THE BLOG
08/15/2014 01:45 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Why College Isn't Much Different From Poker

2014-08-15-miljo_jord_hand.png
Poker, one of the most popular card games in the world, is a game that relies principally on luck and trickery. Simply a player bets that their hand of cards is of a greater value than others in the game, and can either decide to equal, raise the bet or drop out. College does similarly I believe, rely much on luck and trickery. Sure there is the component of hard work, and students are rightly told to put in as much effort as possible for their assignments and exams. But still, even if they get straight A's, are involved in many extra-curricular activities and are the picture perfect student, then they still have to rely on arbitrary luck and chance to get a job once their out.

The person who decides whether or not to give the said (educated) individual the job, will in all likelihood choose another (less educated) candidate who has familial connections with the firm or the like. In the free online dictionary chance is defined as, "A force assumed to cause events that cannot be foreseen or controlled". This sounds very much like when you submit a job application, because the force that decides on whether or not you get the job can't be controlled by the individual.

In a way, it is almost criminal that Government, parents and teachers actively tell young people to go College and thus, tell them to gamble with their lives. Life after all shouldn't be a gamble. Life should be structured whereupon if you are willing to put in the effort and work hard, you can be as successful as you want to be. But unfortunately the job market nowadays is not a place that rewards these factors alone.

I believe that a few firms around the world today, do practice true, unbiased equal employment. But these exist in the minority. The Huffington Post is I believe one of these workplace's. Again though, it has to be said that they exist as part of a small group.

So if it is criminal for parents to tell their children to go University (which is always done with the best intentions), then what is the un-criminal thing to tell them?

The un-criminal thing to tell them, is to view the world as a place full of opportunities. Don't tell them that the path they choose to study in school (or college) is the only path they can go down. Tell them to try and get involved with as many activities as they can (when they are young particularly). When (not if) they fail at most of them, teach them that failure is just a part of life. And to dwell on failure will not do them any good. Tell them that life should be lived with, as Kevin Roberts so eloquently puts it, radical optimism. While it is true that Kevin Roberts applies this term to entrepreneurs, I believe that everyone should live life this way.

Admittedly, as I am a young person myself, and don't have kids, I would imagine that people reading this must be thinking, what gives me the right to tell you how to raise children? The best reason I can give you is to say that recognizing that opportunity is global nowadays and not just locally (job) based, is the change in thinking that I have had this year. And in many ways, have been forced to develop. This thought, along with that I believe people's happiness should not be decided on by their level of consumption, are the two fundamental thoughts that caused a 180 degree shift in my whole values system. Similarly I believe that world/ parents/ Government needs a 180 degree shift in how they think about opportunities, and how they teach young people to pursue these opportunities..