Young adults are going through a transitional period of their lives where they have the freedom to explore different paths for themselves and try new opportunities. They switch majors, change schools, and change friend groups frequently. While they may call their indecisiveness a rite of passage, they may also worry that they frequently take on more than they can handle, lose interest, and abandon goals prematurely. It is more common than people think for people to choose to drop out of college or take time off; however, most young people have a lot of fears about what dropping out of college means about them. 

Common negative beliefs associated with dropping out:

  • I am a failure
  • I will never amount to anything
  • I am not good enough
  • I let people down
  • I am a disappointment to others
  • I don’t follow through with anything
  • I am throwing my life away
  • I will regret this
  • I’m not right for school
  • School isn’t right for me

Many young adults see the situation in black-and-white and judge themselves using absolutes like “never” and “always.”. Even if they are just taking time off and planning to return when they feel emotionally and academic ready, it can feel like a dead end for some. While they may have goals to return, the shame of not being prepared or motivated to stay in school can make the chances of following through feel uncertain. 

Self-doubt plays a large role in the decision to drop out. While students may be getting by in school, they may struggle to feel like they fit in or with managing stress, which are normal experiences for most college students. Despite academic ability or passion for a subject, confident students are more likely to adapt to the stressors of college life, while insecure students are more likely to feel overwhelmed.Taking time off college can help young adults regain a sense of confidence and motivation.

Factors Affecting College Dropout Rates: 

There are a lot of valid reasons to consider dropping out to focus on your mental health and personal goals. Stress and bad habits during college can create a vicious cycle that is hard to break. 

  • Balancing responsibilities with personal life
  • Not being ready for independent living
  • Lack of motivation
  • Struggling with organization and study skills
  • Problems managing stress
  • Neglecting self-care
  • Bad habits
  • Chronic stress
  • Negative beliefs associated with high expectations
  • Not knowing how to ask for help

Challenging Negative Beliefs About Dropping Out


  • Taking time off can help you re-evaluate your long-term goals and which course of study, if any, will help you get there.
  • You are not the only person you know who is struggling in school and considering dropping out.
  • You shouldn’t feel guilty for not wanting to be in school during a difficult time in your life.
  • If you advocate for your learning needs, teachers can try to work with you to improve your school experience. Learning differently doesn’t mean you can’t succeed in the classroom.
  • Taking time off is not a permanent decision.
  • Not being emotionally or academically prepared is not a reflection of your potential.
  • It is okay to put your mental health first.



blueFire PulsaR Can Help

blueFire PulsaR is a co-educational wilderness therapy program for young adults ages 18-28. This program addresses emotional, social, and behavioral problems in young adults who are considering dropping out or experiencing “failure to launch” syndrome. Adventure therapy, wilderness ventures, equine therapy, academic opportunities and “family spark” are used to help students open up and look at their life. From there they are able to experience growth and adopt healthy self-management skills. This program is dedicated to helping students regain a better sense of the world around them while addressing their emotions and needs head on. 

For more information about therapeutic options for college dropouts, contact us at 1 (844) 413-1999. We can help your family today!

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