Mental Health Check-In

Good evening everyone,

I regret going to college. I was not prepared for this at all and I am considering dropping out of Purdue. I am fighting for my life here every day and things are not working out for me. My family pressured me to do well in school and go to college and I was never good at it because I hardly pass any type of exams and get good grades in any class. My former high school counselor told me that my name is on the list to participate in the high school commencement ceremony in June after I graduated early in January. To be honest, I don’t deserve that diploma because after struggling in school my whole life I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything. Yes, I got into Purdue but I’m in exploratory studies with a very slim chance of getting into any major I want, which is one of the most overlooked and disrespected programs at the university. While everyone else is studying engineering, nursing, pre-med, etc, at all of these fancy universities across the country. I am struggling in all of my classes and my grades are slipping. Time management is not the problem, I’m doing whatever I can to get good grades on my assignments and tests but it’s not working out. Before college, I had all the hopes and dreams in the world. Now my soul is crushed because college killed my self-esteem and caused severe problems to my mental health. I wish I went to a trade school or found a way to get rich instead of going to college. I feel like the dumbest person in the world and I don’t think things are going to get better anytime soon. I don’t want to work at my dead-end job for the rest of my life, I hate being a student at Purdue, and I’m just a confused 18-year old who doesn’t know what to do with his life after exploring his interests. I don’t want to do it anymore. I am not sure if I will still remain a student at Purdue. I am not here for emotional support or encouragement. I just want to express my attitude towards education.

Oh, @unknowncreature, I am so sorry to see this. I remember all of your posts before you were graduating and I can sense your disappointment. I think you were in such a hurry to get out of your parents’ house and get started with your life that you didn’t get a chance to breathe. Being overwhelmed and uncertain is very common for all college students, but I think it is even harder when you don’t have a strong support system.

I really think you need to take a step back from school, get some mental health support, and think about what you want to do (along with what is a realistic goal). You shouldn’t be putting so much stress on yourself and it is OK to feel the way you do.

If you are looking at medical jobs, you can always start with an EMT training program or medical assistant or phlebotomist programs. They will help you get started down that road and give you some experience. Sometimes, you can find employers who help pay for you to continue your education. Don’t give up. Just take a different path.

Many folks here are helpful and are invested in your journey. Sending you a virtual hug :hugs:


Thank you. I have a limited support system, all I have are my roommates, my academic advisor, and my former high school teachers to make me feel better. 95% of the time I’m on my own. I am financially stable for the next few months I’m just not prepared for college academically. I don’t deserve to get my diploma in June. I’ve failed as a human being.

You absolutely do deserve your diploma!! You earned it and just because you are having a hard time does not take that away! Also, college is not the definition of a human being. Many people do not graduate from college, and for lots of different reasons. It doesn’t make them any less of a person.

Personally, I went off to a college I had no business attending. The school accepted me and allowed me to progress through just because my parents could pay the bill. I ended up dropping out, working for a bit, getting an associate’s degree, working a bit more, and finally going back for my BS. It took me until I was 28 years old. I was impatient, annoyed, dejected, you name it but the sense of accomplishment after 10 years was indescribable because I worked hard for it. You can do this, even if the journey looks nothing like what you expected.


I am so sorry to hear all of this. If Purdue allows students to schedule an appointment with its mental health services online, do that right now. If it doesn’t, call first thing in the morning or go to the health center as a walk-in. Talk to them about how you are feeling. See if they think you need to take a medical leave of absence (mental health is a medical reason).

If you need to take a break from college, take the break. YOU are the most important part of this discussion. It does not matter when you graduate from college, what you will end up studying, or if you graduate from college. What is important that you are healthy and feel satisfied with your life.

If/when you want to go back to school, you can determine if you want to go to Purdue or community college or somewhere else. While you’re away from school you can think about what it is you want to do with your life, and then take the steps necessary to do it. Don’t worry about whether it meets with your parents’ approval or anyone else’s. You’re the one living your life, so you should be steering your life’s ship.

Once again, you need to take care of yourself and as your title indicates, you need to be paying attention to your mental health. Please reach out to someone locally and get the help that you deserve.


Hugs to you. Sometimes there are struggles. It’s ok. You’re dealing with alot.
Congrats on early graduation, as others said.
Don’t be embarrassed, it’s ok. More than one path. Can take a break and try some other job or part time school.


Please make an appointment to talk to someone at PUSH. They are there to support and help.

The transition to college isn’t an easy one for many students. You are not alone.


I’m a little confused? You graduated HS early in January 2022 - with a commencement in June? So when did you start going to Perdue?

As far as an outlook, there are many ways to lead a successful and happy life that don’t involve attending a 4-year college after high school. There are many highly respected and well-paid trades, and depending on your entrepreneuring spirit, can lead to good income opportunities.

Once you’ve had a chance to sit down and sort out your feelings (maybe eventually pulling in your parents into a session), you’ll hopefully be in a better state to assess what is the best path for you at this point in time.

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OP, I’m so sorry that you are feeling so discouraged. I wish I could give you a huge hug. You are not a failure - far from it! What you are is an 18 year old who was smart enough and motivated enough to graduate early from high school (and deserves that diploma!) and who is unfortunately experiencing the very typical overwhelm that so many students struggle with their first year at college. It is normal to feel overwhelmed, or like you made a mistake with choosing a college or major, or struggle in classes that you thought you’d love or would be easier. It can also seem like you are the only one struggling, but that’s not true. My son is a freshman at another huge college and I can’t tell you how many parents have posted on the parent FB page about their kid struggling with grades, dropping/withdrawing/failing a class, changing their major, dealing with anxiety/depression, etc. Its so common, especially after the past two years of Covid school and uncertainty. It sometimes takes until well into sophomore year for kids to start feeling settled and finding their groove.

Also, most high school kids have the whole summer after graduation to relax and prepare for college, and then transition into college in the fall with many other freshman. You graduated early and then jumped right into college with zero break. That is a lot for an 18 year old, especially for one without a good support system at home. Please, please give yourself some extra care and grace, and just take it one day, one class, one hour at a time. You are not alone and things WILL get better. And, please reach out to the mental health services on campus. That is what they are there for and they can help.


I was done with school by December 21, 2021. My grades weren’t finalized until January 4, 2022. I started Purdue on January 10th. If a student graduates in the middle of their senior year, their diploma will be on hold until June to participate in the ceremony. But the school does give you a transcript showing that you graduated early.

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Nothing that can be done about that now - but that means you didn’t have the benefit of sharing your pain with your peers, many of whom probably felt similarly overwhelmed by November last year, nor did you have the “easing in” period of the first semester, with a freshman orientation, and taking writing seminar classes together.

Maybe there is still hope that you’ll be able to get out of that slump - if necessary by having an open conversation with your advisor and get permission to still drop a course, and doing a lesser course-load for another semester until you can feel more settled.


This is why I get so sad when I see students tie their worth to getting into certain schools or getting top grades in certain programs.

It is not possible for every student to be at the top of the class — then there would be no “top.” Does that make the rest of the class unworthy? It does not. At its core, school is supposed to be about LEARNING, not collecting A’s.

No great athlete won every game or every race. And a great basketball player might be a lousy swimmer. Skilled, hardworking workers and nice people get fired every day — sometimes just on the whim of a new boss. No one is great at everything and, even when someone is great at something, they aren’t great at it all the time.

There is a not always a correlation between talent and success. Unfortunately, hard work doesn’t always pay off, either. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth putting in the effort.

Life is about the journey, not the destination. There is no one path to success and no one definition of what success looks like. There are wildly successful physicists with PhDs from MIT (some of whom probably failed some exams along the way) and wildly successful electricians who completed apprenticeship programs.

Mindset and heart are key in all cases, though. Person A can choose to have a growth mindset, keep trying new things, learning, growing, and being kind and taking the high road. Person B can adopt a fixed mindset and decide they are not smart, can’t learn, and give up on trying anything challenging or interesting to them — maybe even cheat, lie, or hurt others to get what they want because anything else is too hard.

Person A is going to be happier and feel better about themselves and the way they lived their life even if they never get rich or graduate at the top of their class — they will have a rich life, even if it is filled with memories of falling down over and over on the skating rink, hitting wrong notes during the big piano recital, taking four tries to pass the bar exam, and burning Thanksgiving dinner — hopefully all survived with laughter and a sense of satisfaction knowing they were willing to try.

I do not know what path is right for you. Maybe if you access the right supports and take the right courses, you can make Purdue work. Maybe a different school or program would be a better fit. Maybe you need to take a break and work and get some therapy to build yourself back up before you tackle your next goal.

No matter what the future looks like, it is important to address your mindset first. You are more than your grades and accomplishments. You are worthy just as you are. And you are capable of many wonderful things and can survive life’s obstacles. But it isn’t enough that I say it — you have to believe it and live it.

Best wishes.


@unknowncreature, were you able to get in to see the counseling services at Purdue today? If not, walk over or call them right now and make an appointment before they close.

Thinking of you and sending virtual hugs. :hugs:


I haven’t, I’ll see if I can make time to do that


I disagree. Everything is about grades and test scores, for example, getting accepted into colleges or professional programs, and passing classes. I am learning something everyday at Purdue but my grades say otherwise. I am failing classes but I am learning something from it everyday. But a lot of people may disagree on that. I don’t care about learning anything at this point as long as those grades are good and I’m able to get out of exploratory into my desired major that’s all that’s matters :100:

I dropped 2 classes already.

I’m currently taking 3 general Ed classes and 1 chemistry class.

This is similar to what happened to my spouse: failed out/dropped out of college, worked, got associates in a different field (with much better grades due to being in a better state of mental health), worked some more, went back for B.S. Has a terrific life now.


If you back off of academic load for a little while, don’t think of it as dropping out or failing…think of it as life optimization and correcting the course (keeping the train on the tracks). Best of luck and don’t be hard on yourself…humans are fragile and that’s a beauty rather than a weakness: the fact that you are on here asking for advice means you have the insight and awareness to know about emotional limitations. We anonymous parents out here are proud of you for that. The train will get to the station…as long as it doesn’t try to go too fast and jump the tracks.


None of this is true. It sounds like you are experiencing impostor syndrome. Impostor syndrome - Wikipedia

You deserve a diploma.
You have not failed as a human. You are having a hard time, but that is not failing.

You are taking the right steps by coming here and thinking about how to move forward. Even though you say you aren’t looking for moral support, the fact that you’ve come here tells us otherwise.

There is no law that says you must graduate in exactly four years. You can graduate in six years (like I did), or in eight, or in ten. The timeline for your life is not set in stone and you are allowed to spend as much time as you need to figure out your path.

Make an appointment with the campus counseling center asap and also let your parents know you are struggling, so they can help you set up an appointment with a mental health professional. Your parents love you and want you to be happy.

Make an appointment to see an academic advisor. I assume you are a freshman, so there is no rush to declare a major right now. Don’t worry about other people’s majors. For now, you can take general Ed classes that interest you.

It’s really sad that youth today think they have to major in engineering to be successful in life. I’d love to hear more about all the kids who switch out of engineering because they realized they had no interest or aptitude for it.

Focus on how you can be proactive. Stop thinking about what other people are doing. You’re taking steps forward, so build your momentum and stay proactive. Good luck.

P.S. Four classes is good. I think some of the problem is that you bit off too much.