So, you’re thinking of dropping out of college, huh? The essays have got to much, the stress just doesn’t seem worth it any more? Well, before you make any rash decisions, consider these five questions (and look over all your old party photos from your first semester, teary eyed-ness optional).
1. Why are you dropping out?
Is the reason you’re thinking of dropping out related to something that could be changed? Is a problem with your course, with your stress levels, or with a professor? If it’s connected to any of the above, or similar, see if you can do something to change your college experience before you drop out. For a lot of people, however, their reasons for wanting to drop out are down to a general dissatisfaction with the college experience. So if you can, track down a couple of graduates from your university, and ask them if they ever felt the way you’re feeling now. Sure, you’ll feel like a freak of the highest order for asking, but pretty much every student suffers a waver (shake/storm/hurricane/apocalypse) of doubt every now and then.
2. How will this affect your future?
For some people, college isn’t vital – their chosen career can be forged through hard work elsewhere. But others haven’t got a hope in hell of doing what they want to do without a degree, and it’s worth looking into that before you hop into the dropout bus. Are a few months of boredom now worth a career that you’ve been looking forward to all your life?
3. What are you going to do now?
Dropping out of college is often painted as the death knoll for any kind of ambition, but you can still go on to do what you want without a university education. The important thing is not to let all your free time and ability to get up after noon every day of the week kick your ambition in the nuts. What’s your game plan for your post-dropout months? Where will you be when the rest of your friends graduate? Laughing at them from your solid gold limousine sprinkled with dollar bills and beautiful women/men (delete as appropriate) if you have your way.
4. Are you prepared for people doubting you?
Thing is, lots of people are probably going to doubt your ability to succeed now you’ve dropped out of college – classmates, family, even friends – whether they mean to do it or not. You now have to work twice as hard to prove yourself to future employers and yourself. If you can handle that doubt and use it as a screw-you-now-I’m-definitely-going-to-succeed, good for you.
5. Are you prepared to admit you were wrong?
If you do drop out in the end, and whatever intricate plans you had in place for your future fall through, you can always go back. Sure, your pride might have taken a dent, but it’s better to head back now that you’re certain a degree is right for you than stubbornly try to prove yourself elsewhere, no matter how difficult it is.