not something you can bank in on. If you want to get rich, education is probably the slowest route. Sure, you get some wage bump with some higher qualification, but a savvy entrepreneur could have very likely gotten a 1,000x profit bump in the same period.

School is for…?

School to me will always be for learning. But I would never go back to school just because I wanted to earn more or because I didn’t know what I want to do with my life.

Teachers can’t tell you what to do with your life. They don’t know the answers.

Unless you want to be a teacher too, look elsewhere.

That being said, to each their own. Do whatever makes you happy.



Signing off,

Lu Wee

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