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  1. #1

    What to do when college isn't quite right?

    Hello there everyone, I'm posting this thread because I've been faced with a rather perplexing issue for quite a while now, and after having spoken to everyone in my personal life about it I figured I'd reach out to the internet for advice.

    I am a full time college student and I have been one for three and a half years now. I'm in my junior year, and I am an IT major. These years have not been entirely kind to me in terms of my education, my marks aren't what they were when I was in high school, and I find myself caught in a frustrating and somewhat odd situation.

    My college is based around the quarter system instead of the semester system which is something that has worked for the college for about 80 years. However, my college decided that it was time to get rid of the quarter system, and is doing a switch to the semester system this year. This mass switch is pushing everyone in the IT program back at least another full year.

    So here's my issue: I'm tired of school. I am to the point where every quarter I withdraw from all of my classes except for two - I should be taking at least four to continue at the pace that I am attempting to go at. This level of "tired" is because of a mixture of things, the main one being how much I dislike school and the majors offered. I have found a deep and profound passion in sewing, crafting, and mainly costume making. Where I would love to be searching for internships at theatre troupes, I am forced to sell myself as an "IT guy".

    I am suffering from a lack of drive for college, if I force myself to chin up and take the front load, I find myself barely scraping D's and C's, which destroys my GPA and makes the whole process pointless. I am wasting tens of thousands of dollars a year on something that I do not want, yet dropping out just doesn't seem to be an option considering how far I am in. Of course I still have at least two more years stacked in front of me.

    Have any of you experienced this? How did you handle it? What would you advise me to do?

    TL;DR: I am puttering out on college, if I force myself to grin and bear it I end up failing. I keep withdrawing from classes to ensure that I get good grades. I am already three and a half years in; however, I have another two full years to go and withdrawing just adds to my time here.
    Rawr rawr rawr!

  2.   This is the last staff post in this thread.   #2
    pixel-pusher Aden's Avatar
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    A lot of this decision comes down to sheer cost. How are you paying for college?

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    Retired Staff Thestory's Avatar

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    This is a familiar story.

    So what made you join the IT major? Was it something you initially wanted to do? If you are just burnt out I would either slow down so you have a better pace where you wont destroy your GPA, or take a break. Really evaluate what you are doing. What would you like to do and be involved in. What would you be good at but not be completely miserable doing.
    Really its up to you.
    There is no rule in life that says if you happen to snag an internship in theatre you can't try it out, then return to college to complete your degree if you still desire. I've known a few people who have done something similar.

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    Senior Kanagrooboy's Avatar
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    If anything, at least try to switch gears into theatre before you leave for good. Get some production experience under your belt first, and make some friends there. If they get anything outside of school productions, they just might vouch for you when you start out.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Aden View Post
    A lot of this decision comes down to sheer cost. How are you paying for college?
    I'm paying roughly $40k a year via scholarships, grants, and loans (the loans cover about half of the cost).

    Quote Originally Posted by Thestory View Post
    This is a familiar story.

    So what made you join the IT major? Was it something you initially wanted to do? If you are just burnt out I would either slow down so you have a better pace where you wont destroy your GPA, or take a break. Really evaluate what you are doing. What would you like to do and be involved in. What would you be good at but not be completely miserable doing.
    Really its up to you.
    There is no rule in life that says if you happen to snag an internship in theatre you can't try it out, then return to college to complete your degree if you still desire. I've known a few people who have done something similar.
    I actually originally wanted to do Environmental Science and was extremely passionate about it, but when I failed Chemistry I knew there was no way I could make it in that major. So I quickly jumped ship and signed up for IT, which I had history in and was comfortable with doing. I was never passionate about it, but all my parents told me was that the degree itself was all that mattered. I have slowed down quite a lot, but I feel like that slowing down is costing me even more money (as said before, $40k a year) and I actually really like the sound of a break. I really feel that a re-evaluation of where I'm headed is in order, I agree with you entirely there and a break would let me do that.

    Thank you so much for the feedback, I may try to apply for some internships in theatre and see what my chances are :3.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kanagrooboy View Post
    If anything, at least try to switch gears into theatre before you leave for good. Get some production experience under your belt first, and make some friends there. If they get anything outside of school productions, they just might vouch for you when you start out.
    Very good point, I have another quarter left in the year and I may try to reach out to others in the theatre scene, just to see how I measure. It would be great to have references as well, it's funny how I've worked at IT for three years in this college and have no references for it yet X3. Thank you for the feedback :3.
    Rawr rawr rawr!

  6. #6
    Resident Khajiit Ibuuyk's Avatar


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    I suggest taking a whole year off to give you time to let off some steam, do other stuff and think about it.

    Then again if you're American I guess that's not a solution since you're in debt, hm.

  7. #7
    Solifugid Onnes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ibuuyk View Post
    I suggest taking a whole year off to give you time to let off some steam, do other stuff and think about it.

    Then again if you're American I guess that's not a solution since you're in debt, hm.
    The debt is there whether you take a break or not, and if there is a chance you either aren't going to complete your degree or follow that career path then you probably don't want to add to said debt by continuing classes.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Onnes View Post
    The debt is there whether you take a break or not, and if there is a chance you either aren't going to complete your degree or follow that career path then you probably don't want to add to said debt by continuing classes.
    This is very, very true. I've been torn between the "If I stop now I'll have wasted all of that money" and "If I keep going I'll have wasted even MORE money" logic. I'm not quite sure how my school handles taking breaks. I would like to have the option to continue school with the same loans and scholarships if I decide that I've got a second wind and would like to press for my degree, but I know that some colleges really frown upon this concept.

    I loathe the idea of working an IT job, I honestly do. I have no passion for any branch of IT and am currently looking for internships doing IT monkey work, in hopes of having a job that doesn't request my presence at odd hours. Part of my college's graduation requirements is that I work a full time paid IT job (the job has to be in my field) as what is called a "co-op" for several months. I was considering finding a job, working it for the length of time that my school will accept, and maybe taking a break from there to get myself figured out.

    I'm also not sure of how to handle the social repercussions of the decision to take a break. I have a very strong personality, and many friends that support me in all of my decisions. However, my mother is an extreme education enthusiast. She has her doctorate in education, has been a professor for about 20 years, and is now a figure at the board of education for my home town. Any advice on how to talk to her? I know this is a personal question that is hard to advise when you don't know her, but any general tips would be very appreciated.

    This is really helping me think, having clear outside perspectives is exactly what I needed, thanks guys :3.
    Rawr rawr rawr!

  9. #9
    Solifugid Onnes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kila View Post
    This is very, very true. I've been torn between the "If I stop now I'll have wasted all of that money" and "If I keep going I'll have wasted even MORE money" logic. I'm not quite sure how my school handles taking breaks. I would like to have the option to continue school with the same loans and scholarships if I decide that I've got a second wind and would like to press for my degree, but I know that some colleges really frown upon this concept.
    This is obviously something you should find out about. Federal loans are usually recalculated each year dependent on your parent's and/or your previous year's income. I have no idea about actual private loans. Most scholarships would be forfeit in such a scenario barring if you could claim illness or circumstances beyond your control that would qualify for their exceptions, if any.

    I loathe the idea of working an IT job, I honestly do. I have no passion for any branch of IT and am currently looking for internships doing IT monkey work, in hopes of having a job that doesn't request my presence at odd hours. Part of my college's graduation requirements is that I work a full time paid IT job (the job has to be in my field) as what is called a "co-op" for several months. I was considering finding a job, working it for the length of time that my school will accept, and maybe taking a break from there to get myself figured out.
    Did you ever find the idea of an IT job appealing, or did you really just go down that path simply because it was there? The latter case would be a far stronger argument towards abandoning the IT degree.

    I'm also not sure of how to handle the social repercussions of the decision to take a break. I have a very strong personality, and many friends that support me in all of my decisions. However, my mother is an extreme education enthusiast. She has her doctorate in education, has been a professor for about 20 years, and is now a figure at the board of education for my home town. Any advice on how to talk to her? I know this is a personal question that is hard to advise when you don't know her, but any general tips would be very appreciated.
    Obviously pure speculation on my part, but I would hope that someone with that much experience in higher education would understand that people pursuing careers and degrees they have no enthusiasm for often simply burn out. While you would have preferably figured out your ideal degree plan within your first couple of years, that simply doesn't happen for a significant number of students. Even worse off, though, are those that find themselves stuck with a degree they have no desire to use and all the debt that goes with it, facing the prospect of essentially starting over under that burden and without the benefit of further education.

    What it really comes down to is that you're going to have to figure out what you actually want to do in life, and you're going to have to figure out a realistic plan to make that happen. That might involve completing your IT degree and it might not.
    Certainly, if you are interested in theater, you should talk with the program at your school and see if you can find someone familiar with that field who can offer advice.

  10. #10
    Resident Khajiit Ibuuyk's Avatar


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    Blarg, why can't education in the US be affordable like in civilized countries?

 

 

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