A huge decision (College, work, etc.)

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So I have decided not to return to the University of Minnesota Duluth as a full time student. I'm currently finishing up my second year and I'm most definitely not doing as well as I had hoped. I know what I want to do for a career (English Teacher, high school probably) but going through all the BS and red tape has been a hugely stressful and demoralizing experience for me. I have told my parents that I am taking a year or two off of college full-time. I will definitely be attending a local community college and be working full-time as well.

My mom was pretty supportive of this idea.

My dad was not. My dad is under the firm belief that the number one main reason that I don't do well in school is video games. He honestly believes that they are the root of society's problems, and if he doesn't, he sure acts like it. But that's beside the point, really.

They are both highly worried that I will become like the 90% of college kids that say they're going to 'take a break' and then never go back. I've told them that this is not going to happen, but they think I just want an easy way out. I've told them many times that this is not the case and that I will be returning to college full-time once I get some cash and do some soul searching and get my bearings in the real world. They still think I'm gonna flake.


Just thought I'd tell you guys.
 

boogalah

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I wish you the best of luck. May your quest to find yourself bring you lots of good fortune and brighten your future.

Also, don't drop out and become a ****ing bum. Then your parents would be right, and nobody likes I told you so's.
 

IncompleteDude

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Well, perhaps you can relate to my experience. I was once a full time student in Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo. It's the most prestigious comp eng program in Canada, and it was a lot harder than I expected. For the first time in my life, I had to work and be responsible for my marks. I suffered for 2 years, repeating one of my semesters even, and in the end, failed. To this day, thinking about it sometimes still brings a tear to my eye.

Afterwards, I worked for a year, got involved in politics, got extremely depressed, and suffered further. Then I went to a community college, and still depressed, finally got medicated. Since then, things have been going pretty well. I'm doing well in community college, getting 90s. I'm happy, and my family still loves me. :)

But will I go back to university? After all this time, I feel like I'm running out of time. I wasted 2 years of my life in a botched attempt at a university program. Even in college, my work ethic is sketchy compared to what is required for university. For example, I've failed English once, and dropped it once. I am deeply lacking in basic skills like punctuality and time management. So will I go back? Maybe, I hope, but somehow I doubt it.

Sigh... I am lacking.
 

cpndl

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Wow deja vu. I went to UofM and after 2 years decided I need to start working and I have never gone back. Some times I regret not getting my degree, but right now I have the job I always wanted to do anyways. That was possible without having a degree. I did get other training in my profession, but no degree. The one problem I see, is if you really want to be an English teacher, is it realistic to NOT have a degree and get a teaching job? If you don't go back, what else do you think you would like to do. Have an alternate career path setup.

cpndl
 
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same thing happened to me when i said i wanted to stop playing the cello (i know, much smaller scale). my parents thought it was just an excuse to quite, but i started back up again a year later, and i'm doing much better. i think it's a good choise if you'r really determened to return back to school. it seems like you are, but i can only tell so much from one post.
 

ShippoFox

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Do your best. You know what you want to do, so don't give up on it. If you give up, then you might have a hard time figuring out another plan. But do things at your own pace. If you need a break, then take it. Go to the community college... I don't know why everyone complains about them. Sometimes a community college education is good enough, but maybe you'll need to go back to the big college later to become a teacher.

I can't speak from experience though. I couldn't afford to go to college and didn't want massive debt for half of the rest of my life. Will I still go someday? I don't know. :confused:

Also, don't drop out and become a ****ing bum.
People who do drop out can at least say they tried. Those who don't.... just won't have wasted the money and time. And those who go to college might be greatly rewarded. Some people become successful without every going to college at all. You can't just say that everyone who drops out is a bum. :eek:
 

BabyMullet

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Man my first year at college is just like that. My marks aren't what I want them to be, my studying and student skills suck. I think I have a bunch of adventure still stuck in my system, don't get me wrong I love to learn, it's one of favorite things to do. College is a completely different style of learning, I still haven't put my finger on it, but it's different than anything else out there.

As for video games, I'm in the same dam boat. I think I could have done better this semester had I not gotten a copy of Vampires the Masquerade. (Don't get it, it's a very addicting game)

The whole point I want to get at her is that college is very much a state of mind a person has to get into. My sister, a very organized and go get em kind of person went straight to college after high school and has been on the Dean's list a few times. Myself, I'm lagging behind horribly. But I have done things my sister has not: I traveled most of the world, clowned with Patch Adams, I'm nationally recognized for my volunteer work, and my biggest regret is that I never kissed a girl when I had the chance.

I've been told it's an impressive list of accomplishments, but I can't take notes during a lecture for the life of me.

Here's the jazz, you know what you don't want to become. You don't want to become a flake, you don't want to never come back. I think you're strong enough to check yourself on those points. And if in your time smoking your mind you seem to find another path that makes you happy and fulfilled, twice as good.
 

Izzy

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My experience has been that everyone one of my friends that say they were going back to school never want back to it.

Unless you have a detailed understanding of what you are doing while not at school, you are not going to go back.

Your parents are right to be worried. I'd be worried in that situation. Why aren't you doing as well as you thought you'd be doing? You need to analyze that. Is it that college isn't for you? Is it other reasons?
 
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Dude! One word of advice from someone who is currently taking a break from university.

Do it! It'll make you appreciate your studies even more. Once you take that train out of there, you'll wish you bought a return ticket. Life is a lot easier when you study, because your life *is* the textbooks, the classes, the campus... nothing else. Life in the real world is much more demanding.

My parents always used to tell me through school, "I wish I could go back to school. You may not appreciate it now, but they really are the best years of your life". Of course I didn't appreciate their sentiment. But now that I am out of school, I finally understand exactly what they meant.

Facing the real world is tough. And fact is, university/college can be demoralising. But it's all done to prepare you for the world outside the lecture halls.

But the one thing to remember is to never burn yourself out. Don't overwork yourself. Sure, make studying a top priority. But it's not worth sacrificing your mental well-being for.

Enjoy your life while you're still young enough to do so. :)
 

boogalah

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People who do drop out can at least say they tried. Those who don't.... just won't have wasted the money and time. And those who go to college might be greatly rewarded. Some people become successful without every going to college at all. You can't just say that everyone who drops out is a bum. :eek:
I know. I was just telling him not to become a bum.
 

PuddleFopsKit

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Your dad has a genuine concern for you. He just wants to see you become a success, and even though you may share different opinions, he is just doing what he feels is best for you. He is right though, college is important to having a good life, cause without education, things are much tougher. Getting a jod good enough to suport a family is tough without college education.

I'm in a similar position right now. I took some time off from school to work, but I will be starting up school again in a few weeks. I took a break to clear my head, and evaluate my options, and that has done a world of good for me, as I think I know what I want to do.
 
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Getting a job good enough to support a family is tough without college education.
I know that, but supporting a family is not high on my list of concerns at the moment.

That's another pressure on me, I think my parents are looking to me as their source of grandchildren because I doubt that either of my brothers will ever marry (One is kind of afraid of commitment and the other is just a douche) and my sister is gay.

Also, I talked to my parents and my brother at length and they all suggested that I just transfer to the U of M twin cities (Much closer to home) and take classes there instead of at community college.
 

Gingy

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just be sure to go back... Or your dad will psychologically kill you...
 

PuddleFopsKit

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I know that, but supporting a family is not high on my list of concerns at the moment.

That's another pressure on me, I think my parents are looking to me as their source of grandchildren because I doubt that either of my brothers will ever marry (One is kind of afraid of commitment and the other is just a douche) and my sister is gay.

Also, I talked to my parents and my brother at length and they all suggested that I just transfer to the U of M twin cities (Much closer to home) and take classes there instead of at community college.
Hmm, I didn't realize that- although I probably should've remembered about that..

Well, I can certainly understand. I feel the same way about a family right now, but I think I am getting close to being ready for sex, so I recognize it as being a possibility for the future. I can also realte to your parents putting pressure on you to have grandchildren. I don't have any brotrhers or sisters, and I am the last one with my family name, so if I don't have kids, the name dies with me, and to honest, don't want that. Our family history is steeped in World history, and I've never regretted being a part of that, even if some of that stuff did happen centuries ago..

So all I can really tell you, is to trust your own feelings. I know you well enough to know that you are not a fool, and are capable of making good decisions. If are seriously doubting that you will have a family, then living would be muich cheaper. I myself, have vowed to not get married, or have kids until I have a successful career. But I'm sure you can't deny the doors that a college career would open to you. Not having a family in the way means that you dedicate more time towards what you want to do, and be the very best at it you can be. It sounds like you have an oppotunity to go to a good uni, so what you need to decide is what you want to do. Your family can help you in making a decision, but ultimately, it all comes down to you.

Whatever you decide to do, I wish you the best. You know my IM address if you ever want to talk.
 

Darkfinn

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Hey man... don't let it get to you.

College isn't for everyone.

I did two years at a univ... biggest waste of my life. My folks weren't hip to the idea that I quit school either... but they aren't supporting me... so it's not under their control.

I've been working full-time for going on 3 years now... just got my first "career" job... warehouse manager for a rapidly growing communicatons company. The salary is a little low right now... but I've only been here 3 months... so it will get better. On the good side I do get paid holidays... vacation... and insurance.

There are good jobs out there... but keep looking... always keep looking. If you aren't happy with where you are working now find somewhere else. Check craigslist all the time... there are tons of job openings posted there every day. Don't waste your time with crap like monster or careerbuilder.

Dispite what some people say... folks without a college degree can do just fine in the world. I'm not rich... but I get by... and I'm sure in a year or two I'll be doing even better.
 

Izzy

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Sure, people without college degrees can get by, but let's not kid anybody here Darkfinn:

Job opportunities are getting harder and harder to come by, especially in a recession economy, where having a skillset will be a real useful thing.

Fact: College graduates will make more money and have better career opportunities.

OP: I'd suggest finding a way to still stay in some sort of higher education setting. It will make your life significantly easier down the line.
 
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daria7483

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I think it's pretty normal to question the wisdom of attending college, especially when you're not doing as well as you'd like to. I did question whether college was really worth it around my junior year or so. Then I got a summer job at Subway. I don't think anything could've made me appreciate college more than that crappy, miserable job did.

I imagine that most of the people who "took a break" from college thought at the time that they would be going back, and they didn't. At the same time though, if you cannot get into your classes, you won't do well. A little time in the real world might do you some good. But set yourself a goal for going back - tell yourself that by XX date, you will be enrolled in classes somewhere, with some endpoint in sight. Maybe a change of majors and career plans is in order.

I'm sure you're already doing this, but I think you also do need to put some thought into why you're not doing well. It sounds like your dad is going overboard with the video game hatred, but everyone I know who struggled in college did so at least partly because of them. They'd have a test or paper due the next day and get sucked into one, or they'd think "oh, I don't have anything coming up for weeks" and neglect their reading and then not be able to get caught up when test time came. I know one girl who nearly flunked out of her master's degree program, and was denied acceptance into the phD program, due to poor grades caused by playing World of Warcraft.
 

quattrus

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Depending on which field you are planning to be working in, leaving the university can be a good or a bad decision.

If your goal is to become a teacher, I see no point in slowing down the process that leads you there, and I can comprehend your dad's fears on your plans. When you say that you are not doing as well as you had hoped, I assume you're still passing your exams, although maybe with lower grades than you wanted to. But you know what, when you've finished your studies and you have your degree in your hands I bet no one is going to ask you what were the grades you got from exams, as soon as you passed them. So, if you're interested in a job that requires a degree, my suggestion is to go through college as fast as you can, and don't damn yourself if you can't always get the best grades, if the ones you have are enough for where you plan to get to (well, if you want to enroll in a PhD program like daria's friend maybe high grades are more important, but I guess not everyone needs to do that).

A whole other story is if you plan to get a career that doesn't involve having a degree. And here comes an example taken from my personal experience. I'm self-employed in the video communication field. When I finished high school, I enrolled to a universitary course that was supposedly focused on communication, but revealed itself to be a bunch of theorical and humanistic notions that - although very interesting as "general culture" - were definitely slowing down the approach to the job I intended to get into, and drawing me to other directions. I was getting very good grades and all, as I always did in school, but I felt like I was just loosing my time. After one year of university, I had the opportunity of a full-time job as a cooperator in a video production studio... which I gladly catched, since it was EXACTLY what I wanted. One year later, I had learned through direct experience more useful things than what 5 years of university could have taught me, and I started working on my own. I admit that at the beginning my parents weren't very happy with the choiches I made, and probably they were expecting me to pursue a more "typical" job, but having a boss that tells me what to do, or sitting in an office everyday 8 hrs a day is definitely not my pair of shoes. Not to mention that when you work on your own the amount of money you make depends only on yourself and your own abilities, rather than on someone who decides how much to pay you... Sorry if this was slightly long but was just to point out that the jobs you can get without a degree are not necessarily crappy jobs or, generally, worse than the ones which require a degree, at least if "career" for you means also "making it on your own" and not only "finding a job at someone else's company".
 
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