Probably going to drop out of college

Page 1 of 2 [ 18 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

calciume
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 6 Nov 2023
Gender: Male
Posts: 27
Location: United States

28 Nov 2023, 5:08 am

Hi all,
I'm in my first year of college and I think I'm already probably going to end up dropping out. I majored in computer science and I've found myself completely burnt out for the past month or so. I feel frustrated because I was not made aware I would be spending more time doing work for subjects I have zero interest in rather than the actual computer courses I want to do. Even then with the computer courses I'm subjected to hours of mindless online work. It makes me wonder if this college was better before Covid. It has a very good reputation but I've found very little good to say about it. I feel horrible dropping out because my aunt paid for my courses. At least if I messed up with my own money I'd feel less bad.
The burnout I feel is not helped by me having a part time job and issues with my car that I spend time dealing with. It doesn't help my stress levels that if my car breaks down (which it could at any time in this shape) I am completely screwed because I live in a car dependent s**thole. I feel like any free time I have I just want to relax instead of doing all the college work piling up. Without that free time I feel like I would actually lose it. Not like I am all that motivated with how bad the burnout is. This is just purely me ranting I don't know what to do with myself lol.



Mountain Goat
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 13 May 2019
Gender: Male
Posts: 14,202
Location: .

28 Nov 2023, 6:36 am

If it is not doing you any good, is there another avenue you can take that will be more practical for you?


_________________
.


MaxE
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 2 Sep 2013
Gender: Male
Posts: 5,272
Location: Mid-Atlantic US

28 Nov 2023, 6:44 am

Before quitting entirely, try taking a lighter course load for the next semester. But yeah, American colleges suck for making students take subjects unrelated to their major before granting a degree. This strongly implies that your secondary school education was lacking. Are there any subjects you can test out of?


_________________
My WP story


DuckHairback
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 27 Jan 2021
Age: 44
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,206
Location: Dorset

28 Nov 2023, 6:47 am

Can you pause your studies? Take a year out and pick them up later?


_________________
"No way, you forgot what a bird sounds like? No wonder you're depressed." - Jake the Dog


MatchboxVagabond
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 26 Mar 2023
Age: 43
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,207

28 Nov 2023, 9:17 am

MaxE wrote:
Before quitting entirely, try taking a lighter course load for the next semester. But yeah, American colleges suck for making students take subjects unrelated to their major before granting a degree. This strongly implies that your secondary school education was lacking. Are there any subjects you can test out of?

That's because our colleges don't want to churn out ignorant graduates. Very, very few people these days work in fields where being ignorant of other areas of studies is OK. If people don't want or need that, we usually have trade schools that are just core curriculum without the breadth requirements.

What I would say in terms of this case would be that taking a lighter load may be necessary, there's also a bunch of accommodations possible if there's a diagnosis. (Sadly, getting accommodations requires a specific diagnosis and the college may have staffed that department with incompetent people that don't know what to suggest)

I'll be finishing my latest degree this week, and I've become very much aware of all the points that I've been losing due to not having the same understanding of what's being asked as the teacher or other students. I thought it was just me being careless. But, I have been able to get some of those points restored by talking to the teacher about it.
DuckHairback wrote:
Can you pause your studies? Take a year out and pick them up later?

A year may be a bit long, but if we're talking about burnout of this severity, a semester or year off may be required to allow the body to go back to proper functioning.



BTDT
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Jul 2010
Age: 60
Gender: Female
Posts: 7,120

28 Nov 2023, 10:08 am

If went back and did it over I think I would take fewer engineering courses, as I took four extra credits at an Ivy League school. I had those credits from Advanced Placement in Physics and taking the math exam they offered to new students.
Would have been better to take some interesting courses from the top academic experts while I had the chance. Maybe an anthropology course.



calciume
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 6 Nov 2023
Gender: Male
Posts: 27
Location: United States

28 Nov 2023, 11:32 am

MaxE wrote:
Before quitting entirely, try taking a lighter course load for the next semester. But yeah, American colleges suck for making students take subjects unrelated to their major before granting a degree. This strongly implies that your secondary school education was lacking. Are there any subjects you can test out of?


My high school education is lacking but the unrelated subjects are things that are part of the major that everyone has to take. They currently are English Communications and Psychology. English Communications alone is roughly 3x more work than all my other courses combined which just feels horribly unbalanced as a CS student. Its also a poorly planned online class with not even a scheduled meet time. Its extremely hard to remain motivated with that type of structure, at least for me.



Weight Of Memory
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

Joined: 16 Jun 2023
Gender: Male
Posts: 317
Location: Florida

28 Nov 2023, 3:54 pm

Communication and Psychology are important things for anyone to understand.

Sounds like the problem might be a poorly structured and/or poorly led course. Those unfortunately happen.

If you need more structure online courses are probably not a good idea.

Consider taking general education courses at a local community college. Classes are usually smaller, easier, and cheaper than at a university. Just be sure the credits will transfer.

Being a full-time student is a full-time job, especially if you're really trying to do well in every class and learn something. People sometimes work in addition to that, usually out of necessity, but it's a recipe for burnout and poor grades. If you need to work consider cutting back on your course load, as others suggest.



Double Retired
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 31 Jul 2020
Age: 69
Gender: Male
Posts: 5,232
Location: U.S.A.         (Mid-Atlantic)

28 Nov 2023, 4:23 pm

Fewer simultaneous classes at a time might help, though it would slow progress toward graduation.

When I went to college it was on a quarter system, not a semester system. We still needed the same number of credits at the end to graduate but could take fewer courses at a time and concentrate on each of them more.


_________________
When diagnosed I bought champagne!
I finally knew why people were strange.


cyberdad
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Feb 2011
Age: 56
Gender: Male
Posts: 34,284

28 Nov 2023, 4:58 pm

calciume wrote:
My high school education is lacking but the unrelated subjects are things that are part of the major that everyone has to take. They currently are English Communications and Psychology. English Communications alone is roughly 3x more work than all my other courses combined which just feels horribly unbalanced as a CS student. Its also a poorly planned online class with not even a scheduled meet time. Its extremely hard to remain motivated with that type of structure, at least for me.


Normally UG units in first year will specify if they have prerequisites. Does communication and psychology require prerequisites? if not then the unit/subject coordinators will scaffold the learning so as to bring you up to speed. One of the challenges in first year is the speed you are required to keep up as the content is > highschool



cyberdad
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Feb 2011
Age: 56
Gender: Male
Posts: 34,284

28 Nov 2023, 5:14 pm

Weight Of Memory wrote:
Sounds like the problem might be a poorly structured and/or poorly led course.


I am not sure we can jump to that conclusion based on the testimony of one student?

MaxE wrote:
But yeah, American colleges suck for making students take subjects unrelated to their major before granting a degree.


There is interesting tug of war that goes on in higher education. The classic Oxford/Cambridge model puports that a student should be "well rounded" and be capable of critical thinking. Having a multidisciplinary background was preferred in the old days so it was normal for a math major to also take subjects in the classics like Latin, languages like French or history/philosophy.

Modern universities in 2023 take a more vocational approach where the degree should be directly attractive to employers and lead to students getting jobs in their field. While computer science is generally on this category, But! I can see how learning good communication and psychology knowledge can be beneficial as employers was graduates with good interpersonal skills > content knowledge....why? because companies often have to re-train their graduate employees after recruitment.

I would take the view that mastering subjects like communication and psychology is a sign the student is resilient and open to learning new things and capable of demonstrating good interpersonal skills and high levels of emotional intelligence.



bee33
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 19 Apr 2008
Age: 60
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,390

28 Nov 2023, 5:43 pm

I was in college a long time ago, so maybe things are different now. It was an Ivy League college and the reading assignments in particular, but other assignments too, were so onerous that they were impossible to complete in full. This was common knowledge and the students there, who were people who were academically savvy enough to get in in the first place, knew how to navigate the system: since there was no way to read or do everything, the required skill was figuring out what was essential and focusing on that. It was more important to write a really good paper that went into depth in a particular aspect of the subject than it was to try to read all the course material. And the tests would only cover certain things, so those were the things you made sure you knew. It took some finesse to figure out what the things on the test would be, but there were clues depending on what the professor seemed to emphasize the most. Maybe you need to work on that: figuring out what is important to focus on and allowing some of the rest to fall by the wayside.



SharonB
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Jul 2019
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,738

28 Nov 2023, 8:56 pm

(1) I dropped out (I also was working PT) ---and by golly, I was ready to go back a year later (I couldn't have said I would, but one day it clicked and I was sufficiently recovered) and I distributed my courses year round (took summer classes so fall and spring could be lighter). Come to find out my mom (ASD) had both dropped out also (and went back). We are all very high-achievers so this is about executive function, masking and burn out. BTW - I mostly did jigsaw puzzles that year I was off. Also - I just gave my niece (ASD) a substantial financial gift for her college - no strings attached. If she drops out, I'm completely ok with that. I want her to find a way, a place that works for her. My gift is to support her learning - and how to manage her life is the most important "learning".

(2) There are more non-college options these days. Apprenticeships, technical schools, etc. I have some cousins who have done VERY well that way. A good friend's child (ASD) dropped out of college a few years ago and was painting street curbs and now is well on his way to an HVAC license (or whatever the professional term is). Again, an overachiever --- one can paint their way into a future. (Despite an Ivy League degree, I found my career via a temporary job sorting software CDs into sleeves.)

Wishing you well in your recovery and adjustment for a sustainable pursuit.



Weight Of Memory
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

Joined: 16 Jun 2023
Gender: Male
Posts: 317
Location: Florida

28 Nov 2023, 10:12 pm

cyberdad wrote:
Weight Of Memory wrote:
Sounds like the problem might be a poorly structured and/or poorly led course.


I am not sure we can jump to that conclusion based on the testimony of one student?


That's why I said "might be."

I was specifically referring to the OP's comment about "a poorly planned online class with not even a scheduled meet time. Its extremely hard to remain motivated with that type of structure, at least for me."

In other words, the problem isn't really the subject, but the lack of structure and the instructor not making the subject interesting.

My university degree required three upper level classes withing my degree's college, but not within my degree's department. So I took three Political Science classes. One class had a professor change only a week or so before the semester started, technical issues with the online component, and an all-around ***show that resulted in a bunch of the students petitioning the university at the end of the semester. I managed an A, but it was a waste of my time and money, and not a good learning opportunity.



honeytoast
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Aug 2020
Age: 26
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,052
Location: 1Q84

28 Nov 2023, 10:15 pm

The first year of college is f*****g rough. I relate to your struggles deeply.

Despite that, I want to insist on you trying to continue to do the best you can. As others mentioned in their replies, see if you are able to get rides from friends/family, and if you are able to work fewer hours at your job. Work on your CS classes before starting the others. You're going to be more interested in completing those and they'll be out of the way so you don't have to worry about them when you work on the psychology/communication classes. Then work on the /easiest/ activity for those two.

Reaching out to your professors can also help. They are willing to work with you in order to succeed.


_________________
dear god, dear god, tinkle tinkle hoy.

~~~~

believe in the broken clock and who's side will time be on?


TikvaBall
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

Joined: 6 Nov 2023
Age: 37
Gender: Female
Posts: 91
Location: Tennessee

28 Nov 2023, 10:41 pm

I can relate. I've gone back to college after years, and the first semester is always hard, especially the end of the semester.