Don’t get me wrong. I 100% believe that college and university makes you a better person. Even people who take a “useless” degree like English, Psychology (mine are in psychology), or any other useless degree, come out of college ahead of the game.

  • You gain critical thinking skills
  • You improve your literacy and numeracy skills
  • You learn organization and time management skills
  • You learn about consequences for misbehaviour, inappropriate behaviour, and lack of behaviour
  • In many cases, you learn how to be an adult without mummy or daddy telling you to eat your vegetables
  • And as a bonus, you hopefully learn a content area and skill set

But there is one major problem. College teaches you to follow the rules. Do exactly what the teacher says and get a B. Follow this essay template and get a B. Be on time, raise your hand, and get a B. This works for college, but certainly not in real life. This is why university and college suck. They teach you to do exactly and only what was requested.

In real life, in the business world, following instructions doesn’t cut it. In fact, if you just do what you were told to do, you might find yourself out of a job. In real life, thinking outside the box, that dreaded catch phrase, is what we need. And thinking outside the box doesn’t even mean thinking of or creating new and amazing and fantabulous things. It simply means taking instructions, interpreting those instructions, and giving back more than what was requested. Indeed, it means giving back what the person actually meant to ask for.

In real life, workers need to give what was requested but go beyond that and apply their expertise to the request. Essentially, give them what they want and get a B. Give them what they were unable to verbalize and get an A. Getting an A in the real world means new job opportunities, raises, rewards, bonuses, and promotions. Like the sound of that? Think outside the box.