School’s Not Always the Way

| 4/26/2012 7:57:30 AM

Tags: education, self directed, internet, skill development, college, Robert Maxwell, Robert Maxwell,


Of the many puzzled expressions I’ve caused in my life, the largest number happened right after I graduated from high school in 2008. That’s when I decided to do something that no one else in my graduating class did. Something radical and adventurous. Looking like many lazy layabouts before me, I decided to forego college and stay at home. How is this adventurous? A fair question. There’s nothing too thrilling about a young guy lying on his parents’ couch all day when he should be in college. Luckily, that’s not what I did with my time. 



While many of my friends were getting accepted to prestigious schools to study things like fashion design and psychology, I was trying to decide what to do with my life and future. I knew I wanted to remain on in the country on 


 Manitoulin Island long term and have lots of land. I also knew I needed a least a little money to build the life I dreamed of. I just wasn’t certain what to do to earn money way out here in the middle of nowhere. I’d always enjoyed photography, and was thinking about turning that into a career. The only problem was that none of the post-secondary programs I researched seemed to teach practical skills on running an effective photography business, which I was pretty sure was what I wanted to pursue.  

4/27/2012 2:16:33 PM

Having done the "traditional" 4 year college degree track and coming away with 40k in debt (not even "that" bad, comparably), I wish I had had the "idea" to think outside the box. I stopped riding horses in college and now I really wish I had pursued a career in that regard. I was just sort of moving along towards a "regular" degree b/c I thought that's what I was suppose to do. Now, while I work an office job that brings me little satisfaction, I am attempting to bring my life more in line w/ things that I can be passionate about, namely, living a wholesome and rewarding life through backyard chickens, growing my own food and attempting to embark on a self-sustaining life. I commend you for your very wise decisions.

gerald naughton
4/26/2012 7:37:38 PM

Congratulations, Robert, on figuring out early that "credentials" doesn't equal "career." Or knowledge, for that matter. I suspect that many of your classmates, like thousands of other young people across the country, are only now realizing that -- after spending four years and tens of thousands of dollars; and that they, along with their dreams and principles, will be indentured servants to their student loans for the next couple of decades. Cheers.

mother earth news fair


Oct. 21-22, 2017
Topeka, KS.

More than 150 workshops, great deals from more than 200 exhibitors, off-stage demos, inspirational keynotes, and great food!