Preparation is the key to avoid dropping out
Choose carefully as the wrong choice can lead to a U-turn on the journey
“I got my first choice of arts in Maynooth,” says Caitríona Murphy who specialised in English, music and history. She enjoyed the course itself and the material she studied. “I stayed in college for all of the first semester, passed all of my exams so went back for second semester.”
About a month into her second semester, Caitríona dropped out. “I knew I really didn’t enjoy university because I didn’t enjoy going into college,” she says. “I was also extremely unmotivated to go because I felt it was extremely pointless.”
However, Caitríona is not sure anything could have changed her and says it helped her in finding out what she wanted.
“I had a compulsory counselling meeting when I dropped out and the counsellor asked if I was to do it all over again, would I have done anything different. Maybe, if I had known the number of people who don’t enjoy arts I would’ve thought about it more,” she says. “But I kind of needed to actually do one year of the course to find out.”
Caitríona is planning to move to a journalism course in DCU but she feels extra pressure having already dropped out.
“I cannot bear to drop out again, or afford to drop out again, so I need it to go well.”
She says she’s “starting to get excited again but there’s still that nervous feeling.”
Mark Geiran dropped out of college but might consider part-time study later
“My first choice was Computing in Games Development in Dundalk IT,” says Mark Geiran. “ I had a few other computing courses down after that but I got my first choice.”
He was happy in his course initially and did well in his first semester exams. “Then in the second semester things just didn’t seem to click. I failed a few exams and had to repeat the semester a year later.”
After repeating and passing, Mark then got into second year and things were fine until his second semester when he started to struggle again.
“There was a lot of artwork involved that I hadn’t expected and didn’t have an interest in.” Mark’s problems with art meant he had to repeat the semester a year later.
Four years in and Mark went back again. “I just didn’t enjoy it any more. I decided it wasn’t for me and that I didn’t want to keep going with it for the sake of it.”
Since dropping out, Mark has been working full time in a warehouse for the past two years. He says he’d never go back to full-time education after working for so long but is considering part-time courses. “I’ve moved out to my own place so rent alone will keep me working.”