Sometime around 2014, I withdrew from college. I was really unhappy with school and didn't feel like what I was learning was very relevant to the real world. At the same time, my brother and his two friends were starting a company in Richmond, VA that made environmentally-friendly food packaging.
They were still in startup mode and didn't have the budget for full-time hires, so they asked if I could come down and help out for a weekend for a modest hourly wage.
I ended up staying for longer than a weekend, and slowly took on more and more responsibility as the company grew. Five years later, our team is hundreds strong, and we are the leader in our market.
I probably never would have made the drive down the Richmond if I was focused on school. Without that distraction (and the debt that comes along with it), I had the freedom to work for a startup without making a lot of money, which was more of an education than school could ever be.
I am off social media (and encourage everyone to do the same), but am more than happy to talk with any college opt-outs by email - firstname.lastname@example.org