Let’s go over the basics.
You’ve already read the title, so it’s no news that I’m a college drop out.
Here’s the story in a nutshell: I went to college right out of high school and dropped out during the second semester of my junior year.
Yeah, that’s right.
I had two semester and a year-long internship (for my program) left.
At first, I thought I might take a gap year.
During my junior year of high school, I found out what a gap year was. This was also my introduction to blogs (other than Tumblr).
The more I read, the more I wanted to be blogging about my gap year.
That was the first response I heard from my parents when they heard me say I didn’t want to go to college right away.
They didn’t want me to wait because so many people just don’t go back. Even my mom took time off before college and didn’t finish her degree until she was in her early 30’s.
Even my consistency with conversations about a gap year didn’t change their minds.
Off to college it is…
Eventually, I realized that I had no choice but to go straight to college. I made the best of it. I found an in-state university about an hour from my house. The campus was gorgeous! I started to embrace the possibility of genuinely enjoying my time there.
I went into freshman year of college as a biology major with intentions of going to medical school. My goal was to be one of the lucky few who never changed their major and graduated in four years or less.
Things started to change as soon as I got to college. I didn’t quite feel at home in my school’s biology honorary club. I tried the school’s program board that planned speakers, events, and concerts but there was an inner group of favorites that got to do the fun parts. I joined a sorority and that’s where I felt at home during my freshman and sophomore years.
After joining a sorority my first semester, I was introduced to the “typical” college social life. In the following couple semesters, I found what felt like a perfect balance between work, school, and a fun social life. I thought I was thriving.
I started my junior year feeling like something was off. The vibe was completely different than previous years. I was doubting my choice of major. The new members that joined my sorority that semester were hyper focused on partying hard. I didn’t feel like I fit in with my major or my sorority anymore.
On top of all this, I started a new relationship at the end of this semester. Many people were upset that I was in this relationship to begin with. Instead of partying all night after that semester’s senior send on, I was leaving town to go stay with this person. My entire Greek family dropped me like I never meant anything to them.
From the unhappiness about the education itself to the issues with my roommates and my sorority, I thought that removing myself from the situation completely would solve my problems.
On February 10th, 2017, I signed the withdrawal papers for my university.
It felt like a million pounds were lifted from my shoulders. So I spent the following year soul searching and exploring the seemingly endless possibilities for a career.
When May 2018 came around, I watched all of my friends from freshman year graduate and get ready to start their adult lives. It was at this point that I regretted leaving college. I kept reminding myself that I would have hastily picked a new major before realizing that one wasn’t meant for me either. Ultimately, I kept reminding myself that I was saving myself money and student loans in the long run.
My advice for a potential college drop out
You should always start out by reminding yourself that you are NOT a failure if you decide to go through with dropping out. While it feels like a permanent decision, it’s not. You always have the option to finish your degree later down the road.
Let’s get into the actual decision-making process! Grab the nearest pen & paper. Split the paper in half. You can simply just draw a line, or you can cut the paper in half. Write down all the reasons you think that you should drop out on one half. On the other, write down all the reasons you should stay in college.
If I would have made a list like this, I would have included things like no unnecessary debt under the reasons I should drop out. I could have also included the idea that it’s easier to keep going with classes than it is to take time off then start again.
If you’re unhappy with specific things about your school, major, or social life, write that down. If you think of things you absolutely love about your school, the campus, sporting events, or anything else, write that down. When you’re completing this step, make sure you’re being as specific as possible!
Once you feel that you’re finished writing your reasons down, put the paper in an envelope and put it away. Go two or three days without thinking about your lists and the decision at hand. After you’ve had a few days to just go about your life, come back & revisit the list. Did you notice something else you should add to either list? Was something written down out of pure frustration with a specific person or situation that doesn’t truly affect your happiness? Are your reasons purely emotional? Are your reasons more logical based? Is there a pretty even mix of emotional & logical reasons? How many reasons do you have to drop out? How many reasons do you have to stay in school?
Now that you’ve revisited your list, make sure you have time to reflect on your lists. This is where you need to search your soul for your answer. Your friends and family can tell you to make a decision one way or the other but YOU are the person who has to live with your decision.
Imagine your life one year from now if you stay in school. How will you feel about this decision? Make sure to do the same thing but imagine your life one year from now if you quit college. How might you feel about that decision?
I truly hope that you have learned something from reading my experience with dropping out of college! It can be a scary decision to make but remind yourself that either way, it’s not the end of the world. Time will keep going so make sure you’re creating the life you WANT to live. Nobody else will have to live with your decision so do it for YOU.
Leave a comment down below if you have any questions, comments, concerns, or you want to share your experience with dropping out! If you feel more comfortable, you can always send me a message from my contact page as well!