Why Quitting Is Sometimes the Right Thing to Do


Walking Away

“Celebrate endings, for they precede new beginnings.” ~Jonathan Lockwood Huie

We often think of quitting as failure. We commend people for carrying on when times get rough. The heroes in our action movies don’t just give up when things get difficult. When was the last time you saw Steven Seagal walk away from a fight?

As the saying goes, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Society expects us to fight back and battle on.

But sometimes, quitting is most definitely the right thing to do.

Sometimes, it’s the best option. A lot of people assume that it’s the easy thing to do—that only defeatists and good-for-nothin’ drop outs would even consider such a “cop-out.” This is not the case.

I learned this myself when I finally made that looming decision to drop out of college. There it is: “drop out.” Even the words sound negative, as if I’ve fallen away from society, failing to meet my expectations. But I don’t see my decision as a negative thing at all, and it wasn't the easy thing to do.

I had been at college for a year and two months; I had great friends, and everything was happily laid out for me.

Nothing was too demanding, especially considering I had only nine contact hours a week. People told me where I had to be and when. This must all sound fairly straight-forward and easy going.

Why, then, would I decide to give it all up and leave?

As idyllic as this lifestyle sounds (and probably was), I simply felt no drive to live it. I had no desire to follow these laid out plans, and this was making me extremely unhappy. Going to college was, in hindsight, a bad decision for me.

I rushed into the decision rather than taking a break to find myself in the world.

College, for me, was a lot like a bubble. I had a level of independence and responsibility, but I wasn’t yet part of the reality outside of school.

Don’t get me wrong—college makes sense for those who feel happy there and want to be there. But for me, this bubble was suffocating.

The longer I stayed, the more trapped I felt.

I believe that going to college is, for a lot of people, a very good decision. Many are suited to it, and it’s an extremely beneficial experience for them. People get the opportunity to grow intellectually, socially, and professionally, not to mention the fact that they leave with extremely valuable qualifications.

I, however, wasn’t in the right frame of mind to be studying anymore; I needed time out to try a different approach.

The decision to leave was certainly not an easy one.

There are many risks one takes in leaving higher education. With the economy as it is, bagging a job is not exactly the easiest thing to do, and it can be even more difficult when you don’t have a degree.

This was perhaps the biggest concern that I had to seriously consider, among other practical issues.

After about a year of weighing my options, I finally took the leap. I told my family I was leaving, I told my friends, I told the university and, most importantly, I told myself.

This was a scary decision, but I finally made it, and once I did I felt I could breathe again.

I could have continued going against my instincts; it would have been easier to sail along, ignoring my unhappiness for a few more years instead of stepping out into the world without a job or much of a plan.

But I knew in my gut that the situation wasn’t right for me, and that I needed something new. So I left, and no matter what friends, family, or employers think about that decision, I know it was the right choice for me.

It doesn’t mean I was weak; it means I was brave enough to change what wasn’t right.

Sometimes you feel in your gut that the path you thought you were meant to take is wrong for you.

It takes a lot of courage to admit that, even to yourself, let alone to the rest of the world. Sometimes you have to leave that path and find a new one. Or, if there is no new path to be found, create a new one.

This can apply to so many aspects of life—home, work, education, family, friends, relationships, and habits.

I’m not saying that if something doesn’t feel right or instantly work out that you should give up on it straight away. Carrying on is also brave and can be the right decision. But if you know that quitting something is the right thing to do, don’t be afraid to do so because of what others might think.

Make a change in your life.

We only have a limited amount of time and yet a limitless number of different paths to go down. Don’t waste your time on one that feels wrong, on something that is compromising your happiness. Find something new.

We all quit something at some point, so don’t fear the stigma.

Do what brings you happiness. Embrace the change.

“There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors.” ~Aldous Huxley.

Open some doors and let the air in. Breathe.

Photo by anasararojas

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  • Dochy

    You are so right! I studied engineering (without really meaning to and just following the herd). I was campus placed in a nice IT company where i worked for nearly 3 years and from the outside had it all — nice job, respectable designation, cool work hours, short commute to work, great friends — just everything. But I was far from happy. I just couldn’t relate to the work I was doing.It felt exactly as you put it – suffocating.I loathed every monring since I had to drag myself to work, and waited for evening to come real soon… It was pure hell. After much thought I decided to quit. I had not clue where I would go, what job I would do, will i like it better there? No answers to the many questions, and most importantly I didn’t have any answers to my parents. They were appalled when i told them my decision and asked me to hold on till I found another job that I liked (which is indeed very valuable advice!), but I just couldn’t go on doing something that was slowly sucking the life out of me! I quit. I took a couple of months off, during which time I rekindled my lost love for books, decided to enter the publishing industry, and got a job as an editor in a leading MNC! Which is where I still am! I’m happy I quit, happy I didn’t let others’ opinions scare me off from doing what I felt was right. Wish you all similar courage when you need it most!

  • Believer

    This is so incredibly true! Last year I stayed in an organization that was twisting my psyche into knots – what happened? My colon actually twisted into a knot and I ended up in the hospital having emergency and life threatening surgery. Learned the hard way to walk away from situations and people that no longer serve a positive purpose.

  • Miguel

    Great post! It’s precisely what I needed to hear 🙂 I am just leaving a relationship that in my gut hasn’t felt right for some time. It’s not a matter of how much we love each other it’s about whether or not we are the right partner for each other, whether or not we complement each other’s weaknesses. I have been concerned about what people might think of my decision. Worried that I may appear weak or “mean” for ending a relationship instead of carrying on despite the gut feeling that something is not right. Feelings of guilt appear out of nowhere and I start to question my decision. Deep down I know this was the right choice for me and my future although it will take time to heal. Thank you!

  • Jeffrey

    Good for you! You will find everything you are looking for and much more by following your inner guidance! Well done!


    I didn’t leave a job that I should have and now I am very unwell – I believe the two re related. Great post! Sometimes we just get so entrenched with ‘pushing through’ or ‘making it happen’ that we don’t realise that we are on completely the wrong path.

  • priya

    Nice post!! The things you mentioned are very true. You did the right thing by following your heart. it really takes a lot of courage..
    Thank you for sharing your story. it has definitely inspired me..

  • Mariah

    Wow, the universe knew I needed this put in my path! I made the daunting decision to quit college just yesterday (and googling something completely unrealated brought me to this website today!). I have been there for a year and a half, and I have to finish this semester. College hasn’t felt like the right choice since day 1, but I felt that I had no other choice. I’ve been having somewhat of an existential crisis for the past year and a half because I’ve been realizing that what I thought I wanted to do is not right for me. No one took me seriously when I brought up the idea of dropping out. But now I have made the decision to change my life to all that I want it to be.
    I applaud you for making the right decision for your life. Thanks for sharing, it has really helped me!

  • Kris

    I totally agree! Although college is many years behind me, I after 25 years, finally decided to leave my chosen profession of nursing. It had been sucking the joy out of my life for years but I stayed in it because I didn’t know anything else. I made the decision after I realized the anxiety I was experiencing every day before work was starting to affect my health both mentally and physically. So I quit and as of right now I’m not looking back, no regrets accept that I didn’t make the decision long ago.

  • Ankita

    Hey, thanks for the post! I needed it.

  • Deb

    Thank you for an inspiring post that not only touched my heart, but, through your words, allowed me to finally “put to rest” some feelings I have had since I ended an unhealthy friendship. You and your writing are a gift. Thank you!

  • Tiffany

    This has given me some things for consideration.
    My course selection for my junior year is due the end of February and I still have to narrow down many classes that I thoroughly enjoy.
    Great post and wise insight!

  • Rich


  • Hazel

    That’s wonderful to hear! It is so difficult to stand alone sometimes
    and trust your own judgement, especially when others are saying
    something completely different. I was very much ‘following the herd’ as
    well. Now I have moved away from that and started my own journey, I am
    also much happier. I’m glad it worked out for you, and that you are
    happy with what you are doing now. Thank you for your comment!

  • Hazel

    I am glad this post came at a time when you needed it. Worrying about what other people think can often prevent you from doing what you know is right for you. I also found myself questioning my decision at times, but I knew that it was what I needed to do. I have found that, over time, I feel more and more confident with my decision. I hope the same applies to you, and that you are able to heal and move towards more happiness. Thank you for commenting.

  • Hazel

    I know what you mean about the existential crisis! That’s often how I tried to describe what I was going through to other people. But I suppose it’s difficult to understand unless you’re experiencing it yourself. Our situations sound so similar. I am glad that you found this, as I definitely felt I needed to hear from people going through the same thing when I was making the decision to leave. There’s a lot of comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. I hope all goes well for you – well done for making such a big decision. Thank you for commenting, it is great to hear from someone who has had similar experiences.

  • Hazel

    Your state of mind can definitely have such a powerful impact on your body. I am so sorry to hear that you had to go through that. But it is wonderful that you survived and that it has altered your life in such a positive way. I hope that you are well and am very grateful to you for commenting on my post.

  • Hazel

    Good luck with choosing your classes – I hope you enjoy the ones you do take! Thank you for commenting.

  • Hazel

    I am so glad that reading this has helped you feel better about your own situation. Thank you very much for commenting, and I wish you happiness now and in the future.

  • Vee

    Take a break if you need one, but do yourself a huge favor: find your way back to college. You don’t want to end up a middle aged person (like me) with limited job options because you have no degree. As much as we all dislike it having a degree puts you ahead of someone who doesn’t have one most of the time when looking for work. It is highly valued by prospective employers, even ahead of work and life experience. Blessings to you.

  • Hazel

    Very happy for you that you did what was right for your mind and body. Perhaps you weren’t ready until now to leave and do something new. But it is good to hear that you have no other regrets. I hope you are enjoying your new path. Thank you for your comment.

  • Hazel

    Thank you, it means a lot to hear that.

  • Hazel

    I completely agree. Thank you for commenting – I am sorry to hear that you are unwell and I do hope that you get better.

  • Hazel

    Thank you very much! I hope so. Things seem to be making much more sense since I have been listening to my inner guidance.

  • Ani

    I think not to give up approach is needed when you are going where you want to be. Otherwise, like in your case, quitting was the best option. Good luck to you !

  • That’s right. There was a time in my life when I tried to juggle two jobs at a time. I needed the extra cash. I found myself becoming more stressed as the days went by, so I decided to quit the more demanding but less satisfying job, even though I really needed the extra cash. I thought it wasn’t worth it anymore. What would I do with the extra cash if I was miserable every day because of lack of sleep and stress. After I quit, I had more time to myself and I was happier. Sometimes, you have to quit first in order to see why it was a good choice.

  • txtova

    This post is incredibly timely. I just realized that what I went to school for isn’t what I want to do with my life and am going a completely different direction for grad school. It’s scary and I don’t know how it will all turn out, but this is the most motivated and optimistic I’ve felt about the future in years.

    Thank you so much for reinforcing that sometimes quitting is the best thing to do!

  • Anon

    I so love this post – words can hardly express it. I have been feeling so similar about my career and work situation for the last 18 months and have only just in the last few days decided it is not worth being unhappy just so I am easier for others (mainly my family) to understand. Why box ourselves in? We are amazing, creative beings at the world is literally at our fingertips! We need to follow our heart and do what makes us happy!

  • Michaela

    Wow. You’re an inspiration. I am so happy for you 🙂

  • Michaela

    I feel exactly the same. I did a degree at university (australian!) that was neutral to me just so that I could get a job. Now, 4 years later and with quite a successful career so far, I’m returning to uni to undertake a much more challenging, longer degree but it makes me feel so much more alive even thinking about it. It’s quite amazing how life works 🙂

  • hhhmmm.. Sometimes, we have to let go of something we used to deal with, to be able to see a better result. Have a great day:)

  • Veronica

    I’ve been working at Wendy’s for almost 3 years. It was okay at first, but it started to feel like prison a long time ago…and that’s not even mentioning the sordid drama and the decisions that have been made by management which have left me bitter. One girl wrote a fraudulent letter to head office, posing as an unhappy customer. A manager was wrongfully terminated as a result. Now, a year later, this girl was just promoted to manager! I’ve wanted to leave for a long time, but this just pushed me past my breaking point. How do I swallow something so wrong and just show support? “Be a good girl.” My boss tells me…but that’s all I have ever been. Never been written up, this girl has 6 or 7. What a joke. So I quit- and I truly hope everything works out the way it’s meant to. If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for everything. They say what goes around comes around, and I want to believe it. But I’m weary now- time and time again I have seen those in the wrong be rewarded for unethical and disgusting behaviour. I hope 6 months from now I can say that things worked out, and that I’m happier. I’m still a believer, but my faith has been shaken.

  • Jean

    Thank you for posting this. I can really relate to it. I graduated college two years ago and it took me awhile to land on my first job. Though my first job was in line with my course, I was unhappy. At first, I thought it was just an adjustment period and I ignored my gut feeling knowing that it is really difficult to get a job nowadays. On my third month as a probationary employee, I started to get sick more often and things in the office was a disaster. My boss was a kind lady, but I was not aware that she was planning to sabotage the office. It was a blessing in disguise that I was not around when things went wrong in the office. I felt betrayed because I looked up to her and I put my trust in her. When I got back from the office after a sick leave, she was gone and was replaced with a new boss. Some of the employees were also pirated by her. No one cared to explain what happened to me until I finally decided to resign from my job. I felt that I was in the wrong path and I should be somewhere else.

    Listen to your inner voice and follow your gut feeling and remember that it is never to late for a new beginning.

  • ginny

    Hi there. Think i really needed to read this. I hhanded in my notice to my employer the other day. I felt relieved i’d done it. Even though i am a little bit scared as its unknown from here on. He offered me other options, and that put a twist on things. Ive been wondering whether to really take up there offer or stick to my gut. Whether to do the sensible thing or whether to do what feels right. Thanks. Xx

  • Mahi Tuna

    People have a hard time giving up. It has been forged into us that we somehow are a failure. That is why so many stay in activities that bring them no joy. When the Why and the What don’t equal we become terribly unhappy. Why am I doing this? What do I want to do? When they don’t match it is time to quit and move to something else as soon as possible. When someone is truly happy with what they are doing they rarely quit. But accepting it’s time to quit and acting is the first step in finding happiness.

  • Mabel

    This could be me. I went back during unemployment, to try and find a way around a learning disability that put me out of the running for the work I used to do (it added the things I have difficulty with). I spent a lot of time choosing a program with good practical skills, but I HATE IT. I don’t want to do this. I’m getting good feedback on my personal writing, and I’m starting to feel like I need to put my energy into that, or it’s going to go nowhere. And school is in the way. It takes up so much time and energy, and then there is the money. Even with tuition assistance from work I still have to borrow and I have loans to pay back from the last time! I’m debating whether to quit after this semester and really really leaning toward doing it.

  • flavie j

    Thank you. Just, thank you SO MUCH for this article. This, is exactly what I needed to read right now, as I am about to take the same leap as you did. I even stayed near 3 years in college, almost done, and still took the decision that seemed to me the best one. But people say so many things. They will say that you should definitely finish your degree, you will regret later (one of the things I hear the most), etc. I didn’t find what would make me happy in college, I found that there was a different way for me to grow. As you said, you know it deep down if the path that you are taking is wrong for you or not. Once again, thank you x

  • bliss

    Hi. I’m an engineering student. I’ve been doing engg for 4 years, this is my last semester and last month in college. and exams are around the corner. engg was actually my choice, but I started regretting my decision by the end of first year. at the end of first year, I decided to quit n do some other course that I like. but my parents and friends adviced me not to quit, so I didn’t. from the second year, I started getting arrears because I didn’t like any of the subject and i’m not good at theory papers too(I cant mug, memorize and write pages and pages of theory. i’m good at problematic papers like maths). slowly my hatred towards it increased and I finally stopped studying. even during the exams I don’t study cos I don’t like it at all. I’ve read so many inspirational and motivational stories, yet I was not able to change because I just don’t like these subjects and im not able to do it. and now, just one month left. I have so many backlogs arrears. and now im in a serious dilemma. whether to quit and do any other course which I like, or continue to study engineering and clear all my papers. I don’t know what to do. everyone says “don’t quit don’t quit. you’ll get a good job if you complete engg, you’ll be settled in life. else if you quit then everyone will think bad about you, and all this 4 years of time and money is wasted”. I seriously don’t know what to do.

  • Ruby

    Do 4 years of time and money worth more than the rest of your life? 🙂
    I’m sure everyone meant well, but truth is they can never guarantee that you will be happy, fulfilled, or even get a good job in engineering. Nobody can. Everyone is just as clueless when it comes to the future. But if you know for sure, you can guarantee that right now you’re unhappy (I mean, you spent 4 years being miserable so I think that’s enough time to be sure that you don’t feel it, right?), I think it’s better to focus on that than what is still uncertain. Maybe you just need a break. Maybe you can finish the one month and take a year off to travel and get some perspectives. Maybe you’ll eventually fall back in love with your first choice, maybe you’ll find something else you love. How the rest of your life would be can’t be settled this early, and it shouldn’t.
    Here’s what I will do (but don’t do it unless you feel like it!) If that one month is doable, finish it. If it’s that bad, I would suggest take a semester off and clear your head. Either way you need to take a time off (and space away) from this “everyone” so that you can hear your own voice.
    (Also, who is this “everyone” who will think bad about you? They seem mean and judgy. And not worth a single care from your mind.)

  • A-Star

    Thanks this has helped me a lot and helped me come to a decision whether to quit or stay in College and I’m going to drop out everyday I went to College I hated my life more and more and I even thought about killing myself no joke everyone like my family said if I quit Ill be a no one in life but after reading you’re story I know it’s not just me… I finally have the guts to tell my College lecturer to withdraw me from the Course I’ve been there for 9 Months and ready to leave Thank You for the great post It changed my life!

  • lovin’solitude

    I rushed into college due to being homeless. I’ve been attending college for about two years now and I feel like it’s been nothing but a waste of energy and time. I am not interested in studying anything anymore. The only reason why I’m here is to stay off the streets really. I’m considering quitting once I make enough money to get out. It’s been a nightmare.

  • Priya Sugarplum

    Hi sir … I m a first engg student at an autonomous govt college in Maharashtra… One of the dream colleges but I was preparing for medical n now I don’t want to continue with engg. Is it possible that I can drop after 1st year even if I failed in half of the subjects?

  • Vanessa Bayani

    Im so glad I stumbled across this. Thank you for writing this, I really needed this. I’m young, but my journey feels like an endless battle. All through high school I didn’t know what I wanted. I took a shit ton of science course, I took a bunch of different co-op programs, computer program and even took an extra year doing random course to see if I’d like it. I went I to paramedic with the pressure of my family and hated it. Wasted all the money and time devoting myself to something that wasn’t for me. I stuck it through until I couldn’t anymore and dropped out. I took a one year program and took a bunch of electives and STILL nothing. I’m in culinary school and I was happy until it started to become more challenging and more difficult. Is it okay to want this but to feel like I’m not ready for it yet? The pressure of everything has made me beyond unhappy. I know I want to be in the culinary field, I just feel like the time right now isn’t mine. I hate this stigma I hate feeling like what I’m feeling is frowned apron. And it’s so hard to admit when something just isn’t right right now.

  • koshka

    Nice article. I agree with you. I left my Ph.D. when I was close to the end. There was no dramatic reason and I’ve never had any desire to ‘finish what I started’. I felt great relief when I left and began working in a new field. Since then, I have also left several well-paying positions when my employers wanted me to stay. And guess what? There was always something better or more interesting around the corner, even if there was a little struggle or (temporary) regret. It is all about happiness (and of course making a living while finding that happiness) and making your own unique path through the world. Sometimes I forget that, but this article was a useful reminder.

  • gubvh

    I am currently in college, studying engineering, my father, a math genious, mother hard study and worker. It s so hard for me, I feel lost, I dont feel any passion for what Im doing. I hate to study for the subjects, I dont really like math, what am I doing really, what my porpuse is, unclear. Confusion, college life feels so fake. For some reason I feel like some greater force or God will come down and put me in the right path, and that is bullshitt.. I dont want this life, just looking for an escape, yet im a stranger to this world….

  • Nitin Rathod

    Brilliant article. Thank you for sharing this. I am doing engineering since the last 2 and a half year now and it Sucks. Literally. It was my own decision but I don’t regret it as I did what I thought was right back then! Now I want to quit,I passed my First year with ease but I failed in my Second year and I don’t want to clear it. My parents are still fine with it but my Mentor,he wants me to continue. I don’t know how to explain him that I want to Quit. Also,I was not sure myself but after reading this article,I’m confident enough to let go and I also have a plan to go with it! Thank you so much everybody here and wish you all happiness for life!

  • ram

    Hi Hazel, can you tell us where you are now, how this decision has impacted your life and if you plan to go back to school? Fear of future unseen consequences of such a bold move is such a big part of this hard choice!

  • CJ

    I’ll definitely take all these points into account when making the big decision.

    I’ve been an engineering student for more than 2 years now, following the typical trend “go to college-get a nice secure job-raise a family”. But week by week, it’s been a depressing experience that has brought that “Existential Crisis” mentioned in previous comments. The truth is I’ve been ready to quit ever since I passed my first year, but I didn’t because I was afraid of dissapointing my mother, who’s worked really hard in order to grant me this oportunity (Which she didn’t have).

    But I’ve come to realize that I should not waste any more time, that I need to tell her the truth and pursue my real dream: composing for videogames. However, I should admit that I’m still scared of the final outcome, of her reaction.

    Anyway, thanks for the post, it’s been really helpful!!!

  • Nikki

    I don’t know if anyone is still reading comments on this post but I just discovered it and found it very relieving. In my family, going to college was a big deal. Everyone had gone except my aunt and it was clear that everyone viewed her as something of an outcast which I always, from even a very young age, thought was very mean. I was totally drilled in academics most of my life in preparation for college and “taking care of myself” when I was grown up. I’d always had an artist kind of temperament and needed my space and freedom so it was no surprise that I became extremely depressed around high school, especially as I approached age 18. I liked learning but I liked it more on my own rather than in school. But no, this was not acceptable in my family. I went to college, two of them actually, because overall, I felt I had to. I honestly felt like no one in my family loved or respected me as much if I didn’t go and make something of myself. I ended up dropping out the first one after one semester. The second one I managed to stay a year…and I even enjoyed that one and had friends because it was an art school. But I ended up having to drop that one too. I even tried one more time but once again, only made it to five or six months. So, now my dad pretty much treats me with total contempt and never passes up a jab at how much money I wasted. I ended up having to cut him out of my life altogether because he was downright mean and nasty to me. My mother had eventually softened on the issue and became more understanding but unfortunately she passed away recently. My grandmother continues to nag at me to go back to school…especially now, because my husband, who had several degrees, was STILL laid off at work and she thinks if I were to put our kids in school instead of doing homeschooling, (which she also thinks isn’t totally acceptable – she’s constantly asking me about their progress and what they know how to do) I could go out and get a job and return to college. And then she drills me about college options for my children, saying things like, you don’t want their only option to be working in a restaurant. (Which in other words, is the only option I have – in fact, that was the last job I had before I left to get married and have a real family that loves you for you and not for your accomplishments).

    So, I totally agree with college not being for everyone. My husband and I plan to give our kids that option should they choose to go but it will be totally up to them. We want them to know we love them no matter what and they should do what makes them happy. I don’t want them to grow up feeling the way I have – like you’re inferior just because you don’t have that piece of paper. It’s bad enough that you have to face so much of that in the working world…you shouldn’t have to hear it from family in a way that insults you and makes you feel bad about yourself.

    And what’s ironic is that if I had just been left alone and loved for just being me, I might would have gone and found something naturally. I love art and writing and perhaps will one day do that but I still don’t need a degree if I decide to. Being in my current environment with a loving and supportive husband has helped me grow and find myself in ways that I never could with the family I had growing up. I still learn plenty of things on my own just because I want to – for instance, the other day I started reading Shakespeare plays just for fun, something I NEVER thought I would end up doing with my spare time because I disliked them in high school.

    So, thanks for the post – very inspirational!

  • hc

    I m in 12th science. I was supposed to answer boards dis year bt I have decided to take a drop and answer boarfs next year instead. Last two years have been difficult for me. I have done mistakes wich I shdnt hv since 11th n 12th r crucial years in life and u cannot afford to fool around I mean especially wen ua in science! But I realised my mistake pretty late. But its rightly said “better late dan NEVER!” I accept my mistakes and have forgiven myslf. To err is to human aftr all 🙂
    My parents dnt kno wat mistks I hav done yet dey r wit me! My teachers and frnds thnk m a stupid moron to tk dis drop nd tht to waste a whole year bt I just simply don’t care! Aftr all dis is my life nd ONLY I gt to decide in here nd follow my heart. Iv decided nw to go back to college nd attend lectures. Obviously ppl will mock me nd say thngs bhind my back bt I dnt mind nythng since dey dnt hv a heck of idea about wat iv been thru in dese two woeful years! Nd I dnt thnk I owe any explnation to others! But m satisfied nw nd hv decided to change my life fr d bttr by really studying dis year 🙂 I just want to study well nd gt admissions in d clg I wnt nd make my parents feel proud of me nd nt regretting fr letting me take dis drop. Aftr all dis isn’t d end dis is d beginning to my bright future 🙂 we shd alwys think more bout r future cuz thts wer v spend most of r tym!
    Thnx fr reading 🙂

  • yuki

    Thank you for writing this article, it’s just says exactly what I’m going through. I will take the risk of quitting college and create my own path.

  • Melissa

    Thank you, thank you for posting this.

  • Maria

    Thank you for this great post!
    I’ve finally decided to change my path as well because, as you said, the path Im on right now is suffocating.
    I’m almost done with my bachelor (3 years) in water and environmental engineering. What breaks my heart is that this field I chose because I had a dream, a dream to make a difference in this world, raise the living standards of people with poor environments, bad drinking water or heavily polluted air. I’d been dreaming about it for ages, and already in 8th grade I had decided I was gonna become an engineer.
    Therefore, to suddenly quit that dream is painful.
    The good news is however that I have many other dreams and interests as well, so I will be pursuing one of those instead!
    So my reason for quitting engineering, well, it simply does not feel right any more. Although I found the courses interesting, I have not actually enjoyed any of the courses. In fact, every morning I woke up wishing I could just stay at home. Every day was a pain. And worst of all, I have barely listened during my lectures for the past two years because I’ve been occupied dreaming about other career paths. That’s bad. I find no joy, no motivation, nothing that keeps me going.
    So I’ve finally decided that perhaps engineering just isn’t for me.
    The worst part is that everyone in my family are engineers or doctors, so it will drive them nuts when they find out that I plan on doing something else.
    My new dream! I want to become a computer animator! It practically means starting from scratch, but I know it’s worth it. Although I don’t know how I’m gonna do this switch in the best way yet, I belive it will work out, somehow ^^

  • Kim-Kim Bernas

    I’m glad I read this article, my parents think that I am just being lazy but they couldn’t just understand me that it is not for me. I took up Bs Psychology and all of the things that you have mentioned on the article, they were all right. The more i continued embarking this course the more I am constricted, I suddenly forgot what makes me happy because of this. I couldn’t find any interest in my course. Thanks for this article at least I know that I am not the only one facing this.

  • LivPlasencia

    have you changed your path?

  • ScaredFresh

    I am a freshman and I really want to go to NYC and attend community college and work there. For me to do this right (with stability) I need to have $ to fund it. I’m suffocated at my current University and I don’t want to feel like a loser dropping out so quickly, but I really feel suffocated like you said. Your article gave me hope. Quitting isn’t always bad, and I think right now its the right decision. I wanna work and save up money and then re apply as a freshman in the fall… I’m scared and worried but I think if I can just keep my head up, I can make it through. Thank you and I hope everything works out for you as for me… I guess we’ll see.

  • karagdagangimpormasyon

    hey everyone. I’m deciding whether or not to drop-out of college. I’ve been here a year and a semester and the gnawing feeling of wanting to get out started during my 2nd semester. When I think about it though, I actually don’t really know what I want and sometimes, I’m just too afraid to admit what I actually want. Going to university was a decision already made for me, which University to go to was also a decision already made (the university where my siblings went to and my parent went to) and I chose my major based on what job was in demand (never do that). I changed my major this year, but I still feel like I’m making the wrong choices. In my country it is so hard to accomplish anything without a degree. Your options are very limited. I don’t want to fail my parents either so I’m really scared of talking to them about this. In their eyes and in this type of society I grew up in, dropping out would mean wasting my life and wasting opportunities. In a way, that is true because not everyone has the means to the level of education I have been afforded to. Any insight is greatly appreciated.

  • Sidd

    I have failed in first year of engineering..I am a repeater..I have been trying to pass the papers in which I failed for almost a year and a half now and now I really don’t have that fire in me to go on again,studying the same things again and again..I’ve started hating engineering now..I want to quit and leave the college and study something which exciites me,makes me happy and worth..Please tell me guys..Should I quit ???

  • Andrew Webster

    Its amazing how many people want to quit. I did this too. Your posting makes me think of a posting on my favourite blog. Here is the link to it , my friend John and I were just talking bout this today and we decided to Google to see how many times the topic of quitting studies comes up and boy was I surprised. Sure he was too. I am studying again due to being inspired by the above-mentioned blog.

    Thanks for your article. Enjoyed it.

  • tk

    How did you enter the publishing industry and get a job as an editor- the way you wrote that makes it sounds like you did it so easily- but of course you must have done some hard work- I was wondering what did you do- as you didn’t have a degree specifically relating to a job like that!?

  • Mercury

    The problem with decisions is that following your “gut” could be wrong, because if you are afraid or frustrated, your gut is going to enter in survival mode and tell you to quit, but sometimes what you need to do is to hold your ground in hard times. There is nothing wrong with staying in college neither quiting it, but you have to be sure why did you went to college in the first place or why you changed your mind. Making a thoughtful decision is much better than making a gut decision. Saying it just felt wrong is just immature. You have to analyse why you feel bad and what do you want to achieve in life and then, make a balance of your options.
    My advice is to take decisions when you find a moment of calm and positive state of mind. When we are down we make very bad decisions, you could even get fooled by your “gut” feeling relieved, when in fact you could be throwing yourself to a more stressful future.
    Don’t feel, THINK.

  • KaTIE

    I agree to an extent, but sometimes when you’re in a negative, poisonous environment and it’s just not a right fit for you you need to move on. That can very well be involved with negative feelings that you should not press through. You’re underestimating your own value and character. It can weigh on your psyche making it hard to press through/think clearly so easily. There could be no “good calm time” if you’re in a chaotic environment, so it would be wise to refocus your energy at a time and place where you’re away from those poisonous factors. You can always restart those things you quit at that later time if you’re determined enough.

  • TanGalaxy25

    Hi, what happened to you after? Did you find something that made you happy? How long did it take you to find whatever it is you wanted to do?

  • regina

    Seriously everything in this article resonated with me. I am finally mustering up enough courage to leave college. I am not happy nor have I ever been happy in college. My first two semesters I did really well academically even though my depression skyrocketed. After I got sick and hospitalized twice college became nearly impossible and my depression became worse as a result. Now im fighting off apathy and constant bouts of depression. Before college life was mostly good with bouts of depression occasionally but now life is depression with small bouts of happiness.There is nothing in college that I feel passionate about. I can become anything, get any degree but I don’t want to. Im done. The only things I am passionate about in life is Islam, my mother, and homesteading.
    Ever since I was a little girl I have wanted to homestead. Growing up poor instilled a drive to be self sufficient and independent. However, I have used every excuse I could find to not go to a farming school or take a course on homesteading or volunteering on other people’s farms. Well now im planning to change all that. Im going to work at a call center because I already have experience and the pay for most companies starts between $12-$15 which is a major pay raise. This will allow me to start paying off my student loan debt and save up for land. I will also have more time to learn more about Islam (I am still a new convert) and go to homesteading workshops. Wow! It took me until now to finally allow myself to ‘give up’ on something that I was never really passionate about but only did because I thought it was the only practical thing to do.

  • alaa omran

    Thanks a lot …this is very inspiring!

  • Dochy

    Hi tk, not sure if this reply is too late for your liking! I just scoured the internet and classifieds for vacancies in publishing houses/KPOs. I have a natural flair for English (always been my favourite subject through school and college and did well in it). I attended all possible tests and interviews through two months straight, and finally landed up with a leading publisher, where I still am working, very happily.
    Hope you find your calling too!

  • Kristján Birnir Ívansson

    I don’t know what your situation is, since your post is year old. I don’t know if you have quit already or if you have rediscovered joy in Engineering but I doubt it given your post. If you have already quit you should probably talk to counselor and he might be able to help you out in what you could do, if you haven’t found the alternative yet. He/she might be able to help you.

  • Aria

    This is really an inspiring post and something to help me think about quit studying (at least for now). I graduated in High School in 2010, and done so many courses since then and never really completed any of them because I was trying new things and never really found what I want to do in life. I started studying Childcare this year thinking that it’s something that I could do and be interested in, after doing Work Experience, I realised that it’s not really what I expected after all and the study load is pretty intense and confusing (for me at least) to understand. For a long time however, I’ve always wanted to do something in retail to be able to gain confidence, independence, new skills and friendships. But instead I had to study. Being in my 20’s, I’ve come to terms that I don’t want to keep studying because I’ve been doing it for so long already and I haven’t had a job since High School. Just because I’m thinking about quitting now, doesn’t mean I won’t go back to it! Thankfully with Studying it’ll always be there, so even though others may be disappointed, I may come back to it at some point.

    This post has helped me so much figuring out what I need to do and with people commenting and sharing their experiences has showed me that I’m not alone in this. So thank you so much!

  • Zach

    I need motivation. I feel down after doing something I am sad about doing. I’m a highschool senior taking 4 AP classes in a 6 period system. My brother told me that I should drop my AP literature class to leave me open for my other science and math related AP’s since I’m going to be majoring in that field. I love the challenge and I love classes like that but as many have mentioned, a lot of my energy will be lost and I will be hurting myself more than helping. I always strive to do the hardest and the more but sometimes I overboard and don’t realize it. To the extent to where it actually hurts me. I’m worried it will be a lost opportunity and it will hinder my college application and all these other reasons. Please help me convince myself this was a good idea to drop and quit this AP.