Learning How to Learn

Why College is Still Relevant in the Digital Age

“The democratization of information blurred the line between formal and informal learning, but the ability to seek knowledge transcends academia.”

Dane O'Leary
6 min readJan 8, 2024

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Photo generated using Midjourney with additional artwork by Dane O’Leary.

As we sat there in one of the mismatched booths in the only mom-and-pop diner in town, we debated whether the tone-deaf host was planning on belting Cher’s greatest hits — over the radio that was playing different music, no less — through our entire dining experience.

Then an unexpected declaration redirected the conversation.

“I think I’m going to go to college,” our nearly 14-year-old said with the sheepish, insecure grin of someone admitting to something a little embarrassing.

Given how often his dad — who, mind you, has a college degree of his own — refers to college with words like “pointless” and “obsolete,” I wasn’t expecting this teen who so passionately hates the eighth grade to kick off Sunday brunch by committing to four additional years of school — although I was thrilled to hear it.

Despite having been out of school for over a decade, I regularly discover new applications for not only my college degree but my entire college experience.

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Dane O'Leary

Designer & Creative Strategist, 10+ Years Building Brands & Digital Experiences | Covers Design, Marketing, Tech, Education, Entertainment & Business