“What to do after dropping out of college?”, this is something I asked myself a few years back.
I went to two different colleges and worked full-time in between, so I’ve experienced all sides.
I did end up finishing college the second time around, but what I do now has nothing to do with my qualifications.
Some may say that my time at college was a waste and that’s fair enough! I’m not here to judge anyone, I still feel like I learnt a lot from the experience and it felt right at the time, so there we go.
If you’ve dropped out of college, you’ll get no judgement here.
If some of the most successful people on the planet can lead a successful life after dropping out, why can’t you?
I think it’s essential to have big dreams and ambitions if college doesn’t feel right to you I’d say that’s fair enough!
*A word of warning: I’m not you, and I don’t know your situation. When it comes to college and your life, you will need to make the decision that’s right for you; I can’t help with that. All I want to do is share my thoughts as I’ve been through something similar*.
It’s important to consider what it truly means to drop out of college and what life will be like I’d always encourage you to make a plan.
In this guide, I will take you through a few considerations to help you consider your next move.
How Does Dropping Out of College Affect Your Life?
There are so many things to consider before dropping out of college. What will my family think? What kind of job opportunities awaits me? What will life be like after dropping out of university?
Some people may tell you that a college degree is just an expensive piece of paper, but it does have its benefits., particularly in the job market.
Before you consider dropping out, it’s important to prepare yourself mentally and develop realistic expectations about how your life will change because it is going to change.
If you are lucky enough to rely on family for support, you will have more time to figure out what you want to do next without the added stress.
In my opinion, the sooner you can stand on your own two feet and look after yourself financially, the better you’ll feel.
If you know that your family will be disappointed, prepare yourself to deal with that and still take decisive action to get your life on track.
Life after dropping out of college won’t be smooth sailing, but you can turn a major decision into a positive life change with the right plan in place.
You do need a plan though!
Is Dropping Out of College a Good Idea?
So, what are the signs you should drop out of college? How do you know whether it’s a good idea?
The reality is this – less than two-thirds of Americans who enroll in a four-year degree graduate with that piece of paper.
Thirty percent of students end up dropping out within the first year.
Many people find themselves in difficult situations after dropping out of college. Not only do some of them walk away in debt with no qualification, but others also find themselves struggling to find a job that will pay all the bills.
Deciding whether this is a good choice for you depends on your unique situation.
Some of the most common reasons why students choose to drop out of university include:
- An inability to secure financial aid or pay for their education.
- Unpreparedness for the work involved in obtaining a degree.
- Taking a path they weren’t sure about or one that family or friends recommended.
- Work and family commitments that make studying too overwhelming.
- Failing college courses.
- They lack guidance from college staff or a poor learning environment.
If the reasons you’re considering dropping out are in your control, you may want to reconsider.
However, if you feel that dropping out is the only way to start building a life you are truly happy with, keep reading.
What Jobs Can You Get If You Drop Out?
There are a few career paths that are easier to pursue if you only have a high school diploma, there are far more than the ones I’ll list but here are a few ideas.
- Administration. Office and administrative staff are tasked with keeping an office running smoothly. No special skills are required, but the competition can be fierce, which means you might be searching for a job for longer.
- Sales. If you are good with people and don’t mind an audience, you could also consider a career in sales. It’s one of those skills you can hone over time. Organizations across various industries require sales reps – you would need to decide on a sector that appeals to you.
- Construction. Finding a job in construction is possible but expect the salary to be reasonably low in the beginning. If you can work your way up to a construction management level, the pay gets a lot more attractive. You may also need to take a course or two.
- Food Services. There are many opportunities available in food services, but be prepared to work nights and weekends possibly. Salaries also get better once you can work your way up to a managerial level.
- Home Health Assistance. If you want to make a difference in people’s lives and have good interpersonal skills, home health aide jobs are an option. While the pay is fair, many people do it for the rewarding feeling that comes with it.
- Entrepreneurship. Starting a business has become one of the more popular choices among those who decide to leave university. Mostly because it’s one of those endeavors you can take in any direction, provided you have some capital available. This is precisely what I did, and I will detail how I started my Amazon business shortly.
Starting a Business After Dropping Out of College
While my situation was a bit different when I decided to start a business, I feel that wanting to drop out of college brings up similar feelings to being stuck in a job you don’t like.
When I started my business, I was still in college and worked full time with every hour I had spare.
I didn’t have everything figured out when I decided to leave my job and start an Amazon business, but I was determined to never work for someone else again.
From there, I developed a plan that allowed me to become an entrepreneur while still taking care of my usual family and financial responsibilities.
If you want to start a business, you will probably want to save up some money to help you kick start the venture.
We started our business with around $2000 between the three of us.
It’s essential to be realistic when starting a business. You will need to structure your days, have some capital, and possibly, a second source of income until you can turn a profit.
I highly recommend you read my guide on starting a part-time Amazon business to get an idea of what you can expect and how much money you must set aside before transitioning to life as a full-time entrepreneur.
Here is a video you might find useful, in this I explain how I would start an Amazon business even if I only had $1000.
How to Drop Out of College and Still Be Successful
The decision to drop out of college is a big one and naturally, you still want to be successful, so where do you start?
Here are some of my tips; these are things I learned along the way once I left my job.
- Take control. Once you decide to drop out of college, see this as an empowering move, one that allows you to take control of your life. Make some concrete plans and work towards your goals gradually. You don’t need to achieve everything in a week.
- Don’t stop learning. Just because you are no longer a college student doesn’t mean you should stop learning. There are so many seminars and online courses available. Once you decide what you are passionate about and the career you want to pursue, start learning, and keep learning even after becoming successful.
- Find your community. If you decide to start a business, turn to your peers to guide and assist you. You want to surround yourself with people on the same journey – it makes things much more manageable.
- Meet your responsibilities. Chances are, you will still have duties once you leave university – don’t ditch them. Be consistent in everything you do as it will serve you well now and in the future. This might mean working on a full or part-time basis until you can start a business.
- Stay humble. Overnight success stories are few and far between. And while they are not impossible, it’s best to stay modest and realistic. Chances are, you will need to work from the bottom up, so embrace this fact.
Don’t under-estimated the value of a college degree. However, if you know that this is not the right path for you, look at your options and make a decision that will bring you success and joy.
Dropping out of college is liberating and exciting but prepared to work hard and be met with disappointments along the way.
Above all else, have a plan!
To your success!