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:
- Even though I've met some awesome people here, I’m really not enjoying campus life in general, and I don't see myself acclimating to it anytime soon.
- This college plan sounds thrilling to me, while college has always seemed, and now feels more overwhelming than exciting.
- Student debt and the pressure to choose, before I have significant real-world experience, a major which might not be useful for my future career
- I've always been mostly self-educated and I don't think that the structure and pressure of higher education would be helpful or necessary, unless I knew for certain that I was interested in something that would require a pre-professional track (I don't really know how else to explain what I mean...in other words, I know I'm not going to be a lawyer, educator, or medical professional, etc.)
- And if I change my mind, I can always go back to school later.
- This would force me out of my comfort zone and force me to work as hard as I can
- I love independence and adventure and even college life, so far, feels stifling (frat parties don't count as adventure for me)
- I don't have a car, so access to public transport would be great
- Move to a larger city in the Midwest.
Why a large city: The transportation thing, all of the reasons everyone gives for moving to a big city
Why the Midwest: It's not too far from home, and I like it
- Possibilities: So far I've only looked into Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska. From what I've read, both are thriving, and I've been wanting to visit Nebraska for a while. Somewhere in Colorado might also be a good idea even though it's not in the Midwest. I have family friends in Colorado Springs, and living within a few hours from them would make my parents more comfortable. Madison sounds interesting too.
- Use graduation money on bus fare and first rent payments (my family would be able to support me, too, but I'd rather cover as much as I can on my own)
- I would be wasting the money I've already spent on this university
- I might get lost in the shuffle living in a city on my own -- I don't know how I'd meet people my age if I wasn't going to school
- I'm having a relapse of depression and anxiety, which were never completely dealt with anyway. Not sure of the degree, but it's at least not severe. No self-hatred, no suicidal thoughts...just tiredness, flatness, moments of not being able to breathe properly, and feelings of hopelessness. I feel stuck and I know it's not purely situational, but I feel like this could be a really good thing. Also, if I did drop out and move, I'd see my doctor beforehand and probably ask to be put back on an antidepressant just in case.
Some things I need to know:
- Whether this is stupid and unfeasible
- How much I should pay for a studio apartment (probably furnished) if I'm working a minimum wage job
- What cities do you recommend?
- What do I need to know about personal finance in order to do this?
- Could I get good job without a college degree (what I'd consider a good job is somewhat more clearly defined here)
- Probably a lot of other stuff that isn't coming to mind at the moment
I want to talk to my academic advisor about this, but I wanted to run it past some strangers before I waste her time with a potentially insane idea.