We are NOT stupid

A couple of mornings ago I was listening to the morning news on NPR and the President's voice came on, he was talking about how last year the United States had more people graduate from college than ever before and that the children were doing better on standardized test than they have in recent years...yada yada yada.  After he stopped speaking another man came on and said that although that is true we are not competing well with other countries.

I am not going to quote too much because I won't get it right but the point was that our country as a whole is not doing well as far as education goes, which is probably true and I am definitely one to contribute to the statistics.  You name it, I've dropped it.  I went to college for 4 years, dropped out 3 times and I still don't have a degree.

First before I get into this, I want to state that college is good.  It is really good and I know that it is absolutely necessary in our society.  I love doctors, lawyers, teachers, nurses, and anything that needs lots of education.  I just think there has to be other options that don't make you feel like a loser on the way.

The system that is in place is very rigid and if you don't fit the mold than you could be considered a failure.  If you have other plans, then people question you, they question your intelligence or your work ethic.  I'd be rich if you paid me a dollar for every time I heard "when are you going back to school?"...it mostly came from people that had no interest in my life so you know what I did...I started lying to people that I didn't know.  I told them I graduated.  They would smile and go on their way and I would go on mine.  It worked out for the best. So at the end of my education experience, I became a failure AND a liar with pocket full of debt.

The problem when I was in school was that I didn't know what I wanted to do and there was not a single class that stimulated me, not a one.  I hate fluorescent lights and I like to learn in a hands on environment so obviously college was not my cup of tea. 

Once I decided that I wanted to open a coffee house it was on.  That's all I needed was a goal. Someone handing me a piece of paper at the end of a college education didn't get me excited enough to work for it but having keys to a coffeehouse did.  So on I went, I didn't care if I didn't have those keys until I was fifty!  The thing is, even though I will never have a bachelors degree,  I have opened a business and believe me, that's worth four years of education.

So the point of this post is that if college isn't for you, don't worry about it...find what is and fight your tail off for it.

That's what I like about our country.  We are a bunch of fighters not failures.  What I see currently is a bunch of people rebelling against the system and saying "I am going to do what I was created to do!"  Whether it be writing music, art, baking, leather goods, sewing, farming, sports, teaching, counseling, designing, interior decorating, flipping houses, fighting for injustice, praying, raising children, loving people, nursing, ski lessons, starting music festivals, climbing mountains, opening a business...


And if all else fails just tell people you have your degree. wink wink.

64 comments (Add your own)

1. Mike wrote:
You got it right Mallory. I know a lot of people with fancy degrees that have no passion for what they do. I dropped out too and ended up in a position that I retired from as soon as I was eligible. Fortunately, I can now afford to do what I enjoy. I'd advise anyone to do what their heart tells them is right, not someone else's opinion. You can tell the passion you guys have for Hoboken when you walk in the door. I know of very few that have that. You also have a gift for writing and I enjoy reading your posts. Thanks for writing them.

Thu, February 12, 2015 @ 1:13 PM

2. Hoboken Fan wrote:
Thanks for saying this. You're spot on. College is a really neat experience for those who are built for it. It's great for passing around ideas, learning from knowledgeable people and being exposed to new ideas and philosophies. BUT it's by no mean the only route to success, and for many people it is nothing but a frustrating distraction from what they really want to be doing. I'm a college professor at OSU, and I have two types of kids who fail my classes: The type who doesn't try hard and is lazy, and the type who, frankly, has something better to do and can't be bothered with college. I fully respect any student whose outside pursuits overcome their ability to pursue a good grade in college. Especially if the go on to run an outstanding coffee shop where I can buy a great cup of joe. Keep up the good work!

Thu, February 12, 2015 @ 2:01 PM

3. Melissa Neel wrote:
AHHH! This is so encouraging. Okay I did recently graduate with a degree, but even after obtaining that goal people expect specific things. I have goals to create documentaries. But the getting there may not sound as professional as I fluff it up to be. Heck does anything? Thanks for reminding me to work hard and be okay with a different path.

Thu, February 12, 2015 @ 2:42 PM

4. tera wrote:
You are spot on! Way to tell it like it should be taught! :)
Our little community would be missing out on you and your wonderful coffeehouse if you had let what "everyone" says dictate what are you doing today.
Miss you!

Thu, February 12, 2015 @ 3:19 PM

5. Steve wrote:
Great post Mallory! It is all about chasing your dream, whatever it may be. I do think there needs to be more focus and effort spent on math and science in schools, as well as higher standards required from students in those subjects. That is where the US really falls behind the rest of the world. Math is strong mental exercise for kids, the act of doing math helps them to be more analytical and works all parts of the brain; even if they never use it in real life, their young developing brains benefit from it.

My oldest son started college majoring in political science. After three years he changed to English. At first I thought he was crazy. When he told me why he said, " Poli Sci is a game, it is all about getting in law school. You play politics, write what the teacher wants you to write and say what he/she wants you to say, and you think like they think, because you need their recommendations to get in. In my English classes, the teachers want you to think. They encourage different points of view. They don't care what your opinion is as long as it is really yours. After all, Dad, isn't the point of coming here is to be taught how to think?" I was never prouder of my son than I was at that moment.

Fri, February 13, 2015 @ 5:49 PM

6. Janet Cowden wrote:
I am SO Glad you are my cousin. We need to talk. You get it. A cousin who gets it. What a Rare Gem. I need to come see you very soon. Could you please message me your email on FB? Thanks. You don't know what your words mean to me.

Sat, February 14, 2015 @ 1:10 AM

7. Tammy Colclasure wrote:
Well written and so true. I can relate to your story because I've been in and out of college and never finished. Yet, now I am a Systems Engineer at a 4-year state university with no college degree. It is absolutely necessary for some careers (lawyer, doctor, teacher, etc.). But there are so many careers out there that do not require a degree and very successful (any variation of your definition of success) people that are greatly educated without that piece of paper.

Wed, February 18, 2015 @ 11:40 AM

8. Maris wrote:
I totally agree, Mallory. Americans are missing the boat by having a "one size fits all" educational outlook. My husband and I are encouraging our children to look at lots of options for their future. We are hoping to equip them to be entrepreneurs. We would love to help them make a living doing what they love, using their God-given talents.

I love your spirit and your platform, Mallory. You inspire me and many others in living out what you love to do! I hope to run into you again soon!!

Wed, April 15, 2015 @ 10:15 AM

9. Gionne wrote:
I'm sitting here at my desk in Los Angeles completely disengaged in the work I'm being paid for. I'm a college graduate who landed a great job as an analyst and couldn't be more bored. For 5 years, I've dreamt of opening my own business. As of late, I've begun the process of making it happen; and I happened upon your website/blog with the most impeccable timing of my life! You have added even more fuel to my burning desire to break out on my own.

As I explore various business platforms and navigate my way through web designers, I'm constantly being barraded by thoughts of failure, mediocrity, disinterest in my product, blah blah blah. But as I navigate your site and read your story, I'm re-inspired to forge ahead! As a mom, I constantly worry that my daughter will go the college route (which is fine and all, but there are more creative and stimulating ways of being educated) and end up at a boring desk job (or worse, an office. Because when you have an office, then they really have you by the balls). Your comments on our education system echo my sentiments exactly.I'm not a fan of our education system and have started encouraging my daughter to explore other routes of gaining knowledge. I've book marked this page and will save it for when she's old enough to understand the value of your viewpoint.

So thank you for sharing your thoughts! And if I'm ever in Oklahoma, I'll thank you in person....


Wed, July 29, 2015 @ 5:05 PM

10. Stan Miller wrote:
Love what you said about education! Not all young people are cut out for school, as we found out with our son Matt. He struggled with college, and we always knew he was far too creative to be comfortable there..and needed to find a vocation! After supporting him financially through to years of college, heating & air training, fly fishing school, etc. Matt has finally found his passion -- barbering! He is amazing at it..and has already won an award at the Paul Mitchell Barbering School in Los Angeles! I have been a news anchor for 33 years, and I only have one year of college! Unheard of! But I wanted it with all my heart, and worked my way as an intern into a full time job with KOCO TV. From there I never looked back. What I didn't know I learned in college book stores. Life is good..and becomes great when you find God's plan for your life! Sally and I love you two and are so proud of what you've done with Hoboken! Best coffee in Oklahoma...(and I think I've tried it all!)

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