12:25 PM on 02/01/12 
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Pray for a reason to breathe.
StayFaithful's Avatar
New Jersey
Male - 22 Years Old
I'm a 2nd semester freshmen at a university. Undecided. No idea what to do with my life. Hate school.
So what i'm planning to do after this semester is drop out of this school and either go to community college or take a semester off.
I just feel like i'm wasting money taking classes and doing the whole college thing with no point.
Anyone else in/been a similar situation and how did you go about it?
05:23 PM on 02/01/12 
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When I fly solo, I fly so high
SgtSmegma's Avatar
Fayetteville, AR
Male - 28 Years Old
How come you hate it so much?
06:07 PM on 02/01/12 
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Moses Malone
And nothing of value was lost
Moses Malone's Avatar
Houston, TX
Male - 21 Years Old
I'm a second-semester freshman and I love it!
But I'm at a community college. Lots of my friends have gone to university and come back to community after a couple semesters. It's just really not for everyone.
11:15 PM on 02/01/12 
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Registered User
dearmsterri's Avatar
Male - 26 Years Old
I was in this boat except I was at community college. What I did was took a semester off and worked at my job and thought about what I wanted to do. Not to mention, I began to hate my life while I was working. This was 2 years ago now, I'm back in school receiving grades I never have before in my life.

Honestly, if I was in this boat again, I might not take time off, and simply go talk to someone an adviser, whatever.
06:07 PM on 02/02/12 
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recall reality
But existing is basically all I do!
recall reality's Avatar
Virginia Beach, VA
Male - 29 Years Old
I'm a 2nd semester freshmen at a university. Undecided. No idea what to do with my life. Hate school.
So what i'm planning to do after this semester is drop out of this school and either go to community college or take a semester off.
I just feel like i'm wasting money taking classes and doing the whole college thing with no point.
Anyone else in/been a similar situation and how did you go about it?

Being undecided was a big factor in my choice to go to community college for a couple of years. It was an inexpensive way to get all of my gen eds out of the way (this is what I recommend doing) and then transfer to my university. It was a great opportunity to explore some classes and figure out what I wanted to do as well. It's not the same experience (outside of a couple great classes it was a boring routine of commute/class) but I'm loving how much less my debt is now. It was absolutely worth it. Employers didn't seem to care how I got my bachelors eventually as long as I had it.

Personally, I needed that time to find my footing, and it sounds like you do too. I transferred into a program I enjoyed. Spent 3 amazing years at my university working on just classes related to my major/minor with pretty much same group of awesome people. Got involved with a student group, made great contacts I still maintain and loved every second of it.

That said, you aren't locked into whatever you major in either. My brother got his degree in chemistry and worked in a surf shop every summer. He ended up going to grad school for business after a promotion at the company and is now CFO of a surf shop business. He is one content/happy dude.

Do not drop out. Most of my friends who did didn't go back to school, at least not immediately. They liked their new found freedom for a while. Now they're in their mid-20's working retail in malls and pretty miserable. They're either trying to get full time hours while trying to get a degree from community college or just talk about going back to school. Not every case, but just my observation. You've got the opportunity go to school, do it.
06:14 PM on 02/02/12 
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Is it a dream keeping you awake?
movingxpictures's Avatar
Middle of Nowhere,...
I'm a 2nd semester freshmen at a university. Undecided. No idea what to do with my life. Hate school.
So what i'm planning to do after this semester is drop out of this school and either go to community college or take a semester off.
I just feel like i'm wasting money taking classes and doing the whole college thing with no point.
Anyone else in/been a similar situation and how did you go about it?

I have a friend who was in a similar situation. He did his freshman year at the university, undeclared, but he didn't know what he wanted to do and was tired of wasting money since he didn't know what he wanted to do with his life. He took fall semester off and did a trade school program instead. He learned a bunch, got an offer with a construction company, built houses for Habitat for Humanity, but decided to return to school in the spring. He's now taking classes at a community college with a major relating to what he did in trade school, and plans to re-enroll in the fall. I don't think he knows what he wants to do with his life still, but it's a different perspective to step back and try something new. I would advise a semester off if you have a plan of something to do to occupy your time in a constructive way. Don't just lay on your cough and eat Doritos all day while crying over The Notebook.
08:16 PM on 02/02/12 
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kyle is hk
The Goddamn Loveliest Melody
kyle is hk's Avatar
Princeton, NJ
Male - 25 Years Old
I'm a 2nd semester freshmen at a university. Undecided. No idea what to do with my life. Hate school.
So what i'm planning to do after this semester is drop out of this school and either go to community college or take a semester off.
I just feel like i'm wasting money taking classes and doing the whole college thing with no point.
Anyone else in/been a similar situation and how did you go about it?

The bolded shouldn't be a reason if you're only a freshman. Few people who think they know what they want to do freshman year have that same plan by senior year.

Also, out of curiosity, which NJ school?
11:24 AM on 02/03/12 
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I am Long Limbs
RyBall's Avatar
Baltimore, MD
Like most of the other posters in this thread, I highly recommend Community College until you decide what you would like to do. As mentioned, you will get your Gen Eds (I fucking hate Gen Ed classes) out of the way in a cheaper fashion. Also, I transfered to a university as a sophomore after one year of Community College and have changed my major about three times. It is absolutely normal to feel helpless in deciding what feels like the rest of your fucking life. Everyone I know is uncomfortable with making that decision, but there is a lot of wiggle room with a lot of degrees, keep that in mind. That is, of course, if that is a reason you are undecided.
03:05 PM on 02/03/12 
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Listen to Dave Hause pls
No Avatar Selected
Genderfluid - 27 Years Old
Don't go to college if you're not there to learn, expand your worldview, and challenge yourself intellectually. (This isn't meant to sound condescending, but it may. I just mean that college is about the studying and hardcore mastery of a specific subject, which isn't something everyone (most people?) are really that interested in spending time on.)

I never understood why people (and by "people," I usually mean parents) treat college like a trade school. If you're looking for job training there are appropriate places that cost less and will give you much better opportunities in the long run (business schools, computer science schools, trad schools, culinary arts academies, etc.). Universities just really aren't designed to do that and they're certainly not a cure-all or ideal situation for everybody.

"Go to college so you can get a good job" just seems like the biggest lie that kids are force fed on a regular basis that no one seems to be calling them on. (And this is from someone who wants to teach at a college for a living.)

EDIT: But if you don't know what you want to do, community college is an ideal solution as they're great places to kind of find yourself and get a lot of your general education stuff that most places want you to have anyway out of the way.
09:59 PM on 02/03/12 
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Regular Member
metalkittie8088's Avatar
New York
Female - 29 Years Old
You are only 18. RELAX. I'm almost 26 with a BA in Behavioral Science. I've been out of school for a few years and still don't know what I want to do. I have a decent job in an office irrelevant to my major. I know what I'm interested in but I've been undecided for years. Your not alone, lots of college kids don't know what they want to do! Most of the time you don't end up getting a job in your field, especially in this economy. See your academic counselor, maybe take career test. I think it is a good idea to switch to a community college if you are completely lost. My first two years were in a community college and I had some amazing professors, it's much cheaper then a university, and I learned a lot. Good luck!
10:34 PM on 02/03/12 
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Choose thyself!
dtrzcin's Avatar
Glass City
Stay Faithful, StayFaithful.
11:41 PM on 02/03/12 
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Passion Man
Passion Man's Avatar
Kenosha, Wisconsin
Trans* - 24 Years Old
Stay Faithful, StayFaithful.

OMG I wish I would have thought of that. Best post in the thread.
12:05 AM on 02/04/12 
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Dr. Strangelove in the Online Sense
Kahn's Avatar
Athens, Georgia
Stay Faithful, StayFaithful.

Clever girl.
11:03 AM on 02/04/12 
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Meet me in Montauk.
iamthealex's Avatar
Male - 23 Years Old
I was in a similar situation my freshman year, thought I wanted to be a math or some physical science major but by the end of first semester I had already decided that I needed some time off. I finished the whole academic year to make my parents happy/get some more credits under my belt, and I'm currently halfway through my year off. I've been working almost full time and I'm really enjoying not having to stress about papers/exams/grades, although money is a way bigger deal now than I expected it to be. I blew through my savings without financial aid and student loans.

It's also been a lot easier to look at what I want with my education since I'm not really invested in anything, whereas at school I was so set on math or whatever that I had convinced myself it was what I had to do when I now realize that it made me hate myself. Overall, taking time off was/is a really good way for me to refocus and realize that going to school is what I should be doing for my future.

As far as community college goes, I took some classes at my local during my senior year of high school and it was a joke. Maybe it was just the classes I was taking or that particular CC (and not to degrade the education of anyone who has gone to a CC) but if you're serious about an education that isn't trade based or part of a certain program and you can afford it, a university of the place to be.
02:18 PM on 02/04/12 
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Randall Mentzos
Randall Mentzos's Avatar
Jacksonville, FL
Male - 25 Years Old
I'm 18 credits away from a Bachelor's degree at University of Maryland and yet it felt like I couldn't take it anymore, so I'm on a hiatus. Technically I am still a student there, so I didn't drop out -- I wanted to hold on to all those credits I've already received, and when I go back it will be at UM so that i don't have to worry about some of them not transferring over. All i'm doing is clicking "decline" when i get notified that i have new loans ready for me, and remaining unregistered for classes before the semester.

I was a business major. I was in your position as a freshman, and i just thought, if anything, I might as well pick a major that will guarantee me a job that pays enough to cover my loans. Plus I got accepted to a top 10 business school and I felt I'd be wasting that opportunity if I didn't follow through. On the social side, I spent all of my time with other business majors -- I mean no disrespect to any of my prior classmates by saying this but I'm just a different kind of person than most of them were, so socially it never really worked out for me. The one friend I met from college that is still my friend today is now my roommate who also left for similar reasons. For the ambition and occupation sides of college, making some huge corporation more money is far from an ambition of mine, and I am in no way interested in taking on enough debt to cover the initial expenses of my own business. The fundamentals of trying to manipulate people to spend way too much money on something just goes against my core, and there's a lot of bullshit that goes on behind the scenes with accounting and finance that I don't agree with either. I'm not even comfortable with the idea of managing other people and telling them what to do. Basically I picked entirely the wrong major, and this was a decision I made before I even knew enough about myself to understand that it wouldn't be right for me.

I recently moved to the middle of nowhere with a couple good friends who also left school, and right now I'm honestly enjoying going to work, coming home, and that's it. Much simpler and less stressful without having the expectation of homework and studying during my free time -- when I come home, all of my time is spent how I want to spend it. In my case, it's been spent writing an album that I want to start my music career with, something I barely had time for in college (not to mention having roommates who weren't musicians made it tough to find an opportunity to record demos and things like that.) because music is my passion and business is not, i honestly feel like I'm being a lot more productive and not spending 20,000 dollars a year at the same time. it's also quite nice to get to live in my own house with people i actually enjoy being around, instead of being stuffed in some apartment building with people i have nothing in common with. Am I still planning to go back to University of Maryland, absolutely, but only because I'm so close to finishing. Would I have gone to college in the first place if I had the option? With hindsight I really can't say that I would.

All I'm saying is that college isn't for everyone, it's okay to feel out of place and depending on your approach to life, it's normal to perceive it as a waste of time and money. I don't know if I'm the right person to be giving you advice. I'm taking a massive risk putting so much into music instead of going for a more predictable career, I can admit that even as confident as I am in my skills and work ethic. It's incredibly inconvenient for me to go back to school, especially now having a girlfriend who lives 2 hours from that college, and that makes me slightly regret not going through with that last semester. But I will say this, it's not worth the debt if you major in something you don't want to use. You don't want to be tens of thousands of dollars in the hole with nothing to show for it, no newfound ambitions, and a job that can't pay for it. You also don't want to be stuck getting a job you hate just because you have to pay that debt.

Now, you're a freshman, you've got at least a solid year before you have to make that decision, so don't jump the gun and leave college just yet. But when the time comes, don't jump into a major just because you feel like you should, because that's what made college a miserable, worthless experience for me and it's exactly why I dread going back. Take some time to try things out, examine your options, figure out what's a worthwhile cause for you, and if you still don't know and need some time off, it's up to YOU to make that decision, not your parents. If you do decide to go that route, the important thing is that you don't assume it's the easy way out, because it definitely isn't. You MUST be willing to accept the challenges of the real world -- it's smacked me in the face a couple times already and I've only been in it 6 months -- if you're not mature enough for that you need to be honest with yourself about it and stay in school. you need to be really smart and disciplined with money if you're going to try to make a living with an ordinary job, and you will need to make sacrifices -- don't spend unless you need to, don't commit to something that you can't EASILY afford (rent on a house, add-ons to cable, your own internet instead of just going to a library), pay bills as soon as you can and THEN get things you want, take even dead-end jobs seriously and make sure you do everything in your power not to lose them, buy the cheapest of the cheap and avoid big name brands when grocery shopping, etc. just weigh the pros with the cons, if you're entering your 3rd year of college and you'd rather deal with all this than deal with school (most people wouldn't, I'm a minority) THEN consider time off.

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