Are you thinking about dropping out of college? If so, whether you’re an undergrad or grad, this post is for you. I am going to tell you 5 reasons why you should drop out of college. If any of these reasons apply to you, then you should drop out.
Let me tell you who this post isn’t for: This is a college advice blog. So, no. I am not advising everybody to drop out of college. If you need college to pursue the career of your dreams, you’ve found purpose in attending college, and you’re happy, by all means keep going! This post is NOT for you. I wish you all the best!!
Who this post IS for: This post IS for anyone who finds themselves in the circumstances headlined in the 5 reasons below. If these 5 reasons don’t apply to you, this post is NOT for you.
Second, Who am I to tell you that you should drop out of college?
Well, to keep a very long story brief, I too struggled with the recurring question, “should I drop out,” when I was a law student. Deep down inside, I desperately wanted to drop out and forget that I had wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans and so much of my time pursuing a degree I really didn’t want.
But I was afraid.
I was afraid of what people might think. Afraid of disappointing my parents. Afraid of the unknown because I had NO CLUE what I wanted to do next. Afraid of being stigmatized as a “dropout.” And afraid of not being able to pay my student loans back.
Today, I am 27 and living what I knew would be inevitable for me. I am a licensed attorney who no longer practices law (less than two years after getting my degree) because I hate it so much.
And due to the pandemic and my obnoxious pedigree in law, I have not been able to get past the application stage of any reputable company offering a decent salary.
And because I have not been able to find good work, (as I write this), I am currently earning minimum wage as a Brand Associate at Old Navy. I am broke all the time and depend on my husband for most of my needs.
It’s been FIVE YEARS since that first thought, “should I drop out of college,” and I am perfectly aware that I would have avoided all this misery and debt had I had the courage to drop out of law school.
I would have avoided racking up thousands more in student loan debt, and by now, I would have been well into a new career that gives me fulfillment and financial stability.
Had I known then what I know now, I would have felt empowered to drop out of college.
And that’s what I hope this post will do for you.
I hope you feel empowered to take the step that will best serve your future and avoid the mistakes that I made.
Let’s jump into it.
1. You’re Only Attending College Because Your Parents Want You To
If your sole reason for attending college is because your parents wanted you to, and you otherwise have no interest in being there, then you should drop out of college.
…For several reasons:
Going to college isn’t the only way to become successful.
Contrary to what your parents might think, you don’t have to go to college to be successful. Yes, it might have been important to go to college during their time, and either enlisting into the military or going to school was the only real two options they had after high school, but times have changed.
Today, there are so many ways you can become a high-earner without a college degree. You’ve likely already seen multiple ways Millenials are making it happen. They are:
- Content Creators
- Social Media Marketers
- Web Designers
- Web Developers
- Project Managers
There are also plenty of traditional, high-paying jobs that do not require a college degree such as:
- Computer Security Analyst
- Legal stenographer
- Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
- Radiologic Technician
- Service Delivery Analyst
- Licensed Practical Nurse
- Flight Attendant
- Real Estate Agent
For example, 30-year-old Graham Stephen started working at a real estate agency shortly after his 18th birthday and became a millionaire by 26. In 2016, He decided to share his real estate knowledge on Youtube. Today, he has become a mega Youtube Star with over 2.6 million subscribers and earns 7-figures in annual revenue.
As such, it is possible to forge your own path outside of college and become successful. You just need a strong work ethic and commitment to see your dream through.
You’re wasting a bunch of money and/or racking up a bunch of unnecessary debt.
College is stupid expensive. There is no good reason for wasting a bunch of money or racking up a bunch of unnecessary debt if you have no interest in being in college.
As I mentioned above, there are many other high-paying careers that you can pursue that do not require a college degree. Furthermore, most skills-based and non-traditional jobs cost zero to just a few thousand dollars to get started.
As such, it does not make sense to continue with college if you can save the money.
Even if your parents are paying for your college degree and your not racking up any debt, why waste your parents’ hard-earned money? Yes, you could get your college degree but if you don’t use it later, then what is it good for?
My very expensive law degree ($190,000 to be exact) is sitting in my room collecting dust in the corner of my room. Every month I have to pay off the debt as I earn minimum wage. It’s so not worth it!
You’re the one who will have to pay back your student loan debt, show up to work, and pay your bills – not them!
Skip this if you have it made: your parents’ are paying for your education and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.
But if you don’t have made and you’ll be paying the debt, read this slowly:
Mom and Dad will not have to show up to your job every day and do your miserable work. Mom and Dad will not be paying your bills and Mom and Dad won’t be the ones paying your student loans off.
It’ll be you and only you.
(And if they promise to help you, don’t fall for it. They won’t.)
And because it’ll be you waking up every day to go to a job you hate and be you every month paying back your debt, you need to decide if college is worth your time or not.
Stop trying to please them. They will not help you when everything is said and done. So don’t burden your future by racking up loans and/or wasting time on a degree you don’t want.
Are you afraid of what your friends might think?
Susan and Billy won’t be thinking about you when you crying in your office job for the fifth time in a week and they won’t write you a check when your bills become due.
Keep Susan and Billy out of your life decision and make the call to drop out if you don’t want to be in college.
You are wasting TIME
As MJ DeMarco says in his book, The Millionaire Fastlane, time is your most important asset. It is the only thing that is limited.
You can’t get a refund on time.
For this reason, if you’re going to college just to please your parents, you should drop out so you don’t waste any more time. You need time to explore, research, and figure out what you’re going to do next. You need time to study or build skills in the career you want to pursue next.
You DON’T want to be 25, 27 (like me) or 30, and just getting started.
It will suck watching your friends making high 5-6 figure salaries, buying homes, buying cars, and starting families while you sit at your parents’ house broke and feeling behind in life.
And while your friends are posting pictures of themselves on vacation, you’ll watch another year go by that you didn’t go on one because you couldn’t afford it.
Furthermore, the older you get, the more expensive your life will get.
Here is what I mean.
Right now, you may be living at home or living in a dorm and you’re only bill is your cell phone and/or car. Well, fast forward five years, you’ll likely be responsible for a lot more:
- your rent
- your light bill
- your water bill
- your cable
- your student loans
- your car note
- your entertainment subscriptions (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Disney+)
- your clothes
- your food
- your medical bills
…I just scraped the surface. I could go on.
As such, it is better to start over or make a pivot now while your expenses are relatively low.
It gets much harder to pivot when you are the only one supporting you.
So don’t waste any more time. Make the pivot you need to make and invest your time, money, and energy into something that will bring you fulfillment and financial stability.
You’ll have difficulty finding a job if all you did was show up to class and got your degree
If all you have to show on your resume later is that you showed up to class every day because mommy and daddy wanted you to be there, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an employer who will hire you.
With everybody having a college degree these days, you must find other ways to stand out to the employer.
Employers will look to see if you were involved in any student organizations or causes that demonstrate you have a strong interest/ passion for their field of work.
They will also look to see if you have any skills or experience (via an internship or the like) that would make you a strong asset to their team.
If you’re are missing these other and perhaps more compelling factors, then you could kiss every decent prospect goodbye.
I know because I almost got in trouble with this.
Because I hated law so much, I just showed up to class every day and did the work. I wasn’t involved in any student organization, stayed far away from any legal-skills building club or competition, and do any internships. By the turn of my last semester, my resume had nothing on it except that I attended FIU College of Law.
Afraid that I wouldn’t be able to pay my student loans back if I didn’t get a law job, I scrambled and took every class skill-building class imaginable and took up a work-heavy internship.
Needless to say, I was a stressed-out law student who only survived by God’s mercy.
Thank God I got it together that last semester!
My employer hired me because of my internship and the skills I had gained that semester.
He would have ignored my email had I submitted a bleak resume or a resume full of random, irrelevant stuff on it.
So if you’re not willing to do any more than get your paper, then you’re wasting your time.
2. You Think It Would Be Good To Get a “Business” Degree Before You Start Your Business
Noooo. This is the wrong reason to go to college.
Unless you are required by law to have a specific degree, certificate, or license to start your business, you do not need to get a business degree to start your own business.
It is the biggest lie and the biggest myth ever.
What you need is money to start your business and wasting it on college isn’t going to help you fund your business.
Now if you want to get some education on something that will help you succeed at your business, that is an entirely different story. Nevertheless, there is likely a way that you can gain that education without spending thousands of dollars.
In fact, you can find an online course on almost anything these days. Just type in ” your interest + online course” into Google or visit udemy.com.
You can spend a couple hundred dollars on a really good A-Z course and get all the education and training you need to start and succeed at your business.
20-year-old James Jani is a good example of this. James wanted to create documentaries on entrepreneurship but did not know how to edit. He took a couple of online courses on editing on skillshare.com and began releasing documentaries a few months later on YouTube. Within 9 months, he became a full-time content creator.
3. After a Year or Two of College, You Still Have No Idea What Career Path You Want to Pursue
If you still have no clue what career you want to pursue by the end of year two of college, you should consider dropping out or at least putting a pause on college until you have figured it out.
The worst thing you can do is to continue taking random classes or spend thousands of dollars on a major you’re not really interested in.
First, you’re wasting time because taking random classes will get you nowhere. And second, would if you discover later on that you have a passion for X and want to major in it but you can no longer afford it because your $60,000 in the hole spending it on a major you didn’t like.
It’s best to pause and take some time in the real world to explore what you might like.
Instead of paying thousands in student loans, take a few hundred dollars and for the next six months, take a bunch of online courses in the areas that you are interested in. You can also take an internship or volunteer so you get your feet wet in your area of interest.
Then once you have a good idea of what you want to do, you can return to school with clarity and peace of mind that your money is going toward a degree that you’ll actually use.
My friend from law school did that and it paid off big time!
After college, my friend decided to forgo applying to law school right away and intern for a law firm instead. She did not want to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on law school until she was sure that she would enjoy practicing law.
My friend spent a year interning for a corporate law firm and enjoyed every minute of it. It was the confirmation she needed to move forward with law school. Confident and ready, she applied, got in, and went on to have a successful law school career.
She excelled due to her real-world experience working for a corporate firm, had fun in law school, and joined her firm when she graduated.
Law school was money well spent.
More importantly, however, taking a year off, was time well spent.
Use your time wisely, take some time off, and dibble and dabble into everything that interests you until you figure out what career path you want to pursue.
4. You’ve Discovered and/or Have Been Actively Pursuing a Passion That Gives You More Fulfillment Than Your College Pursuits
I get it. It’s tough. You’ve spent two or more years pursuing a degree that you thought you wanted but you have a passion for something that gives you more fulfillment.
You wish you could drop out and go all-in on your passion but your passion won’t pay you as much or provide you with as much financial security as your college degree will.
First of all, no job can promise you 100% job security. You can be hired one day and laid off the next.
Second, who says you can’t be successful or more successful pursuing your passion.
I believe you’ll be far more successful pursuing something that your passionate about than pursuing something you don’t care much about.
Because if you don’t care, you won’t care enough to attend conferences to learn more about your field, sign up for workshops that will sharpen your skills, buy books or enroll in classes that help you stay competitive in the market, or stay late enough times at work to impress your boss you deserve a promotion.
If your passion is a profitable passion, nothing should hold you back from dropping out of college to pursue what you want to do.
Let Gordon Ramsay’s story inspire you.
Gordon Ramsay, a world-renowned British Chef, didn’t go to University. Instead, he went to culinary school to follow his passion for cooking.
As you may know, cooking isn’t exactly perceived to be a “successful, high-earning” career but Gordon Ramsay’s story proves this perception wrong.
He loved cooking and was determined to become a successful chef and restauranteur. He did that and more. He opened and runs 35 successful restaurants around the globe and in 2020, he took home $70M dollars!
I’m sure if he went the traditional route, gone to college, and got a desk job, he would not have made it anywhere close to that.
5. You Have a Horrible Gut Feeling That College Isn’t For You and Believe There Is Something More Out There For You
Finally, if you have a horrible gut feeling that college isn’t for you and you believe there is something more out there for you, you probably right — you should drop out of college.
Just like you wouldn’t keep driving hundreds of miles on a lonely road in the dark if you felt like you are going the wrong way, you should keep spending thousands of dollars on college, if you think you are going in the wrong direction.
Pause and take time off to gain some clarity on what you want to do.
It’s OKAY to do that. During your time off, you may discover that you’re called to X or that you’ll find more fulfillment and more financial reward doing Y.
Plus, keep in mind that school has taught you only one way of making it in life: become an employee.
Think about it.
Has your teacher ever told you that you could start your own business? Or did she tell you to start thinking about what occupation you’d like to take up and which college you’d like to go to?
The latter, right?
Yet, entrepreneurship is a great career path. The amount of money that you can earn is exponential and the life you create for yourself is completely up to you.
And as you’ve already seen in the examples above, there are many nontraditional jobs that you can pursue that are just as high-paying.
And you may discover, after dabbling in entrepreneurship or a non-traditional career interest, that “YES! THIS IS IT!! THIS WAS WHAT I WAS MISSING IN MY LIFE!!!”
That’s how I feel about blogging.
I thought law school was my calling because I loved to read, write, and talk. But after my first semester, I had this sick gut feeling that law school “wasn’t it.”
Every class I had the same thought: “I don’t want to be here. I don’t care. I want to drop out. I hate law.”
And at every law school event, I thought: “I hate this. I don’t care. I wish I wasn’t here. I wish I was doing something else.”
By the second semester of my second year, I had enough. I went online and began searching for other writing careers.
That’s when I discovered that I could become a blogger. I can’t tell you how much fulfillment and joy blogging gives me. It’s so much fun!
I wish someone told me in school that blogging was a thing. I would have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt.
(I am committed to keep blogging until I fulfill my dream of becoming a full-time blogger)
As such, your gut feeling may be an indication that entrepreneurship or a non-traditional job is your calling.
Furthermore, know that college isn’t for everybody.
Yes, most people find their path in college, but if it’s not a good fit for you, it’s not a good fit.
You may be creative, work better with your hands, appreciate autonomy, don’t like clocking in and out, suck at taking tests…
Only you know yourself.
So listen to yourself.
If a sound alarm is going off in your head, you’re absolutely miserable in college and have this sick gut feeling in your mind that you should be doing something else, then at the very least, take time off of college and search it out.
You can always change your mind and return to college when you’re ready.
Finally, know this: It’s OKAY to start over.
If this post helped you in any way, please leave a comment below. If you would like to reach me, you can email me here.
Thank you for reading and I pray that you find the courage to do what’s best for you. If you know someone who is struggling with this question, please share this post with them.
I would be so grateful.
P.S. Want to read more content from me? If so, sign up here! Once a week, I send the BEST stuff on all things college like college relationships, how to get A’s, and even make funny post like this one so we can both have a good laugh! Just think of me as your go-to-girlfriend for college advice!