I Knew I Was On To Something

One of my football buddies always used to say, "Don't let school get in the way of college." Most laughed and knew he meant slacking off was the cool thing to do. I took it as meaning there is more to college than simply doing homework and papers. While this does not mean to neglect your studies, it does mean to not neglect the other facets of the college experience. Developing the whole man is more important than getting a 4.0 GPA. What does spending an extra hour reading an english book more thoroughly do for you ten years from now? Not much. How about starting your own company from school? Man, that would be sweet. So your GPA won't rest at 4.0; perhaps is lowers even to a 3.0. Who would be the more valuable hire after graduation, the reader or the founder? Paul Graham asked just this question to some fairly important people:

I asked managers at Yahoo, Google, Amazon, Cisco and Microsoft how they'd feel about two candidates, both 24, with equal ability, one who'd tried to start a startup that tanked, and another who'd spent the two years since college working as a developer at a big company. Every one responded that they'd prefer the guy who'd tried to start his own company. Zod Nazem, who's in charge of engineering at Yahoo, said: I actually put more value on the guy with the failed startup. And you can quote me! So there you have it. Want to get hired by Yahoo? Start your own company.

College is much more than high school 2.0. It's about discovering yourself, who you are, what you stand for, where you want to go, and not to take 'safe' classes that will look good when you apply for your first job. Here's the kicker: after your first job, no one really cares about your grades - they care about your production, what you've done. So do well in school, because smart people don't get 2.0 GPAs, but don't lose sight of the fact that a 4.0 won't get you a better job in 5 years. Having tangibles will…