Giving up on college?


#1

I know a recap of my academic life is far from interesting, but I would like to share my story just so you know where I am at:

I started college 14 years ago at 18 - right out of high school. The college was a small branch of a larger University . I had NO clue what to major in. It seemed like such a big decision to pick my profession at 18 yrs old. I knew that science & math were not my strong subject, I chose Elementary Education. I felt that it was a major I could do good in & it seemed interesting. I had to take a communications class & suddenly realized that I had a great fear of public speaking - it really suprised me how fearful I was, I dreaded it to the point I made myself sick. I hated it! I actually dropped my communications class & began thinking that teaching may not be for me. I floated thru for another semester & eventually transferred to a community college where I changed my major to pharmacy technician. I was working at a local pharmacy & it seemed like a good fit for me. Well I had a long commute to school & started skipping classes. I wasnt focused on my studies, so once again I stopped taking classes. After this, I moved to a new city & returned to the University (this time the main campus) I started at out of high school. I was now 24, I attended two semesters, but was put on academic probabation due to poor grades & attendance. My academic couselor advised me to finish my education elsewhere. Well I switched to a community college (again) & was faced with having to decide on a major again? I chose health information technology (medical coding), not sure why? I got good grades & made the deans list - but was just ho-hum about my major. After several semesters, we decided to move out of state. So I never finished! After establishing my residency in my new state, I transferred to a community college with my major. The closest college offering my degree was 70 miles away, so I did the distance learning thing, I was working full time too. I guess Im not an ideal distance learner because I didnt do that well. I attended a couple of semesters & eventually stopped taking classes.

Between then & now, Ive started my family. I still work full time. My job is unsatisfying & not challenging. I leave each day work day feeling drained! Im 20 thousand dollars in student debt & dont have a degree - that bums me out!

Ive tried to settle & put this college thing to rest! I just refuse to believe all the negative things I keep telling myself. (you wont finish, you cant do it, you’ll fail) There is something driving me to give this another shot. I really want to enrich my life & do something fulfilling as a career,

So here I am now - almost 32 years old. Mom to our beautiful 21 month old & happily married! Ive come a long way in 14 years. Ive matured a lot, so I feel that as an adult learner I would take this more seriously.

I dont know what Im looking for by posting this? Advice, encouragment, someone sharing my experience. Thanks for reading!


#2

Hi Kate, I did a whole thread on why I thought my college was a waste of time. Of course, of 30 or 40 people who posted, only a couple had similar experiences. I just can’t get why people think college is the only way to develop your mind or career.

Anyway, I think most moms are called to be at home moms, but I know St. Therese’s mom (who has her own cause in the works) was not only a working mom, but the primary breadwinner.

My advice is not to go to college just to go, but have a definite idea/plan of what you want to do. If I could do it again, I’d get an associate’s degree in ultrasound tech. It is a two year course, and pays around here in the 45/hr range.

No matter what career you take up, it will never have the eternal significance of being a mother. It took me years to value my vocation as a mother.

Good luck and God Bless! :slight_smile:


#3

[quote=JMJ Theresa]I just can’t get why people think college is the only way to develop your mind or career
[/quote]

Thank you for your reply!

I dont think college is the “only way” to develop your mind & career. I do think a college degree is an important key to developing a rewarding & challenging career. College is a wonderful way to develop your mind too, but certainly not the only way - clearly there are many avenues for this.

Can you send me a link to the thread you were referring to in your post? I searched for it, but came up empty?

Thank you


#4

I SAY GO FOR IT!!!

I am 40 and just finished up my MBA… it was a lot of work with my job, family and other obligations but I am glad I did it!

Just think of the sense of pride and accomplishment you will have when you do obtain that degree! It will be well worth it!

I went through the University of Phoenix On-line. They have a lot of different degree programs. Maybe you want to check them out. They also help you line up financial aid etc…

Don’t let your dreams die!


#5

I guess the only question I would have if I was in your situation would be: What does God want me to do in this situation?

I don’t know if you’ve prayed about it yet because you didn’t say so in your post, but that’s what I would recommend.
God bless.


#6

Just going to college with no clear plan of what you want to do is a waste of money and time, especially at a non-traditional age. I did actually go straight through an undergrad degree, but then I worked for 6 years as a police officer to get some life experience before going to law school. Now, I’m still happily practicing law after 11 years. I’ve done several different types of “lawyer” jobs over the years, no firm work. Law is my passion, so it was worth the years of school and misery to get to this point. I love solving a mystery and working puzzles of all kinds, so the law is a natural area of interest for me.

For you maybe you need to find your passion and then figure out how to achieve it. Perhaps you will find that it is time to just be the best mother you can be for now. I have a high school classmate that I ran into after almost 20 years and she was starting college at the same time as her oldest child! Your passion may not require college or it may figure into your life much later.

My mother works at a job that is no longer her passion because she is only one year from retirement. However, her real passion is her needlework which she spends many hours each week improving and practicing. She is at the master level for knitting and crocheting. She can design and alter patterns and innovate with untraditional materials. She also recently learned to weave as an off shoot of her passion. She could make a living doing this activity if she wanted to but she says working on too many commissioned items sucks the joy out of it for her. This passion is the result of her taking a few lessons in order to teach my Camp Fire Girls group back in the early 1970’s for a craft project.

What interests you? What gets your juices flowing? What could you do for hours without realizing that time is passing? I hope that you find it!


#7

After my post I found this:

***O Great Saint Joseph, you were completely obedient to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Obtain for me the grace to know the state of life that God in his providence has chosen for me. Since my happiness on earth, and perhaps even my final happiness in heaven, depends on this choice, let me not be deceived in making it. ***
Obtain for me the light to know God’s Will, to carry it out faithfully, and to choose the vocation which will lead me to a happy eternity.

I hate to admit that I have not prayed about this. I think that should be my starting point.


#8

It’s hard to know what college can do for you when most people can’t agree on what college can do for anyone.

Some of the possibilites

[list]
*]give you general knowledge
*]teach you how to think
*]teach you career skills
*]provide a ticket to open some doors
*]demonstrate you can stick with something
*]prove you can follow directions
*]guarantee a minimum salary
*]teach you to be a mindless follower
[/list]Since everyone has a different learning style and since people’s career paths (I’m including being a mother) have vastly differing skill needs it’s hard to say whether college would have or still could help you.

Just remember that you probably still have about 2/3’s of your life ahead of you.


#9

Hello, perhaps instead of a 4-year degree you could pursue a real estate certificate or other certification (business or whatever). A shorter program and perhaps a career track that will help you build confidence. Even hairstyling or something where you can see the end result in a shorter amount of time? Good luck. I agree with the others that perhaps you should read some career books or find your passion before pursuing just any degree. Good luck!

P.S. I loved distance ed. when I did it-- I recommend Univ. of Phoenix!


#10

Maybe (no guarantees) some thoughts (nothing exhaustive in the list) from a college professor will help.

  1. What’s college for? Some great education philosopher wrote that it should be a safe place where one learns to deal with the issues of life without the heavy consequences arising from mistakes.

  2. Being clear about what you want out of college is a good start. Passion is good.

  3. Focus on personal growth. College can help with that a lot, together with other places (church, CAForums, etc.).

  4. Cultivate personal discipline to “like” classes you are not good at, e.g. math and science. If you’re good at these things, you don’t need the classes.

  5. Be aware college can not give you everything.

  6. Not all things you pick up in college might be what you’d call “good”. For example, someone mentioned you might learn to be dependent rather than independent.

  7. College is not just for creating or starting a career. If education is mainly about a career, becoming an apprentice to someone might be cheaper.

  8. Every class presents opportunities for growth – in knowledge, competencies, moral maturity, etc.

  9. Benefit from every professor.

  10. Seek out the benefits for your growth from everything – even temporary setbacks.

Good luck with college (now or later?)!


#11

Hey! Education is its own reward! Don’t quit! Make use of the career counselors and focus on the path that makes sense to you.

Learning is good. In many cases, it is intriguing and even sometimes enjoyable. Also, it should keep the brain from atrophy.

Of course, this should be balanced with the rest of your life and one shouldn’t go farther into debt than one can afford. Still, eventually you will have enough credits to graduate and then a much larger world is available to you.

Good luck! I leave you with this quote from Muhammed Ali:

“Go to school. Don’t be no fool. Stay there ‘til you’re through.
If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread;
they can sure make somethin’ out of YOU.” :smiley:


#12

I probably shouldn’t post this…but, how could you rack up $20,000 in student loans and not get an education? I’ll have to admit that I went to college 30 years ago and my college tuition for a state university was $250/semester. Now, it’s about $2,000/semester at the same university.

If you still have doubts, you’re not ready, yet. Until, you are determined to make a commitment to give it 100% and finish, don’t waste the money.

My education was my best investment. If you can’t make a good investment in yourself then what can you do???


#13

[quote=LeahInancsi]I probably shouldn’t post this…but, how could you rack up $20,000 in student loans and not get an education? I’ll have to admit that I went to college 30 years ago and my college tuition for a state university was $250/semester. Now, it’s about $2,000/semester at the same university.
[/quote]

Hey- my name is Leah too. Its fine that you posted that! Sometimes the truth is hard to swallow, but I appreciate your honesty!

Lets see $20,000 in student debt. $2500 of that total is my husbands, so that still leaves $17500.00.

What happened is I borrowed the maximum the governement would allow. Because I wasnt working while attending college & I was renting an apartment to support myself, I borrowed the maximum amount to get me thru a quarter at a time.

The first college I attended was $6300.00 per year just for tuition (I used the left over to live on). The community colleges were $1570.00 per year & I also borrowed the maximum.

Anyway - the bottom line is I was young & stupid about money! I lived quarter to quarter with my disbursement checks!


#14

I don’t think anyone, especially an 18 yr old should commit the time and money to college or any other post-high school education unless it is part of reaching a well thought out goal. By that I do not mean that college should be regarded as vo-ed, or be merely career training. I think every person should have a liberal education grounded in literature, history, the arts and sciences in order to be a good citizen and join in civil discourse. However I don’t think anyone who is not committed to seeking such an education and receptive to its benefits should be taking the place of someone who wants to be there.

I don’t think anyone should undertake a career track program unless it is in a field you have researched, is in line with your interests and talents, and is realistic. There used to be a great book called “What color is your parachute” it was more than how to get into college and pay for it. It began with basics, get to know yourself, and what you want-how do you want to spend your time, what kind of people do you want to be with, what brings you satisfaction, what part of the country do you want to live in, what are your skills, talents and strengths. With this type of inventory you zero in on careers and professions, and with that choice you select the school or program which prepares you best for that goal.

all that being said, bear in mind Mother Teresa’s injunction is that the purpose of life is not to fulfill yourself, it is to know and obey the will of God and to be faithful. Ground yourself in the spiritual discipline directed in that way, and everything else will fall into place. Neglect to put God’s will first, and nothing else will ever go right in your life.


#15

Puzzleannie,

Once again, your advice is wise and sound. :slight_smile:


#16

This is an interesting thread. My young adult children and I were just discussing something like this.
Next spring each will be graduating with bachelor’s degree ( age 21 and 19) They are both wondering about continuing on for a masters and PHD. We’ve concluded much depends on whether the bridge of addditional education will help them acquire what they want to do.
The answer to the the question “Giving up on college?” can be simply answered by honestly answering whether or not education is the means to get you where you want to be.

I’d like to say a little bit about myself.
I had absolutely no parental direction and encouragement for advanced studies when I was 18.
When I married at the young age of 20 my husband gave me the freedom to work for a career via college or become a stay at home mother. We agreed the time was right to start a family and we did.
Years later when my children were in highschool I went to college for a two year degree in general studies ( getting my feet wet). I enjoyed my college time as an adult learner very much and I must boast that I had a very good GPA. But since then I have not had any great desire to pursue further education but am always open to the possibilty of something hatching.

My advice to Katesmom is to relax and enjoy motherhood. The time will come sooner than you think when your children are grown and you have freedom to expand yourself in ways beyond the home…if you feel moved to.


#17

[quote=puzzleannie]I don’t think anyone, especially an 18 yr old should commit the time and money to college or any other post-high school education unless it is part of reaching a well thought out goal. By that I do not mean that college should be regarded as vo-ed, or be merely career training. I think every person should have a liberal education grounded in literature, history, the arts and sciences in order to be a good citizen and join in civil discourse. However I don’t think anyone who is not committed to seeking such an education and receptive to its benefits should be taking the place of someone who wants to be there.

I don’t know if I agree with you. When I entered college at 18 I had little idea what I wanted to do. However, I was always and excellent student and not pursuing college would have been a huge intellectual mistake. I agree that if you don’t know what you want to do and you plan to but NO effort into your studies, then maybe college isn’t for you. However, I still think that it is not necessary for 18 year olds to have all their career goals in place when 1st entering college.
[/quote]


#18

I don’t mean you have to have your entire career plan in place, in your case you had the intellectual curiosity that made college a logical place to be. someone without that intellectual curiosity (not necessarily good grades, but they often go hand in hand) and drive to learn more will not benefit from floundering around and using college as an excuse to party on dad’s money.*


#19

katesmom…GET IT DONE. You can do it. Take a course here and there…don’t overload yourself and make it not an enjoyable experience. It seems that until you get that piece of paper this will always be hanging over your head. JUST DO IT…I know that you can. It may be hard…but in the end it is all worth it and before you know it you will have that degree in your hand and forget all the stress that came along with it.

Also…then you can show your daughter that education is important.

Good luck.


#20

Don’t give up! I just finished my degree last summer - at the age of 46, with many stops and starts in between! There are a lot of programs out there geared toward adult learners, so do check them out.

I was unfocused when I first started college right after high school. I quit after my sophomore year. Eventually I started working as a secretary, then a legal secretary. I married, had children, quit working and dove into volunteer opportunities at church and school. When the youngest of my kids entered first grade and would be gone all day, I started going back - a class at a time. To call this slow would be an understatement!

I took several breaks in the process. My husband traveled (and still does) frequently, so I couldn’t count on having any specific night of the week to attend class and had to attend during the day. I had to hope the class I needed was offered then. I had grandparents who needed quite a bit of help, and that was important. Anyway, eventually I made enough progress in my studies to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I do regret that it took me so long, but I certainly don’t regret taking the time to raise my family. And another side benefit - my kids saw me studying and could see that it was an important goal. As the kids, all of whom are now in college, hit little bumps along way, I have told them to just keep at it - they saw how tough it was for me to finish the way I did, and I hope they learned something from it. The oldest will graduate in May, in four years, thank goodness!

So don’t give up - you CAN do it! I’ll keep you in my prayers!


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