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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by LevelZeroHero View Post
    I think you made thread because on some level you know you should stay, but you can't reconcile the problem you're having so you're looking beyond yourself for reasons not to give up.



    I think this is probably the root of your issue. What's important to remember is that this will be the case no matter where you are. True, college can be an intimidating environment, especially at first, and this exacerbates an existing problem. However, you must acknowledge how depression is mis-coloring your perception, and you will see things through this tainted view no matter where you go.

    The best way to get a hold of reason beyond how you feel now about the difficulty you're facing is to focus on fixing the real problem, not the symptoms, and not the things which make the symptoms worse. Believe it or not, resolving the root issue will probably fix the problems you're having faster and leave you without the mess of uprooting yourself. Also, college offers you more in terms of long-term opportunity to give balance to your life. I know moving to a city seems attractive, but consider how isolated you will be. You'd only be running from the real problem which is not college or your environment.

    "Wherever you go, there you are"
    Wasn't anticipating how quickly my question would turn from whether I should drop out to how I should treat my depression and anxiety. I'm not ruling it out, but I'm going to schedule appointments with my advisor and school counselling center first.

    Thanks to everyone who responded.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    If you WANT to go to college, there is no reason why you should not. Mid-west's cost of living is much lower than other parts of the US, and student debt is definitely a reason to change your strategy.

    But I don't see why you aren't marrying these plans together. There is nothing stopping you from both.

    - Apply to a non-stressful job in the city of your choice.
    - Get it and move there, getting an apartment not far away.
    - Find the nearest community college nearby, and take classes part time. Not overwhelming, and you'll still be moving forward. Pell grants cover the costs entirely of community college classes and books so there's no money out of pocket. Especially with this being your freshman year.. That's quite a lot of money you are spending living on campus and paying campus costs for the SAME classes. It's English 101 whether you're at a 30k college or a 2k one.

    You can take classes on the weekend days and still have most of weekend afternoons and evenings to yourself, and still have a relatively low stress lifestyle in a city close to family.
    That might be a good idea. I like the school I'm going to now, but it's not worth 10k a year. I don't see why I was set on a liberal arts school to begin with.

    I just don't know how I would choose a city, and I'm kind of biased against community colleges...does anyone have any experience with them?

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by decrescendo View Post
    [*]I would be wasting the money I've already spent on this university
    This should not be a factor in your decision. It's purely emotional to consider the money you've spent. There's no rational reason to consider past costs when making decisions about the future. This is what is called a sunk cost. If you spent four years and thousands of dollars on a finance degree you would be aware of this and be able to make other forum members aware of this as well even if you never used that degree to get a job.

    If you're questioning whether you want to be there and have no clear purpose for being at college I would say go ahead and leave. This early you may get a full tuition refund or at least a high percentage returned.

    I hope you can see a doctor soon. I can tell you from personal experience trying to get your medications straight during first semester can be really hard.
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  4. #14
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by decrescendo View Post
    That might be a good idea. I like the school I'm going to now, but it's not worth 10k a year. I don't see why I was set on a liberal arts school to begin with.

    I just don't know how I would choose a city, and I'm kind of biased against community colleges...does anyone have any experience with them?
    That's literally all the experience I've had with college so far. I'm trying to get into a university currently and I am finding it a nightmare in comparison to my current CC. What is the bias against them? That they're cheaper, and thus less effective? I assure you the education you receive at them is no more or less than at a higher university. What you personally put into your own education is what you will take away from it. You can have a bad professor at either.

    A liberal art's degree at 10k/year.. I'm assuming that's without your dormitory expenses, food, etc? Or maybe so? Even so.. 10k/year x 4 is a LOT of debt racked up in a very short amount of time. And will you have a nice paying job in the field you were educated in after 4 years? The chances are slim.. and even if you do land a job you love in that field, it takes time to earn the money necessary to live comfortably while paying off those loans.

    As I have stated before on this forum in other places, college is a business transaction. You need to know what you need from it before getting yourself into it, or you will surely fail. (Maybe not classes, but overall.) If you want education for the sake of education, do it as cheap as possible. If you want a job in a field, do it as cheaply and efficiently as possible. And if you want prestige and experience, choose a career that will pay back that prestige without killing yourself in the process.

    If you're not even sure what city you really want to be at, then I highly advise you to stay put where you are. Take some serious effort into calculating what you're getting yourself into, and whether you ought to stay at home and do CC + work (which I highly recommend) or if you're set on moving to a city to be on your own (in which case, I agree with the large city choice.) and nothing will sway you.

    You sound a little to wishy-washy on the subject to just up-and-move now though. Talk to your parents, or a trusted friend, and figure out what is really going to make you happy. It is important to go to college--but if you would have been happier going to half-classes and living a little in the process, no one is going to blame you.. and better to know now, than when you're destroying your own GPA because you realize you can't handle 4 college classes at once.
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  5. #15
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    JW, when did you start school? It's gonna be my third week here on Thursday and I'm not really having any problems anymore. It did allow me to reconsider my type though. Switched from sx/so to so/sx.

    My friend wanted to drop out as well and I'd be lying if I said I didn't at least think of it (or consider community college near home). It wasn't til her fourth week I think until she started making friends and having a bit more fun. She even has her own fuck buddy now. But things are getting better and now I'm starting to appreciate the freedom of being away from my family and being independent. If you need someone to talk about this with you can always send me a PM. Going through a new experience with someone else makes things a lot easier.
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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    That's literally all the experience I've had with college so far. I'm trying to get into a university currently and I am finding it a nightmare in comparison to my current CC. What is the bias against them? That they're cheaper, and thus less effective? I assure you the education you receive at them is no more or less than at a higher university. What you personally put into your own education is what you will take away from it. You can have a bad professor at either.

    A liberal art's degree at 10k/year.. I'm assuming that's without your dormitory expenses, food, etc? Or maybe so? Even so.. 10k/year x 4 is a LOT of debt racked up in a very short amount of time. And will you have a nice paying job in the field you were educated in after 4 years? The chances are slim.. and even if you do land a job you love in that field, it takes time to earn the money necessary to live comfortably while paying off those loans.

    As I have stated before on this forum in other places, college is a business transaction. You need to know what you need from it before getting yourself into it, or you will surely fail. (Maybe not classes, but overall.) If you want education for the sake of education, do it as cheap as possible. If you want a job in a field, do it as cheaply and efficiently as possible. And if you want prestige and experience, choose a career that will pay back that prestige without killing yourself in the process.

    If you're not even sure what city you really want to be at, then I highly advise you to stay put where you are. Take some serious effort into calculating what you're getting yourself into, and whether you ought to stay at home and do CC + work (which I highly recommend) or if you're set on moving to a city to be on your own (in which case, I agree with the large city choice.) and nothing will sway you.

    You sound a little to wishy-washy on the subject to just up-and-move now though. Talk to your parents, or a trusted friend, and figure out what is really going to make you happy. It is important to go to college--but if you would have been happier going to half-classes and living a little in the process, no one is going to blame you.. and better to know now, than when you're destroying your own GPA because you realize you can't handle 4 college classes at once.
    I definitely don't want to live at home. I just don't know how to decide where else to live. I'm from easternmost Ohio, so I'm not familiar with the real midwest. (Just knew I didn't want to go south or too far west, and I've heard the cost of living in New England is pretty high. And I'm not ruling out Pennsylvania until I do more research.) As far as touring random cities -- again, I wouldn't know where to start, and that would be a lengthy trip.

    And it's 10k total, but yeah, it's way too much. They have excellent job placement rates, but I doubt I'll go into a lucrative field, so I'd still have serious debt for years.

  7. #17
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by decrescendo View Post
    I definitely don't want to live at home. I just don't know how to decide where else to live. I'm from easternmost Ohio, so I'm not familiar with the real midwest. (Just knew I didn't want to go south or too far west, and I've heard the cost of living in New England is pretty high. And I'm not ruling out Pennsylvania until I do more research.) As far as touring random cities -- again, I wouldn't know where to start, and that would be a lengthy trip.

    And it's 10k total, but yeah, it's way too much. They have excellent job placement rates, but I doubt I'll go into a lucrative field, so I'd still have serious debt for years.
    Most colleges can get a student *a* job. But getting them one that's $40k a year? Not likely in your field. And $20k/year means years of interest payments that will make you cry at night. (Ask me how I know.)

    Start online! Look up cities with the best public transportation since that's super important. See what weather you want to live in--do you like mild weather, snow, heat, etc? See which cities are friendly to students (lots of student discounts, free events, etc.). There are plenty of places that qualify in all of those categories.. So maybe pick the one closest to home so you aren't so far removed from family, and Bam! Visit *that* city in person to make your decision for you. No need to visit tons of cities.. just to tour the one you choose first to make sure it is the right decision for you.
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  8. #18
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    My 2 cents as someone who went through college, got a degree that was interesting but not a passion, spent a couple years out of school working minimum-wage jobs, and is now working and going to school for her 2nd degree:

    I think you should finish up at least this semester. It seems the transition to college is hard and alienating for the vast majority of people, even if many of them do a good job of concealing it. When it hit me, I holed up in my room and cried for an entire weekend. Virtually everyone I know has gone through some variety of feeling ambivalence about college a few weeks in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn
    There's no rational reason to consider past costs when making decisions about the future. This is what is called a sunk cost [...] This early you may get a full tuition refund or at least a high percentage returned.
    This is generally true - but unfortunately at this point I'm afraid most schools have gotten past drop-add and most schools will not refund the money. Though of course it is worth checking with the specific school in question.

    If it's true that your money is non-refundable, @decrescendo, you might as well get the credits you've already paid for. That, plus finishing out the semester will give you time to figure out if it's more acclimation trouble or if it's more that college isn't right for you at this point. If you're feeling unstimulated and worried about finances, you could look into an on-campus job, or a really low-key job nearby. You might as well challenge yourself to get into it and do as well as you possibly can - at very worst you'll end up with a semester's worth of good-grade credits - and getting into another school as a transfer student with a transcript of As is much easier than with a transcript of Ws. Consider it 5 months of trial and error in exchange for 4 years of certainty. You also never know what you might learn about yourself during those 5 months. College has a peculiar way of delivering life lessons in pretty parcels at your feet.

    As for the other path, being in the "real world" (a phrase I thought stupid and overblown until I actually experienced it) and working a minimum-wage job you're not passionate about is a huge smack in the face, and it really sucks. I'm not saying don't do it - I think it's a hugely valuable perspective shift - but it really, really sucks. I had a depressive period after I was out of school for a while, and getting a minimum-wage job actually helped pull me out of that, giving me a social life and an externally-enforced reason to raise the bar, but it's hard. Customers/clients are fickle and petty; managers are demanding and cocky; policies are idiotic and convoluted, and people who will stand up for you are few and far between. It can be exciting and empowering, but it can also be soul-sucking and unforgiving. I thought with only five 8-hour days a week that I would have plenty of free time, but then I started coming home every day absolutely exhausted, feet hurting, back hurting, neck hurting, and later started being asked to stay more and more after I got promoted. You also may or may not make enough money to actually save up. I went into my "break" from school thinking I'd be saving up, and while I'm pretty proud that I'm mostly self-sufficient and paying my own way through post-bac school, my budget is fairly tight. Moving into your own place, especially in a new area, has a lot of "start-up" costs. Like how I just dropped $60 on bathroom cleaning supplies. Ugh.

    Something that I was not at all aware of, also, is that when you get into the minimum-wage workplace you're going to have to actively fight the inertia tendency - lots and lots and lots of people go into minimum wage jobs thinking they'll be there for a short time and then a decade later they're wondering what happened. I'm not talking about uneducated people, either - these are people who were at the top of their class in high school, got their bachelor's, got their master's, used to be accountants or teachers or business owners. One aspect of that is as time goes by, going back to school becomes a more daunting prospect - at first you have very little to lose; you're not rooted anywhere. It also feels like you're still at the beginning. Once you're a few years into a job, and you've become skilled and experienced and you have a certain quality of life thanks to your income and status, the notion of starting at square one all over again becomes way less appealing, even if it's for something you're passionate about. And later you may have more commitments - a serious significant other, hobbies that you're not interested in dropping, and even pets, kids, or parents to take care of. You also do "lose" time in the sense that if you go ahead with school now, in 6 years you could be 2 years into your career and 20% of the way done with paying back your loans. It's painful for me to look at my friend who back in college went the same path I'm on now. She'll be starting on her second year of her career soon, while I'm hoping to be out of school by 2016. Like me, if you work for two years and then go to school, in 6 years you will just be graduating. The amount you make after getting your degree will probably outstrip the amount you make prior to getting it, so when you look at the net sum, you are effectively losing money. (Which accounts for her new house and shiny new sports car.)

    Of course, this is not true if you graduate with a degree that you will not use. So if you get through the semester and decide that you want to wait and work, then I think you should go for it, but really, truly understand what you are getting into. It's not pretty out there, and it's increasingly hard to escape it. My final piece of advice from experience is that I went through school assuming that my career would choose me, instead of vice versa. I'd heard so much about people "finding their callings" that I thought I just had to wait on mine and pray to the career gods. No surprise, it never "hit" me. So I would definitely recommend focused career exploration, and starting early on. If your school has a career advising center, you could even get started now and see what they have to say about your future options. You might want to look at internships - paid internships especially are fantastic.

    I think speaking to your school advisor is a good idea, too, and this is not a crazy thought. It's wise provided that you have sufficiently thought it through and understand exactly what you are choosing and what your plan is. If you decide to leave, @kyuuei's advice is excellent. You could work on a fairly low-key certification of something interesting to you at a community college and pursue a trade that would give you better pay and better prestige in a year or so, too, regardless of whether you eventually decide to return to a university or not.
    Last edited by skylights; 09-09-2013 at 11:12 AM.

  9. #19
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by decrescendo View Post
    I'm a few weeks into my freshman year of college and I'm starting to think that this might not be for me. This might seem like an overreaction to the initial anxiety and disorientation of a new experience, but I've tried (probably too hard) to keep a positive attitude, and I've been thinking it through, and I don't think that this is what I want right now. The alternate plan I'm considering is to move by myself to a large city, working minimum wage jobs and volunteering until I have a better idea of how I want to spend the next phase of my life.

    To clarify, this might just mean taking a gap year or two, not necessarily forgoing college altogether.

    Here's an abridged version of my reasoning:
    • This college plan sounds thrilling to me, while college has always seemed, and now feels more overwhelming than exciting.
    • I love independence and adventure and even college life, so far, feels stifling (frat parties don't count as adventure for me)
    Some people here have already offered good advice, so I'll just say this...If you think that college feels stifling and is more overwhelming than exciting, good luck surviving on a minimum wage job.
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  10. #20
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    There are some good online programs that are accredited and connected to a university. That might work better for you, although it has its own set of difficulties.

    I would be sure to close, within driving distance, of someone you are close to and you know loves and supports you. If you move to a new city, can you get a roommate or someone you know to move there also? It isn't a good idea to be completed isolated when feeling depression and anxiety.

    Edit: I will say that not all environments have the same effect on a person who is struggling with depression/anxiety. I was away at a school during my late teens where i had no close friend, and that horribly exacerbated the problem. I do not recommend that at all. There needs to be someone whom you can cry in front of or can get you help if you need it. I was at college with my sister for a few years and that made all the difference. As far as living costs, having roommates, living with a relative, or as a home care helper for the elderly, or as a nanny for children, are all ways to cut down on housing costs. Being enrolled in school - at least in online courses can help continuing progress, so if there comes a point you feel more stabilized, you could transfer credits back into a traditional degree program. Or if in a traditional program, you could go part-time. It is important to stay reasonably busy, but with activities that are very low stress and not physically, emotionally, or intellectually too intense.
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