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I dropped out

jwh335jwh335 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
edited October 2008 in College Life
So, this semester would of been the beginning of my Junior year. However, I decided not to go this semester. Instead, I've opted to spend my semester working a full-time job and paying bills. I didn't have to drop out. I didn't have financial problems or horrible grades(not the best either, 2.7 overall).

I felt that I just wasn't mature enough to be in school at the time. I felt that I needed to get a glimpse into the real world so that I would know why I want to have a degree. You know, a little motivation. Hopefully it will improve my grades.

I was just curious if anyone around here has ever been through something similar. If so, what was the outcome of it all? Did you grades improve or did they not? Did you learn more? Etc, etc...
Post edited by jwh335 on

Replies to: I dropped out

  • b@r!um[email protected]!um Registered User Posts: 10,373 Senior Member
    Just out of curiosity: did you actually drop out, or are you just taking one or two semesters off?
  • jwh335jwh335 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    My school doesn't have an option for leave of absence. So, I dropped out with the intention of returning in a semester.
  • PanglossianPanglossian Registered User Posts: 243 Junior Member
    I dropped out of UF after freshman year, due to a mixture of lack of money, horrible school atmosphere, and not doing too hot grades-wise. I enlisted in the Navy for a change of scenery and to 'start-over', in effect. I got a huge reality check with the increased workload & responsibility, and am now doing well for myself, with the hopes that when I go back to school (through the service), I'll have enough maturity to be able to handle engineering again.

    Though, now that I think about it, college should be cake after all of this.
  • LQTMLQTM Registered User Posts: 118 Junior Member
    OP you're in better shape than I am. I flunked out of college the first semester of my sophomore year and I'm now reapplying for this spring term (I think I'm the same age as you). So far I've been rejected from one out of four schools I've applied to. I think you'll be fine.
  • macinicimacinici Registered User Posts: 157 Junior Member
    i'm doing what most would say great in school. have a 3.8 or higher who knows. All last year I kept wanting to drop out and actually came very close several times and in all reality I still do and for various reasons. Since I can graduate this year I've decided to stick it out and endure the pain.

    My opinion is that dropping out sometimes is the right thing. We live in a society that glorifies college education and in a lot of places attending college right after h.s is simply a given. Yes I do believe that in the long run having a college education will give you a higher standard of living but I do not believe it is necessary to go to college right away. Sometimes just working a job and doing whatever else to figure out why the **** we should attend college and how we should live our life is needed.

    This is more of a rant. The only thing I would advise is if you plan to get more education to do it sooner that later. Don't put college off until you're 30 or older as it will be more difficult. Taking a year or a couple off it's okay but don't let one or two years turn into a decade. This, I think, is the biggest and most dangerous trap when quitting school.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Registered User Posts: 16,089 Senior Member
    My son dropped out after 3 semesters. Worked in low paid jobs for 2 years living from paycheck to paycheck. Has gone back this semester and seems to be doing better now that he has a goal he is working toward. His Girlfriend only went for one semester and was out for about 3 years. She returned last fall and is doing better this time as well.

    Sometimes you just have to be ready for it to work.
  • blue147blue147 Registered User Posts: 502 Member

    Out of all the posts in the College Life forum, a post by a fellow peer that actually has truth in it without being overbearing.
  • littlegreenmomlittlegreenmom - Posts: 3,437 Senior Member
    It is good to reassess and get a reality check. Going to college straight through after high school is "more of the same" for so many students. Working is much harder, in my opinion.

    Taking a break is good - but do remember, everything is harder when you go back. After you make a good paycheck, it is harder to go and sacrifice some of those luxuries that you get accustomed to. Life gets in the way. You have bills to pay, and becoming a full time student becomes even harder, sometimes.

    I took a break for medical/family reasons and that break turned into a long hiatus. It was so much more difficult to get back and finish my degree, and if I had to do it over again, I wouldn't have waited so long to go back to finish!
  • calmomcalmom Registered User Posts: 20,214 Senior Member
    My son dropped out after 2 years of college; he worked for 3 years and then completed his education at a different college. It probably was one of the best choices he ever made in his life. He found work that really helped him get a sense of what he wanted in life; he gained a lot of self-discipline and maturity through working -- and when he returned to school he was a much better student (better grades) and also was able to maintain a half-time job while attending school. When he graduated he had a great resume, so he had no problem at all finding a job.
  • laxtaxilaxtaxi Registered User Posts: 758 Member
    My niece went for a year at a university that had been her dream. She spent a year there trying to convince herself she was happy. She had a breakdown during her third semester - giving in to the fact that she hated it. She left, worked for the next semester and summer, and applied to a different school. She is now at the second school and is very, very happy and much more focused on what she wants rather than what she thought she wanted. I am very happy for her, it was definitely the right thing for her.

    I am a proponent of some form of gap year (or, in some cases, two). You are just taking yours in the middle. I would bet when you are ready to return to school you will be focused, driven and successful. Good for you for this important decision.
  • jenny23315jenny23315 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    I took 2 years off after highschool, not because I wanted to really, but because of some medical and family stuff. At the time, I was dreading college. I had no idea what I wanted to do and the really only reason I was planning to go was because I was expected to. Anyways, I worked fulltime for those two years at random crap jobs, not getting anywhere. It was always my intent to go back to school, but after a while it was the only option. I wasn't going to live that way the rest of my life. Like you, I couldnt just listen to ppl telling me that I needed a college education. I had to experience life for myself. Now don't get me wrong, even though I worked crappy jobs, I don't regret taking those two years off. I learned a lot and matured more than I thought possible. Although, now that I am back in school as a freshman, I can hardly relate to anyone. But I say that if you really want to grow, take time off and live on your own (no help from mom or dad or whoever). You might be older than most of your graduating class, but you will have the upper hand once you're back out in the work field. Good luck to you.
  • MSUDadMSUDad Registered User Posts: 487 Member
    Quitting after my soph year (mostly due to lack of funds) was the worst mistake I ever made.

    Yes, when I eventually went back, I got better grades and understood the importance of education better, but I never caught up for those years of low-paid unskilled jobs and the fact that I fell off the 'normal' track. People still tease me (20 years later) about the patchwork quilt of my undergraduate degree. Everything was more difficult because I dropped out.

    So, instead of an Ivy League B.A., I have a subpar education earned here and there, squeezed in during "life." Instead of taking classes that interested me, I had to take classes that fit my bill-paying schedule.

    So, no, don't do it. It's a terrible decision. But you have to learn it yourself; you can't learn about it on the internet.

    One bit of advice - don't get any long-term debt or other obligations during this hiatus (car, house) because they will make returning more difficult.

    Best of luck to you.
  • fencersmotherfencersmother Registered User Posts: 1,975 Senior Member
    MSUDad does have some good advice there. While taking time off from college and be very productive (job experience, travel, "real life"), this time can also become a risky period, especially if you take on debt, get married, have children... If you let that "real life" take over, you run the risk of never returning to college, face years of night school (while not awful, it is much more difficult, often more expensive since you are not on the regular financial aid package), and well, everything is just harder.

    So, if you decide to take the year off, make sure you spend it doing something with a purpose. And remember that while you are working at Sears Auto as a clerk all day, your friends may fall away since you are not around to sit at the cafeteria table whining about the homework in Prof Jones' class. Instead, you may find yourself sitting around the lunch table wondering why your boss got promoted but you did not.
  • NorthMinnesotaNorthMinnesota Registered User Posts: 6,668 Senior Member
    My neighbor didn't go to college right after HS. He had a decent job and picked up classes when he could for a few years. He finally went back part time after he had grade school kids. It took him some time and he missed most of his son's baseball games and D's dance recitals and wife was crazy trying to stay on top of home maintenance stuff. He was able to graduate with a 4.0. He is now in his early 40's and still is not on the same pay level as his peers because of his delay in education.
  • nocousinnocousin - Posts: 841 Member
    There is a HUGE difference between taking a hiatus with an intent to return, whether its a semester or year or even a three year military hitch (which will help you pay for it), and someone who simply drops out and then at age 27, married, owns a home, owns a car payment decides to try to go back to college. While our society values a college education or re-education, it values YOUTH more than anything, and often for wrongheaded ideas. But it is what it is. If finances are an issue, then by all means STAY in school and go to the local state flagship school. But if its something else going on in your head, then maybe a break is okay, so long as you dont sit around doing nothing but getting depressed watching television all day long, or hanging out with losers at the local bar. Be productive. Get a GOOD job, even if its at a major retailer in the mall....it will give you perspective. SAVE MONEY, dont SPEND money. Have a clear plan of action. A clear timetable. If you are still in school and considering these options, then go to the school counseling center and talk it out....they may be able to help you with alternatives to dropping out. Perhaps a change of major and just doing what makes you HAPPY, instead of what you think OTHERS want you to do. MANY MANY LIBERAL ARTS STUDENTS FIND REALLY GOOD JOBS UPON GRADUATION, so dont believe people who say you have to be a business major or economics major or science/engineering major to succeed. Its simply not true.

    I was in the military active duty for three years after high school (Vietnam era vet). I went back to school with a vengeance and graduated high honors. While in school I worked three jobs and went to the military reserve another 4 years. Then I worked several years, then returned to graduate school. It all worked out well for me. But I was HIGHLY focused and VERY determined.

    Finally, be easy on yourself as well. Nobody is perfect. Being 4.0 is not always what it is cracked up to be....every person has quirks and faults and weaknesses. Just do your best, examine your mistakes and learn from them, and be able to LAUGH AT YOURSELF from time to time. "Silly me!" That kind of stuff. And move along.

    The working world is also a bit crazy. Its not always logical and rational. Its often surreptitious and upside down, inside out, and "political." You just do your best, keep your chin high (not your ego) and stay out of trouble. Careers are no longer 40 years at the same manufacturing outfit like previous generations. Those days are gone. Now its more like a 5 year plan with radical changes in direction along the way. Like auto manufacturers who retool for a new market condition. Know that you are defined by your inner person, not your paycheck, bank account, or even a prestigious piece of parchment.

    Best of luck to you.
This discussion has been closed.