Thinking of Dropping Out? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t

There probably has never been a university student who hasn’t considered dropping out at some point. As tempting as the idea may be, you probably shouldn’t – and here’s why:

Your Desire To Drop Out May Only Be Temporary

You probably remember times when you were in high school that you wished that you were anywhere but there. It will be that way when you’re in the job market too. There will be various times during your career when you will be just itching to get out, to try something new – or even to take a break from everything for a while. And talk to anyone who is self-employed, and you’ll learn that all of them wanted to quit on themselves on multiple occasions.

It’s a natural desire, but it’s important to understand that it’s usually only a temporary one. It can often be caused by short-term stresses, and once they have passed, the desire to drop out will disappear. Whatever you do, don’t drop out over problems that will most likely turn out to be temporary. As the saying goes, this too shall pass.

Related: How Much Will School Cost … and Is It Even Worth It?

Sometimes All You Need Are A Few Good Grades To Get Back On Track

Thinking of Dropping Out
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
A common reason to want to drop out is a feeling that you “just can’t hack it”. If you are experiencing a run of sub-par grades, this is all that it will take for you to feel overwhelmed and incapable.

The solution is to concentrate your efforts on the next few tests or major assignments you have. Sometimes all you need are few good grades, and the feeling of not being able to hack it disappears.

You May Need A New Friend Or Two

As social animals, we can be dragged down by the people we keep company with. Carefully examine if your desire to drop out may be influenced by one or two friends who have been harboring the same feelings. The combination of school stress and a friend who is contemplating dropping out may be giving the thought exaggerated importance in your mind.

If you think this is the case, stay clear of that friend for a while, and take up with some other friends who are more enthusiastic. Sometimes it’s just a matter of the company you keep.

A Break Now Could Mean More Time In University At Higher Cost

If you do drop out, there’s an outstanding chance that it will only be temporary. Sometimes you do need to take a gap year to get your head together, but you should only do it after contemplating the cost of doing so.

Related: When Is The Right Time To Drop A Class?

If you do drop out, when you return tuition and fees will likely be higher. You may also need to take a few extra courses, particularly if you change your major. All this will raise the cost and extend the time it will take to complete your degree. The break that you think that you need now could add many thousands of dollars to the cost of your education.

Now Is The Best Time To Complete Your Education

You may be thinking I just can’t handle this right now, believing that you may be able to return later to complete your education. Don’t be so sure. Understand that life tends to get more complicated as you get older. For example, later in life you may be involved in a serious relationship, or living in an area where you will not be able to complete your education. And should a child come along, your whole game will change.

Related: Should You Take a Year Off From School?

Higher education is best obtained in your late teens and early 20s. That’s the time in life when you have the most time and energy to devote to studies. Take advantage of now to get that done – you’ll have plenty on your plate later.

If You Leave Now You May Never Come Back – And Live To Regret It

A lot of university students drop out and never return. They may have every intention of coming back, but as discussed above, life gets in the way and the planned return never happens.

Your university education is an opportunity that you can and should take advantage of now. You have no idea what the future holds, and an opportunity delayed could be an opportunity lost.

Even If You Decide On A Different Career, A Degree May Still Help You

Students sometimes contemplate dropping out with a shift in career objectives. You may decide for example, that a side business you have started is going to be your career and doesn’t require a degree so you’ll drop out of school. But even if the business doesn’t require you to have a degree, it’s still better to have one anyway.

Related: Should I Take a Gap Year After High School?

None of us knows what life will hold for us in the future. A university degree opens up a wide range of options that will not exist without it. Even if you change your career plans, get your degree anyway. You never know – the day may come when you will think of quitting on your then current venture, and you’ll be thinking about returning to a university-norm career. If you have your degree, you be all set. If not…you’ll have a problem.

University Is A Temporary Phase Anyway

When you are in school, it’s easy to think that you will be there forever. Reality check: University is only a temporary phase in your life. You will only be there for a few years, and then it will be over.

While your are attending university – no matter how burned-out you may feel – always focus on the end, when you’ll be done with school and you’ll have your degree. That might make university seem less permanent and more manageable.

Do you contemplate dropping out from time to time? What keeps you from doing it?

4 1 vote
Article Rating
Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
10 years ago

I have two in college, but I can remember my years there like they were yesterday. I wanted out after only one semester and I loved being a student in high school. Once I got over the rough spot my freshman year I had a great time. Obviously, I’m very happy I stuck it out. My degree is directly related to how I earn a living and help pay tuition for two daughters. Happy to say neither of my daughters has gone through this. We have a different problem….they never want to leave campus!

10 years ago

Your freshmen experience wasn’t unique in that regard Betsy. I’m glad to hear that your degree has served you so well! In a perfect world I would have never left campus either! I often think about how if I hit the early retirement that I plan to, I’d love to go back actually – even though then I’d be the weird old guy in classes haha.

10 years ago

After the first year in college I actually called it quits! I was just so overwhelmed, college wasn’t working out for me the way I expected:- I dreaded classes, my grades were awful, I was depressed, I decided time off was what I needed and am glad I took a break. The semester I was out taught me a lot about persevearance and grit – Sometimes, we need to step away to gain perspective and there is no shame in that :)

7 years ago

i’m thinking about dropping out to start my own business and find it All out on my own. I have a lot of motivation and i’m ready to work every day for it all day. I really appreciate it. I feel like if i try it 5 years later it mat be too late. I’m studying civil engineer and i don’t know if i could keep up. I would need more time on the side. One thing that really touched me is regretting to have chosen not to study. I would be happy with some tips. Really i would like… Read more »

ok i am done

5 years ago

i just dropped out, it did nothing for me

5 years ago

middle school is killing me too many pictures to draw words to read i should’ve just dropped out in elementary

5 years ago


4 years ago

This helped me a lot. I’ve been thinking these days to drop my current track and take a break for a while. This article made me remember and realize what to do. Please keep on writing this kind of stuffs.

3 years ago

It’s a very controversial question. Although I am a very impulsive person and I often make decisions without thinking them over, and then regret them. Dropping out is definitely a serious decision, and probably everyone who thinks about it weighs all the pros and cons. I personally do not have enough confidence to quit everything, I have already gone halfway, and even if I am not quite satisfied with the quality of education, I do not want to get more problems if I decide to start all over again.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
Share This