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Why Dropping Out of University Isn't as Good as It Seems

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Around 130,000 university students drop out each year. The reasons to leave the race are many, but also to resist and reach the goal. It is estimated that 30% of university students leave their career unfinished. These percentages are double that in the rest of European countries, with an average of 16%. The expense of abandonment is around 3,000 million euros; the personal cost can also be very high. Most students who drop out of school do not do so for a single cause, but for several reasons. Neither do the first-year students have the same motivations (or de-motivations in this case) as the more advanced ones, those of some degrees than those of others, in a favourable or adverse socio-familial situation, with a baggage of knowledge or without them. In the first year there are usually dropouts because the chosen career does not correspond to what was expected.

For example, one enrols in Information Sciences because he imagined doing sports interviews on TV, and when he sees that he has to study Law, Economics, History  he comes down. That is why it is very important to know, in as much detail as possible, what the path that leads to the dreamed goal will be. The chosen career also influences the abandonment.

Humanities, which supports a greater mass, has the highest dropout rates, followed by engineering. There are universities of very low quality, which do not provide the necessary means for their students to continue to obtain the degree to which they aspired. Before enrolling in a university, students would do well to know their dropout rate and compare it with the rest. The educational factors are those that have more weight in the abandonment of the studies, and that can lead to hanging the books in any course. Students feel lost in a university in which professors are manifestly bad, never finish the topics, overload them with a lot of work and studies for home, with few practices, lack of explanations, without offering help or guidance. If in addition the institution does not give a personalized treatment to the student, does not talk with him to see his concerns, does not gather his opinion about the classes or does not give him enough support, he is earning the abandonment. Studying is hard work that requires many hours a day. You also have to spend time on weekends and holidays. And the worst, right in the middle of spring, when it seems that the whole world is on the street, the weather is good and everything is reborn, the university student must face the most difficult exams.

There are students whose level upon arriving at the university is lower than what would be desirable and they feel unable to get hooked to the car in which everyone seems to be comfortably climbed. A good university will reach out to these students and even give them support to withstand the failures. It also happens that students go through stages of their development that lead them to change their minds. An 18-year-old will probably not have the same aspirations as when he is 22. Personality, relationships, personal development, the evolutionary moment make the goals change. We live in a dynamic world. What yesterday worked today no. Being competitive in the professional world is no longer based on having a career, a master’s degree and having graduated with honours.

We are many young people who do not find the right tools within the university. And that disturbs us. Today it is possible to earn a living and be a recognized professional without having attended university. In fact, many millionaires like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Michael Dell or Richard Branson abandoned their higher education. The social situation can be frankly un-motivating: Why so much effort if I am not going to get a job when it’s over? This leads some students to become discouraged when they look to the future, even in the last year, when they are about to graduate. It must be clear that if the opportunities are few for everyone, they will be even less without a degree. When we are in the university, every day we learn things that we cannot apply instantaneously to any of our projects. If you guide your learning towards your professional goals, the result of the game changes. You focus only on developing skills and knowledge that you can apply immediately in your personal endeavour, and when you bring this knowledge to practice in real life you get feedback that generates new questions. By solving these new concerns, you are nurturing your knowledge even more. All of us, at some point, have had and will want to abandon university studies. To resist and stay motivated, it is convenient to think that:

  • We should not throw away the effort already invested: in money, in time and, very importantly, in illusion
  • Do not give up on the possibility of a better job. The world of work is bad for everyone, but much worse for the less qualified. The opportunities are few and the competition very close
  • The work is hard and we have years of long hours, extra hours and stress ahead of us; so the smartest thing is to work on something that we like, and for that we have chosen our studies.
  • A university degree, generally, will allow us a better salary and achieve a higher economic level.
  • We have to consider what we will do if we leave it: what we will do, what will be the next step and what will happen in the future.
  • Instead of leaving school, you may be able to choose a career change, or slow down a bit and park some material to resume later.
  • To finish the university studies supposes a great personal satisfaction; abandoning them always tends to provoke feelings of failure, regret, discomfort
  • It is worth not throwing in the towel before time.

Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

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