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redsky's avatar

How can I not make everyone upset at me?

Asked by redsky (12points) September 4th, 2014

I’ve been going to college since 2012 for a major I don’t even want anymore. And now I’m too overwhelmed with work that I’m stressed out and miserable. I don’t think college is for me. I’m on financial aid so I know I’ll have to pay it all back when I quit, and not only them but also my parents and everyone else who contributed their time for me to go. I feel terrible about it but I’m completely miserable and I just don’t want to go anymore. I was planning on telling my parents today but I know they won’t be happy at all and they’ll be pissed about it. I never really wanted to go to college anyway but I think I went because I was pressured, but now I see this was all a complete waste and I just don’t know what to do about it anymore. I don’t want to make anyone upset but at the same time I don’t want college anymore. For one I know my dad will be very upset with me and won’t accept it easily and still try his hardest to make me go when I don’t want to. Do you have any advice about going about this to everyone? I plan on paying financial aid and everyone else back when I get a job but I’m still afraid of people’s opinions about me.

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12 Answers

syz's avatar

How far are you from getting your degree? If you’re in the home stretch, stick it out and finish! If not, talk to your advisor about taking a leave of absence; spending a year slogging it out and paying bills may change your mind.

zenvelo's avatar

Do NOT act on “what everyone else thinks”! It is your life! Going to college to make someone else happy is the worst reason.

You can go back to school later if you find yourself wishing you had a degree. Find a job, take a leave of absence from school and tell your dad and others you will pay them back. Then live your life.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Agreeing with @syz. If you’re close to getting your degree, you really should stay and finish. The statistics of how people do in life – college graduate v. no college degree – are stunning. Someone with a baccalaureate has significantly more job opportunities and greater earnings potential than somebody with a high school diploma.

You say that your major no longer interests you. This is much less relevant than you might know. Very few graduates end up with careers in their majors. Only a handful of English majors publish novels or become journalists. Most Sociology and Psychology students don’t turn out to be sociologies or psychologists. People with science, math, and theology majors hope for careers as scientists, mathematicians, or theologians; most will become school teachers. It’s the degree that matters, a springboard to your future.

If you’re not close to graduating, and if you’re too miserable with school to continue, I’ll switch to @zenvelo‘s thoughts. A break might be all that you need to center yourself and find the next step. Staying in college because you’re worried about disappointing or angering other people? That makes about as much sense as knowing that it’s right to break an engagement, but getting married because the caterer, florist, and photographer have already been hired.

Coloma's avatar

I agree with @zenvelo
You know yourself better than anyone else, and we cannot live our lives in fear of disappointing others. College is not for everyone, and there are no guarantees anyway. It used to be a college degree was a given to assure a really good job, salary, career and lifestyle, not anymore.

In this economy and job shortage there are many coming out of school with thousands and thousands in student loans and they are not finding jobs and taking lesser positions. If a break is not something that will work for you at this time, just keep your reasons short and sweet. Do not defend, argue, over explain, just pick ONE response and be a broken record such as..
” College isn’t working for me anymore/ at this time.” If people harass you just keep calmly repeating your answer until they give up on drawing you into THEIR arguments and opinions.

LostInParadise's avatar

You should tell your family what you have told us. After they get over the initial shock, count on them asking what you plan to do with your life. It is reasonable question. Have you given it any thought?

shadowboxer's avatar

I’m sorry to hear that you are going through a hard time. My first thought is to ask if you would want to change some of the courses you are currently taking to ones that you enjoy or if you could go to school part time?

Do you know what you would like to do in life? If so you could explain to your parents what you really want to do and then work to reach that particular goal.

chyna's avatar

Is there any way you can wrap up the time you have already spent in college with a 2 year Associates degree? That way your time and money will not have been wasted in your parents eyes hopefully. You could talk to your advisor and see if you could use this semester to take whatever you would need to complete the associate degree.

Other than that, maybe you need a break. Maybe your parents will be more understanding than you think. Good luck!

kritiper's avatar

Honesty is always the best policy but some things are better left unsaid. “The better part of valor is discretion.” A true wise man is one who knows when to keep his mouth shut!
Stay in school. You’ll NEVER regret it! It’s a tough row to hoe but it’s worth the trouble. (And life ain’t no cake walk, brother!)

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I too think if you’re very close to finishing, you may as well stick it out and get that degree. However, key phrases that stuck out for me are “I’m too overwhelmed with work that I’m stressed out and miserable” and “I feel terrible about it but I’m completely miserable and I just don’t want to go anymore” and “I never really wanted to go to college anyway”. So if there’s quite a while to go, do something about this. You can’t make people happy. You can only live the best life you can. We aren’t responsible for other people’s dreams for us.

I think regardless of how close you are to completing your degree, talk to your parents about how you’re feeling. Mums and dads often think they’re giving the right guidance, but sometimes we get it wrong and we don’t realise we’re pressuring our kids to go down a path that might not be right for them. Don’t just sit down and have a whinge. If you’re close to finishing, explain how you’re feeling so they can support you through that final phase. If you’re not close to finishing, have a plan. What will you do instead? Show them you do have some sense of what you would like to do or admit that you’re unsure and let them help you.

This is your life. If this isn’t the right course for you, you don’t have to stick with it. People may be upset at first, but if you have a good relationship with your family, or even an okay relationship, they’ll get over it. You’re more important to them than a degree. I speak from first-hand experience and I promise you, if you can convey to your folks how you’re feeling they won’t want to prolong this pain. Have you thought of writing a letter? This is what my daughter did. She’d been hiding her unhappiness at college and things happened that led to me questioning her about what was going on. She had kept going because she felt guilty and like she was letting me down. She wasn’t letting me down. A letter helped her express all her feelings and fears without having to sit in front of me and say it.

I wasn’t disappointed in her. I love her and I want her to be happy. She’s doing just fine and her life as moved on and I’m proud of who she is. I’m sure your family will be able to survive you dropping out of college too.

KNOWITALL's avatar

My friend went back at 40 & it sucks. After being a waitress for $8 an hour you may regret quitting, for real.

sujenk7422's avatar

Talk with your academic adviser and ascertain if you can finish this semester and achieve an associate’s degree. Take that Associates to your parents and show them your academic achievement. Kindly tell them that now you would pursue another path in employment. Promise that you’ll consider going after a Bachelor’s degree later on after you’ve settled into a job/career. The associates will give you a small edge in the job search arena, moreso than without it and having the word dropout in your academic record. You’ll have to pay those student loans any way you look at it, but at least you can get an associate’s degree. I went back to school at age 48 and earned a BA in Social Science – minoring in psychology and child development; and I just received my Master’s in Public Administration last Monday. It has been the BEST investment that I’ve ever made! I have an administrative position now, where once I was a server in a posh restaurant.
If you are a long way from an associates degree and are so terribly unhappy in college, then finish out the semester and then take a leave of absence from school to regroup. If you can’t get behind the major your seeking – change it. Do something that you like to do and that way you’ll love your future career. But never settle for less than what you can accomplish, no matter the area. Be firm with your parents and tell them how you feel. Trust them enough to be honest. You never know they may be great help! Good luck!

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@KNOWITALL “After being a waitress for $8 an hour you may regret quitting, for real.”

$8 per hour would be excellent. Nineteen states allow tipped employees to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips. The states of Washington, Oregon, and California require a minimum wage of $9.32, $9.10, and $9.00, respectively, for tipped employees, but those states are exceptions.

It’s not unusual for a hard-working restaurant server to work long hours and have <$10K annual income. $2.13 per hour, plus tips that get shared with seating hosts and bussers, doesn’t add up to much.

For anyone who has opportunities and can achieve at the college-level, a few months of waiting tables should convince that person to go back to school and get a degree.

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