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I don't want to go to college anymore.

revoltxorevoltxo Posts: 116Registered User Junior Member
edited August 2011 in Parents Forum
I really need help right now. I'm supposed to be starting college at Boston University in the fall but recently I realized that I just don't want to go to college right now. I DO want to go eventually (like next year) but just not NOW. BU is (was, I guess) my dream school. I love the city and I just thought it was the right school for me. Actually, maybe it still is.

The thing is, I've worked hard in high school. I got good grades, took hard courses, did extracurriculars and held a job for a year and a half. I don't think I want to go right back into all the hard work right away. I'm still so exhausted from high school. I just want a BREAK. Also, I've always really wanted to travel. I feel like life is too short to wait for these things. What if I die and never got the chance to do what I've always wanted to do? I want to see the world. I know it's morbid, but it's still a good point. Life is too short to hold things off. Shouldn't I just go for it?

And than there's the thing with money. My family is by no means wealthy. I wasn't going to go to BU in the first place because we honestly can't afford it. But with loans my parents and I are both responsible for, it could easily happen. My parents are willing to make it happen to do what they think will make me happy. But what if it doesn't and we both just wasted our money? What if after the first year I decide I really do hate it and just wasted $25,000 that my family and I have the pay off? We don't have the luxury to make those kind of mistakes. And yea, I could just wait until after college to see the world, but by than I'll have student loans to pay off and would have to find a job which wouldn't allow me the time to travel. Also, I have no idea what I want to do in life. At this point, I feel like I don't even know myself. I want to take a year to figure these things out and to figure out what I want out of life. I have $7,000 saved. I could do it.

My parents are OK with the gap year idea, they understand it. But they are completely against me travelling. Technically, it's not up to them but I understand and respect them. I went to the BU orientation(actually just came back today) and while It was good, it didn't feel right.

I'm talking to someone who runs a tour company who is giving me great ideas on what I could do abroad. I would work up until when I leave. When I got there, I could do WWOOF(work on organic farms in exchange for a place to live) and teach English.

I'm babbling and I'm sorry. But I really need help. I don't think these are normal pre-collegge nerves because it's driving me crazy. I don't know what to do and if I want to defer enrollment to BU, I have to have it in by August 1st. I just really don't know. I guess I just want opinions. I didn't know where to post this but I know alot of the parents are wise and know what they're talking about. I probably sound so naive...
Post edited by revoltxo on
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Replies to: I don't want to go to college anymore.

  • calimamicalimami Posts: 877Registered User Member
    not sure about the 'wisdom' of parents, but i have some questions that maybe u can ask yourself (which can help you figure out what to do next). are you concerned about the financial side of college life? did something happen that made you focus more on your own mortality (death of a friend or family member)?

    lots of kids don't know what they want to do in life, so that's very normal. you wrote "what if i hate it" (college). but what if you LOVE it?

    the person who runs the tour company has a financial interest here. so keep that in mind...
  • pugmadkatepugmadkate Posts: 5,807Registered User Senior Member
    When I got there, I could do WWOOF(work on organic farms in exchange for a place to live) and teach English...

    If you do this, you must arrange these jobs before you go. I've read too many horror stories of students flying half way around the world only to find out the job does not exist or that they cannot legally work in the country they flew too or that it pays far, far less than promised.

    Having said that...it's very normal to start to feel anxiety about going to college during the summer before it starts. That may be what is happening with you. Or it may not. If I were your parents, I'd have you see a therapist to talk it out. Even just one or two sessions may help you decide which path is right for you.
  • DeskPotatoDeskPotato Posts: 1,329Registered User Senior Member
    Check with BU and see if you can still defer enrollment without difficulty.

    My daughter's school had a mid-July deadline.
  • revoltxorevoltxo Posts: 116Registered User Junior Member
    I've always been concerned with the financial side of college, but I kind of put it in the back of my mind to make myself content with my choices. Money isn't everything and it certainly isn't something I or my family needs to be happy so I'm OK with taking out loans. I just have to be careful with it and I don't want to make what could be a mistake. And to be honest, I've always thought about death. Nothing recently has happened, I just have known so many unhappy people who have done nothing to change it. I want to do something to make myself happy. I live by the expression "Everybody dies but nothing everyone lives." I want to live. I don't want to do something because I feel like I have to. Society implants the idea that after high school you go to college, get a job, get married, have kids, e.t.c. but I don't want to be just another follower, I guess?

    And I know that college could make my happy. It's an exciting experience. I want an education, I do. I'm all over the place here. Sorry to get so deep here, I'm just trying to figure this all out.
  • revoltxorevoltxo Posts: 116Registered User Junior Member
    I'm very independent, it's not up to my parents to tell me to see a therapist, But I do understand where you're coming from. I plan on talking this out with a therapist, it's just I have until AUGUST 1ST to decide.

    I would definitley make sure that whatever I do end up doing is legit. I would plan everything out before hand.

    Seriously, thanks so much for replying. It really means alot.
  • geogirl1geogirl1 Posts: 832Registered User Member
    If you really would like to do a gap year, then call BU and ask to defer for a year with your scholarships in place. If they agree (with the scholarship in place) then agree to the gap year. After you find out it is feasible, then you can decide what to do. You may work for 6 months to save up money and then travel in Europe for 6 months. You may be able to do some research and find a great program. If it was me, I wouldn't plan anything until I knew that BU would let me in next year. Good luck! Gap years can be great!
  • pugmadkatepugmadkate Posts: 5,807Registered User Senior Member
    I don't want to do something because I feel like I have to...

    Of course not. But college really is a gift, especially a four year college and even more so a college like BU. So many high schools would love to attend college but simply cannot afford it or are not cut out for it. I'm not saying that is a reason for you to go but to give you a different perspective.

    Going to BU is not being a follower in and of itself. It's an opportunity.
  • icedragonicedragon Posts: 2,170Registered User Senior Member
    Think of it this way, if you were to go now, you could have oppertunitys to study abroad. Thus your need for traveling would surely be satisfied.
  • calimamicalimami Posts: 877Registered User Member
    no need to apologize--i appreciate a teen with some depth!! lol

    okay, here's what i do when i'm having trouble making a decision and there's a tight deadline: i use a plain old 'pros' v. 'cons' list. make the list using your own hands and pen/paper (not on the computer). for some reason, writing things down with my hands helps me connect with the process much better. i'm such a fan of this that even my son does this when he needs help making decisions...

    and yes--we all want happiness. the fact that you understand that you're responsible for your own happiness puts you ahead of the game, frankly.

    good luck with whatever you decide to do!!
  • intparentintparent Posts: 11,998Registered User Senior Member
    On the con list... tuition goes up every year that you wait, never goes down. As Icedragon said, one thing you could do is study abroad while at BU; typically your financial aid will apply to most programs. So you could get some travel in AND make progress toward your degree. Some people study abroad two different semesters in two locations for a broader experience (although not possible at every school, so you would need to check with BU on this).
  • CHS2011MomCHS2011Mom Posts: 191Registered User Junior Member
    calimami, my husband calls that the "Ben Franklin balance sheet"--it's a really helpful technique and an excellent suggestion for the OP.
  • crizellocrizello Posts: 1,293Registered User Senior Member
    Good for you for thinking it through. It could be that you need a gap year. I can completely understand just being exhausted after working so hard in HS and then having the thought of beginning it again so soon.

    I knew without a doubt that I was going to college right after high school, and I'm glad I did, so if you are having doubts, it might be something to listen to.

    Travel abroad during a semester or summers between college years could help fulfill the desire to travel.

    Most likely, once you get to school and get caught up in the fun and challenge of college, you will realize it was a good choice to go on to college, but you don't know that until you go.

    Talking to someone outside your immediate family would be a good idea. Maybe someone who took a gap year and someone who didn't.
  • oregon101oregon101 Posts: 2,256Registered User Senior Member
    What about begining BU in the winter term? Can you defer just til then or does it have to mean fall 2012? That could give you some experience time.
  • MoreoverMoreover Posts: 1,158Registered User Member
    Have you been working 40+ hours all summer to save money for school? Is that adding to your burnout? My daughter was very lucky to get a two month paid internship which she loves but the terrible commute and long week is wearing her down. Luckily she will have 2 weeks off before college and I think that will really help. Maybe a week out of your regular routine would help you see things more clearly. Or at least a weekend away. Sometimes we think we need big changes when we just need a little adjustment.
  • bopambobopambo Posts: 969Registered User Member
    Gap years can be great, and some people need them. If you have an overwhelming desire to NOT go to school next year, I'd listen to that. If your parents are OK with the gap year but not traveling, then take the year off and get a job. Wait a minute, I didn't say for the whole year. Work while also convincing your parents that planning a travel experience responsibly is a good idea. Research and plan and show your parents your plans, I bet you can bring them around. I went to Europe with a backpack at 18 and had the experience of a lifetime. Good luck!
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