The minimalist’s path through college

As the new school year approaches, I’ve been thinking about what it would be like to try to finish a college degree as fast as possible, regardless of GPA at the end.

When I was in college, I paid a lot of attention to my GPA. As the oldest son, I was the first to experience the whole college scene. I figured I’d try to do well (I’m pretty competitive anyway) and, you know, make my parents proud.

Still, I remember reading from more than a few people that your GPA doesn’t matter much two or three years out of school.

  • You might get honor’s credit, but your grades won’t end up on your diploma.
  • You can add your GPA to your resume, but most employers won’t ever ask for it.
  • You can get into a grad program because of your grades, but plenty of other things contribute to that too.

If none of that works out, it’s pretty lame to brag about your GPA to your friends. So basically it’s forgotten.

I appreciate the work I put into my degrees. Even my grades, I’m glad I worked for them. The real benefit, though, is that I learned a ton. The grades are just for personal satisfaction now.

That’s what brings me back to the fast track.

I finished my B. A. degrees two days before I turned 20. I’m a big fan of fast tracking. So what if I only fast tracked?

What if I tried to finish a degree as fast as possible? What if I only worried about keeping my GPA above 2.0 to graduate? What if I did literally the bare minimum? How close could I get?

I have friends who didn’t seem to care about their GPA when we were in school. For me, it’s a totally different way of thinking. Maybe those friends were the smart ones, the ones who told me, “Hey, man, C’s get degrees.”