Dropping out has always fascinated me. Dropping out of college is always something that has intrigued me a lot. The reason being that quite a few of them who actually drop out go on to become not just world beaters but path-breaking innovators who actually improve humanity as a whole. While my intention is not to encourage people to drop out, I feel that this actually works for a certain section. Here's why:

Education is defined as a process in which we gain knowledge, values and skills set that can aid our future lives. In today's educational systems, we are told that these three core competencies are imbued in us, unfortunately that is not always the case. The fact is, in quite a few cases, we are stuck in the illusion that we have obtained these under the garb of a degree certificate. A degree certificate is largely (not always, there are exceptions) a reflection of our memorising ability, our ability to study local author books to pass the exam somehow and also of knowledge which eventually gets diluted once we enter the working world.

In essence, our educational experience fits the person who is comfortable with adapting himself to a structured system. The structured system is efficient in its own ways but it suits only certain types of people. On the other hand, the person who has dropped out, ironically, attains all the three competencies with his experience with the practical world.

First, the dropout experiences downright humiliation from society. Our society would decry and despise him for his inability to cope with the Engineering/Medicine demands. He then goes through a stage where he is mentally cornered and he decides to pursue the unknown. He starts to explore himself more since he has the time to do so and doesn't have much of a choice.

Once in the exploration process, he decides to explore the unknown in his area of interest. He is not confined by the structures set by either society or the system; thus the exploration covers a much wider area of study since that individual never takes anything for granted.

For example, if I was an engineering student, I would forgo some chapters in my syllabus since these would not be covered for the “exam.” On the other hand, the dropout would try to explore the practical implications of this subject and explore the unknown within this subject by reading on his own. As such, this allows him to study beyond the realms of structural education which narrows down our intelligence to a streamlined path. This immense exploration enhances that individual's knowledge in a much wider perspective, a perspective that would enhance his skills set also.

Skills set is a very crucial aspect of education. In fact, the focus on education should be on the skills set more than the academic jargon. Once an individual starts to explore and settles in one specific area (owing to his own exploration and not what the system pushes him into), then that individual will look for skill sets that can help him out. Additional courses can help him gain this practical knowledge that can directly help his area of interest.

When the dropout ventures out to earn his skills set, he comes across the wrath of social prejudice at a very early age. The impact of social inequality and social prejudice sets into that person very early on. As such, the dropout understands the need for finding ways to enhance the fundamentals of long-term success. Most of the dropouts generally look for role models and they realise that the values system is the base for any success at any stage in life. The fundamental importance of values, which the educational structure often overlooks, is imbibed by the dropouts at an early stage. The practical hardships of surviving without anything also make them yearn for more sustainable success mantras. As such, life corners them to imbibe values within since their survival is at stake.

My reference here is to people who want to succeed but they are not able to do well in the structured and rigid education system we have. In no way do I encourage people dropping out, if given an option it should be avoided. However, if someone is forced to drop out (or feels that's the way out), then the world is equally at his feet. It offers him enough possibilities to gain knowledge, attain skills set and enhance their value systems.

Just because you drop out doesn't mean the world ends, it is just the beginning of a whole new exciting world!

(The writer's email ID is: rams7777@msn.com)

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