After six months, I couldn't see the value in it.
I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out.
And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK.
It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.
And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on.
Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this.
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life.
But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me.
We designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography.
If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.
And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them.
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college.
But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.
Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.
So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.
I was lucky. I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20.
We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees.
We had just released our finest creation - the Macintosh - a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired.
How can you get fired from a company you started?
Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well.
But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him.
So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.
I really didn't know what to do for a few months.
I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down —— that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me.
I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley.
But something slowly began to dawn on me. I still loved what I did.
The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit.
I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.
During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife.
I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple.
It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it.
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.
Because almost everything —— all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure —— these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.
You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.
Don't be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people's thinking.
Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice.
And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation.
在我年轻的时候，有一本很棒的杂志叫做The Whole Earth Catalog，我们那一代都很迷这本杂志。
On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish."
It was their farewell message as they signed off.
And I have always wished that for myself.
And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.