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  • Writer's pictureIona Stuart

Dropping Out of University*

Happy Monday, everyone!

So, I am, at current, a university dropout. I put ‘at current’ because I do plan on going back to college studies, but since that’s in the box of ‘Future Plans,’ it does still mean that I am, right now, just a dropout.

I feel like there’s a sort of negative energy surrounding the label of being a university dropout – as if there is an automatic assumption that this is synonymous with being lazy, or not trying hard enough, or giving up too easily. Or, hell, some people might just come right out and call you stupid. Luckily, no one did the latter to me, but as far as the assumptions are concerned, I have no idea what other people’s opinions were when I left university.

Despite how much some school systems at the moment are trying harder to emphasize the fact that there is a huge range of other options for students once they graduate high school, many students don’t always fully believe this – or they at least don’t believe it’s for them (I was one of these students) – because the mainstream view in society today is still that traditional university education is required for any chance of landing a ‘decent’ job.

Obviously, this is not true. I know a lot of people who have either dropped out of university or who never went in the first place, and they still have successful jobs and careers. Equally, I know a number of people who did go to university, get their degree, and then not do anything with it, or not be able to get a job in their chosen field after graduation. As much as ‘dropout’ does not equal failure, ‘graduate’ does not equal success.

However, dropping out wasn’t an easy decision for me – I mean, my turn-around time between arriving and leaving was rather rapid (a whole two months), but the decision itself was actually something that I thought about and struggled with quite intensely. Just intensely for a short period of time.

So, why did I drop out of university? And why do I plan on going back?

Well, like most things in my life, my decision-making process was greatly aided by the use of lists (seriously, my entire existence relies on lists and plans – at one point I had three different diaries and two calendars detailing all the things that were going on), and I wrote out all of the reasons why I was dropping out into a document that consisted of four sections. This enabled me to evaluate if the reasons were genuine, or just a case of ‘Freshman Freak-Out.’ One of the things that did crop up when making this list was the fact that I really disliked the city and never felt comfortable there, along with some practical things like financial concern. However, the primary reason why I made the decision to drop out was due to my health, and that turned out to be the right call, as things took one hell of a nosedive just a few months later.

But, yes, I do plan on going back to college studies, and the reason for this is quite simply because I want to be a high school teacher, and that is something I cannot do without a degree. I’m just not going to be studying the same way I tried it before.

My new plan consists of obtaining a degree through online distance learning, which is something that really appeals to me since it means I would be able to study from a home-base. For me, this is super important because studying in this way is highly flexible, and so when my medical conditions are at a particularly bad stage, then there won’t be any issues with things like poor attendance and having to constantly catch-up on stuff I’ve missed. Also, having seizures during lectures is not helpful for anyone.

So, this is how I became a university dropout – not stupid, not lazy, and definitely still trying. Whether you go to university or not, graduate or drop out, or decide to spend your life selling pet rocks, you do you, boo!

*edited repost from original website

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