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Top 10 successful university drop-outs


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Drop-outFor many third years, this time of year is a bit like being in limbo: university is technically over and the past three years of your life boil down to a number or two separated by a semi-colon.

It can be daunting looking at job applications that require a 2:1 or above, but we here at TNS don’t think that a grade should define how successful your future should be. So we compiled a list of famous millionaires and billionaires who weren’t so successful at university to inspire you.

Steve Jobs: He dropped out of Reed University after six months and then went on to co-found Apple Inc and Pixar Animation studios. Think iMac, iTunes, iPod, iPhone, iPad. Think Monsters Inc, Toy story, Finding Nemo. He did all this with only 6 months of higher education behind him; think what you can do with those three years that you have under your belt

Mark Zuckerberg: Jesse Eisenberg played him in a critically acclaimed Oscar nominated movie. This Harvard University drop-out is the co-founder of a little website called Facebook which as of May 2012 has over 900 million active users. Not bad for ‘fun’ project he started in his dorm room.

Bill Gates: You may have heard of him -he created Microsoft. He also used to be the richest guy in the world and although someone else now owns that title, as of this year, he is worth $61.3 billion, a 9.2% increase from last year. Not bad for a Harvard dropout.

Michael Dell: At some point in your life, you either own, owned of know/knew someone who owned a Dell computer. Well, Michael Dell is the reason why. He started his first computer company as a student at the University of Texas and then dropped out to run it. Forbes Billionaires list recently named him as the 41st richest person in world with a nest worth of $15.9 billion.

Woody Allen: This successful actor, director, screenwriter, comedian, musician and playwright was kicked out of New York University after one semester for poor grades and then he dropped out of City College of New York afterwards. He admitted, “I was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics final. I looked within the soul of the boy who was sitting next to me.” Not that we condone cheating but this guy is a boss! His latest flick Midnight in Paris won him his fourth Oscar. He also has 11 BAFTAs displayed somewhere in one of his many mansions.

Brad Pitt: The only guy that the line, “he’s no Brad Pitt” does not apply to because... well. This world famous movie star who also happens to be Angelina Jolie’s baby daddy studied journalism at the University of Missouri and then dropped-out two weeks before graduating to pursue acting.

Matt Damon:  Yes, Jason Borne is another Harvard drop-out. 12 credits away from his degree, Damon dropped-out and moved to LA to star in a film that flopped. He found it difficult to land the right acting roles that would put him on the Hollywood radar so he decided to write his own movie. Ever heard of Good Will Hunting? No one gave him a chance so he created his own.

Ben Affleck: Used to be the male half of ‘Bennifer’ in the early noughties, but we have to forgive the guy who is partly responsible for the media culture of merging famous couples names together to make gibberish. Because, well, he’s best friends with Jason Bourne. And the only thing cooler that being Jason Bourne is being best friends with Jason Bourne. Affleck dropped-out of the University of Vermont after one semester. He went on to co-write and star in the Oscar winning film, Good Will Hunting.

Jon Snow: No, not the member of the ‘night’s watch’, the original Jon Snow, the broadcaster and channel four news anchor. He was reticulated (temporarily expelled) from the University of Liverpool after taking part in a student protest. He never completed his law degree but as of 2011, the University of Liverpool awarded him an honorary Doctors of Letters degree.

Charlie Brooker: We saved the best till last! Brooker is awesome, that in itself makes him a success but the fact that he was not allowed to graduate from the University of Westminster because he wrote his dissertation on video games which was classed as an inappropriate subject makes him even more so. Now Brooker is a famous Guardian columnist; he’s a broadcaster, a critic, a writer and a comedian. Remember Dead Set? He did that! Remember Black Mirror? He did that!

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