July 15, 2011 9:16 AM Subscribe
I'm a 21 year old college sophomore who's as independent as a fourteen year old. I'm thinking about rectifying this by dropping out and taking up a trade or technical degree, then going back once I'm established.
posted by Pericardium to education (39 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I rely on my parents for all of my income because I haven't found employment despite years of looking. I've been unhappy with life for awhile now because of how dependent I am - I have food and shelter but that's about it, don't get out unless someone else pays, don't like where I live, don't really feel like I'm living life because I can't afford to. It's like I'm just coasting by, learning how to deal while I wait to finish my degree and enter the "real" world. This doesn't sit well with me because I'm very much a "live life in the moment" person - who knows how long I'll be here? I haven't been enjoying the journey for awhile now and because I'm a psych major I have a long, long journey before I can even think of schooling helping me out.
My friends and relationships that I've built here feel temporary. Everything about my life feels temporary because I've always intended to leave, it's just been taking longer than I expected. I want my life to "begin," even most sophomores in college seem to be able to find part-time work so they can at least get out once in awhile, have a good time with friends, leave the house without asking the parents for a bus pass... you get the picture.
I've been thinking of what I can do to change my situation, but frankly I'm scared to leave school. I made a list of pros and cons and here it is:
1) Being able to support myself. I don't have any grand visions about this; when I see myself as an independent I think of a small apartment and buying clothes/furniture from the thrift store, having a cat, being able to choose not to stock sweets in the apartment.
2) Being able to save up for things I'd like to do, like maybe take a weekend trip or have a professional mani/pedi once in awhile.
3) Faster than finishing college.
4) Actually living life instead of waiting for it to begin, maybe feel happy with where I am in life.
1) I imagine I'll be in my mid to late twenties by the time I'm able to go back - this means I'll be finishing a bachelor's while my friends are finishing med school, law school, etc. This bothers me, but I can't pinpoint why.
2) Right now I have the advantage of being able to go to school, do volunteer work, internships, research, whatever to pad my grad school application. If I leave now and go back when I'm working and have to worry about bills, classes that fit my schedule, and so on it'll likely be difficult just to finish the required courses. I'm also risking putting college and starting the career I'd really like (psychology) at the same time I'm trying to start a family.
3) My whole identity is wrapped into academics. I'm not sure how to put this, but I've never had the "should I go to college?" question. It's always been what do I do to get into a good college, now what do I do to get into a good grad school, and so on. My friends and activities are mostly centered around school. I know there's a big difference in my world now vs my world if I take up a trade or get a tech degree and that scares me.
4) Status quo - I worry that I'll go from being congratulated about future career prospects to being looked down on.
5) I'm a petite ciswoman and am not sure taking up a trade would even be a viable career move because of stereotyping, prejudice, and things of that sort that I've read about.
If you've done something like this, how did it turn out? Do you have any regrets? If you've thought about it and decided not to, why? I'm also interested in hearing from people who had the means to attend college but chose not to for whatever reason - how did it turn out for you?