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I dropped out

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Replies to: I dropped out

  • MSUDadMSUDad Registered User Posts: 487 Member
    Good stuff, nocousin.

    My best good buddy took a semester off sophomore year. Just one more class and he'll be a college grad.

    He's 44.

    Unfortunately, he didn't buy an Old School house for me to move into and party every day...
  • spdfspdf Registered User Posts: 955 Member
    I dropped out of grad school after two years because I was unhappy there and was I preparing myself for a career doing the same thing that was already making me miserable. I worked for a year, and during this time I realized that I really did want to finish the degree, but not at the school where I was at. I started over in a program that was a much better fit for me. The delay cost me three years, but during that year away I figured out what it was I really wanted to do, and was able to get on the right track.

    Any time you drop out of school there's a danger of never going back, but a little time away to clear your head can also help you make the most of your remaining college years.
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    I know plenty of successful adults who dropped out of college for a year or two or three, then returned and were focused and completed their schooling and went on to career success.

    This includes one who ended up getting his doctorate and being a professor of business, and another who ended up getting a doctorate in English and becoming a professor and an award-winning writer.

    Both of those men didn't do things during their time off that sound impressive. They were in rock bands, partied, and did other things that were, frankly immature. After a while, however, they got tired of that life, and when they returned to college, they were focused and enjoyed the academics that college offered.

    I also know men -- smart men-- who dropped out of college and never returned. The difference between those who returned and those who didn't was, in general, children. The men who didn't return had unplanned children, and the men didn't seem to have the focus to be able to handle the financial responsibilities of children while also going to college.
  • smithsyosmithsyo Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    nocousin said it -- it's easier to just stick to it and get school done while you're younger. It just gets tougher when you're older, trying to work and save money.

    Another part of it is this: younger people are more resilient to things like crappy morning schedules, noisy roommates and living off ramen for four years ... it can be done, and once you're out, you have the foundation to never have to live like that again. Going back later, you can't do that -- you're already used to another kind of lifestyle that you usually don't want to sacrifice. So that means while you're going to school, you're also paying to rent an apartment, have a car, have A/C, etc. Much harder.

    Besides, young, stupid college memories are fun. Why deprive yourself of that?
  • southpasdenasouthpasdena Registered User Posts: 1,718 Senior Member
    I hate school and i have done pretty poorly at it. I am the epitome of a horrible student. I show up to less than a quarter of my classes, never study, etc. I am making it through however, will be done in March and will be on my way to starting a great job in August full time. School sucks.....the working world sucks even more. Take your pick.
  • littlegreenmomlittlegreenmom - Posts: 3,437 Senior Member
    Financially, coming back to college after a one year hiatus may not be a huge deal for a young student taking a gap year. Good intentions are, well, good intentions.

    What happens when you come back after 2 or 3 years? College tuition just got more expensive with tuition increases and few students can go to school full time and pay for it, too.

    What happens when you are living on your own and paying rent and car insurance, maybe filling up your gas tank and paying for your own health insurance? How much harder is it then?

    How many of us as parents are willing to sign for Parent PLUS loans 2 years, 5 years, after high school graduation? (I would have to think hard about this from a risk-analysis point of view. Would they finish? Is it good money after bad? Why didn't they take the opportunity when they had it?)

    Certainly, there are situations that call for a student to take a break. I did it, as I mentioned in another post. After my own experience, I wouldn't recommend it without serious hesitation for my students or my own kids. Too many obstacles to get past.

    Until a student in 23, they are still considered dependent for the purposes of financial aid, even if they are paying for it all on their own. Our system is set up for students to go to school after high school and while they are still dependents.

    I think a gap year can be great for the right kid. I wouldn't encourage it for everyone. I think a student must be highly motivated to pull it off and fill their time with an appropriate experience, whether it is work, travel or volunteerism.

    If a student falls under half time status, new financial aid is severely limited, and whatever loans taken when a student started as a freshman must be paid back unless you can get a forbearance or deferrment.

    While many have been able to go back and finish, it makes it that much harder. Jobs, starting a family and responsibilities make getting that degree so much harder to accomplish.
  • unholy_enderunholy_ender - Posts: 207 Junior Member
    id say its alright to take a year or 2 off after high school or in the middle of college. although it sometimes limits what college you get into after you have taken sometime off.
    best thing to do if your taking a year or 2 off is go to Korea and become a pro starcraft player. if your really good, you wont ever need to go back to college. all you need is to stay on top of your game.
    not everyone needs RL.
  • Roger_DooleyRoger_Dooley Founder Posts: 106,392 Senior Member
    Northstarmom makes some really good points. I've seen a few major obstacles to returning to school. One, as NSM notes, is the responsibility of children. The other is the problem of actually having income and spending it. It's easy to get caught in a cycle of car payments, apartment cost, etc. that makes the idea of dropping out of the workforce to return to school very difficult.

    I think taking a semester or year off isn't necessarily a problem if the aforementioned pitfalls are avoided.
  • fencersmotherfencersmother Registered User Posts: 1,975 Senior Member
    I feel it is especially critical for those kids taking technical majors to stay in school. To return to a technical program in midstream, after having taken off a year or more, is exceptionally difficult.

    Some ways to take a gap year for Liberal Arts students which I feel are productive and worthwhile: foreign travel, military service, religious missions, Vista/PeaceCorps/Americorps service, internships and pre-professional jobs. Complete wastes of time: bartending (or elbow bending at the bar), video games, computer social networks, fast food - eating or serving or cooking.
  • eyebeg2differeyebeg2differ Registered User Posts: 334 Member
    not to go off topic, but is the link in the post by jenny23315 a scam?
  • littlegreenmomlittlegreenmom - Posts: 3,437 Senior Member
    eyebeg,

    Probably. We are not supposed to link anything here like that.

    I have seen that same page on scam phishing emails before.
  • SgtBrushesSgtBrushes Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    It wasn't so much dropping out as never even trying. My senior year of high school, I enlisted in the Marine Corps. I turned down a college education that would have cost me roughly $1,000 a semester after scholarships and my parents. I'm now 23 years old and have never set foot in a classroom. I've had some great times and some horrible times the past few years.

    I get out in several months, and I'll be a 24-year old freshman, fall of 2009. It kind of sucks starting that late. Don't drop out.
  • jwh335jwh335 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    There are some really good stories in here, guys. Thanks :D
  • hazelorbhazelorb Registered User Posts: 3,240 Senior Member
    My stepsister dropped out after getting heavily involved in things like alcohol, drugs, etc. She worked and now is back in school and is doing great! Studying econ and Spanish. She says she was not mature enough for it when she went right after high school, and now works 15 hours a week in addition to full time school. I think she feels guilty for "wasting" the money prior to that. Pretty much, I think she is awesome.

    I know another friend from school here that dropped out and now works full time. He was in engineering and basically lost all motivation and was going to fail if he did not withdraw anyways. He is pretty much enjoying drinking and working for a tech company that did not care if he had a degree, he knows his stuff which might have been the issue (all the stupid classes they make you take just to get a degree). I don't know how he will feel in a few years when he realizes he does not make enough to actually have a decent future (retirement, etc) but he is not at that point in his life (how many people are anyways?) so he needs to mature up to that and then he can make a decision about what to do.

    I took a lot of night classes in high school and so I met lots of those people going back for their degrees with kids. I admire them and I don't know how they did that.

    Sometimes, like above posts have said, it is a school specific issue. I had a friend who HATED her college and transferred back to the local branch of the state school and is doing a lot better. These things are very personal. :\ You might want to ask if it is the school or school in general that is making you unhappy. Good luck!
  • GreybeardGreybeard Registered User Posts: 2,355 Senior Member
    I had a friend in college who "stopped out" for a year to study Chinese in Taiwan, then returned to school for his senior year. I thought I would do the same, until I mentioned it to my parents. They were absolutely horrified, and worried that I wouldn't return to school.

    For me, the path of least resistance was to return to school. After I graduated, I went to Taiwan for a year; I went to law school after that.

    It turned out to be a good decision. I was able to get much better part-time jobs that year (as a clerk in a law firm, and as an adjunct professor of English at a university) than I would have been able to get as someone with three years of college credits. And I graduated from law school the same year I would have graduated, had I not acceded to my parents' wishes.
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