There are many paths to success, and college is just one of them. From financial constraints to different career goals, specific individuals choose to not partake in attending a university. College is not for everyone, and that is completely okay. Many different career paths do not actually require a college degree. However, many individuals will not give college a fair chance and will drop out prematurely.
College can be extremely difficult at times, between academic rigor and social adjustments, many individuals may feel as though dropping out is the only option. According to a recent survey conducted by the world economic forum, only 46% of students are confident that they are staying at the school with varying percentages of dropping out and transferring. Personally, this number does not surprise me. With the constant increase in expectations in the academic world, college can simply be way too much.
I think the main reason this number seems to have increased is that colleges do not focus on students’ mental health as much as they should. Specifically, from my own experiences, there have been times when I have struggled mentally and have suffered in my grades, as I was so caught up in my own head that grades were just not my concern. Luckily, I was able to get back on my feet again. However, there are many who are not able to take the constant pressure and stress any longer and drop out of the university they are attending. I think that colleges should take more time to showcase to students that struggling mentally is extremely normal, especially at these ages of your life when you are still figuring out who you are.
When one struggles mentally, they tend to make manic decisions without truly thinking them through, the main one being transferring or dropping out of school. When I was struggling, the urge to transfer or drop out was constantly running through my head, and the only reason I did not partake in either was because of how much money and time I had already spent at Fairfield, as I am a junior. However, if I had been in my earlier stages at Fairfield, I would have definitely decided to change schools or follow another career path.
Some ways that Fairfield can prevent this from happening is by having more services that focus on a student’s mental health, so they do not make a manic decision that they will later regret. Services can include more platforms for students to talk about how they are feeling and what may be overwhelming them, like Togetherall. Togetherall allows students to engage in conversations surrounding mental health, and can be used as a supportive outlet. However, I think Fairfield needs to do more to promote the platform to students, as they are not aware that it is offered. With busy schedules like my own, some students may not have enough time to stop down at the Counseling & Psychological Services office. As students are constantly engaging in social media and being online, I think Togetherall is definitely a step forward. Overall, Fairfield should aim to provide an online platform in which students can speak to a licensed professional about what they may go through or how they may feel, as Togetherall does not provide this.
In some cases, transferring or dropping out may definitely be the solution to a student’s issues. But most of the time, students make this decision due to not having helpful resources available to them. As much as college should be focused on one’s academic achievements, it also should focus on one’s personal growth and well-being, as colleges should offer support to these parts of a student’s life as well.