Before dropping out of college, there are many things you should consider. School is not for everyone, so there is no shame in choosing not to further your education. However, you should carefully consider whether it is the right choice at this moment. If you are close to finishing your degree and capable of doing so, it is often a wise choice, though the final decision is completely up to you!
Am I Simply At The Wrong School Or In The Wrong Major?
If you are stuck studying a field you hate or in an environment that doesn’t function for you, it’s easy to understand why one would consider dropping out of college. The vast majority of people switch their major at least once before receiving their degree, so there is no shame in exploring other options to find a better fit for you! The same applies for your college or university. There are hundreds of options varying in size, location, price, emphasis, and community, so if your school isn’t working out, reach out to potential transfer options and talk to an emissions counselor! Particularly if you choose your college and intended major while in your senior year of high school, it is likely you changed a lot once you moved out and gained more independence. You may find you have completely different interests and priorities than you expected, and that’s totally okay! Spend a semester taking classes outside your major to find subjects that interest you or spend some time virtually touring other campuses and connecting with their students.
Have I Exhausted All Resources My School Has To Offer?
Before dropping out of college, be sure to exploit all the resources your school has in place to help you succeed. If the classwork is too difficult, make arrangements to meet with a free tutor. If you simply cannot keep up, try working with your teachers one-on-one and starting a correspondence with your student advisor. They will often be more willing to work with you than you might be inclined to believe. If your mental health is taking a toll, there is often a counselor or psychologist right on campus who you can talk to for free. If all else fails, ask for a week or two of academic leave to get yourself back on track. There are often lots of options available to ensure your success, as your college or university wants you to do well! Be sure to thoroughly utilize everything you can before making your decision to drop out of college as there is likely much you can do to improve the ease of the experience.
Can I Confidently Say I Will Be Able To Put In The Remaining Years To Finish My Degree Or Program?
If you are three years into completing your bachelorette, it is likely worth your time to finish the last year and earn your degree as the ultimate payoff of having a college degree is worth the monetary value of one additional year in college. However, if you just started attending a university planning to get your doctorate and are already having strong second thoughts, it is likely you won’t be able to handle 11 more years of schooling. If you find out early that college isn’t working for you, not only is that okay, it’s actually preferable! By your second semester in college, you should start to get into the flow. If you are finding that you can’t handle the coursework, the tuition is too much, or you realize you want your life to take a different direction, seriously consider your decision to return to college the following year. It is better to only have the debt of one year in your name than two or three if you are not going to earn the degree anyway. Ask yourself honestly if you can make it through your remaining years. Push yourself as hard as you can and give it your all before deciding you can’t continue, but don’t be afraid to move on if college isn’t the right choice for you at this time.
Have I Received A Large Amount Of Money In Scholarships And Grants?
If you intend on pursuing a career that does not require a degree, feel free to ignore this tip. For anyone who intends to return to finish their degree, it is important to think about the most economic and logical decision! If your tuition is largely covered or most of the payments come from scholarships or grants, you may want to think twice before dropping out of college. It is likely you will not receive many of those same opportunities again. Particularly if you started college right after high school, you were likely awarded a larger scholarship due to your potential and age than you will again in the future. Colleges and universities can be quite expensive, so if you plan on finishing school at some point, now may just be the best time. That being said, there are tons of programs out there to get people back in school. Particularly those in their late twenties with a few college credits are more likely to be offered opportunities and scholarships to continue their education. Many jobs and career choices will even offer repayment for any money you spend on school, so long as you work for them over an agreed-upon number of years. Going back to school often becomes increasingly difficult on a personal level the more years that pass, so be careful to consider that as well.
Do I Have Housing And A Job Lined Up?
If you intend on dropping out of college, do you have a plan lined up for after? If you want to stay with your family, make sure to thoroughly discuss it with them first, as many parents have rules such as you must have a job or be in school and you must pay rent over the age of 18. If this is the case for you, it is important to get that sorted out beforehand. Regardless of where you choose to stay, it is a good choice to have something else to focus on. The longer you spend not investing your time into something, the harder it will be to start again. A job, internship, volunteer group, or project are all great ways to keep yourself active. If you are dropping out of college for mental health reasons, be sure to dedicate some of this time to your recovery!
Is The Risk Greater Than The Reward?
College is certainly not for everyone and there is no shame in deciding to move on and explore other options. The biggest question you need to ask is whether the new path you have chosen is better than the one you are currently on. Dropping out of college will not solve every issue. If you are homesick, constantly worried about debt, unable to follow a consistent schedule, or simply suffering from mental health issues, there are many easy ways to solve those issues while continuing your education. If you are particularly close to completing your degree and have already invested years of time and money, it may be worth it to try and push yourself to finish in order to not have wasted the previous effort. However, if your life and career goals have drastically changed or you find yourself generally unable to finish college, it is best to get out early to avoid debt and wasted time, then start making a plan for the future!