Famous People Who Dropped out of College

It is a common misconception that all successful people have necessarily finished university. In fact, all successful people have devoted their lives to the job unreservedly to reach the heights we know them and respect them for. Moreover, many of them compromised their studies to receive more practical training or to make their own observations about life. In other words, it is an adamant desire to produce something unique plus endless work what brought them to the top. Writemyessayonline could win you some time if you desperately need it to accomplish your dream. However, the following stories of the super successful people show that even their lives had enough downsides and challenges before they became who they are now.

Oprah Winfrey

Life didn’t go easy on Oprah Winfrey since the very beginning. She was born in a low-income household, and then her unmarried parents separated when she was still a child. She would run away from her mother to live with her father’s new family several times (“Oprah Winfrey Biography”, 2019). Eventually, Vernon Winfrey made education the first priority in the life of Oprah. As a result, she became a bright student with multiple wins in school contests (“Oprah Winfrey Biography”, 2019). She secured a scholarship in the Tennessee State University when she won an oratory contest. However, she did not finish her study of communication as at the last years of college she was offered a position on local media. Oprah Winfrey left university and became an assistant commentator on the evening news. However, the first attempt turned out to be a failure. Because of her excessive emotional involvement, Oprah often could not stick to the professional neutral demeanour when reporting her stories (Gilett, 2015). Thus, nine months later, she had to quit this job.

Nevertheless, it did not affect her confidence. In 1976, she started working for the WJZ-TV channel in Baltimore as an announcer of six-hour news and later became a co-host of the Baltimore morning talk show People Are Talking (“Oprah Winfrey Biography”, 2019). Despite the dire condition of the channel rating, after Oprah’s appearance, the ratings crawled up. This event marked the start of her excellent media career.


Lady Gaga

The status of the worldwide pop icon and the trademark Lady Gaga style have developed in the course of action, while it was just a girl called Stephani at the beginning of this path. During the school years, Stephani participated in school musical activities and performed covers with amateur groups (“Lady Gaga/Early Years”, n.d.). Her first club appearance happened at the age of 14, and she already wore a shocking outfit. With that experience under her belt, Stephanie decided on the flashy and bold stage impersonation for herself. One year after, she was a recognizable and wanted performer. She achieved this level of acknowledgement through endless rehearsals and frequent performances at jazz bars and clubs (“Lady Gaga/Early Years”, n.d.).

On the other hand, Stephanie sacrificed her grades at school and good relationships with parents to practice daily. She finished school and even entered the Tisch School of Arts at New York University to receive professional training in music but dropped out two years later (Levy, 2019). By that time, she lived alone and needed money to sustain herself. Soon, she signed a contract with a famous recording label Interscope Records as a songwriter. Despite a decent profit, it was only a timely solution because Stephanie wanted a solo career as a singer and performer. At the time, she wrote songs for Britney Spears, Fergie, and the Pussycat Dolls who were top stars back then (Levy, 2019).

James Cameron

James Cameron was born and raised in Canada but at the age of seventeen moved with his parents to the city of Brea in California, USA. Here, he accomplished secondary education and was admitted to Fullerton College. First, Cameron majored in physics, but after one year of study, he left the university (“James Cameron | Biography, Movies, & Facts”, 2019). Then, Cameron became a truck driver to earn his living, and in the free time, he devised a script for his movie. The motivation to actually bring his ideas to life found him after the release of the first episode of Star Wars. The movie inspired Cameron to mix art and science in his films (“James Cameron | Biography, Movies, & Facts”, 2019). Under the influence of that idea, Cameron created unique worlds and universes where the laws of traditional physics cut no ice.

Ellen Degeneres

Ellen Degeneres first attended Grace King High School in Metairie and graduated from Atlanta High School in 1976 after moving to Texas (“Ellen DeGeneres | Biography, TV Shows, & Facts”, 2018). She then studied communications science at the University of New Orleans but broke off her studies after one semester. As a result, Degeneres earned her living with odd jobs as a waitress or house painter (“Ellen DeGeneres | Biography, TV Shows, & Facts”, 2018). Her powers of observation prompted her to write smaller comedy programs, which got her a job in the stand-up industry: in the late seventies, she performed in clubs and coffee houses as a stand-up artist. In 1982, Ellen was named the Funniest Person in America on Showtime (“Ellen DeGeneres | Biography, TV Shows, & Facts”, 2018). Interestingly, she was invited by Oprah Winfrey to her talk show, and several decades later in was Ellen who invited Oprah.

I hope that this insight into the life of famous people who dropped out of college inspired you to always follow your dream and take your job seriously.


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Andy Debolt
Andy is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a Bachelors Degree in Journalism. When he isn't writing Andy enjoys water sports and spending time on the golf course.

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