One of the problems with a college education is that, whereas it may increase one's knowledge, it can do so at the cost of decreasing the one's self-esteem.
Prior to college, I knew very little, but precisely because I knew so little, I was not aware of my own ignorance, and did not feel unintelligent.
Unfortunately, in college, I discovered that there was a vast area of knowledge that I knew nothing whatsoever about, and moreover, that there were certain areas in which I seemed to lack aptitude; for example, linear algebra.
This discovery was extremely depressing. The fact that one professor, Drew V. McDermott, specifically told me, "I don't think you're cut-out for computer science," didn't increase my self-esteem, either.
In fact, subsequent to graduation until returning to Tokyo and changing my identity from an amateur computer science scholar back to what it had been prior to matriculation, an otaku, I felt almost constantly depressed.
The original purpose of having entered college had been to become a scholar similar to Carl Sagan; unfortunately, I discovered that because my talents seemed to lie much more in haiku poetry (and in English composition in general) than in any other area, I had a much more difficult experience in attempting to become a computer scientist than a poet.
However, poetry, unlike computer science, was extremely ill-suited to earning sufficient income to live in Akihabara (my eventual goal of residence), and switching computer science to astronomy did not improve that aspect, either; because I had been self-taught prior to college, I had not taken any high school physics laboratory courses, and felt ill-prepared for required college laboratory courses.
In other words, if I tried to follow my abilities, I could not live where I eventually wanted to live; however, if I tried to live where I wanted to live, I could not follow my abilities, either.
Hence the depression. Furthermore, there was always the specter of Professor Drew V. McDermott in the background, who seemed to consider any non-research occupation to be trivial, and any field other than computer science to be either uninteresting or beneath mention. The last event that I wanted to experience was to run into Professor McDermott one day by accident, have him look at my occupation, and then have him give me a strange smile without saying anything, as if to say, "Well, that's what I expected."
Hence began my long journey in search of identity; i.e., my trip to discover myself.
Efforts to become more intelligent as a computer scientist caused me to feel unintelligent because I was not proceeding according to my forte; efforts to proceed according to my forte caused me to feel unintelligent because poetry was not considered significant in computer science.
Thoughts to learn Ruby, which was easy to learn and to use because of its similarity to the programming languages that I used prior to college, inevitably led to the conclusion that any results achieved would only cause such professors as McDermott and his ilk to label me as a "script kiddie." That was unacceptable.
Thoughts to learn Scheme inevitably led to the conclusion that that programming language was not well-suited to my goal of eventually writing a virtual world because of insufficient libraries.
Thoughts to learn Haskell inevitably led to the conclusion that in order to program in that language properly (i.e., according to the functional style of Professor Paul Hudak), I needed to learn category theory; however, my apartment lacked enough space to study, there was no local library near where I lived where I could study after midnight (when I felt fully awake as a night owl), and I didn't drive.
Thoughts to learn Smalltalk inevitably led to the conclusion that that programming language was extremely difficult to learn for someone who was accustomed to thinking functionally, because that language was a message-passing language, not a functional one.
So I wound up not programming at all. I definitely didn't want to be labeled a "script kiddie," yet any programming language that allowed me to avoid that label was either not useful or impractical.
Since I didn't program or study category theory, I felt unintelligent again. I occasionally thought of what any computer science professor at my alma mater would think upon randomly encountering me, and kept thinking that that professor would most likely either simply ignore me, or consider me to be some insignificant entity unworthy of mention.
In other words, college increased my knowledge only enough to realize that I was probably never very intelligent in the first place. Then I became depressed again.
Unfortunately, generally speaking, there seems to be an inverse relation between knowledge and self-esteem.