College Fatigue

My story is a fairly common one. I didn't try my best in high school, ended up going to community college for two and a half years before transferring to a state school. This is my second semester living on campus and I'm about forty credits away from graduating.

I'm beat...

At community college I thrived. It was my second chance. I had some amazing professors, I established meaningful friendships, and I learned a lot about myself. I don't feel like I'm getting much out of my experience here. My dorm room feels like a jail cell at times. I'm surrounded by acquaintances. I'm broke and lonely.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm contemplating dropping out, but I really don't know what I'd do with my life.

36 Comments
36 Comments
Posted by Max_Cherry

Hang in there man. I know exactly how you feel.

Posted by Humanity

My story is a fairly common one. I didn't try my best in high school, ended up going to community college for two and a half years before transferring to a state school. This is my second semester living on campus and I'm about forty credits away from graduating.

I'm beat...

At community college I thrived. It was my second chance. I had some amazing professors, I established meaningful friendships, and I learned a lot about myself. I don't feel like I'm getting much out of my experience here. My dorm room feels like a jail cell at times. I'm surrounded by acquaintances. I'm broke and lonely.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm contemplating dropping out, but I really don't know what I'd do with my life.

I don't want to be a downer, but I felt likewise at the end of my degree. I was tired of tests and the routine. I was tired of passing arbitrary classes to fulfill my major's credit requirements. Honestly I couldn't wait for College to be over and to be able to just work full-time. Then school did end, and all of a sudden there was never any time to see any friends as everyone was busy working. You didn't get to see them in class anymore, or have social interactions with people in your classes. Work wasn't much better than school and worse in several ways. It just turned from one race into another.

That's not to say I'm unhappy at my job. It's fine, pays decent and isn't too stressful. I get to do more or less something I enjoy - thats a big plus in any job. But the feeling of being trapped in some cycle never really goes away. Dropping out now won't really solve anything because you can't just "drop out" of work later in life when you have serious bills to pay and not earning that money simply isn't an option. I think you just have to learn to deal with it in a way, finding something in your life to look forward to each day and concentrating on that.

After all, you're the motherfucking Wolverine man.

Posted by mageemagoo

Pledge a fraternity, join extracurricular clubs, play intramural sports, etc. Stuff like that is where I met all my college friends.

Posted by Fattony12000

Come play Baldur's Gate II co-op with me this Holiday Season.

That'll make you feel better.

(hang in there, it's a long road)

Edited by Max_Cherry

@wolverine: Please watch this helpful instructional video on getting through the rest of college:

Just take things day by day and try not to worry. You're not alone.I hope this helps!

Edited by Video_Game_King
Posted by zombie2011

move into an apartment, I've never known anyone who lived in the dorms after freshman year.

Edited by insanejedi

What are you majoring?

Posted by Max_Cherry
Posted by DEFE

I'd stand with the others in saying that dropping out seems inadvisable. That being said, it sounds like you're exactly the same age as me, so I have about as much life experience as you do. However, I've been at the same school for 3 years. My first year here was easily the worst of my life, but each year has been a bit better than the last. I can certainly understand the "surrounded by acquaintances" comment. That was largely how I felt for my first 2 years, and to some extent still do. In high school it was easy to get pretty cozy being surrounded by people who I had known since early childhood. My relationships in college felt shallow and uninteresting by comparison. In that respect my story isn't terribly inspirational, as my solution was to dig my heels in and cling to a few high school friends, largely ignoring most people here. I suppose everyone handles it differently. And even with what an incredible shitshow much of college has been, nobody can take that education from me, and I'm preparing for my future. There's no avoiding the fact that we'll need to support ourselves financially some day, so the best thing to do is keep on trucking. No matter how good or bad college is, it's over in a few years. I honestly have no idea what to say about being broke. I'm blessed enough to be financially supported by my father, so I can't offer advice there aside from the generic stuff you've probably heard repeated ad nauseum already. Best of luck.

Posted by Wolverine

@max_cherry: Thanks so much.

@humanity said:

@wolverine said:

My story is a fairly common one. I didn't try my best in high school, ended up going to community college for two and a half years before transferring to a state school. This is my second semester living on campus and I'm about forty credits away from graduating.

I'm beat...

At community college I thrived. It was my second chance. I had some amazing professors, I established meaningful friendships, and I learned a lot about myself. I don't feel like I'm getting much out of my experience here. My dorm room feels like a jail cell at times. I'm surrounded by acquaintances. I'm broke and lonely.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm contemplating dropping out, but I really don't know what I'd do with my life.

I don't want to be a downer, but I felt likewise at the end of my degree. I was tired of tests and the routine. I was tired of passing arbitrary classes to fulfill my major's credit requirements. Honestly I couldn't wait for College to be over and to be able to just work full-time. Then school did end, and all of a sudden there was never any time to see any friends as everyone was busy working. You didn't get to see them in class anymore, or have social interactions with people in your classes. Work wasn't much better than school and worse in several ways. It just turned from one race into another.

That's not to say I'm unhappy at my job. It's fine, pays decent and isn't too stressful. I get to do more or less something I enjoy - thats a big plus in any job. But the feeling of being trapped in some cycle never really goes away. Dropping out now won't really solve anything because you can't just "drop out" of work later in life when you have serious bills to pay and not earning that money simply isn't an option. I think you just have to learn to deal with it in a way, finding something in your life to look forward to each day and concentrating on that.

After all, you're the motherfucking Wolverine man.

@defe said:

I'd stand with the others in saying that dropping out seems inadvisable. That being said, it sounds like you're exactly the same age as me, so I have about as much life experience as you do. However, I've been at the same school for 3 years. My first year here was easily the worst of my life, but each year has been a bit better than the last. I can certainly understand the "surrounded by acquaintances" comment. That was largely how I felt for my first 2 years, and to some extent still do. In high school it was easy to get pretty cozy being surrounded by people who I had known since early childhood. My relationships in college felt shallow and uninteresting by comparison. In that respect my story isn't terribly inspirational, as my solution was to dig my heels in and cling to a few high school friends, largely ignoring most people here. I suppose everyone handles it differently. And even with what an incredible shitshow much of college has been, nobody can take that education from me, and I'm preparing for my future. There's no avoiding the fact that we'll need to support ourselves financially some day, so the best thing to do is keep on trucking. No matter how good or bad college is, it's over in a few years. I honestly have no idea what to say about being broke. I'm blessed enough to be financially supported by my father, so I can't offer advice there aside from the generic stuff you've probably heard repeated ad nauseum already. Best of luck.

You see, sticking the rest of it out would seem logical if a degree would lead me to a solid career, but I'm an English major. I want to write fiction and the classes I'm being forced to take aren't helping me get better at my craft.

If I dropped out and moved back into my parent's house I could get a full time job, read what I want, and continue writing fiction. I'd be in the same position if I wait to get a degree two years from now, except maybe I could work for a university. The pay wouldn't be much better though unless I went and got further schooling.

Edited by REIGN

@wolverine: are you friends with your roommates?

If not, find some friends or make some with people you know in classes, see what kind of stuff they like doing.

See if people want to hang out after you do group work (if you have to do that stuff). Even if it's just coffee or something it's always nice.

Just go out and check out the city you're in. Take walks, they're always free.

Find a cheap hobby to get into. I've been playing disc golf lately. All you need are 3 discs ($30) and a course nearby and you're set! It's free to play, and lots of fun to learn. You can find people to go with or teach/learn with some school friends.

I wasn't outgoing enough in uni and I regret it. So the best I can do is give you that advice.

Edited by Example1013

Plenty of people take a year off. Good luck finding a temporary full-time job, though.

Posted by Video_Game_King

Good luck finding a temporary full-time job, though.

This world is not kind to oxymorons.

Edited by Jeust

@wolverine said:

@max_cherry: Thanks so much.

@humanity said:

@wolverine said:

My story is a fairly common one. I didn't try my best in high school, ended up going to community college for two and a half years before transferring to a state school. This is my second semester living on campus and I'm about forty credits away from graduating.

I'm beat...

At community college I thrived. It was my second chance. I had some amazing professors, I established meaningful friendships, and I learned a lot about myself. I don't feel like I'm getting much out of my experience here. My dorm room feels like a jail cell at times. I'm surrounded by acquaintances. I'm broke and lonely.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm contemplating dropping out, but I really don't know what I'd do with my life.

I don't want to be a downer, but I felt likewise at the end of my degree. I was tired of tests and the routine. I was tired of passing arbitrary classes to fulfill my major's credit requirements. Honestly I couldn't wait for College to be over and to be able to just work full-time. Then school did end, and all of a sudden there was never any time to see any friends as everyone was busy working. You didn't get to see them in class anymore, or have social interactions with people in your classes. Work wasn't much better than school and worse in several ways. It just turned from one race into another.

That's not to say I'm unhappy at my job. It's fine, pays decent and isn't too stressful. I get to do more or less something I enjoy - thats a big plus in any job. But the feeling of being trapped in some cycle never really goes away. Dropping out now won't really solve anything because you can't just "drop out" of work later in life when you have serious bills to pay and not earning that money simply isn't an option. I think you just have to learn to deal with it in a way, finding something in your life to look forward to each day and concentrating on that.

After all, you're the motherfucking Wolverine man.

@defe said:

I'd stand with the others in saying that dropping out seems inadvisable. That being said, it sounds like you're exactly the same age as me, so I have about as much life experience as you do. However, I've been at the same school for 3 years. My first year here was easily the worst of my life, but each year has been a bit better than the last. I can certainly understand the "surrounded by acquaintances" comment. That was largely how I felt for my first 2 years, and to some extent still do. In high school it was easy to get pretty cozy being surrounded by people who I had known since early childhood. My relationships in college felt shallow and uninteresting by comparison. In that respect my story isn't terribly inspirational, as my solution was to dig my heels in and cling to a few high school friends, largely ignoring most people here. I suppose everyone handles it differently. And even with what an incredible shitshow much of college has been, nobody can take that education from me, and I'm preparing for my future. There's no avoiding the fact that we'll need to support ourselves financially some day, so the best thing to do is keep on trucking. No matter how good or bad college is, it's over in a few years. I honestly have no idea what to say about being broke. I'm blessed enough to be financially supported by my father, so I can't offer advice there aside from the generic stuff you've probably heard repeated ad nauseum already. Best of luck.

You see, sticking the rest of it out would seem logical if a degree would lead me to a solid career, but I'm an English major. I want to write fiction and the classes I'm being forced to take aren't helping me get better at my craft.

If I dropped out and moved back into my parent's house I could get a full time job, read what I want, and continue writing fiction. I'd be in the same position if I wait to get a degree two years from now, except maybe I could work for a university. The pay wouldn't be much better though unless I went and got further schooling.

My advice is for you to get working in what you really want as soon as you can, as time passes by. You could put your degree on hold. And if the need arose, you could finish, but this time with more enthusiasm, born from need.

Whichever decision you make, think it through, and have the courage to pursue it.

Edited by MarkWahlberg

No, that... that's pretty much just how the last stretch feels for a lot of people. Most people, probably. This isn't you doing something wrong, this is life being a bitch sometimes.

Here's Zaeed and Shepard in funny hats to make your day better

Edited by Tireyo

Been there. Hang in there, and continuing on with it all is the best thing you can do. Just remember that if you decide to take a break (not advisable as you may not go back and finish, like many people don't when they do take a break), then have a job lined up before you take your break. Before you graduate, look extra early for jobs and opportunities and apply for a job that is understanding to your college hours. I'm one of the stupid ones that didn't have a job lined up before I graduated with a Bachelor's in Business, and here I am 6 months (almost 7) later still with no job.

You can do it, and good luck. =-)

Also, you're not ever lonely because you have us here on GB. If you have your doubts about that, then PM me so we can just chat! I'm always up for one as I have no real life friends.

Edited by HerbieBug

Take a semester off if you can afford to. It will help. Also, see about living off campus.

Posted by MB

Don't drop out dude. If you think college fatigue is bad, that's nothing compared to dead-end low-paying shitty job fatigue.

Moderator Online
Posted by Everyones_A_Critic

Are you majoring in something that'll get you a job? If so stick with it. Go to parties and make friends. You seem to have enough work on your plate already, but if you're broke and have down time, maybe get a job on campus? Having booze money for the weekends is key.

Online
Edited by chiablo

The last year of school is the worst.

I can't tell you how many times I wanted to murder everyone around me in my Bachelor's capstone project. And having an "Ethics" course two semesters before graduation resulted in several sarcastic papers which really got in the nerves of my instructor. But when it's all over, you'll wonder what to do with all the free time you suddenly have.

Posted by SSully

@max_cherry: Thanks so much.

@humanity said:

@wolverine said:

My story is a fairly common one. I didn't try my best in high school, ended up going to community college for two and a half years before transferring to a state school. This is my second semester living on campus and I'm about forty credits away from graduating.

I'm beat...

At community college I thrived. It was my second chance. I had some amazing professors, I established meaningful friendships, and I learned a lot about myself. I don't feel like I'm getting much out of my experience here. My dorm room feels like a jail cell at times. I'm surrounded by acquaintances. I'm broke and lonely.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm contemplating dropping out, but I really don't know what I'd do with my life.

I don't want to be a downer, but I felt likewise at the end of my degree. I was tired of tests and the routine. I was tired of passing arbitrary classes to fulfill my major's credit requirements. Honestly I couldn't wait for College to be over and to be able to just work full-time. Then school did end, and all of a sudden there was never any time to see any friends as everyone was busy working. You didn't get to see them in class anymore, or have social interactions with people in your classes. Work wasn't much better than school and worse in several ways. It just turned from one race into another.

That's not to say I'm unhappy at my job. It's fine, pays decent and isn't too stressful. I get to do more or less something I enjoy - thats a big plus in any job. But the feeling of being trapped in some cycle never really goes away. Dropping out now won't really solve anything because you can't just "drop out" of work later in life when you have serious bills to pay and not earning that money simply isn't an option. I think you just have to learn to deal with it in a way, finding something in your life to look forward to each day and concentrating on that.

After all, you're the motherfucking Wolverine man.

@defe said:

I'd stand with the others in saying that dropping out seems inadvisable. That being said, it sounds like you're exactly the same age as me, so I have about as much life experience as you do. However, I've been at the same school for 3 years. My first year here was easily the worst of my life, but each year has been a bit better than the last. I can certainly understand the "surrounded by acquaintances" comment. That was largely how I felt for my first 2 years, and to some extent still do. In high school it was easy to get pretty cozy being surrounded by people who I had known since early childhood. My relationships in college felt shallow and uninteresting by comparison. In that respect my story isn't terribly inspirational, as my solution was to dig my heels in and cling to a few high school friends, largely ignoring most people here. I suppose everyone handles it differently. And even with what an incredible shitshow much of college has been, nobody can take that education from me, and I'm preparing for my future. There's no avoiding the fact that we'll need to support ourselves financially some day, so the best thing to do is keep on trucking. No matter how good or bad college is, it's over in a few years. I honestly have no idea what to say about being broke. I'm blessed enough to be financially supported by my father, so I can't offer advice there aside from the generic stuff you've probably heard repeated ad nauseum already. Best of luck.

You see, sticking the rest of it out would seem logical if a degree would lead me to a solid career, but I'm an English major. I want to write fiction and the classes I'm being forced to take aren't helping me get better at my craft.

If I dropped out and moved back into my parent's house I could get a full time job, read what I want, and continue writing fiction. I'd be in the same position if I wait to get a degree two years from now, except maybe I could work for a university. The pay wouldn't be much better though unless I went and got further schooling.

Trust me in that it would not work out as nicely as you think. Work would get in the way, you wouldn't feel like reading/writing when you did have free time, and you would get lost in another cycle.

Finish school man. Even if you end up going with your above plan, at least you can try to get a job that will pay you to expand on your craft. Obviously you wont be making bank, but you wouldn't expect that if you are an aspiring writer.

Edited by Flappy

School sucks.

You can do it. I believe in your ability to overcome life's bullshit.

Posted by razzdrazz

I know exactly how you feel. I also didn't move away after high school and went to community college for 2 years before transferring into an insanely hard research university. Don't drop out. While it might be agonizing right now, you'll definitely be grateful for the experience later on in your life. I'd also argue that dropping out to move back home and work full time is not a great way to build your CV/portfolio. Join (or found) a writer's club, get involved in extracurriculars, get a job at the school newspaper, submit your fiction to some English journals! The best advice I can give, as someone who went through a similar situation (poor job market for field/cost-benefit analysis for an undergraduate degree), is to maximize the opportunities you have while you're still in school. Those opportunities are there. It's easy to get lost in the crowd when attending a large public university, but you can still get involved in some great activities with some great people that you never would have met otherwise. Good luck- hope your writing career eventually pans out!

Edited by Video_Game_King

Maybe the focus on a job is the wrong focus here? Perhaps he should focus on self-fulfillment rather than monetary gains?

Just my two cents.

Posted by Ben_H

Yeah, sounds about right. I'm getting burned out from school too. I thought I only had one assignment left but now I have three things due on around the last day of class, including two huge programming assignments we just got on Friday, and then I have my first final two days later. I thought I would finally get a break but it just has not happened.

It sucks but you just have to stick through it. I'm doing a couple classes I absolutely hate right now (I'm in third year) but I know when I finish I will have a job I like (most of the comp sci majors at my university graduate with a job lined up already).

For me it is more frustrating profs that make me hate school. I can handle the assignments, but when they don't answer questions or act snarky when I ask them things after class it makes it really hard to care about their class when it is clear that they do not. Also, when it is clear they put no effort into their lecture, or that they are just recycling an old one (this is especially bad in comp sic because of how much things change at times). One particular prof this term teaches me two different classes and it is clear he does not care about either of the classes or students. Being fully aware that we have a gigantic assignment due the second last day of classes, he had the gall to assign us another equally large assignment due the next day, and a math assignment also due that day. I'm glad I booked this weekend off work or I would be completely screwed. It'll still be tough to finish given I have other stuff due this week I have to finish first, but I'll manage.

So I will be skipping all his classes this week, staying home, and doing the assignments. I'll probably learn more this way anyway.

Posted by natetodamax

I'm in a similar situation, especially in that I am (perhaps selfishly) completely dissatisfied with my university. But hey, at least you don't have to live on the same flood as your ex. Whoops!

Edited by MentalDisruption

You should ask yourself if dropping out would really solve anything. Would it help you feel any more fulfilled? If you want to get better at what you want to be your craft then work on that. You can write and develop the skill you want to develop on your own while still finishing the requirements you have to make for a degree. For example, I'm an IT major because I like computers and it'll be a decent job, but I spend a lot of my free time developing skills in drawing and doing graphical design because that's the craft that really makes me fill better about myself. I don't want to assume, but surely you must have time to yourself that you could dedicate to writing what you want to write?

That's just my opinion though. I feel like I get stuck in a rut sometimes too, but its not my biggest problem. Thing that burns me out most in college is when I get professors that don't click well with me. If I can't like or respect the professor then my motivation just gets shot, but if I do then I'm one of the best students in the class. Makes for some weird classes.

Posted by Fallen189

Maybe the focus on a job is the wrong focus here? Perhaps he should focus on self-fulfillment rather than monetary gains?

Just my two cents.

That's not how real life works. It's a quaint idea to "Do what you want and follow your dreams", but money makes the world go around, and when you look after yourself as an adult, you need money. That's life.

Posted by Video_Game_King
Edited by Fallen189
Edited by Video_Game_King

@fallen189:

Money should not be an end, but a means to an end. To focus on it alone is to miss out on so much.

Posted by csl316

It'll be over soon. I hit college fatigue early in my third year (luckily I graduated in 3). Then I went to grad school for another 18 months like a sucker.

Once you finish... man, it's a great feeling that doesn't stop.

Posted by BelligerentEngine

Living is cheap if you don't have kids and/or any serious(video games don't count) addictions you need to fund, just keep your jimmy hat on and/or stay on the pill and power through shits pretty easy without dependents. If you really want to whole traditional home owner platonic family by 30ish type thing get ready for a fucking grind though. I'd say finish your degree it's sort of meaningful(You could get a job as a junior editor or something) and it won't get easier going forward.

Also if your parents paid for it, not you, then ask them honestly what their expectations are(What both of them have to say, not just the happy go lucky one). Bottom line don't disrespect something they spent years of their life working for. I'm sure you know this but writing fiction is a hobby till you start getting paid not a profession. Work is often much more monotonous than school, the grass will just always look greener from the other side.

Posted by Korwin

Don't worry soon enough you'll have a job and you can feel this way every single day for the next 40 years, minus the broke bit hopefully.

Edited by senrat

I havent hit the tough part of my Electical Engineering major and im a bit anxious and worried. My motivation for sticking with it is the knowledge that I will be making loads of money and have a secure future for the rest of my life. When I think about it in the context of "the rest of my life" I sit my ass down and do 6 hours of work straight. I have no shame about admitting that my interests, cars and technology, will require loads of money to enjoy.