Dropping Out Of College
Demand for highly educated people keeps growing and won’t be plummeting anytime soon, everyone is pressured by peers and family to pursue a degree and get a well paid job after… In times during college, when you are struggling, you might ask yourself - Is college for me? Should I drop out? Well, it depends. I have dropped out of 2 colleges, took a year off completely until I found what I loved. So I am going to share my experiences and advice with you, to help you understand what to do next.
After finishing high school, I knew that I had to go to college, because I had no relevant skills for the job market and no direction in life. No direction means, you have no idea, what to study, but what else I am going to do? So I did what everybody else did, I applied for college. I kind of liked economics and the idea of being an entreprenuer, so I went on to study entreprenuership. It was all quite fine at the beginning, but as more time went on, I got really bored, started visiting classes very rarely, but the material was so easy, that I passed with flying colors anyway. But I had no passion about what I was studying and just thought - what’s the point? I dragged through the first semester, wanting to drop out as I saw no point of me being there. What was delaying me was those troubled questions that everyone who felt like they don’t belong, were asking themselves - What is everyone going to think about me? Am I a failure? What happens after I drop out? What am I going to do next? I thought long and hard about these topics until finally got my courage, announced to everyone I am dropping out, I don’t like what I am doing and I am not happy. People judged me, of course, which is kind of normal, you just have to ignore it, let it fly over your head. You live your life for yourself, not for the liking of others. I went on, got a job that I hated and lived my life for some time, until the time to apply for colleges was back. I did not want to lie my life as I did, working a job that I hate, so I applied to another college in completely different area - engineering.
That was again, a decision that was made mostly, because I had no idea what to do. I was not the brightest person in math or physics, so I was struggling throughout the year I spent there. The reason I was struggling so much was, I tried to convince myself that this what I have to do. I already dropped out of college once, cannot do it again, righ? But, during second semester, it was becoming more and more clear, that this is not for me. I do not enjoy any of the classes, I was not even sure I would enjoy working in that area. So I put in the minimal effort to just get by and mostly went opartying and living my life pretty carelessly. I was faling calculus at the time as well and when the exams came, I put in minimal effort, because at the end I actually did not care if I fail the exam and have to drop out again, so that is what happened, I failed calculus class and left. Now, looking back, failing was probably one of the best things that could have happened to me back then. If I had not failed, maybe I never would have gathered th courage to drop out from college myself, because I did not want for my parens and family to think that I was a failure. Maybe I would have gotten my bachelors degree and now would be unhappily working some job that I hate for some guy that I can’t stand, who knows. Anyway, I dropped out (I am from a country where college is funded by government, so I had the luxury of not being in debt after this) and worked for almost a year in a warehouse, another job that I hated and tried to figure out, where do I belong in this world.
And now comes the good part! So, after getting burned out by the boring same old job in the warehouse, I was sure that I cannot stand to do the same simple thing every day. During that time, when my supervisor was not able to make it to the job or was late, as usual, I was the go to guy to do his tasks, which are pretty simple, actually (do not want to work your butt off for ridiculous wage? Become a supervisor at a warehouse.). I was trusted with this, because he noticed, I am a pretty quick learner and quite handy with computers. I quickly learned to navigate through warehouses databases and its systems and prepare the tasks for my colleagues. At the beginning we shared this responsibility between peasants (cheap workforce, myself icluded) working there and when I was the one, everyone came to, when they messed something up in the system, was the moment I realized I am like a fish in the water, when it comes to learning everything that has to do with computers, it kind of reignited my interest in this field. I knew I wanted something more out of life, so I thought - “What the heck, let’s try college one last time”. I know that everyone was already grinning inside, when I told them, I am going back to college, everyone was already preparing for the moment I drop out of college once more. Especially knowing my troubles with math. My high school teacher probably would have laughed ou loud, if she heard this. But I just did not care, by that point in life,I was fine with the thought of people judging me. I did not care about that anymore, I just did my own thing. And guess what? For the first in my life, I was actually enjoying what I studied! That was such a wake up call. Life did not seem so gray and hopeless anymore. A even got good in calculus, because I was motivated just not get back to that gray spot of my life, when you have no idea, what you want to do in life. I finally found a place I belong. Altough I really struggled the first year, at the end, I climbed my way to the top of the class, but that is completey another story.
Just image, if I had listened to what my friends and family around me were saying? “You need to finish college, even if you do not like it. You are terrible in math, what are you going to do in computer science? You will be a failure, if you drop out of college.” (Of course, they did not say all these things directly, but subtly, I knew). No, no and NO! I probably would have become and alcholic that works a shitty job for whole week, just to drown my sadness in alchohol by the end of it. Do not take advice from other people as a rule to live by. Listen to them, but think for yourself. If something is making you unhappy, stay as far away from it, as you can, no matter what people will think. You cannot live by other people standarts and be happy. Everyone has their own things that make them happy.I actually hear this so often from friends and acquaintances - “I studying in college, but I am not enjoying it, I doubt I want to spend my life doing it, but my parents expect me to get a degree so I can get a job”. I always say the same thing - if you are unhappy and you are not interested in the field you are studying, then drop out. No matter what everyone will tell you. You will feel like a loser, for sure, but if that is the path you have to take, to find your happiness, do it sooner rather later. I am strong believer of this thought: “Sooner or later, it all falls into place”. Just do not gie up, keep on pushing, keep on psuhing looking for that one thing you love. Ignore thoughts of other people, most of them are unhappy with their lives anyway and do not want to feel bad, because they went the “safe” route and were afraid to take a leap of faith. I would rather risk and lose it all, then live my life just waiting for the days to drag by. All these, at the time, foolish decisons led me to where I am right now. Happily employed and starting to go into entreprenuership wit a degree in my pocket.
By all means, I am not saying to drop out of college and you will be happy. You have to carefully think this through and it is YOU who has to make this decision, no others. Think about why have you stumbled upon my post. Is it because you are unhappy? Why are you unhappy? Are studies too hard for you? Are they really too hard are just not motivated enough to put enough effort into it to succeed? Motivation is one of key factors to master anything. If you have no motivation and you do not like what you are doing, then yeah, start looking for different path to take in this life. Maybe you are studying, for example, engineering or law just because your parents want you to? Maybe you are good with your hands and you should drop out and join trade school? If you answered yes, then those years in college are going to be really depressive and, in the end, you will not even work in the field you are studying, because you do not enjoy it or where at the bottom of the class due to lack of interest, just like some of my friends that I know. But if you are in college, but you have thoughts about dropping out due to failing a class then that is just as bad as staying in college for something you do not enjoy. Because, basically, you are just letting go of your dream, because you are too lazy to put in effort, to reac your goals. End result is the same in both cases. You will, probably, live a miserable life with regret and questions like - “But what if…”. Buttttt if you are really trying and you are ready to put effort into reaching your goals, you can always read up on how I finally overcame my math problems and refused to give up here - Calculus for dummies This article is mostly aimed at people struggling with calculus, but it could prove to be useful read, if you are struggling in other fields as well. Only argument for dropping out would be, if you are sure that you do not need the education to reach your goals in that particular field. For example, entreprenuership, if you know what you are going to do and how, then college will feel like a waste of time. Just remember that having a degree from college in a field that you love, always is a great backup plan if things do not go the way you wanted them to during the course of your life.
You are the one, who is building your life. You make the decisions. You choose, whether to be happy or live your life with the standarts set by others. I hope my personal experience is going to help you make the right decision and put you on the path to your happiness. Do not be afraid to taake the leap of faith, whe you are not happy. And always remember - As long as you do not give up and keep on pushing, with time, everything will fall into place. At that moment, you will understand, how and why everything that has happened to you, happened the way it did. Good luck on your journeys!
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