What should I do if this happens?

If I get dropped from college that is. Last semester I had to get some root canals and money was tight. I was forced to get a loan that required immediate repayment, and I had to get a full time job. This was, oh, March or April. I still had a couple months left of school. Unfortunately the job was 3rd shift, so my grades plummeted. I tried to talk a teacher into dropping one of my classes (I was taking 15 hours - all junior and senior level classes), and I ended up with an F because apparently it wasn’t extenuating circumstances enough to drop me past the “last day to drop” deadline.

Fast-forward to this semester. I had to quit my job because they wanted to continue working me 40 hours a week on third shift and because I am on Academic Probation I had to take 12 credit hours this semester. I still work about 20-24 hours a week at the University, but quit the other job completely. This semester I have had several break downs and contemplated suicide. My Fiancee convinced me to go see help and they put me on Celexa. (just this week actually).

I might get a D or an F in one of my other classes this semester. Needless to say I am struggling in several of my other classes (I don’t know if it is the depression causing it or not). There is a chance, depending on how bad I do in my other classes, that I will fail to keep above a 2.0 semester GPA. If I go below that I am expelled, or dropped or whatever you call it. My adviser said there is a chance to apply for re-admission, but if I get turned down, I have no idea what to do.

After this semester, I need less than 30 credit hours to graduate, so I hate to fail here. I am pushing myself hard now so this doesn’t happen, but I wonder, what if I fall flat on my face and don’t get re-admitted?

Obviously certain things, like starting my own web-based business aren’t based on if I have a degree or not. My Fiancee claims she will make more than enough money (She is a Physical Therapist), but I don’t think this is so much about money than personal fulfillment.

What jobs could a college failure achieve? Post-office job? Government Job? Or will I be stuck in a factory or warehouse all my life (assuming my business aspirations aren’t achieved?). Is there hope for me yet?

*(I don’t know if my credits will transfer over to another school, or if another school would accept me with my GPA, assuming we move somewhere that has a college with a similar degree)

I hope from what you’re saying that the counseling and prescription are helping. You’re judging yourself far too harshly. Just reading this, I see someone who dealt pretty well with a bad situation. You took care of your bills, and even with all you’ve been through, you’ve only got one F so far. If they drop you, that’s a damn shame, but you already know what you’ll do. You’ll find work; you’ll find a way back into this school or another; you’ll do what it takes to hang on and work toward whatever it is you want to achieve in life.

I’ve heard legends that some people glide though life and succeed at everything they try, first time. But I think most of us find it more difficult. I’d say that although your particular story is unique, having trouble is just normal life. Don’t give up, but don’t knock yourself unfairly when you experience a failure. Sometimes it’s your fault, sometimes it isn’t. Figure out which it is, chalk it up to experience, learn something from it, and move on to the next day.

Some thoughts, that you don’t have to answer – Is there any way to drop the class that you’re failing, or take an incomplete, so you can focus on the others? Can you take a leave of absence next semester, so you can work, put aside some cash, and just spend a few months letting the drugs and (I assume) therapy sink in? I assume you’re already talking to someone at your school’s counseling center, but I’d go in and specifically tell them you need to do some academic damage control. It happens, that’s why universities have counselors and emergency deans and such.

But from what I can tell the worst case here is that you leave school, work for a while, and maybe finish somewhere else later on. Many successful people have the same story. Best wishes.

My friend, the two words you need to take up with your advisor are “medical withdrawal”. Most schools have a program in place where you can take a semester or two off without penalty, even while under academic probation, if you have documented long-term medical problems including mental health. Get yourself stable and then start another run.

My own college even offered the opportunity to retroactively drop classes and whole semesters for mental health issues, subject to the approval of the Faculty Senate. You might try looking at your options rather than trying to carry a low GPA AND adjust to new medicines.

Profered Post.Rinse.Repeat, “I think you can’t work and go to school at the same time. You’ve proved that. The only two answers are savings and loans.”

The third option would be the military. They’ll pay for furthering your education and help you save for when you get out.

Thank you for the kind words. It helps a bit to get such a perspective.

I asked if I could drop it, but when I realized that I was going to have problems, it was already a couple days past the withdraw deadline. Also I was informed that if that wasn’t the case, dropping a class would have violated my probation. (12 credit hours). I could take a leave of absence, but I don’t know if I will be able to come back, and it may be harder to get into the swing. I can’t be certain.

I have a “history” of depression of sorts. I have tried twice in the past to commit suicide. One only a few close friends know about, because I didn’t tell anybody until after the fact, and even then I never told my parents. One was in high school and was just silly. The school counselor talked to me for a little bit, but nothing much more than that. I don’t even know if it is documented.

My Mom was once committed for Clinical Depression, but that is as close as I have personally been to it. In the past I’ve had a dark and somewhat morbid style of writing and most of my past poetry is rather depressing. Other than that, I have no history or documentation, and have only been having issues in the last 6 months.

I personally think it is attached to the fear of failure. I am afraid of being “that guy” that couldn’t hack college. I’m 30, so I didn’t start college until I was 26, loads of people quit college when they are 19-20 after a year or two of college, some even get kicked out. How many non-traditional students drop everything in their life, and then flounder in college, or fail?

I wasn’t sure I wanted to face friends, family, my Fiance’s parents, etc with such a loss on my shoulders. I “failed” the Marines just short of making it to the end (Medical discharge), and now that I am in college and on the home stretch, such failure threatens to strike again. I know compared to the woes of many people, mine are trivial. It just seems to significant and world shattering to me, and I don’t know why.

It’s understandable that you would feel this way–it is, after all, your life and by rights that’s the most important thing to you. I still stand by my recommendation to talk to a shrink and talk to your advisor and find out what’s possible–this is obviously a problem that is at least exacerbated if not caused by your depression, and that needs to be taken into account. You should at least give it a try.

If it makes you feel any better, I had to take a year off of school, including a retroactive withdrawal semester, to get my head straight. Five years later and I’m a department head at the company I work for, and no one notices or cares about the couple of undropped "F"s on the transcript or the missing year of classes. Hang in there and find a way of living that works for you.

Leaving out the rest of your post and speaking only to the questions above…

I’ve was academically suspended from a community college, dropped out of another one, and finally finished a one year certificate at a third after highschool.

I just accepted a position with a large community bank as a VP. My annual compensation will be between 60-75K.

Now, I work hard, and I am a pretty smart guy. In addition, I know how to play the corporate game and who to suck up to. I have no problem doing it to help myself. I learn quickly and am willing to speak out on things that I think are both bad and good.

A college degree may have gotten me here a couple of years earlier (or not), but I love what I do and the opportunities available to me. Just because you don’t have a college degree doesn’t mean crap. Also, in the next few years, the baby boomers will begin retiring. This is going to open up the job market and make employers beg for employees… find what you want to do and get in on the ground level now.

To briefly follow up on Zeriel’s comments, I really would encourage you go talk to someone at your school specifically about your academic problems. Given that there is a lot of non-academic stuff going on, I actually might suggest going straight to the counseling center. You don’t have to show up with a proposed plan of action, they can help you figure it out. Seriously, there are people whose job it is** to help out students in your situation, and most likely there are solutions you haven’t thought of yet.

**(and who are paid in part by your tuition)

Maybe you’re just not cut out for college or pressure. Not everyone is. Nothing wrong with that.

Try going to school part time. You might do better. So it takes longer…nothing wrong with that either.