The sight of a first year student dropping out of university is by no means a rare occurrence. Yet it is strongly advised that you resist any inclination to do so if you wish to live a life of little regret.
What is Christmas Graduation?
The term “Christmas graduation” is a colloquialism used to refer to the many students who end up dropping out of their university program during their first year of school. Thus it is implied that many of these students realize they are not cut out for university by the end of their first semester and therefore perform an honorary “Christmas graduation”, and drop out by December.
Top Five Reasons for Dropping out in First Year
1. Too Much Partying
Many students that head off to university for the first time experience a level of freedom that was previously denied to them growing up. Living away from home in a dorm pack with other students ready to have a good time can make it easy to get caught up in a hedonistic party lifestyle. Unfortunately many first year students haven not developed a proper sense of self discipline and are taken down by an inability to stop. As the first two semesters of university disappear in a haze of late night inebriation, school performance may drop down to a level so low that students are pushed out of their program, and lose the resolve to continue attending school.
2. Academic Difficulties
Its not much of a secret that university is considerably more challenging than high school, both conceptually and in terms of volume. Many students fail to realize this early on and assume that they can coast through their semesters much in the same way that they got through their grade twelve classes. Once final marks for courses come back, and the consequences of not putting in the proper amount of work become apparent, some students become so discouraged by their poor outcome, and prospective three year left in university, that they decide to call the quits.
3. Feelings of Social Isolation/Homesickness
For some students who are heading off to a distant college town for their four years of university, there might be an overwhelming feeling of homesickness that creeps in once they realize that they are separated from what they have grown up comfortable with. This can be exasperated by feelings of alienation with ones new surroundings and not clicking well with peers. Conversely, students who stay in their home town for university and commute to school, may feel a sense of isolation from communal life at school. In both cases it is important to understand that these feelings are common, and to seek out the many free counselling services that are covered by your tuition, and try to sort out your personal problems before giving up on school prematurely.
4. Too Much Attention Placed on Extracurriculars
There are always certain students out there that base their entire social lives on being as actively involved with extracurricular activities as possible. Since most universities feature a dearth of student organizations, as well as fraternities and sororities to rush in first year, there is a distinct danger for some students to overextend themselves in their new found campus life, much to the detriment of their course work. As in the aforementioned cases, any early academic failure caused by this can be disheartening and lead to a premature exit from school.
5. Financial/Personal Issues
The last major factors that can push students out of university are unresolved financial and personal issues. Going to university can be a huge stress on your family’s economic situation, and this can greatly compound issues that are taking place at home, such as the loss of a loved one or a crisis within your family. When to many external burdens are placed on your life outside of school, it may become extremely difficult to retain your focus and concentrate on your studies.
Don’t Give in and Drop Out
While there are certain cases when students really discover their passion and calling in life outside of university, and leave early to pursue their dreams, most cases of drop outs for the aforementioned reasons are typically riddled with regret. Giving up on attaining a university degree might mean that you will have to face significantly more barriers in life and be denied the right to work in many fields. Moreover, while there is always potential to get your act together and head back to school, the act of attending university can often be time sensitive. It is much easier to head to university as a late teen with few obligations and people depending on you, than as an adult who has to worry about a host of different factors. Most universities are more forgiving towards underachievement in first year, and it is strongly recommended that you re-evaluate your goals and push forward.