I don't want to be in college any longer

Call this whatever you like, could be a rant, a rave, or maybe the only one in the room talking sense. Either way, I need to tell some of my stories to elaborate.

I graduated high school with a heap of expectations from my family. Knowing that my sister graduated from NYU with a major in Film & Television and about $100k in debt, I had no other choice but to make a more sensible option. College is becoming less and less valuable, practical, and sensible to what I want to do.

I’m currently enrolled at Saint Anselm College as a Freshman. As of the making of this post, I’ve been here for nearly a month. There are many aspects of college life I dislike here. Because I’m in a boys’ only dorm, sanitation becomes an issue rapidly. I’ll spare the details unless you’re morbidly curious. Loudness, reckless driving, and obnoxious behavior are typical here too.

Even if I wished to make new friends, Saint Anselm is a very cliquey community. Within days after Orientation ended, it was like everyone gathered in tribes, more so than when I was in high school. Any attempt to make new friends would involve this unspoken, unwritten initiation as to whether you are worthy, though that seems like any friend group you go in to.

I am more than intellectually capable of handling college, the root of the problem is that I never grew up to learn the value of hard work, grit, and self-discipline. I never had to deal with it. I tend to be quite stubborn. When I hold onto a position, I rarely let go, especially when that involves potentially one of the most massive investments of my life.

As of writing this, my major is International Relations, and I’m taking Chinese, Accounting, Comparative Politics, and Conversatio (Religion and Philosophy Literature). The major I decided and the classes I’m taking are also not precisely justifying the $56,550 per year my parents are spending to keep me here. The only course I actively go to is Chinese because I loved studying languages throughout high school. Accounting I go to most classes, however, it’s an 8:30 class, and I tend to wake up later than expected. The other two I either go to but never pay attention, or refuse to go to at all.

My plan when I drop out of college involves my current relationship. I’ve had a boyfriend since last December. He’s 27, served in the Marine Corps for five years, and works for a job at a cargo company as a Data Analyst earning around $72k per year and has only worked there for four months. He’s been doing a lot of apartment hunting and is seeking his place to live in not far from where he works.

I’m not at college necessarily to get an education, but to buy myself time for when he’s able to move in for when I can move in with him. By doing that, I can start living in the real world, as well as support him both emotionally and financially by helping him pay rent working part-time.

TL;DR - I’m not happy with both my present and potential future of staying in college. Instead, I would rather move in with my boyfriend so we can grow ourselves together and learn the skills I want to at my own pace.

If you do not attend class, then you are likely to flunk out of college relatively quickly. $56,550 is a rather expensive price for an apartment and day care facility.

If you drop out of college, and later decide to return, then you will need to show your grades for all years that you have attended college. As such if you are not paying attention to your classes, then you are going to make it more difficult to get accepted to any colleges in the future. You are probably also harming your job opportunities.

My first very strong recommendation is that as long as you are enrolled in university or college, then you take every class seriously, attend every class, and keep ahead in your homework. It is better to take a W for one class, or even for every class, than it is to get D’s and F’s. Also, I think that you need to either take every class seriously, or stop spending your parent’s money.

For now, you might want to consider working for a living for a year or two. Some work experience and more importantly supporting yourself for a while might give you a much better perspective on life.

Seems like the same blanket advice that every parent tells their child when they’re having second thoughts on college.

It’s like everything is in black and white. You are either successful and have a college degree, or you are unsuccessful and don’t have a college degree.

Ideally, I wouldn’t want to be wasting my parents’ money on something that I will never take seriously. I don’t have a growth mindset, I have a fixed mindset (I mentioned before that I’m stubborn).

At this point in my life, I see no reason to not be able to learn the skills I want to in the comfort of my own home, even if college offered the same material. Going to college is all about the degree, a glorified status symbol in my eyes that tells employers you may or may not have the job skills you need to be employed here.

Bottom line, I don’t see myself returning anytime soon after this semester at the latest. Why would I waste time taking arbitrary classes seriously when I know I can invest that time better?

Then withdraw now and get your parents some of their money back. Why stick out the semester if you aren’t going to classes?

If you were my kid, I’d be asking for the tuition and expenses I paid back.

That’s the thing, I’m not planning on moving back in with my parents. I need to wait until my boyfriend is able to move into his own apartment. The place he currently lives in cannot fit two people. At the latest, that would be somewhere between Late November to Mid December.

You’re right, if he had his own place tomorrow, I’d be booking flights, sending in my withdraw paperwork, packing up to leave, etc. Right now, it’s a waiting game.

Lots of details missing…

Doing what?

What skills exactly?

Fair enough - so then drop out. Are you looking for validation?

Doing what?

  • Likely start in retail or food service since I've never done any work outside of school.

What skills Exactly?

  • Language study, cooking, cleaning, singing, instruments. Just examples.

Are you looking for validation?

  • Yes and also that I needed some outlet to talk about it even though I see a therapist regularly.

Ok, so you basically want to be a homemaker? You’ll do all the cooking and cleaning and make a little PT cash while your boyfriend earns a living to support you both? Is he on board with that? But sure, lots of people do this and you’re right, you don’t need a college degree to do that. And I’ll support your decision 100%

HOWEVER… you are completely disrespecting your parents who are spending a lot of money on you right now. And the fact you’re only staying in school because you need another 2 months before you can move in with the boyfriend is not a valid reason to waste their money. And yes, you are wasting their money.

My suggestion, drop out now and start your PT retail gig so you can begin to pay your parents back. Yes, you’ll need to live at home, or pay for an extended stay hotel until moving in with your boyfriend becomes an option.

I don’t care how stubborn or fixed a mindset you have, but you seem smart enough to realize you’re screwing your parents big time. Time to grow up and put your big boy pants on, and you don’t need college to do that.

You don’t have a growth mindset and are stubborn because you have the rationale of a child and lack critical thinking skills and the ability to reason logically.

A child mentality does not make for a mature relationship. That is one major strike against this relationship already.

The ability to live together does not make you a mature adult, especally with someone 9-10 years older than you who is either on the same maturity level or having a young, ignornat girlfrind is for fun. If he is is also immature, illogical, self centered and emotionally stunted, which he very much sounds like, it would explain why he is emotionally compatible with an 18 year recent high school graduate. Major strike 2.

You are throwing away your immediate future for living in the moment with some guy. You are looking to some 27 year old guy to make your future (which odds are bad for any longevity) instead of yourself. He doesn’t want that responsiblity of raising you and you have A LOT of growing to do. There is nothing mature and adult about this line of thinking. Nothing. Strike 3.

He’s not looking out for what is best for you in any way, yet you are willing to give up you for him. Does that sound mature? logical? responsible?
If he wanted what was best for you, he would not be interested in you aspiring to minumum wage, part time work with no marketable skills so that he would have help paying rent. He is not asking you to be a partner. He’s asking you to pay for the space you take up. You are a side gig. A young, ignorant, uneducated play thing that is paying for your space. That is it.

If he really loved you and wanted what was best for you, then he would encourage you to stay in school and make something of yourself, grow and expand your mind. Become a true mature, logical, thinking partner that he would not hesitate to wait for. What is 4 years anyway in the rest of your life?

Withdraw and go. Repay your parents. Rent a room/sublet from someone else.


“It’s like everything is in black and white. You are either successful and have a college degree, or you are unsuccessful and don’t have a college degree.”

There are a lot of successful people without college degrees. I know a lot of them. They have high-paying trades, they run their own businesses, etc. The question is: are you one of these people? Do you know successful people without college degrees? what qualities do you see in them? do you share those qualities?

“Why would I waste time taking arbitrary classes seriously when I know I can invest that time better?”

Because your parents are paying a lot of $$ for those classes? because taking those classes seriously will set you (and maybe your boyfriend) up for a better future?

“Likely start in retail or food service since I’ve never done any work outside of school.”

Hmmm, most people I know who are successful without college degrees certainly had work experience by the time they reached 18-19.

If you are truly looking for advice, I would say: use your stubborn nature to your advantage, and stick it out this semester. Who cares if no one will talk to you and everyone is mean at your school.

You are male? So I have this right, you just want to go and live with your BF with zero regard for your parents? No discussion?

To answer your first question, I’ve spoken to my boyfriend about this on more than one occasion and he has been completely supportive of my decision thus far.

As for disrespecting my parents (if that’s how you would like to frame it), I’ve been explaining to them how I’m not sure / I’m not interested in college since my junior year of high school.

I’ve even asked them if I could take a gap year at least to start working PT and they said explicitly no. The reasoning behind this is that I’ll basically be behind all the other students by a whole year, so don’t bother wasting your time on work.

As for paying them back, that’s a conversation I would need to have with my parents before I do start handing over my or my boyfriend’s earnings, and that’s something I’ll look into soon. I’ll also look into finding PT work for between now and when I move in just so I have something to put on my resume.

You’re the first person to directly talk to me about my situation and how to work to problem solve it, thank you sincerely.

EDIT: After my boyfriend’s service in the Marine Corps, he enrolled for online classes at Vaughn College along with his full-time job and will be graduating next year with a BASc in Aviation Maintenance Management. In case anyone was wondering.

I think you are abusing your parent’s trust. You are only using college as a motel until BF gets an apartment. You are throwing away this special privilege to be able to get higher education. Only 33% of American adults have college degrees. Most get it through financial aid or gathering debt. Not many parents bother to sponsor like yours are doing.

BFs come and go but education and parents who care enough to pay $56K for school, are always there for you.

However, if you really want to go slave around for minimum pay jobs, it’s your choice. It’s a free country, you are an adult. As a responsible adult, either stop taking money from your parents or put up the work to get a degree. Either you are independent or not, there is no flip flop.

Be a man and discuss it with your parents and try to listen , not to convince but actually listen to them to understand their take on this dilemma.

@Junjou I’m glad to hear that you tried to talk to your parents about your lack of interest in college. Perhaps your parents’ financial situation is a lot different than mine, but I would not have invested $56k in sending you to college under those circumstances.

Accounting is a pretty useful skill out in the real world. I would encourage you to go to that class and learn as much as you can.

Your parents presumably want you to have a college education to be independent.
Relying on your boyfriend for material support puts you in a risky situation that no parent would want.
Blowing off class, wasting your parents’ money, does not bode well for starting a relationship.
You might not like any service jobs and your boyfriend may tire of supporting you.
By working hard this semester, you will have a good record and develop ability to overcome unpleasant tasks, which in turn will help you get and hold a job.

I agree with you, most people don’t have the opportunity for their parents to be able to afford college, but even when I put in the total cost, I’d be projecting around $40k in debt after getting a degree. I’d gladly take my spot away to a kid who really wanted to go to college or potentially a First Generation student.

My boyfriend and I have been together for 9 months and have had little to no arguments, disagreements, signs of abuse, coercion, etc. This is a long-term relationship, make no mistake about that. I understand it’s rich coming from the lover, but we’ve even had talks about marriage and adoption after hitting the 5-year mark. I don’t see him leaving me anytime soon.

Last I checked as well, my parents have told me on repeated occasions that their ultimate goal is for me to be happy in life and to be successful. They’re not the type of people to ask for money back, they’re still dealing with paying my sister’s tuition (which has only shrunk to about $80k now). I would rather not burden them any further by me half-assing my way to get a degree and then be shocked that I can’t find any entry-level jobs to pay it back only for them to pick up the slack since they co-signed the loans.

From my perspective, I’m doing them a favor by saying I don’t want to be here now before I have any real student loan debt like my sister has.

You may be doing your parents a favor by not staying the 4 years at such an expensive school, but you are not doing anyone a favor (you, your boyfriend, your parents) by blowing off your classes this semester.

My advice would be:

1 - Tell your parents your plans. You will withdraw after this semester, move in with your boyfriend, etc. Your parents can decide if they want to keep paying for you to be there, withdraw immediately, etc.

2 - Focus on your work and finish this semester strong. You will get some value from your education, it will put you in a better position if you ever want to get back to college, it will show determination to finish something you started. If you are indeed making 5-year plans with your boyfriend, he won’t mind waiting for you a couple more months, right?

You’ve actually rec’d some pretty good objective advice, but here goes:

  1. If you stick around long enough, even if you’re miserable, you will probably get little or no tuition/housing costs refunded to you.
    So if you are as unhappy as you indicate, the best course is to withdraw, now.
  2. And, fair or not, college grades are with you for life(as in, just about all colleges request transcripts of any college courses taken). Not attending classes will pretty much guarantee poor, if not failing grades, and that assumes you show up for tests/final exams and the professors don’t factor class participation into your final grade. And if you don’t go to any classes, you may well get involuntarily separated for academic reasons. If, ten years down the road, you decide to go back to college, you don’t want a transcript replete with failing grades and/or academic separation. Yeah, everybody thinks, ten years on, they can explain those grades away, and maybe they can.
    But why take the risk? You have no interest in your college, either academically or socially, so leave now, get what $ you can back from the college, and plan from there.

Probably the worst thing you can do is stay and flunk all or most of your classes. Lots of people never go to college, and lots of people drop out of college during freshman year(the consensus seems to be about 30%). Since you have no interest whatsoever in college, it’s best you take some time and figure out what you want to do instead.

Your parents should have listened to you when you said you weren’t sure about college. They should have listened to you when you said you wanted to take a gap year. They didn’t and now you all are paying for it. You owe it to them to be honest but you certainly do not need to pay them back.

I would strongly recommend that you evaluate your future moves independently of your boyfriend. That doesn’t mean that you don’t love him, that he doesn’t support you, that you guys won’t always be together, etc. But it is a good idea to make sure you are always able to support yourself (decent job, place to live, health insurance, savings, support system) even if it doesn’t come to that.