When to Take a Break from Pursuing Your College Degree

While dropping out of high school is definitely bad, dropping out of college is not the same and doesn’t have to be permanent. Sometimes taking a break from your post-secondary education may be the practical choice both for your career and your financial health. If you’re thinking about halting your college education, consider a few important points:

Lack of Career Goals

Most people go to college in order to prepare for a career. If you have no idea of what type of career to pursue, then college can be a waste of time and money. Career testing and counseling can help point you to the best careers based on interests, personality, values, and aptitudes. Although career planning resources can help guide you in choosing a career, they can’t make the choice for you. Rather than plunging on in a major that you aren’t sure about, consider taking time to think about your career goals. Working in the “real world” can also be useful because it helps you discover your true career interests and values, even if the job isn’t ideal.

No Motivation or Interest

If you’ve taken several classes and have no motivation to do well or interest in anything you’ve studied, college may not be the best choice for you right now. Even the best students struggle with motivation and boredom to some extent, but you can’t make it in college without some drive to achieve. Take time to work and research careers. By learning more about your career interests and goals, you’ll also understand how college will benefit you. As a result, you’ll be more motivated to successfully complete a degree.

Financial Problems

Spending money on classes or a degree you won’t use is not smart, especially with the cost of college today. Quitting school in order to save money and choose the best degree path may prevent significant financial burdens. Students today are told to go to college at any cost, and sometimes end up in worse financial shape than their peers who didn’t attend college. It’s important to minimize loans and maximize degree payoff. Time in the workforce can be a valuable career planning tool, and may allow you to save for tuition.

Before making a final decision about leaving school, talk with an academic advisor or guidance counselor. Once you leave, it’s harder to return so be sure that your reasoning is solid. For help choosing a career for your personality, read Career Match: Connecting Who You Are with What You’ll Love to Do