What to Do After Dropping Out of College
Whether you thought long and hard “should I drop out of college” or you were forced to do so because of things out of your control, you need to find the right path forward after all the paperwork is done. Think positive. Your whole future lies shining in front of you, and just because school wasn’t the right choice doesn’t mean you’ll end up stuck somewhere else you don’t want to be. 

BTW, if you’re just planning to leave your studies, read the guide on how to drop out of college the right way.

What can you do after dropping out of college? These 10 ideas will set you on the right path.

Take Some Time to Just Breathe

No matter what made you drop out of college, it was undoubtedly stressful. Give yourself some time to decompress and relax for a while… but not too long. You don’t want to get stuck in a bad situation because you have no money and no plan. Stay in your pajamas until noon, curl up on the couch, but bring your laptop along to do some research into where you want to go next in life. Some people take a gap year in the middle of their advanced education to travel or recover from dropout stress. If you do not intent to go back to school, you might still need some decompression before taking your future in  hand. BTW, if you’re just planning to leave your studies, read the guide on how to drop out of college the right way.

Explore Your Passions and Possibilities

What do you really want to do? What do you dream of? Who do you want to be when you grow up? These may sound like questions for wide-eyed youths, but dropping out of college does give you an opportunity to reinvent yourself. You may not be able to become a prima ballerina, a football star, or an astronaut, but you should focus your future efforts on something that sparks interest and fulfills you as an individual.

Before you get to your dreams, however, you do need a way to make money.

Sell Your Textbooks

You spent tons of money on textbooks for classes you either didn’t take or didn’t benefit from. There’s no reason to make it all a waste of time and money. Instead of tossing the books to the back of your closet, head to BookScouter.com and sell them. This super easy to use platform lets you sell your books at the best price performing just a single search per book. Just type in an ISBN (what’s an ISBN), and you get buy-back prices from 30+ vendors looking to buy your books. You just have to proceed with the best deal. The money earned will help you start a new, exciting, post-college life.

Get a Job (You Know You Need To)

Unless you’re going right back into another full-time educational process, you need to find a job. Maybe part-time will work for you, but most adults need the income that comes with a 40-hour work week. If you’re lucky, you can find something that matches your interest. To be honest, you probably won’t at first. Any job is better than no job as long as it doesn’t destroy your spirit or your body. It will look better on your college student resume,  on the first job interview and give you the money you need to survive.

Start a Side Hustle or Two

Did you love the quick cash you got from those textbook sales? There are tons of side hustles out there today that can make you money without trapping you in a structured schedule. You can even stay in your pajamas on the couch for some of them. Sell other people’s textbooks for them or branch out with other product types online. Do rideshares or deliveries of food or other local purchases. Offer a service like graphic design, copywriting, or social media management online.

Volunteer for Something You Care About

Offering your time and energy to a cause may not earn you any money, but it does boost your spirits, help you feel fulfilled, and pad your resume. This is a great way to revitalize your spirit after the defeat of becoming a college dropout. Reject the label and become something else: a shelter dog clean-up specialist, a nursing home entertainer, or an advocate for any other important group or focus issue.

Reinvent Your Adult Self

College offers a buffer between the teenage high school experience and the cold hard truth of adulthood. When you drop out before the normal four-year transition period, you have to reinvent yourself sooner. What does this mean? Not only do you need to find a job or launch your own projects, but you should also think about the type of adult you want to be. Explore new looks, interests, and possibilities. This is tough. Getting help is often a great idea.

Get Some Professional or Personal Counseling

Dropping out of college affects your mindset and attitude, whether it’s a personal decision or something forced upon you. All this reinventing and forced adulting makes things even harder. Never avoid getting help when you need it. This can come in the form of personal therapy ( read about depression in college students) or career counseling services. Look into online group sessions or opportunities from your local Chamber of Commerce. Both general helpers and specialists exist, and they can help you learn how to navigate the next stage of your life more successfully.

Go All In with Your Own Business

Maybe the reason you didn’t fit in college was because of your undeniable entrepreneurial spirit that longs to forge an individual path into a brighter future. Starting your own business is easier than in past generations (listen to our college entrepreneurship podcasts)… mostly due to the internet and accessibility. Many company types require a big investment, and you could draw up a business plan and get a loan. Other easier and less expensive options include content creation, printed merchandise sales, publishing, virtual assistance, skill lessons, or digital marketing.

Consider Going Back!

Maybe your chosen degree program wasn’t right for you. Maybe the first school cost too much or was too far from home. There are many reasons why you might have dropped out of college that didn’t have anything to do with your academic performance. Consider a new school such as a community college or online courses where you can tailor what you learn to a new, more exciting interest. These options frequently cost a lot less than a traditional four-year university, too.