I just don't understand this idea.
Why would you have only one chance? Why would your life from that point forward just suck forever? I left college before I got a degree the first time and started doing database development. The company never did well but also was not horrible and managed to survive overall. However I got bored of it and decided to go back to school.
I just graduated with a degree in chemical and biological engineering, solving a problem for a major biotech company, I am now in Germany about to starts a Master's degree and PhD and some of the experts I know expect I will start at the mid to high six figure range when I get out. That is also if I don't choose to go the startup way where I could make massively more than that.
This was after just doing database development for about 10 years and deciding to go back to school. Sure I was the older person in the class but nobody cared and nobody seems to care now and my experience has been very helpful.
This idea that you only have one chance should be taken out back and shot the way it deserves. You have as many chances as you want and you can always try again.