“Dear Elijah, we are writing to encourage you to pursue your education at another fine institution, best of luck!”
Okay, maybe that’s how the email read in my head. In actuality it was more like, “you’re academically disqualified.”
For many college students in the United States, dropping out is a real possibility. Reasons vary, but it can really set them back.
Or it can drive them to overcome self-imposed limitations.
This story, my story, didn’t end with that email…and neither should yours.
Barriers to Wordsmith Content Writing
When you search, “How to become a wordsmith” 0 articles will recommend first dropping out of college.
But before we touch on my personal experience, allow me to share some surprising statistics.
According to a report from the Education Data Initiative:
- At 4-year institutions, 56% of students dropout within 6 years
- 38% dropout because of financial issues, many will solid GPA’s
- Off those who dropout, only 30% eventually re-enroll to try finish their degree
- Dropouts earn $21,000 less annually than those who graduate
Additional financial consequences include defaulting on school loans, and even an increased chance of poverty. Imagine the psychological effects of these on top of not completing one’s major educational goal!
On a side note, the same report found that almost 40% of those who graduate now work in jobs which don’t require their degree. Guess that’s a plug for vocational schools, but I detract.
With the topic of student debt hitting the mainstream, it’s worth discussing what part the educational system plays. A lack of motivation and direction were central to my situation…but what about for others?
California State University San Marcos
Now please know this isn’t a critique of my alma mater CSUSM, where I had some amazing professors and classmates. It’s simply an exercise in critical thinking and hopefully enlightening to both colleges and those who attend.
Data USA found:
- Only 14% of graduates at my school did so in 4 years
- 53% completed their degree in 6 years
- 58% finished in 8 years
With remote learning, lack of on-campus events, and other changes brought about by Covid restrictions, this last number is the most telling.
Is it a lack of counselors? Are majors impacted and students can’t get the classes they need? Should there be more accountability?
Ultimately colleges are businesses and having a lifetime value for your “customer” of 8 years is appealing. This isn’t to say they encourage it, but do they do enough to prevent it?
I don’t know the answer, but either way there’s not enough dialogue around this subject. And that is unfortunate.
Okay, back to my story.
Wordsmith Content Writing
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My vocational prospects were derailed after I was asked not to return.
And until I started dating my (now) wife, who holds multiple degrees, I never considered returning. The mountain simply appeared too tall and foreboding to climb.
But at some undefined point along the path, I resolved to finish what I started. And then the fun started.
But being reinstated on probation carried with it certain restrictions:
- Until my GPA was high enough, I had to “crash” every class
- Any grade less than a C while on probation would end my chance
- If my GPA wasn’t high enough after a predetermined number of credits, I’d have to apply at another school
This pressure actually fueled me, eventually placing me on the Dean’s list. The support of my wife, prayers, and encouragement made this possible.
Academically I did very well, and was proud of the change in my study habits.
But my previous poor performance reared its ugly head once again, dropping my average below what they’d accept. And I’d expended all my available credits.
Well that was it…or so I thought.
Another Chance To Redeem Myself
An absolute angel in the admissions department found I was owed forgiveness on one semester of poor grades. Somehow my account had been missed during their previous purge.
Guess what? It put me just above their minimum requirement and I could apply for the following semester. It was a miracle!
Humbled and with a renewed sense of purpose, graduation was finally within reach. And nothing would stop me now.
Feeling quite unqualified, I was nominated team lead my final semester to manage an interdisciplinary group. Their unique perspectives and areas of expertise were invaluable to our ultimate success.
A professional trade show and presentation were the final pieces, which we aced. With a ton of support and miraculous breaks along the way, I was now a college graduate!
Despite being unable to walk with my graduating class (thanks Covid), my degree now proudly hangs in my home office. Simply a stepping stone to where I want to eventually be in my career, it’s still a great reminder.
A reminder of how adversity is a good thing if you let it motivate you to push harder. Enough about me, let’s discuss how your private practice can benefit!
Elijah Wordsmith Content Writing
Now you know more of the journey that’s brought me to your tablet, desktop, or smartphone. Hopefully my wordsmith website has been of value to you, and thanks for stopping by!
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