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Other I want a second opinion on whether I should stop school for now

  1. Jul 31, 2016 #1
    I'm going to school right now to earn a mathematics degree to enter the actuarial field, but I'm just tired of learning. I want a break; perhaps I'd just go job-hunting if I'm not going to school. I'm tired of leaching off my mother for funds to go to college. She's nearing retirement age, and so is my father. They can't keep me afloat forever. I'm tired of worrying about grades, and all this stress associated with worrying about if I'm able to handle school for much longer.

    I don't even enjoy school anymore; I admit that that's a childish reason to go to school. Even so, though, not being able to enjoy learning the material is a detriment to my being able to retain it. I know that I'm not supposed to school to enjoy it. I'm going to school to be an actuary. But I don't have any mental strength to keep reading and trying to understand the material that's taught to me. It's like, my brain's slowing down after three years of not accomplishing anything in school. I can't focus nowadays. I'd rather just quit and get a job, even if for a little while.

    What do you think?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 31, 2016 #2

    Student100

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    The stress associated with working is far worse than school. Instead of worrying about grades you have to worry if you're laid off or terminated how you're going to eat and pay rent/mortgage. Stress is inevitable, it's how you deal with it that matters. So how are you dealing with current stress?

    Who told you school wasn't meant to be enjoyed? I enjoy it everyday, even when the bull-crap never seems to let up. How haven't you accomplished anything in your three years of schooling? You wouldn't still be in the program were that the case.
     
  4. Jul 31, 2016 #3
    Just trying to sleep or play video games or read a book.

    I only just entered the program last spring. Prior, I was just fulfilling general education requirements at my community college.
     
  5. Jul 31, 2016 #4

    Student100

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    Well that doesn't appear to be working, have you tried exercising, socializing, or doing outdoorsy stuff?

    Well, you worked to get into the program, which you did - that to me is accomplishing something. So you can't say you've not accomplished anything.

    The problem with your logic (quitting school to work) is that it probably appears to be the only method to deal with the stress you have in your schooling program. In reality, it's probably the worst option.

    Why don't you look at jobs where you'd like to work, and then apply to those. That way you can see how depressing it can be to find meaningful work, especially so without a college education.
     
  6. Jul 31, 2016 #5

    Fervent Freyja

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    Do you have any other degrees? Your age?

    I don't suggest doing anything rash. This is something that should be planned out before deciding upon. Have you sat down to plan out your future in the case that you don't finish school? What are your options? Project for 3,5,7, & 10 years- what will you do with your time then? I also didn't finish my entire third year after high school, I was getting married at the time and felt my job in accounting would suffice. It was difficult to juggle and my priorities shifted. I don't feel regret for it at all really. I ended up coming back for a different major that I'm much happier with. Working and going to school is much more difficult, if you decide to go back, won't you be doing both? A job can be more stressful than school. It doesn't stop, there are no breaks! Taking one semester off may help you refocus. But, if your parents want to support you, then you might want to try to understand how much of a start they are trying to give you!

    I'm not keen to starting back school in a few weeks either, but I need to. I've planned to. I rarely find myself intensely interested in a course (the entire duration), there's something about compulsory education that turns me off. I feel more stressed out, not usually because of grades, because I get upset with people too much (too sensitive). That is what I mostly worry about in the upcoming semester.

    The best advice I was ever given about college, along these lines: "Expect this to be the most painful thing you've ever went through in your life. Many days you will want to quit, it will be that painful. But, you have to go through it."
     
  7. Jul 31, 2016 #6
    I usually only run on the treadmill when there's something on television. I don't really have any friends, and I feel like I have to (I can't explain) stay indoors so I get my homework done. But in the end, I end up goofing around, anyway. I just feel that if I consciously did something other than study, I'd be wasting time I could be using to get ahead on my studies. I'm just so stressed out...

    I guess so...
     
  8. Jul 31, 2016 #7

    Student100

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    You see, the counter-intuitive reality of exercising, socializing, and planning such things other than studying is that it actually increases focus and energy levels and you will procrastinate less when you plan to study. Put the things that stress you into perspective = whats the worst case scenario if you do poorly? Exactly the same as if you quit school. You'll exit without a degree. Ever heard of the saying, it's a half an inch of water and you think you're going drown? That's what's going on here.

    You actually don't sound stressed from what you've written, you sound depressed. Therapy might be right here, schools generally offer mental health services. I would recommend you check this out.
     
  9. Jul 31, 2016 #8

    DrSteve

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    Don't quit.

    The job you would get may initially pay well, but eventually the amount of money you will make with a degree will vastly outdistance that without a degree. You may be tired of leaching, so then pay your parents back once you find a job after graduation.

    Is someone holding gun to your head to do mathematics, then enter an actuarial profession? I hope that these are your decisions, not those of your parents. If they are yours, perhaps you need to rethink your motivation for choosing this degree in the first place. If your parents' decision, then you need to pursue what makes you happy.

    Your brain is not slowing down, you're depressed and unmotivated. As the other commenters suggested, make friends, take up a sport or too, see a counselor/psychologist, explore alternate careers and talk this over with trusted friends and family. You need to get out of your head and into your life.
     
  10. Aug 1, 2016 #9

    Mark Harder

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    I agree with those who recommend finding alternative activities, especially ones that are more physically active than you are used to. Exercise is a great stress-buster. When I could still run, I would do so when work was especially frustrating. Running was like meditation. I focused on breathing, pacing myself, posture and so forth - bodily more than mental things. I fantasized a lot, couldn't help it, and it made the time pass more easily. It's as though the lunatic in my head gets to spew his crazy stuff for a while, then he says "OK, I'll go back to my corner now and just sit and be quiet for a while." Sometimes, I would imagine that there was an invisible membrane in front of me that I had to push through. There are other physical activities. Yoga and Tai Chi come to mind. They teach focus and balance along with the strength building. By all means, take classes in these and practice with others.
    Socializing is also extremely important. Your problems loom larger when you seem to be the only one with problems. One very important thing that happens when you have friends is that you can feel happy for them. When you do so, you participate in their successes, which is a little like having your successes to enjoy. Naturally, envying their success spoils everything, so you may have to practice overcoming envy, which requires that you stop dwelling too much on your own problems.
    Finally, taking a break from your studies for a year or two can be useful. Sometimes we gain perspective when we aren't pressured to do something. Besides, working a job and earning a living can provide valuable data you can use in making your career plans. After working at the kinds of jobs that don't require higher education and provide fewer rewards as a consequence, you may find a renewed passion for completing your studies.
     
  11. Aug 1, 2016 #10
    I am not a fan of practice of working jobs that are not as glamorous in the hopes it will renew a passion for completing studies. You should work those jobs to gain basic skills that you can use in your future job after completing school.
     
  12. Aug 1, 2016 #11
    You can also apply for work part time. It helps with the socializing aspect and not leeching off your parents much.
     
  13. Aug 1, 2016 #12

    micromass

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    It doesn't sound to me that you're really enjoying mathematics much. You should re-evaluate whether this is what you really want. Many people drop out of math because they find out that they don't really like it.
     
  14. Aug 1, 2016 #13

    symbolipoint

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    Ask yourself if you are overloading on courses in every semester. If you took a lighter load, would you start to enjoy the courses again, or would you learn better or be able to get better grades?
     
  15. Aug 1, 2016 #14

    Vanadium 50

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    I am going to present a different perspective:

    This is consistent with your past postings. As was said on another thread,

    I get it that you'd rather "goof around" or play video games rather than study. (I would too) But I think everyone on this thread needs to face the fact that you aren't getting much out of college. You've gotten a couple hundred messages of advice here, and you're still not getting much out of college. Given that, I doubt that more messages of advice is the answer.

    It seems to me you have three choices - a) change your behavior so that you do start to get something out of college, b) don't change your behavior and flunk out, or c) drop out. Up to you.
     
  16. Aug 1, 2016 #15

    MarneMath

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    A large part of this is simply immaturity. Honestly, I'm more inclined to tell you to drop out of college and live in the real world for awhile. You'll eventually learn that the stress in college is minor compared to the stress of living on your own and making ends meet. You'll either a)love it and thrive in whatever non-technical job you find or b)hate your non-technical job and rush back to college. In either case, you'll gain perspective.

    Secondly, it doesn't appear that you enjoy your field of study. I suspect you selected actuary because you assumed it would make you money. While it's true, you'll probably be paid relatively well, without being a good student, it'll be hard for anyone to consider you for a position. While it isn't uncommon for actuarial students to dislike "pure math", it is uncommon for them to do poor in math or struggle to self-study. After all, your actuarial exams will be done mostly through self-study. If you believe that taking a few statistics course is enough to do well on your P-exam, you're mistaken. The P exam usually requires a certain amount of studying for the test.

    Therefore, I recommend that you a) change your major to something you actually enjoy or b)drop out and find out why college is important.

    I did option b in my youth. I took a ten year detour after being kicked out of college. After 10 years in the Army, 1 wife and 1 child, you simply realize that the stress of school is rather mild compared to being shot at, working two jobs to pay your bills, or a prematurely born child. When I did go back to school, I found it much less stressful enjoyable, and was able/willing to utilize the resources available to students a lot more efficiently.
     
  17. Aug 1, 2016 #16
    Option (c) sounds like the best idea at the moment. Now to focus on passing these two courses at the moment...

    Yeah, I'll figure out what I want to do after I drop out.
     
  18. Aug 1, 2016 #17

    symbolipoint

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    The person asking for help has made a decision.
     
  19. Aug 1, 2016 #18
    Yeah... thanks for the words of advice, everyone.
     
  20. Aug 1, 2016 #19
    Did that once, still haven't gone back. Stress of a family suddenly popping up out of nowhere (how did that happen?), paying bills and just plain living is much more. Take a short vacation and buckle down. You will be much happier in a few years.
     
  21. Aug 1, 2016 #20

    symbolipoint

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    Still my suggestion is stay in school and take a lighter load of courses. You may have more time to study less material, enjoy better what you study, and earn better grades. Maybe try to work a part time job and take only very light academic loads. Make some income, and at least make some course-matter progress.
     
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