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msfsteven Offline
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Torn Between Staying & Leaving College - July 24th 2015, 04:47 AM

I completed 2 semesters of college, but only because my parents wanted me to and I felt like I had no other choice. I was happy for the first semester but the second did not go well. I like learning and I can perform well academically. But the problem is I have no idea what I want to do, what degree to choose, or whether a degree would be beneficial for me in the long run.

Basically, I don't believe higher education is for everybody in terms of furthering their careers. And frankly, I find it to be a scam unless you're in the medical field, education, etc. The main issue is funding. I don't want loans unless I know it's something I need and something that will help me.

But I've spoken to my grandma, who I live with, about it and she shuts me down and says that I won't be successful if I don't go and starts comparing me to other people in my family who didn't go to college. I know I'm different. And I know that success comes to people who pursue it, not just people who have a degree. But I feel so alone in this and I feel like if I leave college I'm going to be resented in the place I live and will be given a hard time if I don't have a "good" job within a short amount of time.

This whole conundrum has been a nightmare and has contributed to my depression. I feel like my emotional state is weak and everyday I feel trapped. I feel like either way I'm going to end up failing and being unhappy. I can't seem to ever make decisions... I also feel like I'm being manipulated and they don't even know they're doing it. No matter what I say, leaving college is wrong in everyone's mind.
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Re: Torn Between Staying & Leaving College - July 24th 2015, 05:31 AM

I think you're right that college isn't for everybody especially if you don't know what you want to do (which most people don't at 19). If you're not getting anything out of it and you don't know whether it's worth it, then taking time off or leaving completely may be the right choice. It's hard to "be successful" without a degree, but not impossible. I would suggest taking a break and using it to figure out what you want to do, then worry about what you need to do that. People care about you and they want to make life as easy as they can for you. They don't want you to make a decision now that you'll regret or that will leave you struggling through life. They may not agree with it, but it's your decision to make and you're the one who will be dealing with the consequences.

Maybe make a plan and let them know that you're going to take a set amount of time off for now while you get a job and figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life, then if you need a degree for what you want to do, you can go back and get one.


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Re: Torn Between Staying & Leaving College - July 24th 2015, 06:11 AM

I think you should look for a way to seek professional help for the depression if you are not already.


There are pros and cons to every situation. Just getting a useless degree is not helpful but not knowing what you want to do is not helpful either. I have friends who took time off from college and have yet to graduate. I have friends who have graduated and work in the same jobs as people who have never graduated. The bartender may have a higher level of education than me due to the way the education system has been pushed on many adults.
   
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Re: Torn Between Staying & Leaving College - July 24th 2015, 07:10 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by msfsteven View Post
I completed 2 semesters of college, but only because my parents wanted me to and I felt like I had no other choice. I was happy for the first semester but the second did not go well. I like learning and I can perform well academically. But the problem is I have no idea what I want to do, what degree to choose, or whether a degree would be beneficial for me in the long run.

Basically, I don't believe higher education is for everybody in terms of furthering their careers. And frankly, I find it to be a scam unless you're in the medical field, education, etc. The main issue is funding. I don't want loans unless I know it's something I need and something that will help me.

But I've spoken to my grandma, who I live with, about it and she shuts me down and says that I won't be successful if I don't go and starts comparing me to other people in my family who didn't go to college. I know I'm different. And I know that success comes to people who pursue it, not just people who have a degree. But I feel so alone in this and I feel like if I leave college I'm going to be resented in the place I live and will be given a hard time if I don't have a "good" job within a short amount of time.

This whole conundrum has been a nightmare and has contributed to my depression. I feel like my emotional state is weak and everyday I feel trapped. I feel like either way I'm going to end up failing and being unhappy. I can't seem to ever make decisions... I also feel like I'm being manipulated and they don't even know they're doing it. No matter what I say, leaving college is wrong in everyone's mind.
1) School is a scam.
2) But it opens up doors, and a undergraduate in anything is almost a requirement for any job now, including retail.
3) You're right. The best return investment for college is medical schools, engineering, academics, and science majors.
4) But it doesn't mean you can get by in life without a degree.
5) Maybe continue college to knock out your core credits. You still have another year to decide depending on the amount of previous credits.
6) See a counselor and adviser at your school. They often have tests to see where you'd best fit.
7) Address your depression.
8) Profit.

What are your strengths, what classes do you enjoy mostly? If you didn't go to college, what would you do?

I was in a similar situation as you are when I was 19. I regret not going to school. However, at the same time, it was good I didn't because I discovered what I wanted to be within that time. If your family seems pushy, try telling them you want to get a job and just figure out what you want to do. And maybe consider taking 1 or 2 classes per semester just to keep everyone happy.

The reality is, though, having a degree is the new form of graduating HS. It only opens doors, and unfortunately causes debt. But I think my main question is, if you don't go to school, what would you choose to do that you could support yourself with? Because really, your options are severely limited.

Look at the statistics:
http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm

You're twice as likely to get a job, and make twice as much money with a bachelors than with just having a HS diploma. Based on the chart, a bachelors is the best investment as far as degrees go. Why wouldn't you get one?


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Re: Torn Between Staying & Leaving College - July 24th 2015, 10:24 PM

Firstly I want to say that there are a LOT of people who attend college who have absolutely no idea what they want to do with their lives. I know a couple people who changed their major multiple times, and people who have graduated and have careers and wish they had done something differently. Here's a secret about the world; literally nobody knows what the hell they are doing.

I used to think that once you hit a certain age you are supposed to have everything figured out. I have only realized recently that that is sooo untrue. I was supposed to do well in high school, supposed to go to college, supposed to have a successful career by my mid twenties. It definitely did not work out that way, and I have been unhappy with myself for a long time because of it. But here's the thing:

You're not SUPPOSED to do anything. Your life is your own. You don't have to follow the wishes of others. You don't have to follow society's guidelines to success or stick to a strict timeline of what you're supposed to do and when you're supposed to do it.

Success can be defined in so many different ways. Maybe your idea of success doesn't include graduating college or making millions. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Life is too short to worry about what you're 'supposed' to be doing, or what other people want you to do. Do what makes you happy. That's honestly all there is to it. I know people who have received Masters degrees and are very unhappy with their lives. I know people who work as janitors and waitresses and and are some of the happiest people I have met. There is more to success than education and a high paying career. Some people might need both of these in order to lead a happy life, and that's totally fine. But other people might not find them necessary, and that's completely fine too. It's all about doing what makes you happy.

But first, you have to figure out what is going to make you happy in the first place. You won't be happy if you can't identify what it is that will make you happy. Personally I always thought it was ridiculous that people are meant to know what they want to do with their lives when they have lived more than half of them sitting in a classroom and not even truly getting to know the world. Maybe there are some people who can figure out what they want to do by taking an interesting class, but personally I'd rather go out and experience it. If you feel that sitting in class after class is not going to help you figure out who you want to be, then there is no reason you should have to do so. Consider going out and getting a job in an area that seems interesting to you, and spending your free time engaging in new activities until you find one that sticks. You don't have to be in school to learn about yourself and what you want to do with your life.

In my mind there is no use in spending money on school if you don't know for certain that that is what you want to do. Take some time to figure out what you want, or to decide what you need to do to figure out what you want, and then make your decision regarding school. There is absolutely no rush. You're only 19 years old, you have plenty of time to figure out what it is that you want. But the one thing you DON'T have time for is to live your life according to other people's expectations. Make your own decisions. Even if they turn out to not be such great ones, at least they were your own and you were living your life the way you truly wanted to.

I wish you the best of luck in whichever decision you make!


   
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