I didn't have one growing up. It forced me to look hard into scholarships, take my AP classes very seriously to look good for those scholarships (and eventually graduate early, saving tens of thousands of dollars), and weigh the costs and benefits of public versus private colleges relative to my intended career.
I wouldn't say any of those were bad things. But it was tough, and certainly less fun than what some of my more carefree peers were up to.
My kids' college fund is the German language, since German universities are tuition-free even for non-citizens.
If I'd known this in high school, I'd have taken German as a foreign language starting as early as I could. I did get a tuition-free master's degree out of learning it in the end, though.