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What College Won’t Teach You

Sometimes the best advice comes after the fact. It’s the wisdom you learn from experience, and the advice comes not from someone else, but from your own life’s story.

This guest post was submitted by one of my college roommates, Jose Martinez, and still one of my closest friends. I had the pleasure of seeing him last month. Not that he needed my validation, but it was satisfying to see that he has done well for himself. He’s a strong, intelligent guy, the same person I told you about who taught me chess. Much to my chagrin, he can still beat me. Or, maybe I let him… The world will never know for sure.

Here’s Jose’s contribution:

When I saw this request, so many things ran across my mind.

What advice would have been the best for me as a young adult?

What advice would have helped me out the most?

In the end, I settled on this:

Growing up, all you hear is, “go to college and everything else will come together.”

And, don’t get me wrong. College is important, and if you can, you should go.

However, when I got out, I remember not having a good idea what the heck a savings account did or how a fixed or variable interest rate worked.

I admired the individuals with the street smarts, the people who not only knew about their career path, but also knew about retirement planning. I wanted to have that knowledge. But I had no idea what they were talking about.

I have always felt like I have been chasing my generation financially. I feel like I am always one step behind. And it is all because of a lack of a good financial education in our school system.

The advice I would have given my younger self would be to branch out more. Do not expect college to prepare you for everything. Ask questions from individuals who are knowledgeable in the financial world, and be willing to take risks.

Just like you might take lessons in music or cooking, dedicate that kind of time and energy to learning about taking care of and furthering your money . I think if I had possessed this kind of attitude coming out of college, my money would be on par with my generation.

Don’t rely on college to teach you everything.

And remember, it’s never too late to start learning.

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My blog is a collection of advice I wish someone had shared with me when I was young and targets subjects like personal finance, careers, and relationships. It publishes Mondays with the occasional bonus article. Sign up to have fresh content delivered straight to your inbox, no SPAM!


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