Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
Sure, that's the rational, responsible, mature, adult school of thought - no pun intended. But how many 17-18-19 year olds do you know that make those kind of decisions? Add onto that the fact that these kids are instant millionaires. Faced with the choice of dealing with the jerk profs, getting up early and studying or sitting at home playing Nintendo, going out with friends/girls, sleeping in, etc., a lot of kids in that position are going to choose the latter option because there's no immediate downside.

The problem is unless you are a top talent, you likely aren't going to get all that big of a bonus. Its amazing how quickly you can blow through a $350,000 bonus. If you don't have an education to fall back on, what happens when your 40, out of work, and have lavish lifestyle to sustain.
When I think of the poor decisions I made in my youth, I can only imagine what I might have done as a new high school graduate with a big signing bonus. Youth is youth regardless of education level, and most of us make poor decisions. Nothing anyone older or wiser told me seemed true until I did it all for myself. Even if present day me went back to speak to my 20 year old self, I would still make the same dumb decisions. It comes with the territory of being young and independent for the first time.

As far as using degrees to measure intelligence, I don't think it means a whole lot. My sister has a Ph.D. and is a respected Harvard medical researcher. She is one of the most brilliant people I have ever known. Her education is certainly equivalent with her actual intelligence. OTOH, I attended graduate classes--at a very good university--with people about whom I wondered how they made it through grade school, let alone earned a college degree. I have also worked with/for Ph.Ds who had the common sense of a bugzapper.