Saturday, May 26, 2012

How to Tell your Parent(s) you dropped out of college

I admit I sneakily dropped out of college, before my Mother found out, because I really didn't want to make her feel that I wasted my time at college. I absolutely think I didn't waste any of my time while I was in college, just to drop out. College developed my writing, reading, social skills, as well as enhanced analytical nature. I met a lot of great people, and learned from great professors while I was in college, so I have no regrets.

But anyway, I felt uncomfortable telling my Mother to her in person. So, I texted my Mother that I had dropped out while I was hanging with friends for the weekend. My intention was to let her cool off while I was away, and allow her time to think about what I said, which was: I have my own plans, I'll take care of the house, siblings, while growing food and taking care of [my grandparents.]

To be clear, I chose to drop out because I got exactly what I needed to know out of college, which was: you're not doing what you love, and become self reliant by growing food and live in the woods. My epiphany brought my partner and I closer together, as well. We finally crossed paths on our goals, and it was thanks to a documentary called "Confronting Collapse: The Crisis of Energy And Money in a Post Peak Oil World."

When I watched that documentary, my partner and I immediately started drawing up garden plans and tools we needed. Although your dream may not be anything like mine; you can still make a decent wage if you live simply, and have your own marketing scheme without getting a degree. But this post isn't about why you have dropped out: it is about how to communicate to parents, that may be close-minded about your decision to drop out of school. Also, I have a blog post "Is college the right path for you?" that addresses a more pressing issue with college education, which may help you in your argument.

First of all, whether you tell your parent(s) face-to-face or through a social media to tell them about your decision to drop out of school, you need to give them a basic plan of what you want to do INSTEAD of college. 

1. Assure your parent(s) that you have thought about dropping out of school for a couple of months, so it seems that you have devoted a lot of time in this decision. Timothy Leary (from Flashbacks, 1983) wrote: "Drop out suggested an elective, selective, graceful process of detachment from involuntary or unconscious commitments. 'Drop Out' meant self-reliance, a discovery of one's singularity, a commitment to mobility, choice, and change."

2. Address an alternative plan that gives them some relief. Before you drop out, it would be great if you put a resume/job application somewhere, and received a job. This is so that (if you need time to think about your future), you can assure your parent(s) that you already have a job and you start working very soon. Or if you absolutely do not want to work, or cannot find a job at the time you told your parent(s) about your decision, let them know you are going to help them around the house with chores (i.e. work as their house-maid, and do not ask for money in return.) Although it's not ideal, doing the laundry, washing dishes, cooking dinner, and mowing the lawn for your parent(s) is better than nothing!

3. Mention that you are really sorry for the disappointment or anger they may feel. Tell them that it makes you feel worse than it does them because you have hit a crosswords. Also say that you can stay with friends or other family till  they cool off.

I used these three points to let my Mom know of my decision. She didn't speak to me for about 4 days, but after the 7th day she had lightened up because I was doing what I told her I was going to do (which was help my siblings with homework, chores, and work on my garden.) Honestly, I think my Mom prefers me helping her as her little helper, rather than a moody, stressed-out college student that was never home. Funny, huh?

Keep in mind, the world as well as your life may be shaped my luck or consequence, but the world works how it should. Everything works out how it should. Be patient, confident, and happy with your decision. Do not let dropping out of school define who you are. You are not a drop-out -- you are an individual that has other expectations and desires which has lead to your decision of dropping out of school.

1 comment:

  1. This is something so many students ask for help with (breaking the news to their parents), however there is almost no information online regarding this. Thanks for your posting. I run a blog entitled "Academics Can Kill Your Sanity" and I posted regarding this topic just today (How to tell your parents you plan on quitting college/university) for the fact that so many are desperate for advice and answers and there is unfortunately very limited information or guidance online. Good Job. Debbie Vermaak Nel.