I am most of the way through my freshman year at Washington State University, pursuing a BS in Computer Science. Going away to school has been rough, and I have been pretty depressed for most of the time there. Right now, I am leaning towards not wanting to continue my education, but my parents are strongly opposed.
Why I don't think I need college
One of the main factors that is pushing me away from school is the fact that I already spend plenty of time working on my own software projects. On my own, I have gained extensive knowledge and experience with web application development, using platforms that are far too new to have a undergraduate class that teaches them. These are platforms used in real workplaces and production software, and I would not gain these skills in school.
Second, I have lost a lot of faith in my school after seeing so much incompetency from people who are meant to be educating me. The professors outsource a majority of their work to their TA's, who I feel I know more than. My Computer Science class is really just an entourage of TA's parroting the words of the professor, with embarrassingly little of their own understanding.
Another big reason is that for 10 weeks this summer, I will be travelling to Silicon Valley to take part in a 'startup accelerator program'. This is a program where already-established tech entrepreneurs and investors help people who are new to the game with building their product and starting their company. At the end of the 10 weeks, investors decide how much they want to put into each company, in exchange for some equity. Of the companies that go through these kinds of programs, a very high amount succeed. I feel that if the developers I am working with and I do well here (no, it is not guaranteed that we will make money), college is pointless for me.
What college is like for me now
College has been hard for me. Not because I am not capable of understanding the material, and not because I don't have enough time to get all my work done. I have been suffering in my classes because instead of going to class or finishing assignments, I work on my own projects.
Of course, if I forced myself to put time and effort into this work, I would achieve satisfactorily. However, that is much easier said than done.
In order to start caring about school, I would need to drop all my other software side-projects (or at least greatly limit the time I spend on them). Essentially, this is a choice, and right now I will always pick my own projects over school.
Do I really need school?
After all that I have seen about the limited job market (even for degree-holders) and all that I have experienced in school, I am really questioning whether I need to stay in school. Convince me whether or not I really need a BS, or any other advice you can give about the subject.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read and answer this. I normally feel bad taking time away from other people for my own benefit, but this is a major life-decision, and I cannot properly come to consensus on my own.