College is a place where one is supposed to make many lasting memories. It is the place where one often discovers their bridesmaid parties, learns who they are as a person and finds clarity on their career path. But what if none of these things are happening? Maybe it’s because you don’t like your college. What if the college of your dreams turns out to be the college of your nightmares?
Many of my friends have gone through this. They were super excited to be a part of the university, when suddenly they realized they wanted nothing to do with it. First and foremost, it is important to understand that your feelings are totally valid. Having changed your mind once being enrolled at the university does not mean that you are a bad person or student. I mean, if the high divorce rate says anything about human beings its that sometimes we change our minds…
Here are some things to do if you don’t like your college:
Find the source of your discomfort.
Often times the feelings that we have towards something come to life before we can even think of why we feel that way in the first place. The reason behind our emotions tend to hide behind how we feel, which then blinds us from being able to understand, and therefore fix the issue. Don’t be that person. Try to be introspective about what it is that is making you feel negatively. Realize that whatever you’re feeling is okay and that you can’t be upset because of how you feel.
Try to devise a plan that will help appease or end the issue.
Sometimes the issues lie with the social aspect of the school. Whether the school is a big university or a small one makes a huge difference. Students at large universities are more likely to feel overwhelmed by the size of the student body, as it can be difficult to meet people and make friends in such a big crowd. A good way to fix this issue is to join clubs and organizations centered around your interests. Greek life is also a great way to make new friends and meet new people. But if it is not the social aspect of the school that bothers you, then the school itself might not be for you. In that case, you have the choice of transferring, taking a year off or going in a completely different path completely.
Research your options before making a decision.
If you’re thinking of transferring, you should look into two things. First, how schools you’re interested in differ from where you are now. What makes the school you are currently attending unappealing, and how is that factor different in the new school? Second, look into what the transfer rate of the new school is and how financial aid could potentially be affected by the move. I don’t think that money should be the deciding factor for a school, but I do think that if your current school is giving you a substantial amount of money to attend, then it is important to remember that you probably won’t get the same amount someplace else. Once these logistics are worked out, then it is safe to communicate your concerns to your parents so you can start hitting the ground running!
Do what you’ve established is best.
If you think that taking a year off is what you need to refocus your life and maybe start strong the next year, just know that there’s nothing wrong with that and that many people do this and come back on top! Taking a year off is necessary at times, especially when your personal life is in a bit of a disarray and you need to re-evaluate what it is that you want. Maybe during that time you can discover what was making you so unhappy while in school and look for ways to change that. It helps to go in with an open mind, especially because your academic sabbatical should act as a way for you to learn new things about yourself. Being open-minded is crucial when going on a journey of self-discovery.
Maybe while in school you realize that school is just not for you. You could go straight into employment and still be successful, as long as you go into it completely understanding the risks. There are many jobs that you can go into without any higher education, and move up with promotions. Many jobs want employees to at least have a bachelor’s degree, so they might urge you to go back to school so you can obtain a promotion. If that’s the case, then going back to school may be more appealing since you would be going in with a clear goal at the end. It is also very important to remember that it is never too late to get an education. Learning has no expiration date, and if you decide that you are ready and in the right place to go back to school, the only person that can stop you is you.
The purpose of going to college is to learn through experiences and self-discovery. If you are unhappy while on this journey, there is no point in trying to force it onto yourself. Every person’s path is different, if yours does not include the traditional college experience, that just means you are on your own unique path.
Feature image source: www.parentscountdowntocollegecoach.com
Lyndon is a college third year. During his free time, he enjoys discovering new TV Shows and watching interviews. Food and music are two of his rotating passions.