A$AP Yams didn’t do college, why should I?

For a handful of talented kids, success may come without a degree

Jade Groble

More stories from Jade Groble

Penalized for posting
September 17, 2014

Everyone knows that one senior who’s constantly complaining about drowning in stress while waiting for a college decision.

Okay, so maybe that characterizes all seniors, but who could blame us?

Judging by the “safety schools” we apply to – schools we would really hate to go to but waste time and money applying to for fear of mediocrity – all of us would rather die than not be able to go to college.

But for a select few, college may only slow them down.

Take Caleb Thomas, an H-F alumnus with some bragging rights.

He’d been making shoes during his time here and chose not to go to college this year.

He continued to make and sell his shoes at extreme high fashion prices.

He currently lives in an apartment in New York and can support himself.

Thomas says that having the confidence to sell himself as a professional instead of some kid selling shoes allowed him to make money.

However, he advised current students, “If you don’t have some type of success already, go to college.”

Students with the kind of innovative energy that Caleb had are rare, but can take their ideas, which many kids have, and actually put them into action.

This is a trait countless teens claim to have but fail to follow through with.

For students who actually have the drive to start something for themselves, however, college may take up time that they could spend travelling or making freelance connections with people in their field.

That’s not to say that you can’t find these connections in college too.

When I asked my college counselor, Mr. Kain, what advice he would give to students who don’t want to go to college, he said, “I would recommend that every student get some type of secondary education.It’s rare to see someone successful without college, but even to that handful of people I would still recommend going to, art school for example, because you can build connections at college that you wouldn’t get elsewhere.”

No one likes to believe that they’re average, but that’s just the nature of life.

Most people are average, and a secondary education is your best bet to making more money in the future, or having a career.

For the 1 percent of readers that think they can make it fresh out of high school, though; know that it’s possible, but only with a lot of willpower, talent and especially good work ethic.

Just take the late A$AP Yams, an extremely successful young man who played behind the scenes and made sure aspiring young artists had their chance to eat.

In a lost interview with Jeff Weiss, when asked if he ever went to college, he said, “I did try college for one semester at BMCC, but I took my student loan and got some gold teeth. I didn’t get no books.”

Years later at the time of his death, we see that his endless work ethic and the way he clicked with other artists left him many fans.

I’m not talking regular fans, but verified accounts that tweeted mourning his death like A$AP Rocky,

Mac Miller, Drake, Rihanna, Action Bronson, Azealia Banks, Wale, Wiz Khalifa, The Weeknd and more.

That’s a lot of clout for someone without a degree.

With that said, know yourself, know how far you’re willing to go, and who knows.

Maybe in 10 years, we’ll have someone like Yams hail straight from H-F.