I recently got a really tough question from a reader. This is a subject that can offend a lot of people.
I’m a junior in college going for a degree in accounting. I’m doing alright in school but I’m starting to realize how much I hate the subject. I originally picked it because I thought it would be a good job but now I just don’t think I’d want the job (even if it was good.) I think I made a mistake. I know you talk about how people shouldn’t go to college until they’re sure about it. Do you think I should be quitting in this situation?
The first thing you need to do is accept that this is no longer a decision based solely on your feelings. Yes. I don’t think any student should go to college if they’re not passionate (or highly interested) in the subject matter. That being said, you have already invested a ton of time and money into this. Now that you’ve invested in it, you need to look at the problem from a much more complicated perspective.
To start, I recommend looking at your situation from as logical a position as you can. You don’t have to decide based on the logic but it can help you understand where you’re truly at. Doing this should take a few minutes of research. I’ll do a sample to help you follow along. (Insert your own numbers. Different colleges require dramatically different numbers.)
Assume a student pays $30,000 a year for college. Assuming that student paid the college loans with debt then the student owes $60,000 by the time they’re in junior year. (Naturally, most students don’t have this much to worry about in debt but this is just an example.) That debt will need to get paid off somehow.
If a student drops out with 60k in debt then they probably couldn’t get as good a job as if they graduated. Lets be enthusiastic and say graduating would offer the student 60k a year in income and quitting would only offer the student 30k a year. Now assume the student is a virtual monk and lives on 20k a year in both scenarios and pays the rest of their money towards student loans.
If the student quits college, they’ll pay 10k a year for 6 years to pay off 60k in debt (excluding interest which would add a notable but, for our quick and dirty purposes, unimportant amount of time.)
If the student graduates they’ll pay 40k a year for 3 years to pay off 120k in debt (again with the previous disclaimer.) Naturally, you might want to add 2 years to that for the actual college time.
Notice the huge discrepancy. It will take ½ the time to pay off college if the student just graduates. These numbers aren’t perfect but they can help illustrate how important it is to stick it out when you’re most of the way through college.
College is an investment. I would have never recommended picking a college major before you’re 100% certain but after you’ve invested a large sum of money into the process, the decisions should be much more difficult.
If you actually run these numbers yourself you might be pleasantly surprised. If you don’t have much debt and aren’t going into a high salary career after graduation, it may look okay for you to quit. Sadly, with the way high schools and colleges push students into loans, this isn’t always the case.
If you found a career that you truly love and want to spend the rest of your life doing then, despite the costs, you might want to quit college and do it. That being said, if you aren’t absolutely 100% sure about what you want to do then quitting college when you’re already heavily invested can be a terribly risky choice.
You may not love accounting but accounting may be what can pay off your student loans faster. Not loving accounting is okay. The real question is whether or not you’d love doing anything in particular. Many college students quit college just to pay off their loans with a crappy minimum wage job they hate (just as much as they would have hated their potential career.) The years in that minimum wage job just end up taking away extra years of their life.
If you graduate and pay off your student loans with a good job then it will be much easier to never have to worry about accounting again. Many students quit college to do those crappy jobs just to go back to college when they realize how impractical not finishing their degree is.
I hate giving this advice but sometimes, after you make a bad decision, you’ve got to make up for it with some smart decisions. Ideally, this is a mistake that no one would have to suffer from. Hopefully you can take it as a lesson. Run your numbers and see what looks like the smarter way to proceed. I suggest you strongly consider finishing college even if you happened to really be struggling with it.
Of course, all this is personal. Only you know the information required to answer this question. I hope going through this process can help you make the right decision.
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I’m about 4 hours away from something big.
The story began a decade ago when I first started to share my study strategies with other students.
I had figured out the Holy Grail of academic optimization strategies – and every intermediate step to get to it. Using this strategy, I pulled a nearly 4.0 GPA while running a double course load in college – and once I started sharing it.
Droves of them.
And then teachers noticed.
Most of the teachers that were looking out for their student’s best interest got what I was saying and supported the cause. Others… well… not everyone has the student’s best interest at heart.
Early on (even before Smart Student Secrets,) I started writing for average students.
I knew… I was NEVER one of the “smart kids”. I was mediocre at best. And I knew, if these strategies worked for me then they could work for just about anybody. And that’s who I wanted to connect with.
But… There was a problem…
I built an audience giving these strategies away. Sure…
And I’d get messages from them. And we’d talk. And I’d hear their stories.
I’d hear from A+ students that cut their study time by 90%.
I’d hear from B students that took their grades up to A’s.
I’d hear from teachers that were sharing my strategies with their students.
I’d hear from older students how these strategies changed their life.
I love it. I love introducing these strategies that changed my life to other people.
But there was always this… but…
What about the C students?
What about the D students?
What about the students that are currently failing?
Sure… Some would reach out.. but…
They never followed through… They’d take a small step. They’d sign up. They’d learn some killer strategies. Seeing right there how powerful they were going to be…
And then… life kicks in. They lose sight of their goals.
And it’s gone.
Student’s came to this site to improve their life. They see the possibilities. But then… they move on.
In about 4 hours, I’m going to be introducing something – an email subscriber exclusive – that can help change that.
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If you’re ready to take your academic game to the next level – if you want to see it for yourself.
Write your email in the box. Check the confirmation you want emails. Confirm your email. And see for yourself.