Why I’m Trying to Convince Myself to Drop Out of College…

I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. I feel threatened by the mainstream definition of life; that whole idea of a success. The thought of a college degree and a job Monday – Friday, 9 to 5.

When switching from homeschool to public during high school, my councilor said some very discouraging things. According to her, I wouldn’t graduate, much less attend college. In addition to this, I wasn’t allowed to take French till senior year or finish both semesters of film production in one year. Well, that was aggravating. Especially since I graduated on time (with honors) and am now a film major living in France. Sometimes I feel like sending her a cute little post card.

But now a most peculiar problem has arisen: I’m trying to convince myself to drop out of school. *Gasp* Now, why would I dare do such a thing? Let me explain in detail.

Main Reasons:

  1. College education is overrated. It has been devaluated within the work force and according to my friends “a degree is pretty much the same as high school” now.
  2. A college degree is expensive and it is not necessarily an investment.  Why is it half as much cheaper for me to live in France for a year?
  3. If success is matched by amount you earn, then take into consideration that many of the world’s richest people are school drop outs (Bill Gates, Steve Jobs…).  If success is matched by your popularity and the difference you make in the world then take note of all those who have achieved this without finishing their education (Princess Diana, Walt Disney…)

I’m not saying that education is bad, nor am I suggesting that people should be ignorant. I just belive that traditional schooling is not always the best option. For me personally – here are some reasons why:

Film:

All the books we read Freshman year warned us not to attend school. School is for making connections but a degree is not required for this field.  Creativity, talent and ability are the real keys for filmmaking.

At my college, Film is the second most expensive degree you can obtain. Yearly tuition is around $38,000 and this does not count the $300 lab fees for each individual lab class. That’s insane. There’s no need to explain, the point is pretty clear.

I addition to terrible tuition rates, our core professors are leaving to work on other projects. According to my classmates, replacements are utilizing YouTube and students to teach entire lessons. Honestly, I could save thousands of dollars by learning in the comfort of my home.

Also, is my desire to work in the film industry worth the effort? This is a question that has been left unanswered for three years. Let’s not discuss the details.

Photography:

My ability to capture moments is pretty decent. Unfortunately, photography is an expensive hobby that requires a grasp on business skills. While playing with colors and light is my passion, math is not. I’ve already lost a lot of time and money doing ‘little favors’ for ungrateful people.

French:

If people say that you can’t do anything with an English degree, why would it be any different with French? Sure I could teach- but with my spelling skills as they are in English, how could I expect myself to magically be perfect in French?

Money (1024x681)

I emptied out my wallet and was amused by the random currencies I carry around (even while on the wrong continent, lol).

Anyway, life is too short to be wasted. In the end, happiness is not always measured by the amount in your wallet but by the adventures that you lead. So don’t waste your money, don’t waste your time.

What will I do with myself? There are several possibilities but it’s up in the air right now. I could finish my Photography and French degree at my private university (or) finish film school elsewhere (or) study business (or)  work as an Au Pair (or)  a missionary in a foreign country (or) go to Italy to continue stalling life and add a minor in art… (or) something like that.

I’m so scared. There are so many unanswered questions and money is definitely not a luxury. So wish me luck and send a prayer up to heaven – that all may turn out right.

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14 thoughts on “Why I’m Trying to Convince Myself to Drop Out of College…

  1. I understand, I am afraid my college was a waste; I will soon face retirement still owing student loans; My college degree led me to work the graveyard shift, there was no light in my life for 20 years. As I age and have gained experience my job prospects have decreased. Your degree will also type cast you, I want to break out of the science field and no one takes me serious. I am curious to see how you work it out. Love!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, that is pretty scary stuff. Perhaps finishing at a state college or the like would be a decent compromise? Or attending Uni in Canada? It’s like…8 grand there a year. O.o

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    1. Yeah, I’ve been weighing all sorts of options – Canada is not a bad idea. I’ve got a cousin and a friend studying there.
      It’s not really so much the cost but rather the quality of education and usefulness of the degree…. If that makes sense.

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  3. I understand. I was where you are a couple years ago (mentally, not France. Although I was mentally in France…different topic). As a Fine Arts major, I sometimes look back and think “…why?!” Why did I pay $620 per unit to learn about “color theory”?. Over time I have come to this conclusion: It’s about the experience and the opportunity.

    Also, your friend is right: a college degree IS like having a high school degree now a days. So in a sense it might feel pointless; but just think how far most people get on only a high school degree…It’s not very far, and they must always work from the bottom up. Walt Disney, Steve Jobs; they are the exception of the exception, most certainly not the rule. It was their spirit and their drive that got them where they are today. A degree wouldn’t have made a difference for them.

    College degrees are a funny thing: they are becoming harder to obtain because of the tuition, but also are becoming more expected therefore leveling the playing field for all the graduates. A college degree is something that your children or grandchildren most likely won’t be able to afford… Just imagine how attending school in France for a year would have gone if you hadn’t had your “home” college there to assist. I can personally attest to all the trials and paperwork involved.

    I would say that college isn’t only about what you learn in the classroom but also during your life on campus. I know it sounds a little cliché and a little cheesy, but I’ve found it to be true. Having also taken Honors, you’ve been taught a different way of looking at the world and religion. Critical thinking skills in academia will always – and I do mean always – set you apart in how you observe and approach the world. It’s a gift, albeit a frightfully expensive one.

    Chin up!

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    1. Hey!
      Oh my goodness, I’m so glad you got to come to France this year. Too bad we weren’t at close proximity of each other; otherwise we could have gone out for tea or something, lol.

      Anyway, you are right. The people I mention are exceptions. They are ultra-intelligent individuals who somehow managed sneak out of the education system and survived the hurdles that life threw at them. However, things are changing from the norm. The job market is shifting and formal education is slowly becoming an unreliable source for future success. A college degree does not guarantee a job or even a career in the studied field.

      The opportunity to attend college has definitely been an enriching experience in many ways (but almost deadly at one point) and I value the time I’ve spent in school. After reflecting on the possibilities, I’ve decided to spend at least one more year in school. Since a lot of job opportunities require a college degree – any degree- then maybe it would be ok to just finish whichever is most convenient and move on with life. Ideally, I’d like to get a film internship and work my way up from there.

      Thanks for your note and encouragement! I really appreciate it!

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  4. The simple truth is the 1st two years of college are all pretty much the same, and no one in the employment world cares. My advice, even to my daughter, is always to get the cheapest 2-yr education that’s accredited. Save the big bucks for going the last two years. But even then, if your future employer isn’t going to make the degree mandatory or pay more for it, you should adjust your strategy.

    If you aren’t sure what job you want to work, you might be better off getting an internship someplace(s) and finding out from them what qualifications they need. College, as a universal thing, is overrated. I work with a person with a photography degree who never used it a day.

    I think you’re on the right track. Most businesses want you to have a degree only to prove that you’re teachable. You’ll learn all the important bits on the job. So be careful with spending $38,000 per year on that degree unless someone will pay you for it.

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    1. As a high school student, I didn’t really understand how college worked. There was pressure to get into a university and excel through all four years.

      As a senior at a university, I understand what you mean. There are definitely a lot of misconceptions in regards to ‘higher education’. Now it’s over rated, now it’s the equivalent of what high school used to be. As time goes by, school is becoming an inconvenient path towards success.

      It’s very frustrating.

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  5. Interesting blog! I have been in Bangladesh 7.5 years, and visited much of Asia during this time as you can see on my blog! In the 70’s and 80’s I had thoughts of a Master’s Degree but decided it wasn’t worth it for the little I would gain. Hang in there, and make the decision which you think best!

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  6. I believe that most college degrees aren’t worth it. There are some that can definitely give you an advantage in the workforce, if those are the kinds of careers you want to be in. Examples would be law school, medical school, engineering, nursing, etc. I am also a senior, but i’m studying mechanical engineering. I am going to finish my degree but I totally relate to you about feeling threatened by a 9-5 and what society deems as the “next step”. My real passion is actually documentary film and photography. I don’t think you need a college degree to be successful in that. After I graduate i’m probably not going to get a 9-5, at least for a while, which messes with my head since engineering jobs are readily available and many people will probably think I wasted my education. Anyways, cool blog!

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