What to Do When College Isn’t for You: 5 Steps to Consider

Classrooms Team

Dec 20, 2020

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You graduated high school and traveled to college only to feel like you’re not supposed to be there. This experience isn’t uncommon. In fact, 40% of undergraduate students leave their universities after enrolling. That often happens because they realize higher education isn’t a good fit.

How do you proceed? You shouldn’t worry because you have plenty of options. Here’s what to do when college isn’t for you.

1. Think About Your Goals

It’s not always easy to know what you want to do with your life as a young adult. If you’re unsure where you see yourself in five or ten years, you’re not alone. However, it’s essential to start thinking about your interests. Is there anything you love to do that you could turn into a career?

This decision can seem overwhelming. Try to remember that you have time to figure out your next steps. You already made a beneficial decision in leaving an experience that doesn’t suit you. You can now work toward finding what you’re meant to do.

2. Teach Yourself Something New

You can access online resources to help you expand your knowledge personally and professionally. It’s possible to learn enough outside of school to effectively pursue your chosen path. That’s evident when you consider around 66% of jobs in the coming years will require some or no college experience.

Try using your spare time to take a free online course through a university. You could also develop skills like coding, design, and writing by watching instructional videos. It’s possible to expand your horizons by reading books that cover interesting topics.

There are endless opportunities to continue growing as a person. You should aim to take advantage of anything on the internet or in your community that might contribute to your future pursuits. Being proactive will ensure you’re on the right track.

3. Travel for a Few Months

If you’re unsure about your future, you may want to take time to work and travel while considering what’s next. This adventure should open your eyes to new possibilities by discovering languages, history, and cultures. You can find employment or internships in different cities to learn practical skills.

You’ll also be able to learn more about yourself during your trips. There are senses of independence, freedom, and self-assuredness you’ll develop along the way. Traveling by yourself is a unique experience that allows you to learn things you’d never have a chance to discover otherwise.

4. Explore Alternative Schooling Options

You still might want to continue your education. The concept of a traditional college isn’t always right for everyone. But you can find an alternative through trade school. This experience usually takes commitment to a program for a couple of years.

There are several possibilities to pursue while obtaining a technical degree. The best part is that you can make a substantial salary immediately after graduating. If you’re searching for a more fast-paced education, you should consider trade school.

Determining what to do when college isn’t for you might lead you to realize that schooling is a good fit — but it’s the setting and goals that make a difference.

5. Find a Job or an Internship

It’s smart to find a job or internship to help you jumpstart your career. These positions don’t have to be anything long-term. You could be a sales assistant at a local bookstore or a law intern at a nearby firm. It’s all about experimenting until you discover a path you enjoy.

These pursuits will also fund anything you do in your free time. You don’t want to sit around waiting for something to happen. A plan of action will ensure you’re staying productive and earning money while you figure out everything.

Leaving college only to do nothing with your time isn’t helpful. There’s a difference between that and taking time to determine your goals. You want to do your best to leap into action as soon as you make that initial decision to leave school. Occupy your days with things that give you a purpose in the meantime.

Explore These Options When College Seems Like the Wrong Fit

It may seem like the wrong idea initially to leave college in pursuits of something different. You should know that it’s never smart to stay put in a place where you don’t feel happy. Various opportunities outside of higher education can be fulfilling and worthwhile.

Try exploring these options when figuring out what to do when college isn’t for you. You’ve got this!

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