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7 Steps to Finding Success If You Drop Out of College

Written by Peter Jones

Think you can’t be successful if you drop out of college? Think again. Some of the biggest companies in the world were started by entrepreneurs who never finished school. While there are skills and experiences and accomplishments that any aspiring successful person will acquire in college, if you happen not to have finished (or you find yourself having dropped out and spiraling in a fit of panic), remember that it isn’t necessarily the end of the world.

Here are a few things you can do if you dropped out to get yourself back on a good track to success.

1. Breathe.

First take a deep breath and realize it’s your life. You are in control. If this is what you need and you can still accomplish what you want to in life without this degree? Then great. Start making concrete plans and working towards that goal.

2. Keep learning.

Education doesn’t necessarily end with school. Neither should yours. Continue learning as voraciously as possible—following what interests you most and what you’d need to know to expand your career outside of school. Don’t fall into ignorance or stagnation just because you needed to stop attending college.

3. Keep taking risks.

Dropping out to pursue other options is a big risk. If it pays off for you, continue thinking of other ways you can take calculated risks in pursuit of your destiny. Keep pushing for your dreams. You’ve already shown you have the guts. Persist!

4. Find your real-life community.

Just because you aren’t in college anymore doesn’t mean you don’t need professors and “classmates.” Find yourself mentors. Present yourself to people in your desired field and show your willingness to learn. You’ll probably get a good recommendation out of it at some stage in your career. Similarly, find your crew of like-minded, similarly-oriented people who you can build your empire (or at least a business) with. Learn from each other and promote each other’s work.

5. Don’t ditch responsibilities.

Whatever your new class equivalent is—show up for it. Don’t blow things off just because you aren’t technically required to show up anymore. Push yourself and give yourself grades! This is equally important for work. Get a job and show up at it—on time and consistently.

6. Don’t be defensive.

You can’t have it both ways. If you didn’t finish school, you can’t very well complain that other people did and it makes you feel bad. Remember you chose your priorities and your life. It was your choice. Be honest about why and don’t take any negativity from anyone if they react unfairly.

7. Be humble.

Be willing to work from the bottom up. Get in on the entry level of whatever field you most want to work in. Be willing to start low on the totem pole. With a little humility and dedication, you probably won’t be down there long.

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About the author

Peter Jones

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