When is it okay to give up on college?

Jump to Last Post 1-19 of 19 discussions (32 posts)
  1. peeples profile image91
    peeplesposted 7 years ago

    When is it okay to give up on college?

    I started back college a couple months ago. Life has been more hectic than usual since starting to include both my husband and I ending up in the hospital, car issues, sick kids, buying a house, and taking over rental property (all in the last 2 months). I am overwhelmed and want to give up on school, but feel like I am stuck continuing even though I don't want to. Is there a time when it is just okay to say I can't do this right now? I don't want my kids to get the wrong message.

  2. profile image0
    Lybrahposted 7 years ago

    Stick with it.  You will be glad you did, years from now.

    1. gmwilliams profile image86
      gmwilliamsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      This is THE BEST answer BY FAR!

  3. connorj profile image72
    connorjposted 7 years ago


    There is always an ideal time to "temporarily" give up on college. It should be noted that you can miss (I believe) 2 consecutive semesters without being kicked out of your program of study. Keep in mind some very successful people never finished college (i.e. Steve Jobs).
    Sometimes it becomes easier to start/finish college in your late 20s or 30s or 40s or 50s. Many have and many will. I didn't finish graduate school until I was in my late 30s...

    1. peeples profile image91
      peeplesposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I'm in my early 30's now. I think a temp hold until all my children are in school may be a benefit now. Thanks.

    2. connorj profile image72
      connorjposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Yes a wise move indeed; no worries...

  4. LongTimeMother profile image91
    LongTimeMotherposted 7 years ago

    Hmmm .... let me think. Stick with college if my world is in turmoil and my health is suffering and my brain is fried and I'm under constant pressure to cope with unavoidable issues that need to be addressed ... or put college on hold until I can return to it and enjoy the study and do well in the exams? I'd put college on hold.

    There's nothing wrong with the message that would send your children. Sometimes we have to make a choice between what we'd like to do, and what's best to do. Besides, good things are worth waiting for.

    As I recall, you already have one degree. Your kids know you can do it. This next degree is just an issue of timing.

    I saw the note about your husband having a heart attack, so this is a time when you should both be looking at ways to actively reduce stress. Seems to me your studies can wait. There's no point putting avoidable stress on yourself, so don't feel guilty about saying you can't do it right now.

    By the way, I just saw that you bought a house. Congratulations! Do fill us in when you have the time (but not at the expense of doing other important things - like occasionally putting your feet up and having a rest!)

    You continue to be a young woman whom I greatly respect. Good on you for trying to do everything, but you don't have to be superwoman. Your husband and kids love you for you. An extra college degree might make your life a little easier in the future if you change careers, but I encourage you to deal with your current obstacles first. That's a great example to set your children.

    All the best. smile

    1. peeples profile image91
      peeplesposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you LTM, I think I just have too much on my plate and I am being stretched too far. That isn't good for me or my family! Thanks for helping me see it is ok to put us first over my often unrealistic expectations of myself.

  5. danicole profile image71
    danicoleposted 7 years ago

    That's a decision you have to make on your own. I would say, if you started failing classes and neglecting school work, and when your home-life begins to suffer (like you find yourself not spending quality time with your kids, or you find yourself angry and snapping at family and friends when its really just frustration with school) maybe you should take time off. When I was in school, it was stressful and a lot of things happened, though I stuck it out. Even so, I don't have much responsibilities as you.

    I would suggest completing a semester and looking at other options (perhaps online classes, part-time, etc.) before completely giving up.
    What is your major? Are you full time? Part Time? Do you have a job outside of school? How many kids do you have? What ages? sorry for all these questions just trying to get a fuller picture of your situation.

    1. peeples profile image91
      peeplesposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I think either drastically reducing work load or putting school on hold may be best for me now. 3 kids 10, 8, 3, sick husband, hectic life, doesn't seem to be working well for full time school. Thank you!

  6. peachpurple profile image78
    peachpurpleposted 7 years ago

    Can you do part time study? When i had two kids, me and hubby went to college and work fulltime, then we change to part tume study, evening ,twice a week, took four years instead of two years to complete studies

    1. peeples profile image91
      peeplesposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Debating between going part time and quitting right now. Thanks!

  7. ReneeDC1979 profile image60
    ReneeDC1979posted 7 years ago

    Great questions - From personal experience, I was in the same position -felt stuck and needed more options so I went back to school. It is okay to say "I can't do this right now." You have to make sure it feels right, and you are up to the challenge. Yes, life will get in the way, but if it is something you want, you will not let things stop you. I worked full-time overnight and went to school full-time to finish my undergrad, and then I got my masters. This was after 8 years of not going to school. Was it difficult at times? Sure. But, sometimes the challenge was motivating to me. I say be patient - stick with it and think about decreasing your school schedule. Maybe take one class per semester and gradually increase your workload. Maybe the pressure won't be so overwhelming that way and you can continue to work towards your goal. If you stop for the moment, I wouldn't call it giving up on school. I would just say at this point in your life, it does not work with your schedule and you want to ensure you can fully dedicate time to your studies. Your children will appreciate that response.  Good luck either way and follow your heart.

    1. peeples profile image91
      peeplesposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks, I guess part of me is worried I will set a bad example for them. I want them to see that when life gets rough we keep going, but at this point I am taking time from them to do school.

  8. dashingscorpio profile image85
    dashingscorpioposted 7 years ago

    Life is a personal journey.
    Only you know how much stress you can handle and maintain a semblance of wellbeing. However you have to be completely honest with yourself.
    Are you really quitting because of how high the mountain is for you to climb? Are the courses you're taking seem especially challenging? Do you have second doubts about the major/field you've chosen for yourself with regard to the income you can expect to earn versus any acquired student debt?
    One solution if you've decided school is worth it is to simply take a lighter load of classes at this time.
    Only you know what's right for (you). Best wishes!

    1. peeples profile image91
      peeplesposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I really want to quit or reduce because I feel like it's making me put my family second. I am not use to having to put them second to anything. I just wonder if my need to put them first may actually be bad in this instance.

    2. dashingscorpio profile image85
      dashingscorpioposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      If your family loves you and supports your dreams they are willing to sacrifice some time and attention in the short run. No one wants to believe they kept someone from pursuing their dream. Just let them know there will be short term sacrifices.

  9. SilentMagenta profile image80
    SilentMagentaposted 7 years ago

    As a college student, you will deal with a lot of obstacles in college. Personal problems and school problem of which neither of them will be sympathetic to your problems. College is difficult but I would not suggested dropping out. I would try taking less classes if you're overwhelmed. Work hard for one more semester if it to much try online. If you want to achieve it, wanting it is the easy part. Spending nights without sleeping for Finals in the morning is the hard part. Keep your head up. It gets better.

  10. Old-Empresario profile image73
    Old-Empresarioposted 7 years ago

    Generally speaking, once you have kids, college is sort of improbable unless your spouse is in very high income bracket and your children are in school.
    I saw your question. Then I read your statement afterward. So it sounds like you're asking for personal advice. If you are almost done (one or two semesters), then go ahead and finish. Otherwise, I think it is probably a waste of time and money. It is true that adults tend to get more personally out of college than people from ages 18 to 22. But don't expect the job offers to come flying in once you graduate. I tell people all the time that college is not (and never has been) a trade school for entering the work force. It's simply a place to receive a good education. If you just want the diploma and having that means a lot to you, then maybe you could finish as long as you are not dragging your family along for the ride. Spending money is one thing, but time is what families need.
    My ex wife dropped out of college after going for 5 years. She later went back and, because she had partial custody of our son, it took her another 3 years to finish. After that, she couldn't get a good job anywhere because companies are all looking for experience. She had been out of the serious workforce for too long.
    I'll be honest. Finishing college is nice. But it is probably one of the most difficult and stressful roads one can take in their life.

  11. EdSaterstad profile image88
    EdSaterstadposted 7 years ago

    I would rarely suggest completely giving up on college. However, I think that the timing of going back to college is one of the most important aspects in making this decision.

    I first went to college right after graduating High School, mostly because I thought it was the logical step to take. I dropped out after a year of barely skating by, and went into the Navy. Four years later, I was really motivated to do well in college. I started with my associates, getting a degree with a 3.98 GPA. This put me in a much better position then I would have been if I forced myself to push through with my original attempt.

    My advise would be to first determine if your current situation will prevent you from getting the most out of your education. School is too expensive to not fully benefit from it. If you choose to leave, use it as an opportunity to teach your kids the importance of making sound decisions based on real-time factors. The message can be: when approaching a goal, you should allow yourself the opportunity to give it the attention it deserves. Their goal should not just be to go to college, but to achieve their full potential while pursuing an education. In my experience, this will set the stage for true success.

  12. profile image0
    AngelVoicesposted 7 years ago

    for me, i think the best time to give up college is when you look 10 years into your future and see that what you are learning from college now will not make your life better.

    you said that you have a family that you care for, and they also need you, but you did Not mention they are the reason you want to give up on school.

    as i understood, you just consider quitting because of doing a lot of stuff in a short time. then you feel stressed. i do not think this is good enough reason to quit on something you want for yourself.

    stress is normal and worth it, especially if you know you did or doing something that will make you and the people important to you happy.

    maybe you can quit if school stress does not make you feel good anymore.

  13. peeples profile image91
    peeplesposted 7 years ago

    Thanks all. I think I am just to a point of saying it can wait. As Longtimemother mentioned, this isn't my first degree I am working on. This isn't my first go around at college. I have done it before. I know people say that my family will understand why I have to take time away from them to do school work, but I am not okay with it under the circumstances. I don't like telling my 3 year old she has to wait for mommy to play with her because mommy is busy. My job is to be her mother. That is my first priority. I tried to pretend like I would be okay with sacrificing some of her time for the good of getting another degree. My husband had a heart attack last week. I think I have made up my mind at this point to take a break until my youngest is in school. My family is my priority, and I'd rather spend more time with them than add another degree for selfish reasoning. Thanks all! I guess I just needed think it out for a few days. Greatly appreciate all the answers!

    1. connorj profile image72
      connorjposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      OMG! I began college when I was 18 and now that I am 18 for the 3rd time I am still in college!

    2. danicole profile image71
      danicoleposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you for letting us know! I hope everything works out for you! Blessings to you and your family!!!!

    3. connorj profile image72
      connorjposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I am a professor...

    4. sweetpikez profile image79
      sweetpikezposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Sacrificing your wants for the benefit of your family is the greatest story I heard from a mother.  You know your status and best choice for your situation. People with good heart is rewarded. Our family is our best diploma at all times.

  14. jjackson786 profile image89
    jjackson786posted 7 years ago

    When it causes added stress in your life.

    If you decide to stop, consider taking a break. Many schools will permit you to take a semester or two off without penalty to your or your program. I have had to do this before thanks to a large quantity of family-related issues, but it prevents you from having to withdraw completely.

    Most importantly, don't assume that the rest of your college career will be as hectic and strenuous as it is now. Take some time to clear your head and your schedule before reevaluating.

  15. Fran Michaels profile image82
    Fran Michaelsposted 7 years ago

    It depends what you goals in life are. If you want a career that requires a college degree then try to stick it out. Or if you really just can't right now, pick it up again later, but be warned that it is much harder to go back later.

    If you are just going to college because you think that's what you should do, or is what is expected of you then I would say that it's okay to "give up" on college. But I wouldn't call it "giving up", just making a conscious decision about it.

  16. PMS9 profile image68
    PMS9posted 7 years ago

    Complete it what you have started up, Don't think about quieting, keep going on....

  17. Amy Dolo profile image58
    Amy Doloposted 7 years ago

    I believe it is okay to give up on college whenever you no longer see the purpose. The goal of college has always been a route to success and eventual financial stability and independence. So I believe if at any point we have jumped the line to financial stability college only becomes a futile activity and results in more harm than good especially if one already has a family as in your situation peeples. With the advent of technology and numerous education advancement opportunities on the internet for free in many cases I see no need for college. You can get whatever college would've given you on your own time and still be as successful as anyone else as I'm sure you already are. You will not necessarily be giving up in this instance as you are mainly changing your mind, that is okay, you are not a quitter you just need to put off certain controllable exploits for the time being. smile

  18. cebutouristspot profile image72
    cebutouristspotposted 7 years ago

    Is college is that important at these stage of your life?  If it is then you should find ways to make it happen. If its not then what is the sense of it all ?

    As a parent family comes first smile

  19. lafleurdeplume profile image61
    lafleurdeplumeposted 7 years ago

    The best advice I can offer is to make a pro vs. con list.  The truth of the matter is that advanced degrees do not necessarily translate into employment. 

    I spent 3 years (and $20k) going back to school for a second certification because I wanted hours that aligned more with my family once my children were funneled into the public school system.  After another 2 years of part time work in the field I've essentially been told I'm not going to be hired because I have TOO much education and am too expensive a candidate.

    Now, that said, there are many fields where this is not the case, so be sure to do your research as you make this list.  If you do decide to put school on hold, you don't need to justify the decision to anyone, especially your children.  Often the simplest explanation is also the best one: Right now I need to put my ambitions on hold because it's what is best for everyone in this family.  If school is something you are passionate about, you will circle back to it.  Good luck!


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)