Why should we go to school and learn useless things, while Bill Gates and Steve Jobs did not even graduate, yet were far more successful? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Fabian van den Berg, PhD Candidate, Neuropsychologist, on Quora:

What might seem useless to you is the basis of an amazing career for someone else. You start out in school learning a broad range of things, as you grow older you get more and more specific. You may not use all that math you're learning about now, but currently I am glad I learned those concepts because I desperately need them. Providing all topics gives us a solid basis and also helps us figure out what we are interested in.

People like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs aren't the rule, they are the exceptions you hear about, plus they didn't drop out of just any school, they dropped out of some nice institutions (like Harvard or Stanford). These people are smart, they didn't need those schools, but that doesn't mean they didn't study. They managed to learn things by themselves at a faster pace than was offered to them because a different learning strategy suited them better. There are books and courses and practice one can do without schools, but that requires a form of discipline and interest not many people have.

They didn't become successful because they dropped out of college, that's not how this works. Let's not forget that there are dozens of people who are successful with a degree, who applied what they learned. World changing people aren't like everyone else, the have big ideas and the means and motivation to make them reality. Some lose nothing when dropping out, they gained opportunities. Others thoroughly enjoy learning in school and take what they learn to higher levels.

School-life is just as much about figuring out what we want to do, helping us learn, and putting down a solid foundation for life than it is about learning math, biology, and chemistry.

Oh, and enjoy school while you can. It's the tutorial of life where you can make mistakes, be free, and not be burdened by responsibility.

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Published on: Mar 3, 2017