Lessons We Can Learn from Famous College Dropouts


It’s one of the top requirements for most job listings—a college education. You are led to believe from an early age that you’ll never amount to anything without one. But is that really the truth?

Consider the most successful people, those who hold important positions and have changed the world. They all earned a degree from a prestigious university, right? The answer to this question may surprise you.

Steve Jobs

Famously known for being the co-founder and CEO of Apple, Jobs dropped out of Reed College in the early 1970s. Even without a formal college education, Jobs was able to find success in a career that required an in-depth understanding of technology and business practices, paving his own way to success with hard work.

Steven Spielberg

After being denied from the University of Southern California’s prestigious film school on three different occasions, Spielberg pursued a career in film at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), where he later dropped out altogether to pursue his dreams of movie making. Although he eventually went back and completed his degree at CSULB in the early 2000s, Spielberg had already established himself as an award-winning director.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald, best known for his novel, The Great Gatsby, actually failed out of college. After he was placed on academic probation, Fitzgerald chose to leave Princeton and enlist in the military. His first novel was published a few years later, and his success and fame grew from there, not because of a college education, but rather his talent and perseverance.

Ellen DeGeneres

DeGeneres left college after just one semester when she realized how unhappy she was in school. She spent a decade working menial jobs as she pursued her dreams in the spotlight, ultimately catching her big break and establishing herself as one of the funniest entertainers in Hollywood.

Harry Truman

You know him as our 33rd president, but did you know Truman never graduated from college? Due to financial constraints, Truman was unable to attend his dream school, West Point, and when he finally did attend law school, he ended up dropping out because of time constraints. Even without a college education, Truman went on to lead the country to victory in World War II within months of taking office when he gave orders to drop the atomic bomb on Japan.

What’s Holding You Back?

Before finding their success, each of these people was just as ordinary as anyone else. Defining features of each is their determination to succeed and unwillingness to give up. They never let their lack of a college education hold them back—will you?

If you’re ready to write your own success story, it’s time to learn more about how a Bruges Waffles & Frites franchise may be what takes you from ordinary to extraordinary.

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