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A dilemma!

bextehudebextehude 2 replies5 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 7 New Member
edited November 2011 in College Search & Selection
Hey all -

I am a sophomore at Vanderbilt University. While I know I am smart, I have been humbled about 20 notches since coming here. Some students here are on the road to become great professors at top universities and have spent most of their life so far reading (though I love a good book).

I'm realizing things about myself - I'm very creative, and will not easily fit into any job slot and be happy - even academia. I'll probably leave college and open a store that I can make my own.

The friends I have made here are great, out of the ordinary, and brilliant. I'm learning all the time.

However, my parents are paying full tuition out of pocket. My father is a surgeon and I am very thankful for this opportunity. But I can't help but feel guilty because I am quite certain I am not cut out for academia, so I know I am in a 200-something thousand dollar degree program for the sake of education itself.

I'm trying to decide if I should stay and appreciate this opportunity to learn, or if I should save my parents' money and educate myself at my state school. Perhaps that money will come into use someday. On the other hand, maybe the Vanderbilt degree will prove itself to be invaluable later down the road. What do you think?
edited November 2011
6 replies
Post edited by bextehude on
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Replies to: A dilemma!

  • milkweedmilkweed 611 replies54 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 665 Member
    I'm guessing that your dad, a surgeon, can afford Vanderbilt's cost. My guess is that your parents would want you to stay where you are.... you certainly can discuss it with them if you want. It sounds like you're learning a lot and enjoying the school. You're only a sophomore-- it's hard to tell when you might find your niche or take a class that sends you into a new exciting direction. It certainly doesn't have to be academia!
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  • NJSueNJSue 2841 replies17 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,858 Senior Member
    What prompted you to have these worries? If your parents have not expressed concern about money up to this point, it's probably not an issue.

    Are you really happy at Vanderbilt, or are you feeling overwhelmed and looking for a face-saving reason to leave? I'm only speculating, not accusing. You need to look at what is troubling you and identify it honestly. Perhaps the reason is compelling enough to be worth transferring for; perhaps not. But it probably has nothing to do with money spent.
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  • jkiwmomjkiwmom 1332 replies36 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,368 Senior Member
    I'd stay! It sounds like you are learning a lot about yourself there and that's as important as your education. You do have this amazing opportunity and rather than feel guilty, just let your parents know how grateful you are for the financial support they've given you. Yes, you are among some very brilliant people. I wonder if your doubts are more of a reaction to a freshman "inferiority complex" within a top school. This is so common for students that have been used to being at the top within their high schools. You are now surrounded by students just as smart as you, and now many others that are beyond you intellectually. The important thing to remind yourself is that you too were chosen to be there! Sometimes we sabotage ourselves when we don't feel worthy and that's where this guilt is stemming from (I believe). I hope you will just accept that your parents really do want this for you, and I hope that you will accept this opportunity and own it. It doesn't matter what you do with your degree from Vandy and there's no need to decide on that yet anyway. You will feel so differently next fall..it's a process. I hope you will stay!
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  • lynxinsiderlynxinsider 1268 replies11 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,279 Senior Member
    The irony is that a career in academia would not come close to paying back a $200,000 investment in any reasonable amount of time. Those are the people who are doing it for the sheer thrill of it. You'll learn a lot at Vandy that will help you in an entrepreneurial career.
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  • Erin's DadErin's Dad 32863 replies3607 discussionsSuper Moderator Posts: 36,470 Super Moderator
    Talk with your parents about it. The son of a friend did things the opposite way. Started a business and realized how much it would help to have specific courses from college. He's now entering his junior year.
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  • happy1happy1 22407 replies2183 discussionsForum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 24,590 Forum Champion
    If your parents can afford the school and you are getting a great education, then I'd stay. An education is irreplaceable no matter what you do in life. Try to take some classes than can help you with your long term goal of owning a store -- I'd suggest some business classes (accounting, marketing) for sure.
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