US college schooling advice (I want to give up)


I graduated high school six years ago, and I have neither finished college or received a degree. I have been trying to earn a degree in the medical field for almost 4 years now. After high school, I started college and took courses to be accepted into a nursing program. After submitting my application, I wasn't accepted the first time. I sat out for a year, and after reapplying, I was finally accepted. I only lasted one semester and was dismissed for poor grades. I realized nursing was too difficult for me.

I started to research other careers in Healthcare and discovered occupational therapy. After research, I decided to become an occupational assistant because only an associate's degree is excepted. Once getting a AA, I would go on for occupational therapy. I found a technical college that offered it, and after submitting all my credits, I was accepted. I made it up until this past month and was dismissed. I was almost done. My grades were mostly A's and B's for several terms. I failed a challenging course and was dropped. As of now, I am devastated and am ready to throw in the towel. I really want to get into a career working in the medical field, but I don't know how to get past the school hump. Are there easier careers where the school is easier?


cameron5575, BSN, RN

Has 1 years experience. 47 Posts

What have you done to try to improve your academic experience in school? Have you gone to your school resources for help? Looked into tutoring? What is it specifically that you struggle with?

Definitely don't throw in the towel before doing a solid self-assessment and figuring out what exactly your weaknesses are. Otherwise, you'll get stuck in a loop of making the same mistakes every time you enter a program (no matter how "hard" or "easy" you perceive it to be). For example, do you struggle with understanding concepts? If so, which ones? Do you complete all of your assigned work or do you procrastinate? Do you let nerves get the best of you when test taking? There are so many reasons why one might not do well in school.

Before you rush in to another career path, identify the core problem, plan on how to correct it, then follow through. And, by all means, utilize your resources and ask for help.



Specializes in oncology. Has 45 years experience. 2,185 Posts

1 hour ago, cameron5575 said:

Have you gone to your school resources for help?

Was your technical school, a community college? if not look to the health programs at your community college. You may need to also look at other areas your community college offers to get your GPA up. 

When you find a program, investigate their student success plan. Do they have a tutor dedicated to health programs or math or science? Can you join small learning groups with a learning coach at the helm?


Hannahbanana, BSN, MSN

Specializes in Physiology, CM, consulting, nsg edu, LNC, COB. Has 52 years experience. 1,187 Posts

You write well, mostly (not sure what you mean by a program being excepted) but you might very well benefit by an educational skills evaluation. Even really smart people can have subtle learning disabilities that can mystifyingly sabotage formal education.

I have a son whose IQ tested out at >150. And despite doing brilliantly in oral work and math (multiplying numbers to 2000 in his head when he was 4, 8th grade math As when he was 10) he struggled to get Cs on written coursework because he didn’t realize what was coming out of the end of his pen wasn’t what he thought he’d put into it. He thought he was stupid and his teachers thought he was lazy. Bad scene.

The educational consultant who spent three hours testing him said he was 1-4 standard deviations above the mean on a bazillion measures but two below the mean on just two. Those two things were what made all the difference. I said, “ What does this mean? Will he be able to go to college?” She laughed and said, “I’ve got a bunch of kids just like this at MIT right now.” He graduated from a tough science-based high school and went to an engineering major in college, graduated third in his class as the head of the  peer tutoring program, too.

Now he’s a manager and supervising engineer in an important part of the military-industrial complex (I still love him anyway). But he almost flunked out of 5th grade before we figured this all out.

Look up “educational consultants” in your area. Talk to a few. They’ve seen this before. You might find you’d benefit from accommodations that are mandatory for people with bona fide learning disabilities and end up finishing the school of your choice after all. It’s possible. Your persistence thus far is a good sign.

Good luck! Let us know what happens!