What happens when you drop out of college?

This is the second in my ‘What happens when…’ series. This series is running every Wednesday on Inside Laura’s Head for as long as I have posts. The series will be written by me, and also by guest posters. Posts can be on anything as long as they fit the ‘What happens when…’ title. If you have an idea and would like to guest post on Inside Laura’s Head, you can  e-mail me at insidelaurashead@hotmail.com – all ideas are welcomed. Look out for more ‘What happens when…’ posts. This post talks about what happens when you drop out of college.

Meet this week’s Guest Poster!

Dana Anderson

Dana is the blogger behind Carry on Beautiful. She’s also on Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube. Go check her out! (After reading this post, of course!)

She says: I’m Dana, I’m 18 and currently living near Liverpool with my amazing boyfriend and our two cats (AKA babies). I’ve been blogging on and off for the last four or five years but only began to get really into it a few months ago! My blog consists largely of lifestyle posts with a smattering of fashion, recipes and some artsy poetry stuff. I also make YouTube videos ranging from OOTD’s to spoken word short film things and every day standard Vlogs!

What happens when … you drop out of college?   

It’s something I haven’t seen discussed anywhere.  There are a few videos I found on YouTube about dropping out of college in the US but it’s a very different thing in the UK and I know that an article like this would have helped me a lot when I was considering dropping out.        

The first question is are you 100% without a doubt, completely sure you want to drop out? If you drop out and then decide you want to go back, you will probably have to wait until the next September and I don’t know about you, but if I wanted to go back and then had to wait months and months, I’d probably lose the motivation to go back at all. Make sure you’re dropping out for the right reasons, don’t just drop out because you don’t like your tutor for that one class or that girl gives  you dirty looks across the classroom. Personally I dropped out because I ended up hating my course, the entire college  experience worsened my anxiety and depression to the point that I only left the house for college and I didn’t need to go to  college for my chosen career path.

If you want to be a doctor or a lawyer or something, its probably not a good idea to drop out of college since you will need it to get to the career you want. This obviously doesn’t mean you cant take a year off or have a break, but please consider if your career calls for college. Personally I want to be a musician, author, actor and (yes, and) film maker so although college would be helpful it’s not necessary.

Once you’re sure you want to drop out, just go to a figure of authority and let them know because they will then guide you through what you need to do. Don’t let them convince you to stay if you don’t want to though!! I can’t give you too much info on this though because I dropped out in completely the wrong way. I just stopped going in. I’d been to every single lesson for months and then I just never went back after the Christmas holidays.

I’m writing this assuming that you’re between the ages of 16 and 18 where you are pretty much expected to attend college and be a full time student. If this is the case, you need to grow up a hell of a lot once you drop out of college. You’ve dropped out, you’re not on holiday, you can’t just laze around watching films and playing games. You need to start doing something. You don’t necessarily need to go out and get a job immediately but you do need some sort of income, be it wages or benefits.

Personally when I dropped out I became my fathers carer which I got paid for and I also began writing a blog, making YouTube videos, writing a lot more music and began writing a book. Just because you’re not being taught, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be teaching yourself. Whether that means trying to figure out what you want to do or teaching yourself how to be better at trying to figure out what you want to do or teaching yourself how to be better at what you want to do, you should definitely do something or I can guarantee you’ll fall into a funk.

For me, my parents were supportive of my decision. They weren’t exactly happy, but they accepted it and didn’t make me feel bad about it. I know that won’t be the case for everyone though, so here are a few tips to make it a bit easier for you to  tell your parents, and easier for them to accept. First of all, allow them to be part of the decision. Discuss with them why you want to leave, what you don’t like, what you’ll do if you drop out. If they understand why you’re dropping out and can see that you’re being mature over the decision they’re a lot more likely to accept it. If they’re really against you dropping out I’d  suggest making a deal with them, like you’ll tough it out for one more term but if you still want to drop out they have to support you through it.

The main tip I can give you for the whole experience is to just be mature over everything. If you start shouting and crying or rebelling, tutors and family members are likely to think of you and treat you like a child and try to not let you drop out. Speak to people, stay calm and be polite. Lots of people drop out of college, really, loads of people drop out of college and it’s honestly okay to do so.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this and I especially hope it can help you in some way, I know that a blog post like this would have helped me a lot when I was considering dropping out. Remember that it’s okay to drop out of college, it’s not the same as school and you’re not a child, even though I know I felt like one while dropping out! Links to my blog and social media accounts are above if you want to check them out and don’t forget to tell me if you enjoyed this post!


I really enjoyed this post. I felt much the same as Dana when I was at Sixth Form, though I stuck it out until the end. But looking back, this may not have been the right decision. I got my A Levels but the grades weren’t amazing and at 18 I went to work in a Call Centre-something I could easily have done at 16. I really admire Dana for taking the difficult decision to walk away from college and do something else instead.




  1. May 27, 2015 / 8:31 pm

    It does take courage to say something isn’t right for you, but often it is the right decision. I did that with my teaching career and never looked back.


  2. May 27, 2015 / 8:41 pm

    Great post! I know my boyfriend was very much in the same boat when we were at sixth form, he hated the early mornings and travelling 30mins by train and then walking up a massive hill regardless of the weather to get into college. However, he stuck through it and is now studying sport science at university! (and personal training on the side). I feel that although sixth form is great, it isnt for everyone which is why I usually suggest that they try out technology college or art college so its more suitable for them.

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