$44,000 might as well have been a million dollars, because in my mind they were equally unfathomable- with only $300 in my checking account, I had to make a decision whether or not to borrow $176,000. Makes sense.
I remember facing a similar decision at 18. I withdrew the $6,000 from my savings account and wrote a $5,000 check to Whitman.
The other grand bought me a MacBook. On that MacBook I taught myself basic HTML, CSS, PHP, and eventually discovered WordPress.
I wouldn’t say my time at college was a mistake. Too much good came out of it to say that. But, I do know what the more productive use of my time and money was.