I often get asked the same questions, find my answers here:

Do you think you will ever go back to school?

Who knows. I do see myself doing research at some point in my career, maybe even doing a P.h.D. My decision to create my own college education was never based on rejecting the whole education system once and for all. I chose this path because I believe that this is currently the best way for me to learn. If I ever change my mind on that, the option of going to school is on the table.

Aren’t you afraid of not getting a diploma?

No. I see diploma’s solely as a status symbol. It has very little to do with communicating the actual knowledge en skills you gained. Diploma’s are merely a way to signal achievement and status. I do see the importance of acquiring proof of your expertise, but that could just as well be a portfolio, track record or open badges.

Aren’t you just a rich kid enjoying life instead of doing the work?

Hahaha. No. I’m financially independent and have been this whole journey. I do recognize my privilege, which is the number one reason why I’m sharing so much for free.

How can you know this is better when you haven’t tried college?

Well, I did try it. At age 15 I started taking university courses, while still finishing high school half of the week. In the process of designing my own college education I spend a week learning at Harvard, took a course at the University of Applied Sciences in Amsterdam and took several professional courses on coaching, public speaking and leadership. So honestly: been there, done that.

Do you think everybody should choose this path?

I’m not here to encourage you not to go to college. I do want to offer a different perspective on how you can design your own learning path. What is the right choice for you depends on a lot of factors: your preferred way of learning, the career path you see for yourself, personal goals etc.


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Emma Stoks