Don't worry, it's just your whole life you're choosing here...
Higher education started gaining popularity in ancient Greece where men learned the complexities of philosophy so they could argue against being sold into slavery if someone sued them. Besides a serious lawsuit problem ancient Greece also had some of the highest tuition costs ever recorded, in the form of sweaty man love.
"Sure I can teach you something: "Never trust strangers." Now how about that payment?"
This era of tomfoolery was abruptly ended when Roman soldiers proved metal poisoning via a sharp sword was more interesting than mathematics. The episode is famously captured by a dialogue between a roman soldier and Archimedes.
Archimedes: "Hey dude, don't step on my circles."
Roman soldier: slashing sounds of a roman sword.
With Greek philosophers all but extinct higher education took a step back during the Dark Ages when counting your toes made you eligible for a Nobel Prize. It wasn't until the Italian Renaissance that new learning centers were established such as the University of Padua where you could learn theology and law or the University of Salamanca where you could learn law and theology.
Also during this period the first Bulgarian universities started using students to create hundreds of lead pendants that are currently found all over Europe. From this fertile grounds of college paraphernalia, useless classes, and law schools it was only one step to the modern universities of today.
What better way to show school spirit than buying some useless, over-priced medalion of Cthulhu the school mascot?
Currently colleges are one of the few sectors of the world economy doing just fine with more and more students turning to higher education as they have no hope of getting hired right out of high school. This, in turn, means that people with higher education are easier to find and hire for cheaper. Basicaly, pretty soon you'll need a college degree to sell shoes and every plumber will have a Ph.D.
It's a me Professor Mario, geta me a job!
Took one semester at Reed College, before dropping out and doing a bunch of LSD, an experience he called the best thing of his life. Besides drugs another changing point in his life was one of the courses he took at Reed namely calligraphy. In Steve Job's own words "the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts" had he not taken that one class. Imagine what a crazy world we'd be living in...makes you shudder.
Spent two years at Chabot College before deciding that watching plays all day and hanging around film festivals was more important that classes or hard work. In his own words: "I spent a lot of time going to plays. I wouldn't take dates with me. I'd just drive to a theater, buy myself a ticket, sit in the seat, and then get into the play completely. I spent a lot of time like that." The moral of the story? Beeing a creepy loner is more of a guarantee of success than a college degree is.
Took one semester at New York University before he was kicked out for poor grades and cheating. In his own words "I was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics final. I looked within the soul of the boy sitting next to me." Having learned his lesson he gave college a second try going to City College of New York. Unfortunately without the cheating school just wasnt the same and Allen dropped out so he could focus on raising his
adopted daughter future wife.
"After experimenting with college, journalism, and marriage in Houston, he got sick of the provinces and lit out for New York City at 31." (Time magazine). Now he's a bestselling author, a college professor, a museum director and a news reporter. We realize that Donald Barthelme is not as famous as anyone else on this list but the fact that a college drop-out is teaching college has a certain bittersweet taste to it...
Finally, here's someone who didn't even bother with college. For Quentin High School was more higher education than he cared for so he dropped out at 15 in order to film his friends running around in his backyard. For the most part he is still doing that...