Considering Dropping Out of College

I don’t feel like I should be in college. Someone the other week asked me the question: Are you attending college because you want to? And, I straight up answered that question “No.”

I’m here because my father wants me to be here, and because society expects me to be here. But, getting this degree is not a desire of mine.

Doesn’t God speak to us through our desires? Well, He did not implant the desire in me to graduate from college, and get this degree.

I mean, a lot of people have it rough in college. But, I will be a 5th year senior next year. It will take me 3 more semesters to graduate. However, wouldn’t you all agree that it is not common to still doubt whether you should even be in college, at this stage? I mean, these doubts have not ceased since Freshmen year for me, which was the year 2010.

If you read my last post, I barely had somewhere to live. Well, I have somewhere to live now. But, I don’t know if I will live here, because why am I here if not to go to college?

I just took a semester off, and I think the main reason I wanted to come back was my friends that I’ve made at the Catholic Church here.

So… yeah… I know that the alternatives are really ******. But, I don’t believe in the public education system. If I ever did get my degree, I would not be proud of it, I would not be proud of this institution I’m attending. And, as I told my friend last night, if anyone were to ask me for advice on where their children should go to school I would say: Catholic schools or homeschool.

What am I supposed to do? Am I supposed to hold my breath for a year and a half, trying to motivate myself to do something that I ultimately have no desire to do?


I don’t want to make this decision rashly. But, that’s just it. I still have these doubts even when my life is relatively more stable.

I simply don’t desire to get a degree. “Well, a degree will allow you to do so many things in this world, that you can’t do without a degree. So, if you don’t absolutely know what you want to do now, the best thing to do is get a degree”… says the advice of my friend.

Well… that is good advice, but I’m not interested in doing the vast majority of things in this world.

If you didn’t realize, I’m same-sex attracted. I will never have a family. But, I can’t live alone in this life (and I’m not talking about a partner). I cannot live in this individualistic world as an individual and thrive.

**I need a community. And, I would prefer living in community as well. **

You can’t just send me off to college, and expect me to thrive in an individualistic, materialistic world, when I have no motivation to live as such.

I need to live in Catholic community to be successful, ok? Is that so crazy?

Isn’t there somewhere I can go NOW, to do that? Like, why doesn’t the Church seem to have things available for people who drop out of college… I honestly wish I had never gone here in the first place… but my time here has not been ill spent, I came to be a practicing Christian here. So, I have completely changed as a person.

Perhaps that’s why God wanted me to come here. But, I cannot now see why God wants me to still be here. And, that’s why I’m doubting if I should still be here.

I have the month of June to make this decision. But, I’d like to make it sooner than later.

I’m scheduled to start another class on July 2nd. And, I’d really like to know, for good. For the last time, if I should graduate college, before taking it.

**Again… I’d imagine not too many 5th year seniors are still doubting whether or not they should be at college at all. And, my reasons for doubting this are entirely Catholic. **

I cannot function in a Godless, secularist society. I’m too weak. I need a Catholic community desperately. I need other people to prop me up, almost on a daily basis.

The gambit that modern society throws at people, and how people are forced to live in this society is ridiculous. I view it as a grave violation of the dignity of human beings. And, G.K. Chesterton would have viewed it as “wage slavery”. But… I won’t go down that road…

How does one function in a society they don’t accept?


I didn’t want to go to college either. Didn’t want to do it. Wasn’t motivated. I even graduated with honors, but I wasn’t motivated, and I did spend 5 years in college.

One good thing about sticking with it is that once you graduate, you’ll have the degree, and that degree matters to a lot of people, people you wouldn’t even have thought cared. You’ll also, on average, but not always, make a bit more money at whatever jobs you do or work.

I know I was so relieved to be done with it - to me it was like a long, protracted dentist visit.

However, I did learn some things, and I did begin understanding some things more in depth than I would have otherwise.

However, and how much I do appreciate my parents for sending me – I can never repay them for their great sacrifices and love for me – sometimes I feel that some of it was a waste of money for me.

Also, I decided to drop out of college after two years. My mother bribed me into going back by getting me a dog. I LOVE dogs. So I finished school.

so, my two cents…

Have you considered counseling about this? I remember a lot of intense emotions about things while I was in college.

Have you discussed this with the Lord?

Placing you in the enclosed garden of the most sacred heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Please pray for me.

I’m glad to see you have found a place to live. I’m sorry to hear you are still in turmoil. :frowning:

I’m not going to say that dropping out of college is not something that anyone should ever do (it worked out pretty well for Mark Zuckerburg :p). However, you would need to have a plan as to what you hope to do and where you hope to go instead. Otherwise, why not stick it out?

You have already invested four years towards this degree. Relatively speaking, you are in the home stretch! A college education may not be the end-all, be-all of life, but it does open doors. Even if it is painful, it might be worth it to keep your head down and suffer through.

But if your suffering is very severe, feel free to ignore me. :o

You’ll find there are lots of things in life we’re not particularly motivated to do but we do it anyhow because we have to. Household chores, for example, is not something I love doing but I know I need to do it for everyone’s benefit, including my own. My advice to you is to finish college and get your degree as long as you managed to go this far. You never know when you may need that degree in the future for a job you really want. Also, people go through many changes in their lives and you may even change your viewpoint about society some day

I do not know what your situation is, whether or not you are dependent upon your parents for your daily existence or you are supporting yourself.
In either case, what are you going to do if you drop out of school?
If you do, I suggest that you enter the military, especially the Navy. In the U.S. military, you can earn the current GI Bill which will pay for either your college education or a trade school after you complete your term of military service.
If you do not choose to do this, I suggest that you seek employment that will lead to learning a trade. Believe it or not, many trades, such as automobile mechanics or body and fender repair pay more per year that most college graduates earn…Including Lawyers. In many large cities, waiters in first-class restaurants can make over $1,000.00 a week.

No matter the pay once you have a job, there are so many jobs open to you with a degree than without it. I chose not to go to college since I didn’t know what I wanted to do (I didn’t count getting a job as a necessary part of life-I was too young).Now I sure wish I had. Not that it would have helped me with what to do with my life, but because it would have made getting a job so much easier!

It sounds like you are considering entering a monastic community? Why don’t you call the vocatiosn director of your diocese and find out what monastic communities generally want?

Do you have any student loan debt? That is something you have to plan for also. If you drop out, you won’t have a degree and you will have the debt.

I would stick it out if at all possible, and I say this only because you don’t have an alternative that really attracts you. The degree will open doors, and those doors may not be related to what you major or minor in. Considering the unemployment rates, this is not a great time to drop out without a good reason.

Also, might you feel particularly tired right now as it’s the end of the semester? Fatigue can be very discouraging.

I don’t know your situation so I really can’t give you advice.
It does sound like to me you may have a vocation as a monk?

I will say that there was someone in my family that dropped out of college early on.
I was asked to speak to this person and persuade them to go back to school …
However, in that particular case, I sided with the one who dropped out, because
they had marketable skills in two fields that could earn money,
and also this person got married through meeting someone connected to their workplace.

Your situation is different.
The prudent thing to do, without my really knowing you,
would be to tell you to finish your degree.
In this economy, and you’re so close to getting your degree anyway,
you can always earn it and then decide to travel another path in life.
And definitely pray about whether you have a vocation,
and what the Lord is calling you to do.

I will pray for you too.


I am going to counseling, just started this week. I’ll ask my counselor next Monday about this. I have not gotten to spend much time in prayer over this… I think I’ll have the time to do just that over the next few days.

I’ll pray for you as well.

[quote= Joe5859]Even if it is painful, it might be worth it to keep your head down and suffer through.

But if your suffering is very severe, feel free to ignore me

That’s the thing, I don’t do suffering very well :smiley: I mean, no one does… but to me, I’m a deep thinker. I’m a ponderer, and I mull things over (sometimes too much).

If I have doubts, I can’t simply put them on a shelf and forget about them, and still go about my life. I have to address those things. Most people seem to be able to “keep calm and carry on”… well, not me… for whatever reason

  1. I don’t have any student loan debt.
  2. I may have a vocation to a monastic community. I have discerned in the past over the priesthood, and thought about the Dominicans some. Anyways, I just haven’t been in a good enough place spiritually to be discerning (I know that’s a lame excuse… but, I stopped discerning basically for that reason about a year or more ago).

Can I just say, that this is the thing… I just don’t feel that I belong in this world.

I read a book called, “Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology”. This:

It is about a Catholic couple, one went to MIT the other was a banker. They both had a deep fascination in living a more simple life. And, after spending many weekends at Amish bed and breakfasts, and such… they decided to put their life on hold and ended up living with an Amish community for about 18 months.

Now, they live a simplistic, sustainable life in the suburbs of St. Louis. They make their own soap, and sell that. They grow most of their own food, etc. And run a bed and breakfast for money. But, they don’t really hold any actual jobs.

Anyways… idk, maybe this is just a pipe dream for me…

But, this is the extent that I disagree with society. I long for a simpler, less stress-ful society. Where families live together, and where communities basically provide for each other. You live a life of sustainable agriculture, and the greatest purpose of your life is your religious faith.

Our modern world seems so anti-thetical to me. People haven’t lived like this for very long. My grandparents didn’t live like this. They weren’t sent off to college, to get a job to earn money to get things at a super-walmart, then waste all their time watching TV, or on the internet.

EDIT: I’m not opposed to work, I just don’t see the point of “work” in our modern society. I would relish running away to live with some faithful Catholics, that would have me, and living as a farm hand or something… That’s the pipe dream that I have… idk.

I just need a place to live, that is Catholic, where I can contemplate what God wants me to do with my life

I should say… I have a job atm. I work at a fast food place. So… it’s not like I’m young a naive. I know how the world works, I simply don’t accept how it works. OK? I understand that college will give me a better job, but I simply don’t desire to live in a materialistic world. Why would I want a better job, if I hate it? For money?

Well money doesn’t motivate me.

All I want to do is serve the Catholic Church. All I want to do is God’s Will. And, if God wanted me to have a job in this world, then why would He not have implanted that desire in me?

[quote= ssa fellow] I need to live in Catholic community to be successful, ok? Is that so crazy?

Maybe I should go on an extended retreat at a monastery… and discover what to do there…

First see if you can get into a monastery with an incomplete degree. Tell teh vocations director how you want to live: in a Catholic community that lives close to the earth. Maybe a missionary society where they send people to poor nations–you would not have to be here to live like this.

Having a degree may still offer advantages, depending on what you are studying. Maybe an ag major. Then you’d really be in a better position to offer help.

How would your school handle your leaving again so soon? Would it be easy for you to return if you needed to?

How much time would you be willing to commit to spending at a monastery? (They will want to know.) Are there programs for this?

Have you searched for “rural Catholic” or “Catholic Amish” Some of that info may interest you–maybe you could apprentice with someone doing this (a carpenter or similar).

Also, homesteading is actually not cheap. It is also really hard work and involves learning a lot of stuff which city or suburban people have no background with. It requires a lot of discipline. I say this because getting your degree may actually be the key to your being able to set yourself up in a lifestyle you like.

And consider this: for the moment, being a student is your state of life, but it doesn’t mean you can’t start doing different things, getting involved in organizations like a food coop, doing volunteer work involving helping people directly, etc. Figure out what *style *you want for your life and try to attain it in as many areas of life as you can.

Don’t drop out unless or until you have a destination and a plan to get there!

That could be something to look into. I’ve had friends do that – some for a week, some for a month. You don’t have to be wanting to join up in order to visit and spend some time in retreat. Perhaps if you have some free time this summer, that would be something you could look into. I don’t have any suggestions offhand of which monastery you could call up about that. But I’m sure if you started up a thread, you’d get some feedback from others here.

I can understand where you are coming from with wanting a simpler life removed from our culture’s materialism. Perhaps you are being called to some sort of monastic life. But maybe not. The Church does need Catholics who are “in the world” but not “of the world” in order to serve all those who are in the world.

Perhaps that is a good place to start. Ask God to show you where He wants you to serve Him and His people.

That’s a nice succinct way of what I had been getting at in some of my previous posts. I think that’s good advice.

You didn’t state what your major was or what your degree would be in. I understand the college pressure. My late mother always resented the fact that she didn’t go on to college (1940’s) which at that time was not very common. So she raised me and my sibs to always attend college. At. first I wan’t sure I wanted to but I knew what areas I liked to study and worked on a degree that was practical and have worked it 31 years later. It seems like you had pressure to attend but no real clear career goals and with this much time in it, you should try to finish the race. It also seems like you feel a call to a monastic type community life. I think it might be important to finish because have a college education can be an asset to a monastic community in the work they may be doing or called to. for example, if you have some sort of business or management type degree, monasteries do need to have their finances managed etc. This is just an example. Some of the others suggested taking time to visit on and talk to them about what they need and what you can offer them in the areas of study and degrees. I don’t believe that the things we have studied and worked on are ever a waste and that God can use the these things you have already done for His purposes. I think you are just having a crisis of purpose which maybe a priest or spiritual director can help you get it back on track.

My major is: political science. When I came to college, I wanted to be a politician, I wanted political power, and I wasn’t a practicing Christian. I was still very much living in the secular world, now I’m not, and I have completely different priorities.

Why am I getting my degree? Because other people tell me I must. How come the world does’t have options for me? Ok… the world was never going to give people like me any advantages.

Why doesn’t the Church have any options for me?

I need somewhere to go. The place I was living, I have to leave. Everything I own is in my car atm, and I’m at the public library.

Once again… if God wanted me to be here, He could’ve implanted that desire in me to want to get my degree. He could have also made my living situation clear.

In the past 43 days I have slept in 8 different places, one of them being my car. If I was “meant” to come back to college… how come I didn’t stumble across a living arrangement that was “meant” for me?

The converse question is: “Well, if God didn’t want you to be at college, He’d find a way to make that happen.”

Well… I’m at the end of my rope. I’ve been so for some time. But, I’ve simply been buying time. Sleeping on people’s couches is a temporary fix. I’m inclined to believe that: YES! He has found a way to make me leave college.

Anyways… it looks like one of my friends finally has time to talk to me. I’m still going to post the above… I think the most likely thing to happen to me, is to go to a monastery for a bit this summer. All I have right now is my job, but nowhere to live… I could quit, or I could tell them I won’t be in town after a certain amount of time.

**PLEASE PRAY FOR ME!!! I’ll pray for everyone praying for me **

I think the real question here is…
Do I want a good job, go on vacations, buy a book or other luxury on impulse? Not to mention, do you want to ever own your own home?

The days of getting a good job and moving up the ladder to the golden top step of a generous pension is over. Sorry, but I did not arrange the world that way, but it is true.

So unless you are a genius and can start a whole new industry in your garage like Gates and Jobs, or unless you are musically talented and have a good promotion machine…

A four year degree is the way to get out of that minimum wage job and into a job that will give you a future. You DO NOT want to be flipping hamburgers for the rest of your life.

Plus, professional life is easier than working class life.

Your father is not living vicariously through you, he is not imposing his will on you, he wants you to have a good life and to be able to stop supporting you someday. He wants to grow into being your friend, not stay your parent.

Having your own money and lots of it will give you choices and the ability to make your own decisions.

If you ever want to see the inside of an airplane on your way to a dream holiday, that you have chosen to take…stay in school. Doesn’t matter all that much what you are studying. By having a degree you show that you can stick it out when it gets hard, you can do research, come to logical conclusions, write well. All are skills that are very needed in most walks of life.

You only have a bit more to go…stay in school!


These guys are awesome, and they do month long retreats. And a wonderful bookshop.

I used to live next door to them. They are great. They are not supposed to talk, but if you show up, someone will ask you for coffee, and a chat. They love to talk! LOL.

I think they do bookbinding and some horticulture and forestry for a living.

Re Political Science: the best way to change the world is not to drop out of it, but to fully engage and get into a position to form policy. If you play the game, you can make the world a better place for the next generation.

I disagree thoroughly with your post, so I’m going to respond very directly to everything you’re suggesting to me. My world view and yours are miles apart.

No, I do not want a good job. All I want to do is serve the Church. Why would I need to own a home? I will never have a family, I have same sex attractions.

I don’t desire a “golden top step” on top of the ladder. However, you’re wrong. These days are here more than ever. More than ever we are living in a society full of idolaters who worship money.

As I tell to my friends, if Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are not practicing Christians, if through their lives they have not helped anyone be saved, then their lives are vanity. Why are they raised up as heroes? What have they done to build up the Kingdom of God?

The Saints are the real heroes. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are simply men who used their talents to serve MAMMON! It doesn’t matter how much money they have, how successful they are. Steve Jobs is dead. All his money and possessions will rot and decay.

The only question that matters is: Did Steve Jobs get into Heaven? I hope he does… but he is not renowned for being a Christian. Indeed, you only mention him and Bill Gates because of their earthly success, wealth, and power.


Not the power and glory of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, NO! The Power and Glory of GOD! The power and glory that we render unto God!

The reason I don’t want to flip hamburgers for the rest of my life, is because I don’t inherently believe in restaurants. We should grow our own food, as I’ve mentioned above. I want to return to a life of subsistence farming, and I believe this is the best course for the good of society, and for the dignity of my fellow human beings.

[quote= Deltadeliquent] Your father is not living vicariously through you, he is not imposing his will on you, he wants you to have a good life and to be able to stop supporting you someday. He wants to grow into being your friend, not stay your parent.

I mean, at this point, I’m not willing to listen to your advice on the relationship I have with my father.

I don’t spend much time imaging “the inside of an airplane on my way to a dream holiday”.

My dreams consist of preaching. I want to preach. I want to bring people to Christ. I want to live in a Catholic Community (maybe as a monk, maybe as a layperson). I want to grow my own food, and farm. I want to remove myself from the capitalistic system, and live in a community where we are as close to self-sustaining as possible.

[Making our own soap, our own clothes, blankets, furniture. There’s the cliche image of “barn raisings” where the community builds news houses/ buildings together].

These are the things which fill my dreams. Not money, vacations, luxury items that I can get whenever I want, or “the good life”.

As I said at the top. Your world view is miles apart from my world view. I mean no disrespect in any of the above. But, I strongly disagree with just about everything you’re tempting me with. You’re making an argument for secularism. I reject it.

I don’t want to compromise my faith. I don’t want to accept secularism, as the above poster would have me do! Isn’t there another way? Can’t the Church help me?

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