WHY I DROPPED OUT OF COLLEGE

Before I dive into this post, I just want to mention that this was just my own personal experience and what worked for me. Not everyone has the same path in life & that is ok. I am a huge believer in education.

This post might be controversial, so if you are going to read, please read with an open mind as I am creating a NON JUDGMENTAL community. I believe that everyone has their own path and is entitled to their own opinions.

Now, let’s jump in, so I can share my truth.

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I went to college with the intention of never graduating. Sounds weird, right?

It’s because I never saw that for myself. I never saw myself graduating because I’ve always been an out of the box person. I like to do things differently. It’s not that I didn’t see a future for myself.


Sometimes that is good and sometimes that is not so good, you know?

It’s good because it separates me from the crowd, but not so good when… well it’s always good in my opinion LOL I can’t explain why I feel this way. This is just me. I’m very opinionated and stick to what I believe in, ok?

MY COLLEGE EXPERIENCE

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So, here I am in college. University of Arizona. Joined a sorority.

( Alpha Phi - Kourtney Kardashian is technically my sister NBD )

Dropped it after 3 days.

( So I guess she technically isn’t my sister anymore? )

Went to my classes. Got gallstones and had surgery. Missed a lot of class because I was constantly in the hospital with gallstones. Struggled to get my grades up. Didn’t know what I wanted or what I was doing ( & I mean let’s be real… how many of us actually KNOW what we want to do? )

Now I’m in this awkward place where I’m like… “Well what do I do next? Do I drop out of school? How will I get a job? What the actual fuck am I doing?”

It was scary!

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Yes I am an out of the box person. I am also human and get scared.

BUT - I knew in my gut what I had to do.

BTW, I’m just giving you a quick synopsis of my college experience before I get into the WHY I dropped out.

Going back to my story… I’m scared, not doing well in school and then it hit me. I was going to drop out WITH A PLAN.

  1. Get a job

  2. Learn how to sell

  3. Improve my habits

  4. Do everything and anything that scares me to grow

Let’s get into why I dropped out.

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My college experience was fun. I went to the University of Arizona. I met amazing friends. Had a great time. Lived in a beautiful apartment. But there was a major problem.

My mentality.

Life is so fucking short. Why was I going to waste the first 2 years in college out of my VALUABLE life to take general education courses that I do not care about? BEFORE I EVEN GET INTO MY MAJOR. Like what?

Couldn’t comprehend.

Again, this is my opinion and I am NOT in anyway encouraging anyone to do the same.

This is my experience and thought process.

I understand the purpose of general education courses. If you want to be a doctor, a lawyer, in finance, etc… you NEED to go through this process. Even if you want to be a business major or GRADUATE. I get it, ok?

It just wasn’t for me.

I couldn’t do it. I felt like I was wasting my life away because it wasn’t meant for me. It just wasn’t my path, ya know?

HERE IS WHAT I DID

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The first step was to get a job. I wanted to continue educating myself, but in a way that worked for me. I got a job at a local boutique and studied sales.

I ended up having the highest sales out of any other employee over the entire course of working there.

When I would come home from work, I would then work on myself. Whether that was my physical or mental health. I would journal, reflect on what I learned that day, study sales techniques online, make to do lists, write out my next plan.

I got in better and healthier habits. I stopped going out at night with friends. I didn’t drink. I took care of me. I wanted to shape myself into the person that I NEEDED to be if I was going to leave Arizona WITHOUT a degree.

Again, I do no judge anyone who enjoys the college experience! This is my story.

  • I signed up for public speaking courses

  • Comedy improv classes

  • Leadership classes

I did everything that was out of my comfort zone to help improve my communication skills and other important life skills that would help me land a job or start my own business.

Long story short… you know where I am today. At 20 years old I moved to Miami Beach, started a marketing agency and met my boyfriend, Pedro. I am also going after my passion of self care, blogging and trying to prevent suicides. A lot. I’m only 25 now. Oh, and I have a podcast.

I dropped out of school because it wasn’t right for me. I love to learn. I learn everyday. I learn differently. I truly struggle to sit in a classroom and comprehend what is being taught.

When I first moved to Florida, ( I moved to Florida b/c it was my happy place & have family here ) I got my Real Estate license because I thought that Real Estate was for me. I think I cried everyday because I couldn't understand what I was learning in class.

I had to get a separate tutor to help me with the material.

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SO - I ended up getting my license. I sold around 5 million in real estate within my first few months, but it was too “by the book.” That is partially why I dropped out of school.

During this journey I have learned a lot, but also a lot about myself.

I am a creative. I can’t think how most people think because I think TOO DAMN MUCH. I am always coming up with ideas. New ways to go about life. How to help people. I am always writing. I am always reading.

…and I don’t do well with people telling me what to do. This is me.

This path is not for everyone. This path requires a thick skin. You have to be tough. You have to be passionate. You have to be determined. You have to be motivated. You have to have a plan.

Because without that… you are setting yourself up for failure.

I have put strict routines in place, a solid self care routine, and plans for when I get into funks.

I didn’t know EXACTLY what the future held for me when I left University of Arizona, but I knew that I was about to make something happen for myself. I wanted to be happy. I wanted to feel fulfilled.

I do want to mention how grateful I am to have had the opportunity to attend college. It is truly a privilege and an experience.

But if we are going to be real…

I believe that your life is what you make it, and if you want something you can have it. Whether it requires a degree or not.

The internet is our best friend right now. You can literally Google ANYTHING. You can take online courses. I am 100% self taught. You just need to have that motivation and make the commitment.

MY CONTROVERSIAL STATEMENT

I do believe that you need a degree for certain industries as I mentioned above, however, I don’t believe in a business degree. I don’t believe in a communications degree. I don’t believe in a liberal arts degree.

It’s not that i don’t “believe” in it, it’s that I believe if you want something, you can get it. There is more than ONE path in life. It’s all about perseverance, educating YOURSELF, getting motivated and pushing your limits. Again, I am self taught.


This is a bold statement. I get that.

Remember, I have an out of the box mindset and different type of personality. It’s not better than anyone else’s, it’s just different and this is what worked for me.

I am sharing this because I can’t be the only one who felt lost in life.

I really felt so lost at the time. I needed to read this at the time. So, I am sharing this for anyone who needs a little inspiration.

There are MORE people out there who have the opposite belief that you NEED a degree. I don’t judge them because they are doing what is right for them.

In life, all that matters is that we are happy, k?

…and before I receive any negativity from this statement, I want to let you know that if you graduated ( it doesn’t matter what degree ), you should be very proud. This is something that I just couldn't do. I struggled in school. I think that everyone has their own path in life. What works for one person might not work for another.

These are just my beliefs because this is what I did.

I did not believe in having that piece of paper. That piece of paper didn’t teach me…

  • Real life business techniques

  • Sales techniques

  • How to get a job

  • How to really nail an interview

  • How to get that client

  • How to close that deal

  • How to build a business

  • How to keep going when business gets rough

  • How to grow with social media

  • How to start a blog

  • How to start a podcast

  • What to write about

These are things that I had to learn on my own.

When I was in school I was learning the EXACT same thing that everyone else was learning. Through a presentation, books, notes, homework and finals.

Real life experience is my favorite form of education.

( again, if you want to be a doctor or lawyer or in finance there is no way around this. Totally get it & if college is for you, I will never judge you for that. )

There is nothing that I hated more than being on the same path as everyone else.

Being taught the same thing as everyone else. That doesn’t help me stand out with the crowd, in fact, that actually makes the competition tougher.

  1. Why would I want to do what everyone else is doing?

  2. Why do I want to learn what everyone else is learning?

I wanted to be different. I needed to be different.

In my opinion, college is an experience, it is education, but it also paves a very similar path for students.

Did you know that when I left college I got a job as a marketing director of a luxury real estate company in Miami Beach?

Without a degree. I wasn’t the only one being interviewed either. I got the job over people with DEGREES. I did my research. I taught myself. I took the opportunity and fucking RAN with it. I worked my ass off. Day and night. I was 20 years old. Nothing came easy. I had to figure out what I wanted in life. I had to work for it.

I didn’t leave school to sit at home in Chicago.

I left school to chase my passions. I do not believe in failure. I do fail a lot, make mistakes, I try my best to learn from it and battle self criticism. This is the only way that I know how to grow and get closer to achieving my goals. I do believe in not trying and I wasn’t about to go down that path.

I needed to do what was right for me.

I left college to find out who I was. To do things my way. To start my company. To live on the beach. To be in a happy relationship.

TO DO WHAT WAS RIGHT FOR ME. FOR SYDNEY NANBERG. Not for anyone else.

There are a lot of tough days. Even if you have a degree and are chasing your passions! There will always be tough days.

This path is not for everyone. Just like college wasn’t my path. There is nothing wrong with EITHER path.

I’M GOING TO END THIS HERE

I am educating myself every single day.

I start my day by reading and watching educational videos or listening to podcasts. I am always learning. I am always striving to reach new goals. I put in the work because I KNOW that in this world today, most people need a degree.

I hope you found this valuable and inspiring! If this wasn’t your path, it’s 100% ok. No judgements here. No matter what path you take, you have the power to create the life of your dreams. Only if you put in the work.

So, it really comes down to that. No matter which path you choose, you have to be willing to put in the work.

…but it isn’t for everyone and this is my truth.

XO,

Sydney

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Sydney Nanberg