Every other first-year college student does not graduate in four years. That means that half of the people you meet during your first semester will not be there at the graduation ceremony. Some may run out of money or scholarship funds, others leave for greener pastures of paid work, but a major part of your peers become disappointed in their choice and leave school never to return.
If you feel like college is the wrong choice for you, but are afraid to admit it even to yourself, read on. You will learn why your doubts are justified and what you can do about them.
Reasons for College Disappointment
Your reasons will never be like someone else’s because no two lives are the same. However, there are common themes among the complaints by the disillusioned and tell-all posts I’ve read. Do you recognize yourself in any of these stories?
- I never knew what I wanted to do and switched between majors three times already. Few 18-year-olds are sure about their future career and life plans, and asking them to commit to one major leads to disappointment, lost time, and wasted money.
- I was a straight-A student in high school, but I can barely get Cs in college. Grading systems differ across the country, and you can quickly become discouraged when your best efforts produce mediocre results.
- The professors teach nothing but theory when what I want are practical skills. Many subjects might seem outdated and irrelevant, especially in highly dynamic fields, such as Software Engineering, Data Science, Marketing, and more. You might get more useful information from free online courses than you do in school.
- I wanted to make lifelong friends in college but, instead, feel more isolated than ever. The higher the school’s standards, the more motivated students are, but the less interested in socializing. College can quickly become a depressing experience if you have no one to share it with.
These are just a few examples of why your peers become disappointed in the college experience. However, your reasons might be more personal, such as homesickness, anxiety, or depression. Whatever you feel, remember that your emotions are 100% justified, and no one can tell you what to feel. However, there are productive and unproductive ways to process your feelings and acting on them. Let’s talk about what you can do about your disillusionment.
What Can You Do About Disappointment in College?
Whichever course of action you choose, the first thing on your to-do list should be acceptance. Admit that college has turned into a disappointment and that it is a problem that needs to be addressed. The longer you deny reality, the less chance of improving the situation is left.
With your admission in mind, use one or more of these strategies to resolve the crisis:
- Talk to the campus therapist and your academic advisor about your feelings and ask for advice. The former will suggest self-help measures to alleviate your emotional turmoil. The latter will offer solutions to deal with your academic disappointment, up to and including taking a gap year, switching your major, or taking a semester abroad.
- Find on-campus help groups for students like you. You don’t need to join a 12-step program, but talking about your struggles and listening to others going through the same things will put your disappointment in perspective and help you accept that college experience is different for everyone.
- Find a reliable company that offers college homework help. Professional writers will take over your papers and free up your time. You might enjoy college much more if you are not glued to your laptop and books 24/7 without a chance to enjoy parties, sports events, and more.
Have you already beaten college disappointment? If so, share your secret to help fellow students struggling under strain. But if you are still in the middle of an existential crisis, do not lose hope. Remember that you are not alone and give our advice a try.