View Full Version : When to give up

07-31-16, 11:04 AM
Hey everyone,

I was wondering if anyone wanted to give some input on my situation. I just turned 30 this year, and have been in and out of college since my early 20's. I originally went for music education, but just before I was about to graduate, I had an realization that I wanted to do something more related to helping the environment. So after dropping out from music ed and attending community college for a year for landscape design, I went to a university for one semester, before I dropped out again due to lack of focus. I've been trying to take basic science courses at other local community colleges ever since then, against without success due to lack of focus. Which brings me to today, where I was about to return to community college in the fall for basic math, but was unable to even focus enough to get registered.

So I'm wondering if I should just give up at this point. I am clearly having difficulty here, but I'm not too sure why exactly. I have started to suspect I have ADD, as I recently found out both of my parents have it, and I have many of the symptoms. I was considering going to a doctor to see what they could do to help me focus, but again, I just turned 30, and have a long history of failure, so I'm almost thinking it's time for me to throw in the towel and accept that I will have to make it without a college degree. Anyone have any similar experience that they would like to share, or any input overall?

Thanks in advance.

07-31-16, 12:49 PM
I honestly did not think I'd ever come across another individual that has been attending college for 10 years and having tried several different courses over the course of that period. Your story is very similar to mine regarding education. I also feel that I have ADD after having anxiety and depression ruled out. I've been told that I will be referred to a specialist but as for now I've heard nothing back.

As for where would one go from here.

I'd drop education for now at least. You've tried for 10 years. It does not take that long to get through education without there being something wrong, especially as you come across as someone who sees the value in education so the drive/ambition is probably there but something else is interfering. Perhaps push for an ADHD assessment? It might turn out that you can relate to ADHD more so than you may think.

At least you now know that you're not the only 10 year college goer, that has yet to pass anything. :lol:

08-01-16, 04:29 AM
There is nothing wrong with shifting gears and doing something else. AND there is nothing wrong with being on the 10 year or 50 year college plan so long as its still a positive thing for you. Dont let society's image of what the perfect student looks like to make you feel bad. Its worth getting a doctor to check you out. ADHD is hereditary and its very possible to fly under the radar growing up. Treatment can change your life or at least, help you find direction even if it doesnt involve schooling.

08-01-16, 05:38 AM
It's not too late to get a professional opinion and if diagnosed try medication. I was diagnosed a few months ago at 35.

I wasn't the best in HS. I always felt like a failure for not attempting college-- especially when many of my friends were working for or had their degrees. I finally went back and finished 2 years. I moved and I keep telling myself that I'll go back but I'm not sure I will. I think I'm setting myself up for a different path.

If school is currently making you miserable and you feel like a failure- step back, get the assessment you need and decide what you want to do afterwards. You still won't be too old to finish school if that's what you want to do. Plus, you'll have the tools you need to be more successful.

08-02-16, 02:44 AM
it is always possible age is not an issue when it comes to this

Just get on the path an stick to it before you know it you will be where you wan't to be

08-14-16, 03:38 AM
Seeing a doctor and getting professional help will be very beneficial for you. I'm around your age and realizing I had ADHD and that there was help out there was a wonderful turning point in my life. While I don't suggest wasting money aimlessly on college courses, don't write yourself off entirely. I think the community colleges allow you to speak with a guidance counselor before applying, and if they don't, the application process is (relatively) straightforward, though tedious. If you're having trouble with it, you can go in to the school and have someone help you. :)

I know two people who had a change of heart and ended up back in college well into adulthood. One was in his forties and another was in his fifties. The good thing about returning to school as an adult is that it allows you time to mature and grow. There are also other options that some people don't think much about, such as going to a trade school. On the other hand, if you're happy without a college degree, you don't have to pursue one. Having a degree allows you more opportunities to expand your education and experience, but it's not what everyone wants or needs. So as far as your education, do whatever you think is best for you. But take care of yourself, and see a doctor sooner rather than later.

08-15-16, 06:49 AM
Education is continuous, something that goes on all our lives, how we do it depends on what suits us..... some people learn best in formal education, others are more hands on. Some people can only learn when they're interested in the subject and/or can see relevance in their lives, others can grind through difficulties because they see it as a route to where they want to be.....

What might be more of an issue is that conventional college classes are too long..... you nearly completed Music Ed, then dropped out..... that's the key moment.... the "Almost" bit..... sometimes we ADDers have a self-sabotaging thing, and ADHD plays right into that.

The thing that comes through in your post is the sense that you feel that there's something "wrong" with not completing these courses. That's likely to make you focus on not completing and de-motivates you from the start.

There's also a strong cultural pressure to "have a career"..... do one thing all one's life, which is baloney.... as long as you're happy, fulfilled and have your needs met it's just fine to follow one's interests...... OK it can make conventional job interviews tougher later in life, and can feel a bit insecure at times.....but the rewards are often significant, even if the renumeration isn't!

The most important thing is to develop a good network of contacts, and a reputation for reliability.

Even though both my parents pushed hard for me to have "a career" I found I have around a 5 year career interest span. Trying to train for a new career hits the hurdle that most training takes several years..... by the time I finished training and got "properly qualified" I was already thinking about moving on.

It's very important to realise that one can have a fun and fulfilling life following one's interests as long as one doesn't get too hooked up in doing things "properly"..... something you may have learned from your parents...... they are often the worst for pushing their round kids into square holes.

If you're a freewheeler, just go and be one.

08-15-16, 09:35 AM
Try meds. You don't even know what you'll be like on meds yet. Perhaps school will be a lot easier for you.

Get the meds fast cause schools starting soon. And then make a decision after you've given meds a real try. That means trying multiple meds at different doses if need be. You don't always find the right one the first time.

Also how many credits are you short of a degree. If it's very few, you might be better off finishing.

08-16-16, 03:00 PM
....good words of advice here ....I have a degree in photography, and almost finished my degree in education ....neither of which I do now ....just started a new career in making jewelry ...who knew ??

.....get yourself diagnosed ...if it's not ADHD, then it probably is something matter what the problem is, if you get that squared away, you can move on ....

Little Missy
08-16-16, 03:06 PM
You give up when the longing for the wish fails to keep you there.
OR, you get medicated and rip it out.

08-16-16, 04:42 PM
Sounds very familiar to me. I have studied eleven years before I finally got to finishing a bachelor's degree. After that I started to study for my master's degree, which nominally should take 1 year. The first year I finished all courses I had to do and got into an internship. Sadly enough I didn't get to finish what I needed to finish during the three months of my internship. Right now I have been studying two years and have to finish my master thesis. That thesis really is a very big hurdle for me, since it requires a lot of independence and offers relatively little external structure.

For me despite all difficulty giving up has never really been an option that was on the table. I have been diagnosed with PDD-NOS and depression and therefore can get disability benefits, so I have the possibility to study. However, I always had the feeling that PDD-NOS wasn't a label that accurately described me. When my master thesis wasn't going as it was supposed to go I was looking for what was going on with me. Earlier a drama therapist suggested I might have ADD, but my then psychiatrist wouldn't even consider the possibility. When I looked at the symptoms it became clear to me that they fitted my problems very well. So I went to my gp and got a recipe for Ritalin and a referral to the psychiatrist.

Since I have Ritalin my life really is going much better. With regard to study I finally feel that I'm making real progress on my thesis, after having been struggling a lot. Medication can really make a huge difference in that respect. So I would suggest you get yourself assessed for ADD and look at the possibility of medication. Maybe they will finally make your study work, maybe they won't, but it's at least worth a try.

08-17-16, 02:16 AM
My husband and my brother have both taken the 10 year college path. My brother is 34 at the end of the month and he's just finished his Bachelors and a Diploma and is finally working in the field he wanted to (took him a long time to figure out what he wanted to do), and my husband has 18 months left (turning 33 this year) of his BSc in Information Security.

There's no such thing as too late, and I think if you were able to get diagnosed it would help a lot.

10-28-16, 10:22 PM
I love your resilience, you have an amazing story.

I have adhd I still have the same problem. In the last year, i haf 4 different job. I began to read self help book and doing meditation. Since then, i am more focus, and more happy.

There is a old saying that say, you need to find who you are in order to do what you want. And i see lots of people having adhd, looking outward for an answer. However, i believe that we must look inward, to find what we are, to find our strengh, our gift, to dig deeper.

Our outside is just a reflexion of our inside.

hope it help

10-28-16, 10:51 PM
Give up what exactly?

You're going to do something - you're just not sure what yet.

If school is maybe not the right thing to do, find something that's clearly better. If you don't find anything obviously better for you, then continue school until you do find that other thing.

Keep in mind that leaving school is not going to improve your focus - and you need just as much focus to get and keep a job.