When dropping out seems reasonable

Karen Solomon, a Santa Monica College student, is just one of many stressed out college students who are putting their life into their grades and academia. Many students are struggling to pass their classes with the best grade possible, but sometimes when the thought of dropping out of college comes to mind, the idea of it doesn’t seem so crazy and unthinkable. Solomon is trying really hard to graduate from SMC within two years, but it’s not easy. “I’ve considered dropping out. I'm always really stressed. I know this is college and no one said it would be easy,” Solomon said. “So, I give a lot of my time to the school. I know I'm meant to be in college, so I can do something with my life.”

Santa Monica College students felt the pressure being raised this fall semester when they registered and noticed that more classes were completely full along with the wait list.

Noori Iryami, an SMC sophomore, has a high stress level due to the recent budget issues SMC faces, resulting in classes being cut. “I’ve considered dropping out before when I felt there was nowhere to go,” said Iryami, who is hopeful she will transfer to UCLA and have better luck with getting classes there than at SMC.

Like Solomon and Iryami, many SMC students question their reasons for attending college. There comes a time when the realization hits: Whether attending college is worth it or not. That little voice keeps saying it is time to try something new, to move on from school, and make some money.

Then comes the question: Why am I wasting my time when there are many more productive things to do?

As a college student, it’s understandable that there are certain requirements you have to meet in order to transfer or graduate. But it becomes unreasonable when you’re in your second year at SMC, still trying to transfer to a four-year institution, but haven't yet met the requirements because the classes needed to transfer have all been filled, or cut because of budget reductions. Two years at SMC is slowly looking like it’s going to turn into three or possibly four years.

According to The Pathways to Prosperity, a two-year study done by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a shockingly low 29 percent of students, who go to a two-year college, finish within three years. This is a very low percentage of students finishing school within the three-year mark, only showing how many stay longer than three years.

Why continue wasting valuable time and money when you could be out there working, or searching for that dream job? These days, it’s all about who you know, being at the right place, at the right time, and making progress in the real world for a better future.

Instead of wasting time in a classroom, you could be out there job hunting and making the right contacts.

However for some students who are just feeling lucky enough to be enrolled in school, they have different views about staying in school for as long as it takes.

Santa Monica College freshman, Nick DelTessandoro, really enjoys being enrolled at SMC.

“School is important to me, but I can see where it’s not important to others. I’m happy to be here and trying to figure what I want to do with my life,” he said. The only time he considered leaving school for working was in high school.

We all find our way in life down different paths and, for some of us, that path is leading us away from school, and more into the work force when the right job opportunity is presented to us. We have to find our own path and follow through with it until the end. If we can find ways to land that dream job without a college degree, then go ahead and do that; but it is wise for the rest to finish college and secure that dream job.