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lookingglassx3's avatar

Should I stay at college (long question)

Asked by lookingglassx3 (2111 points ) September 3rd, 2012

So, I’ll just explain everything, right from the beginning. Note: I’m not a career-minded person. I want a job, and I want a salary, but I don’t want to live for work. I have no big career goals, nor do I intend on going to University. I adored school, I’d give anything to go back, but I just don’t feel the same way about college. The work stresses me out, the exams panic me, and I do long hours (I get up at 6 each morning, get home at 7 each night, and then spend 1–2 hours on homework each night).

Despite this, I did enjoy the first year. I was with my best friend who made lessons fun and enjoyable. But, the week before we broke up for the summer, my grandfather died, completely out of the blue. This was 9 weeks ago, and it’s still extremely raw for me. As if that wasn’t bad enough, 7 weeks ago my already terminally ill nana had a bowel removed and now, according to her diagnosis back in March, literally has just weeks left (back in March she was told she had 6 months to live). She looks very, very weak.

I can no longer focus on anything except my nana and grandfather and therefore think college would be a waste, and would also pointlessly add to my stress. My best friend is now joining the navy, so I will be all alone in lessons. I’m quite shy and admittedly a bit socially awkward, so I know I would really struggle to make friends.

My grandfather dying out of the blue has really opened my eyes to how ill my nana is and I just want to be with her all of the time. The thought of college makes me panic. But at the same time, I worry about not going – I worry if I’ll regret it. The thought of not going eases me more than the thought of going does, but I do worry if I’ll make the wrong decision.

I just want a fresh start – I want to look for work and, although it may sound like a hopeless dream, I’d love to write. More than this, I want to be able to spend as much time as I can with my remaining grandparents. I feel like with two of the most precious people in my life dying, and I also recently found out that my mum had an affair, I have no control over my life. I want to regain control and just start afresh – find a job and not have to worry about college anymore. But will I regret dropping out?

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12 Answers

deni's avatar

If you need to focus on other things, go do that. School and zooming through college is not as essential as many people think it is…Being one year, or more, behind is really not a big deal in the end. Don’t put that misconception in front of your own well being.

Aqua's avatar

What about just taking a semester off to recover and get yourself together emotionally? There’s nothing wrong with taking a little break. Also, it sounds like you might be working and going to school at the same time. If doing both is too much, you could consider taking out student loans so you can focus on school.

One thing to remember is that degrees are largely door openers, and once you’re in a company, your performance will be more important than the degree you hold. You should think about what type of job you want to do and consider how much education you’ll need. Only you can decide if college is right for you. Talking it over with family and close friends could help you decide.

wundayatta's avatar

Are you in the British or American system? If the British, I’m not sure what to say, because I don’t know if you have as much flexibility as we have in the American system.

If you are in the American system, I would suggest taking a semester or a year off. Most schools will allow you to do that. But if you are in the British system, I don’t know if that is an option. I would try to find out if it is, because it seems like you are not going to do well if you stay at school, but it would be horrible if leaving meant you could never get a higher education again.

lookingglassx3's avatar

@wundayatta I’m in the British system. I’m not too sure either, but I could look into things. I do know that you can do college classes no matter what age you are. My mum’s friend did a college class when she was 55, and my friend’s mum did a college class when she was in her 40’s. But thanks for the help. :)

janbb's avatar

I wauld consider taking this term off; it does sound like you want and need to focus emotionally on other things.

marinelife's avatar

It sounds like you are going through a very bad time. This is really no time to be making life decisions.

However, if you can’t concentrate, I would take a semester or a year off. But plan to go back. College is a precious time in your life. You can make new friends.

nebule's avatar

Definitely need to give yourself a bit of time…maybe a lot of time. Sorry that you’re going through some awful things right now. Only you of course can know inside what is the right thing for you to do right now.

However, I am British and I left University at the beginning of my second year for many reasons (personal, physical and mental health) and it wasn’t an easy choice. I decided to though in the end because I just wasn’t happy. I spoke to people about it and got offered an open place, so that I could return the following year if I wanted to… is this something you can look into? Unis do hold places open sometimes and your circumstances would warrant it I think.

Even if that isn’t an option and ultimately it is stay or go… you can always go back to University, nothing is ever that cut and dried. It sounds like you need some time to grieve and heal and be there for the people you love and for me that’s far more important that the education system. We should live with our hearts not our heads really… that’s what I think today anyway. You have the freedom to choose and then change your mind if you want…there are many paths…. xxx love and light

P.S I haven’t gone back yet (15 years later) and I don’t regret it…I’m doing a different degree right now…but I still might go back ..one day!...

creative1's avatar

Throw yourself into your college work it will help you long term in the end. Did your grandfather want to see you go to college maybe you could put it in your mind to focus on it in his memory. A bachlors degree is worth so much more in the working world than just some college.

CWOTUS's avatar

I’m sorry for your recent and pending losses.

You’re young; you can do college any time. Spend the time you need now with your nana. You’ll never regret having been with her to the end. After you finish your grieving and you’re ready to face the world again, however hesitant you feel about that now, you can rededicate yourself to your studies, career, etc.

ninja_man's avatar

Do what you need to do. School will still be there when you are ready. Your nana won’t.

DeanV's avatar

To me, it sounds like your choices are either A) take this semester off or B) fail/stumble through classes this semester. Neither of those may sound like good ideas by career standards, but I assure you that B is a far, far worse choice.

Sunny2's avatar

Sounds to me like you need to take the time off. Do you have an advisor at school to whom you can talk about your situation? He/she may be able to give you more realistic idea about your options.

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