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Thread: Thinking about dropping out of college

  1. #21
    Senior Member Array IndyGhost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    College can be really alienating, especially for introverts who don't warm up to people fast. It's like everyone else is part of a club (greek society) and you don't qualify. That's how I felt at least.

    Eventually I made friends with my roommates and with one person who hung out at the arcade playing puzzle games. He had some seriously foul language that I enjoyed, and he was smart. I got conversation with him that I didn't really get elsewhere, despite it being a college environment.

    From my sophomore year and on, I became close with my housemates and neighbors. Met some guitarist at a party one day and we became close friends. Still friends to this day.

    I guess my point is, you usually end up making friends in unexpected ways and eventually you carve a bizarre, amorphous niche that only accommodates you and your friends. But it eventually feels like home and you start to build...yourself, your life, your mind, your relationships... To me, that's a big part of what college is, a massive socialization experiment. It's not a bad thing imo.

    I don't know you. Maybe you'd be better off in the end quitting college or taking a break. That wouldn't work for me because I'd probably get too lazy to return. But, if what you're experiencing stems out of a sense of disorientation and loneliness, then maybe give it a little more time.
    I second this.

    I feel like passing up on college is passing up on a wonderful experience. It just doesn't seem that way at first. I was incredibly timid and shy and constantly anxious, and often wanted to run to the nearest restroom stall and cry, and possibly actually really did do that at least once. But after a while, I did find my place in the mix and came to love the experience. The classes, the professors, the dorms, my friends, the first taste of freedom outside of my parents home, the parties, and so forth.
    "I don't know a perfect person.
    I only know flawed people who are still worth loving."
    -John Green

  2. #22
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    I went to college on-and-off throughout my early 20s. If anything, it made me feel misguided and I eventually forgot why I was going in the first place. I was never one with realistic goals, and I never knew what exactly I wanted. Never had any interest in being a doctor or lawyer or anything like that, and on top of that, I just hated school (though I did enjoy college better than high school, but it just became a mindless routine with no objective). The only other thing you'll get from college is liberal brainwashing disguised as enlightenment. I would just learn a trade.

  3. #23
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    @skylights, thank you for the thoughtful advice. I've decided to finish at least the semester.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphosis View Post
    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.
    I'm overwhelmed by college for reasons that wouldn't apply to a minimum wage job, and I didn't mean that I expected the job itself to be exciting.

  4. #24
    i love Array skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by decrescendo View Post
    @skylights, thank you for the thoughtful advice. I've decided to finish at least the semester.
    You're welcome. I think it's a wise decision. By the end of the semester you will have both accomplished something substantial and you will have had time to feel everything out and develop a strategy for how to proceed.

    In contrast to what Uberfuhrer said, I think much of the value of college is in hands-on learning of agency, how to become your own advocate and how to fully function as an independent adult operating on the rational basis of action and consequence. The real difference between the college freshman and senior, besides their credit hours, is that the freshman reluctantly skips a class in the beginning of the semester because she got drunk the weeknight before and is still so hungover she can't walk, misses an in-class quiz, and never gets the notes, while the senior bides his time until a beautiful day after a major exam, gets a friend to text him pictures of the notes, and skips class to go on a hike with his friends. I don't think the 4-year college experience is necessary, but I do think it's valuable. When people use it in a way that enhances their life - when they push boundaries, push their academic ability, and push their intrapersonal growth, it's essentially a huge life practice arena with a safety net right at the time when students are making the transition from dependent childhood into independent adulthood. It's an invitation to experiment and explore and to grow into yourself. There's nothing else like it.

    The other boon is that it does open doors and qualify you for opportunities that are not available to others, even if they are not directly related to your major. It's really more of a long-term payoff than a short-term one. Personally I think the best arrangement if you choose to go to a 4-year school and are not completely certain if you will desire to enter your career immediately upon graduation is to choose a public, in-state college for undergrad to keep debt down, and then aim for a big-name school if you decide to pursue graduate education, when the educational quality will be directly related to your skillset, the prestige directly related to your desirability, and the interest on big loans will have way less time to compound.

    In any case, whether or not 4-year college will be useful in terms of career is something that will be dictated by personal interests and goals, and in no way do I think it's the best path for everyone. I've also heard that 2-year Associate's degrees are making a comeback as a more cost-effective and career-oriented alternative.
    Last edited by skylights; 09-11-2013 at 11:36 AM. Reason: addition

  5. #25
    Senior Member Array ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by decrescendo View Post
    The bolded is at least part of it. About how much time would you suggest?

    Thanks for the response -- it was helpful
    About 4 years.


    It varies. It took me about 5-6 months just to start to create a routine. Most of my friendships came out of hanging out at places with an activity to do besides socializing, since I don't socialize well under pressure. (Picture someone with a lisp tripping left and right into furniture and getting his pants caught in some crevice causing them to rip off and reveal GI-JOE underwear, and that's kind of what it's like, just less smooth.) Consistency and exposure to some people you don't hate are important (routine). It wasn't under my second year that I started to bond with roommates and neighbors. They were pretty cool and we'd mostly go out to eat burritos every day (again, low-pressure socializing).

    This is gonna sound like a strange idea, but I suggest you watch a ton of stand up. Find some funny people (who aren't assholes) and watch the shit out of them. I'm thinking Jim Gaffigan, Nick Swardson, Jim Gaffigan, and maybe Jim Gaffigan. It kind of makes you funnier and gives you something to comment on. People like funny people.

  6. #26
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    I would only drop out of college if you planned on becomming an entrepreneur, in which case, you can start a business and say it was going on for as long as you want, and then essentially put whatever you want on your resume.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Array AzulEyes's Avatar
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    Well- here is my two cents coming from someone more than twice your age I suspect.
    I fear if you leave- you might not ever go back. Or if you do- you will feel even stranger being "behind" in some way and talk yourself out of going.

    Consider if you will a hybrid approach. (But please- after giving it just slightly more time. It's September. You just started. Give it just a WEE bit more time.)

    But a hybrid approach could mean attending either a junior college or a part time schedule and getting a job. This way you are not abandoning it completely.

    I had plans to attend college full time. Found a great job out of high school so went to junior college at night.

    I did this for awhile but then got hooked on being in the real world and getting paychecks! So eventually- I gave up on college.

    Then I worked and felt wierd that all the people around me (my age and younger) had college degrees and I did not.

    EVENTUALLY--- in my thirties and married and pregnant--- I FINALLY finished my degree at a prestigious university by taking night courses.

    It would have been much easier to just get it done earlier in life.

    The work world is so much more competitive than when I was young. Try to get your degree. REMEMBER--- this is a temporary time in your life. It's not forever. Every day is closer to your goal. And maybe it's simply some adjustents that have to be made to suit your tastes than just quitting all together.

    Whatever your decision- I'm sure you'll do great. Good luck.

    P.S. You don't need to declare a major quite yet. If you are not going into the health fields or technology or science- a general degree is very respectable. I have a liberal arts degree that serves me well.
    It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. ~e.e. cummings

    7w6, 4w5, 9w8

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