If you are thinking about leaving school, you are reading the right column. Personally, I have wanted to quit for a few years now. This past year has been brutal in terms of workload and life balance. Spoiler alert: I have no life balance. My family supports me, but I’m hanging on by a thread.
Now I know school is not for everyone. I’m on my second baccalaureate and frankly regret my decision. I see the opportunity cost of my choices. A graduate degree would have been preferable. It might have taken me longer to get my professional engineer license, but the cost would have been lower overall. Oh, well, it’s water under the bridge now because I’m a year away from graduation.
School is hard work
Most good things take work. Being surrounded by high performing peers may make our efforts seem modest. I am amazed at the ability of some of my classmates to answer complex questions in lectures. I didn’t even understand the question as some students shouted the correct answers. It makes me stupid, but I know it doesn’t make me stupid.
It’s normal that I need time to process things. Not everyone has the same ability to recognize problems and solve them in their head right away. Everyone is different, and although we all sit in the same lecture and have the same major, perhaps this is where the majority of our similarities end.
That being said, it is essential to take the time to study or review the information covered in our courses. Maybe even consider meeting the professors who teach your classes or getting a tutor. At the very least, taking the time to study will help you stay on track.
I remember once I had to study more than ten hours a week for a class. I had no idea what it was and struggled with it. On the first exam I got a D. It took me hours of study and I pretended I was teaching the course to myself to really understand the concepts of this course. I succeeded with an A.
College is a time when we need to begin to be responsible for our lives. Growing up comes with responsibilities. Loans or not submitting your FAFSA on time can be variables that lead to difficult situations in the life of any student. These are real things that affect us now or in the future.
We don’t always know where to start, but we can always start where we are. If you received a scary email from school, contact them and tell them you need help.
ISU offers many resources. You can go talk to your advisor to get started. They can point you in the right direction. If that doesn’t do the trick, or if you don’t like your advisor, email the registrar or financial aid office. Or even the dean of your school. Ask a teacher you like.
There are several ways to get to the same place.
If you are quitting because something important is happening in your life, reach out as well. I know it can be difficult, but the school has the resources to help. Life is easier when you are a student, believe me.
No one knows we need help if we don’t say anything.
There will be consequences for any choice we make, whether we stay in school or drop out or whatever. There are always consequences. Hope whatever choice you make, you think things through.
If quitting smoking means paying back a certain amount of money (from loans), think about how you will start paying this off. Sit down and do the math. And if you don’t know, you can always ask ISU or Google.
Google has been my best friend since I returned to school. There is also subreddit for the Iowa State community. I have found this very useful.
If you are quitting because you think you can’t, I strongly encourage you to consider lightening your class load (if possible) or replacing some classes you have with easy classes to help alleviate the stress. amount of coursework you get.
Life is too short to have four or five exhausting classes every week. It can make semesters busier later, but what if it’s busier later if you can’t even make it through that week?
In the “real world”, we figure things out as we go. Rarely does a person have their life set out and things go as planned.
The most crucial thing to be successful is to start. The road to success will not be linear, and there will be many obstacles along the way. How we learn to deal with them will be critical to our ultimate success.
Remember that success is different for everyone. Sure, earning a degree pays off (some degrees, however), but financial success in mental health might not be what you want.
The thing that really matters is not whether or not you quit school. The important thing is that you don’t give up yourself. That is what matters.