We’ve all heard of students who dropout and about parents and friends who do everything in their power to prevent the student from dropping out of college. Most people automatically assume that a college dropout is doomed for failure. But is it possible to be a college dropout and still be successful in life and career?
For the creative mind, it is possible to be succeed under most circumstances. There are so many students that drop out of college. Many of them buckle under the weight of huge student loans and finally give up on college altogether. Quite a few of them take a job, work hard and are still successful inspite of quitting college. Others are determined and go back to college, complete their degree and then achieve career success. So it is definitely possible to succeed even if you dropout of college.
Ask Yourself Why
Dropping out of college can be a very stressful time. In addition to your own confusion or fear of failure, you will also have to deal with objections from parents and others such as college administrators, professors, friends, family and so on. Explaining to them will not be easy and everyone will probably tell you that it’s a bad idea to quit.
Quitting college is an important decision and it will impact your life in many ways. But it is still your decision to make for the sake of improving your life. Many people get stressed out about being unable to pay for college and not having a stable income to pay for their living expenses. Some people may have other personal issues that makes it almost impossible for them to continue with college. So first of all, you need to clearly pay attention to why you dropped out of college. Figuring out this WHY is the most important step towards knowing what to do next.
1) Could not handle the student loans or college expenses
In the first place, every effort should be made to avoid taking any student loans and even more so if they are private student loans. Student loans in general carry a interest rate that keep adding up over time. Private student loans can be even more notorious and add up to such an extent that they eat up a larger portion of your income later on after you start working.
Many people are surprised as they see their college expenses rising beyond anything they had planned for. In an effort to continue with college and when scholarships are not an option, some naive students end up taking student loans. Then as college expenses become even more higher, some students simply dropout of college so that they can stop these never-ending spiraling degree of expenses and loans.
If this is why you dropped out, there are some ways to reduce your student loan burden by refinancing.
2) Do not think college is a worthwhile goal
If you have figured out college is just not right for you, then so be it. Perhaps entrepreneurship is your calling! Just know that you will still need to figure out how you are going to make an income and cover your living expenses. What do you want to be do next in terms of a career?
If you are just confused and unable to continue college for a bit, then it’s ok to take a break for one or even more years and then restart college later on. Note that you can still do college online or by distance if you are worried about how to continue with your full time job. By doing this, your full time job will not be disturbed and you can study for college during your free time. There are many ways to reduce college cost and reuse/ transfer your earlier college credits to the new degree as we will discuss further in this post.
3) Unable to handle the course load
If your problem with college is that you find it too stressful and you are unable to cope with all the studying and tests, then please read through the techniques on improving reading skills. If practiced regularly, this should hopefully help you to manage your college studies with ease.
Do not worry too much. Everyone is capable of studying and there are some simple techniques such as in the above post that can dramatically increase your learning capacity.
4) Crisis in personal life or family and need time to take care of this
If you have recently experienced a serious issue for yourself or someone in your family relating to health or other personal crisis, most colleges are accommodating and will let you take a break and then get back to college after the break.
But if you are looking for a more convenient way to study for college part time and on your own schedule (and even more affordably), please check out this post for a set of smart & cool tips on flexible colleges.
5) Do not have time to study with a busy lifestyle and schedule
There are many people who have the drive and determination to study under tough circumstances. But this is a personal choice to make and if you sincerely feel that you need to spend more time attending to your family or in working full time, then it is worth taking a break from college while you sort that out.
Life need not be so difficult and unbearable that you miss out on college just because you need time for other important areas of your life.
Talk it out with your college and see if they will give you a time off for a few months at least. Or if you need a more convenient way to study, checkout my recommended flexible colleges.
Don’t worry about whether you will lose all the work that you put in with your earlier college courses. Those credits can be easily transferred to one of the flexible colleges for a faster degree completion when you’re ready to give college a try again!
6) No motivation to study
Are you just tired, frustrated and have zero motivation to study for college. If so, this might mean that you are not studying in the right college or degree major that’s to you liking. Just take a few days to think about what will make college more interesting for you.
Alternately, reach out to people in your family and friends circle to see if they have any thoughts. Perhaps they know someone who can offer you guidance, such as a student counselor or a business owner that can offer you insights onto the right college major or career choices for you.
If you think you need to change your college major, ask your college is that’s possible without losing your previously completed college course credits. At a flexible college as described here, you can transfer in your previous courses and start a college degree with a totally new college major. Just make sure that the college major you choose is something that you thoroughly find interesting.
But if have not find any college major that’s interesting yet, then I would suggest that you keep looking for good mentors and ask for advice or guidance from anyone who can help such as past professors, student counselors, industry professionals or business owners and so on.
Just give it some time and think clearly and find the right college major. Until you figure out what you want to study, just relax and think about it. Don’t get too stressed and certainly do not force yourself to study for a college major that you absolutely have no interest in. Find out what field you love and then pursue that. Life will be a lot more fun and you will have much more career success if you focus on what you love to do!
Getting Back to College
MOOCs and Online Courses
After a break from college, you might be a little rusty with the studying and focused learning. If so, one good option is to find some interesting online courses and complete a couple of them first. MOOC’s such as Coursera or EdX offer a collaborative and challenging online learning environment and some of their courses even carry college credits. Or you can take Saylor courses or courses with StraighterLine for guaranteed college credits upon course completion.
The Credit Bank
Excelsior College and Thomas Edison State College offer a credit bank which is basically an evaluation of all your previous college-level courses and any other courses, learning or training you have previously completed. There is a small evaluation fee for this evaluation and once completed, you will be provided your personalized credit bank report. This report will show what college credits you have already completed and has two important benefits:
1) You will get an idea as to how many more courses and how much more money and time you will need to finish a college degree. The credits shown in the credit bank report can most likely be transferred to you new college degree and you will not have to retake any of your already completed college-level courses.
2) When you decide to re-enroll into one of the flexible colleges, you can present them with your credit bank report and all related course certificates or transcripts. This will likely accelerate the process of getting your earlier credits transferred to your new college degree.
Even if you decide to go back to your old college, having the credit bank report will certainly help so you do not have to retake those courses thereby saving time, money and effort. It will also prove to them that you have the capability and drive to be successful upon restarting your college studies.
Have a Fool-Proof Plan
When you restart college, you need to have clear an strategic plan so that you are able to finish college this time. So make sure to have a good support system of mentors around you who can guide you and motivate you when you are about to fall.
Personal mentors are family and friends who are looking out for you and who sincerely want you to succeed with college. Student mentors are other peer students and senior students who can share their college experiences and thereby ease your college woes. College mentors are student counselors at your college and us at CollegeOnomics who can guide and advice you on new college and course choices. Industry mentors are experienced professionals and business owners who can offer valuable tips and resources to keep making progress with your college studies for you degree major.
Having such a broad system of support is very important to successfully complete college. Do not worry if you do not say know anyone who can be an industry mentor perhaps. Just find all the support you can and keep going and continue to keep an eye out for finding good mentors for all these 4 areas of mentor-ship, namely personal mentors, student mentors, college mentors and industry mentors.