It’s not failure – it’s an informed decision you make in the interest of accomplishing your goals and continuing to develop yourself as a learner. Successful dropouts are here to give you the scoop on how to know when dropping out of college might be your best option.
Have you thought about dropping out of college?
Maybe you’ve daydreamed about traveling the world, writing a book, or starting a business. Or maybe you don’t know what you want to do… you just know you aren’t happy where you are.
But you can’t just leave.
How will I support myself?
What will my parents think?
How will I get a job?
These are real concerns, but people have done it and gone on to thrive both personally and professionally – People just like you.
I talk to them every day. They have taken their education, career, and life into their own hands.
But what finally pushed them over the edge? How did they know it was time to drop out? Below are the top five signs from successful dropout that you should consider dropping out of college.
1) You are depressed (with no history of depression)
“That was my breaking point – I wasn’t prepared to live my life unhappily just to fulfill this ‘American Dream’ or to climb whatever social/career ladder that everyone believes is the way to a successful life.” –Dropout To Flight Attendant (Read her story)
2) You have no motivation
“The classes and programs offered by my college did not match with my interests so I naturally became unmotivated in school.” –Dropout To Data Scientist (Read her story)
3) You feel powerless
“I felt I needed to make decisions for myself instead of being a subordinate to people who thought they knew what was best for me.” –Dropout To Author/Yoga Instructor (Read her story)
4) You have something better going
“Why was I doing it? I’d just helped sign my first multi-platinum rock act and I wasn’t about to go back to the dorms.” –Dropout To Digital Marketer (Read his story)
5) You hate it
“I lived in a dorm, bought the overpriced books, and went from class to class with an optimistic attitude. The optimism faded when I realized something: I f#*$ing hated it.” –Dropout To Fashion Designer/Author (Read her story)
This definitely isn’t an exhaustive list; there are a ton of reasons to opt out, stop out, or drop out of college. However, for me, it was a combination of the reasons listed above.
I don’t know anyone who regrets taking time away from school. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, definitely take some time off.
Worst case scenario:
- At the end of the year you decide you want to go back to school and call it a gap year.
- You’ve saved some money and gained some work/volunteer experience.
- You’re confident school is the right place for you to be.
Best case scenario:
- Your depression disappears
- You discover what motivates you
- You feel empowered
- You build a career
- You love your life
“What finally convinced me to go ahead was simply that I was so unhappy not going ahead.” – Steven Pressfield
About the writer: Casey is the creator of Killing College. On his blog, he chronicles his journey as a college dropout and argues that college is no longer the best option for young, motivated, and intelligent people.