Advice From an Almost Drop-Out

By Sarah


During college, I struggled with commitment issues relating to courses that I’d picked in haste in the excitement of getting into college, and after around a year, halfway through all my courses, I was seriously struggling and considering dropping out. At this point, I sought advice from a lot of adults whose advice was of incalculable value to me at the time. When it came to decision making time, I didn’t drop out, and I’m very thankful that I didn’t.

If you’ve already started high school/college/university, and are considering dropping out, my advice is that you make some time to talk it over with the wisest/oldest person you know. After a good few years on the planet, they have the gift of hindsight which could be totally useful to you, if you can manage to grasp it through the haze of frustration and youth that is probably plaguing you right now.

If however, you’re on the brink of further education, below are some tips regarding some important things to consider that I learnt the hard way so that you don’t have to (Hooray!).

Tips on choosing a study area/course that suits you:

This is probably the most important factor in whether or not you’re going to want to drop out in a year’s time, so picking an area of study that suits you is of 100% importance. To get an idea of what you might be interested in studying, make a list of things that you enjoy doing, a list of things that you got good grades for, and a list of things that you ultimately aspire to career-wise. After this is done, take a look at which things on the three lists correspond to each other. For example; you love drawing in your spare time, you got a great grade in art, and you want to one day publish your own comics. Great! Now, consider what you’ll need education-wise in order to achieve your ultimate goal/s. When you plan out what you want to study in this way, it’s much easier to stay committed because you are dedicated to achieving a long term goal.

I understand that at this point, some people feel sort of like they’re drifting and maybe don’t know what they want to do in terms of their career – in which case, it is of utmost importance to set aside some time to think about what you’re happiest doing. Most things can be turned into a career!

If you’re still not sure, don’t sweat it! Pick a subject that you love and you’ll figure out what you want to do somewhere along the way.

How to stay committed to your course:

As I mentioned above, staying committed to your course/s is so much easier when you’re aware of how it fits into your long term goals. If you have no idea about your long term goals, there are things that you can do to ensure you won’t feel too overwhelmed.

1.) Attend all your lessons/lectures as far as humanly possible, and on time.

You’re going to struggle with a course if you have no idea what your professor is talking about. This is one I learnt from experience. Attendance is important in the outcome of your final grade, so suck it up and get yourself to class on time, even if it means you have to go in your pajamas.

2.) Make friends!

It might seem strange to include something social on what is essentially a list of study tips, but this is vital to the enjoyment factor of studying. Some days you might not want to go to class, but you probably want to see your friends, right? Right! So you rock up to class, not necessarily for the right reasons, but you get there all the same.

Added bonus: Friends make learning fun, and if you do happen to miss a class, they can update you on anything you might have missed, like important deadline dates, reading lists, etc.,

3.) Complete any assignments within the first 48 hours of getting them.

(This one is subject permitting, but in this case, you should still at least make a start on your assignments within the same time frame.)

Assignments can pile up super quick when you study more than one thing at a time, and there is almost nothing worse than realising you have numerous assignments to turn in tomorrow morning, which you have totally not even looked at, let alone completed, the night before. If you do the work, or at least start it, in the 48 hours following its assignment, it will become a million times easier to stay on top of things, and feel comfortable and happy in your studies. If that alone isn’t enough encouragement to get started on those pesky assignments, consider the fact that it means you’ll have more time to do fun stuff without nagging thoughts plaguing you the entire time.

4.) Organisation!

Get yourself an academic diary or planner, and write down anything important like deadlines, or lesson amendments. Trust me on this one, it’ll help you to avoid a lot of last minute panic and stress.

There are, of course, other things that you’ll learn along the way which will also help you to stay on track and stay happy in your studies. Dropping out isn’t for everyone, and neither is studying! Make your choice based on you, but try to ultimately make one that you won’t beat yourself up about in the future. Good luck lovelies, and happy studying!

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