I want to leave college... what should I do?

I want to leave college… what should I do?

I know this feeling.

This frustration of feeling like you’re losing your time because you’ve chosen the wrong path.

"I want to leave University. I'm sick and tired of it"

The feeling of not wanting to lose another second doing something you don’t really want to spend your future on…

It’s not a minor issue and it always catches us off guard… when we’re not really prepared at all.

From disorientation to depression there’s only one step distance apart. Depression is the taboo of young people. Depression is the new sex: everyone is doing it, but nobody talks about it. We’re ashamed of the sole idea of mentioning this topic.

Who am I to ask for any help at all? 
Why am I complaining of my own circumstances, when there's people living in
worse case scenarios than mine? 
I can handle my own issues alone. I can get through this... it's just a bad period. 
I'm old enough to handle myself and get my shit together. 

This thinking only obstructs your way to get a solution.

Today I am going to share with you 5 easy tips to ask yourself on what you should be doing about it. Whether you want to leave your university studies or not, you have to think it properly. Analyze it thoroughly. I’m going to write about facing this disorientation that we can suffer while at University, and hopefully it also can help to your professional growth. For example, if it’s worth continuing to work in the same company.

I’m not an expert. I’m not a teacher, either. Therefore, I am just writing my own opinion and experiences. You’re more than welcomed to share in the comments below, your opinions and thoughts about this matter. I personally faced this question, of dropping from university studies, when I was in sophomore year of college.

There’s been quite lot of changes in my life: emotionally and physically. But thanks to some people, I knew how to flight high and have enough strength to take my own decisions.

I started studying Business Administration in Barcelona, in 2010. My freshmen year was hard, but I eventually got better grades than I expected. However, for those grades, I gave up lots of other things. And by the time I finished my freshman year, the consequences to these things I gave up, were not yet revealed. But they came in strongly and hitting during sophomore year.

I moved to Barcelona with 17 years old. Relatively far from my family. I can’t complain, I really wanted to move from my parent’s house: it’s life’s cycle. But in sophomore year, the question of dropping University arose more than ever. As a consequence, it was the hardest to live far from home in that period. I did not feel as I belonged to Barcelona, neither my hometown. I felt like a stranger everywhere. Though some people were caring and concerned about me, I did not appreciate it enough and I just saw the negative part.

There were people who let me down… but luckily enough, others were there for me to make me smile.

Without further ado, here’s a list of 5 things I recommend you to consider to yourself, so you can think about dropping or not University studies.

 1. Spend some time alone. And studying doesn’t count.

Go for a walk or for a run. Leave your mind in “blank”… until thoughts start to come. When they do, don’t erase them. Embrace them. Try to understand why are you thinking that concrete thought, right now. What makes you think of it. Try to analyze it and figure out how important is for you that thought. Once you analyzed it, let it go and wait for the next thought.

With this process, you’ll be able to figure out what is worrying you the most. It’ll help you to find the original thought. The inception.

Furthermore, you’ll be able to look at how you react at this thought. Do you have goosebumps? Do you feel dizzy? Or do you feel any difference at all? Listen to your body. All this matters a lot, because you’re very smart, and so is your body. Try to listen it every now and then.

Self-awareness is fundamental for understanding yourself. If you get how you feel and how you’re about to respond to every thought and feeling, you’ll make faster decisions. And better actions. This, hopefully, will help you differentiate whether you like your college degree or not.

2. Decide whether you’d like to lead your own lifestyle or whether if you’d like to be lead.

You should acknowledge that your college degree will help you find a job in something that you’ll like. But it’s not just the THAT. It’s also important the HOW you get it.

Ask yourself if you’d like someone to tell you what to do all the time. Or if you feel more secure under a protocol, working in a specific task 8 hours a day, come home after work and dedicate yourself to your family or hobbies.

Or maybe you’d prefer working on your own lifestyle. Check out if your profession will allow it.

If you want to work in something that nurtures your soul, and gives you infinite value… maybe you’d better create your own work. “Love what you do, do what you love and you’ll never have to work again“.

3. Ask your family or friends for help.

Pick carefully your friends. Then, tell them. Keep your expectations low and you’ll eventually stop worrying of others’ reactions when you tell them your worries. Just tell them. And don’t be mad at them if they’re not “trying hard enough to understand” you. They probably feel your worry. But sometimes people behaves differently in front of these situations.

4. Talk to professionals.

And I don’t mean psychologists ;)

Talk to people who has already finished your degree and is currently working. Try to get a more practical version rather the academical one.

Maybe you can also talk to a professor you trust from your university. Normally, they don’t just work as professors. They work (or have worked) in a professional job related to the subject they teach at college. Talk to them, and ask them for advice.

But, however, if you need a psychologist either way, don’t delay it.

5. But above all, listen to yourself.

Let’s go back referring to the first point. You will never be happy if you deprive yourself from what you really ENJOY doing and are PASSIONATE about.

I cannot stress enough how important is this.

You won’t be happy if you sacrifice all your free time to study. Grades are just grades. They’re just a number.

You have countless types of intelligence that cannot be measured in numbers. Such as the emotional intelligence (that has been proven, by Malcolm Gladwell, that’s what really differentiates good people from BRILLIANT people).

So you’re worth more than your grades. Try to manage your time wisely so that you have free time for yourself (and self-knowledge) and for your loved ones.

During my first years of college, I fave my free time up. I quit sports, I did not took care of my friendships back home and I got hooked in some bad new ones.

I ended up living in a vicious circle in which I felt as a stranger everywhere: at college, at the residence, back home with my family and friends… Everything was changing so fast. And yet I thought that everything would be waiting for me while I was gone.

Learning to dedicate LESS hours to college was one of the lessons that worth the more. I figured out I could follow my own methods instead of my college’s. And this lead me to become the person I am today.

Photo taken by the great photojournalist Ingrid Ribas