college dropout looking at paper concerned

How To Deal With Being a College Dropout

As this time may be difficult for many, this advice can help you navigate your next steps.

The time after high school graduation is meant for enjoying the summer break and getting ready for college. Well, that is ideal for any high school student that wants to go to college, at least. The majority of students have parents that want them to get a college degree because of the different job opportunities they will get. Most Gen-Z would agree with the way their parents think — however it’s not entirely true. Whether you get a degree or not, there are always opportunities for anyone willing to work for it, even as a college dropout.

Students should always keep that in mind when starting school. The idea of being a college dropout is not so bad; it is the stigma around it. Many experience stress throughout college, which can range from personal life problems to feeling behind and feeling burnt out. For most students, feeling overwhelmed and not finding a balance between their life and school can be a struggle. Nobody can ever completely tell a student how they should deal with a certain life challenge because everyone has a different life situation. For that reason, the only person who can understand your decision to drop out of school is you and maybe a close friend or relative. So how can you deal with dropping out of school?

Being a college dropout can offer a harsh reality for some students. Everyone finds ways of dealing with being a college dropout; it all depends on the person — some move on while others feel like it’s the end of the world. The thought of dropping out of school is something a student thinks about multiple times before committing to the decision. Most students make difficult decisions because some did not pay for their school, or they got a scholarship. And that can be a hard reality knowing that you’re going to disappoint people, even if the decision is best for you.

Seven Tips on How to Cope With Being a Dropout

1. You’re Not a Failure

Dropping out of school does not make you a failure. College doesn’t determine who’s going to be successful and who’s not. You can have a college degree and still have a hard time finding a job. A college degree does not stop you or anyone from experiencing life struggles. It is your life; you have the right to make good and bad decisions because you can. Nobody knows what is best for you other than you.

2. Find Yourself

Who are you if you’re not a student or identifying as your major? Being a college dropout can leave any student feeling lost and confused. Figuring out what you like and don’t like is important. Learning about yourself outside of the daily life of a college student can be a challenge, however not something you can’t do.

3. Speak About It

For a student that just dropped out of college, the last thing they would want to do is talk about it. However, it is important to vent to someone, whether a teacher or a friend. The reason is not so they can make you feel bad, but so they can listen to you and offer comfort. While the experience is still raw, it is important not to identify as a dropout. Just because a student decided to drop out of college does not mean they don’t have a future or other life goals.

4. Get a Job

When thinking about getting a job, a student should find something that they are okay doing every day. Getting a job will allow them to make money and save up. While working, they can make friends or learn from the people who picked different paths. Being around people that are good at their job and always come to work daily will open their eyes. There are different ways of living life and one must pick wisely.

5. Cut Ties With Your College Life

Cutting ties with your old life is important because you’re not there anymore. Your college friends don’t do what you do; they have homework and final papers to write, and being around that kind of environment will only make you feel left out. Your identity is not tied to being a student, and there is more to you than that. You’ll learn who are your real friends and who are not, because some people are seasonal. The college life you have built and the friends you made gave you an experience, now allow yourself to open a new chapter of your life.

6. Find Other Options

Maybe school wasn’t for you, but who said you can’t study something else at your own pace? You gave yourself a chance to see other options in your life so continue to take risks until you figure it out. An example could be that you want to learn a new language or learn new skills that will allow you to find a better job. If you don’t have kids, this is also a great time to travel or maybe pay off a loan if you have one.

7. Surround Yourself With Like-minded People

This can be anyone you meet that shares the same life dreams or is open-minded like you — anyone that shares the same life desire. And if they don’t, if both of you have respect for each other’s opinions and ways of life, that is okay too. Find a community that you get to spend time with and enjoy their company. It can be people you learn from, and they might have important roles, but that shouldn’t be a problem.

This article is not meant to tell you the ways you are coping with being a college dropout are wrong. It is meant to offer guidance or a different perspective.

Amandine Shadia, The University of Arizona Global Campus

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Amandine Shadia

The University of Arizona Global Campus
Journalim and Mass Communication

Amandine Shadia is a courageous writer who loves to educate herself about many topics. Shadia can take on both bad or good that comes in her life. She is a senior at The University of Arizona Global Campus.

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