8 Reasons Why You’re Going to Drop out of College and How to Avoid Them

Zameret Park. Image courtesy of TeMA Urban Landscape Design

8 insights into common reasons why students drop out of college and how they can be avoided.  Every college student at some point in time has doubts about their education and every student at some point in time will threaten to drop out for every reason imaginable. Landscape architecture students are no different. In fact, their list of reasons for wanting to drop out can be quite long and creative. But in the end, for every reason you come up with for dropping out there is a more powerful argument for sticking with it. Here are the 8 reasons you’re going to drop out and how to avoid them.


THIS WILL HAPPEN TO YOU! Don’t forget to save your work repeatedly, but if you do, remember it’s not the end of the world.

8. Your computer keeps crashing (and autosave didn’t save everything in time) That perfectly rendered design that you worked on all semester just disappeared and your computer isn’t willing to reveal its secret hiding place. No amount of begging, pleading, or crying will bring it back and it’s too late to start over, it’s probably easier to just switch majors and leave the heartache behind. The problem with this is that chances are if you think back on your original design it was probably filled with flaws and unanswered questions. This is the perfect time to sit back, reevaluate and really let your creative juices flow. Chances are your professors will appreciate a well planned and thought out design more than a pretty picture anyway. 7. Too many electives to keep track of Graphics? Math? Art? You knew landscape architects are diversified, but you didn’t realize that meant running all over campus to get to your next class. But, look at it like this, here is your chance to explore anything that might have interested you in the past. Love archeology? Check with your department and see if it wouldn’t fulfill one of your history credits, after all, the purpose of electives is to help you find a specialty or niche, and that will make you more marketable when it comes time to send out resumes. 6. Overachieving classmates
Stop focusing on your over achieving class mate and start focusing on yourself. Image credit: License: CC0 Public Domain / FAQ

Stop focusing on your over achieving class mate and start focusing on yourself. Image credit: License: CC0 Public Domain / FAQ

Every class has one, that student that turns in eight perfectly rendered panels when the professor asked for four. But don’t worry, in the real world no one will get kudos for blowing the budget on a project. Instead of worrying about what your classmates are doing, work on your time management skills and on perfecting the required number of panels. Being able to follow directions and manage your time will be great selling points in interviews. 5. Yahoo keeps listing “architecture” as one of the least successful majors (and you’re sure that includes “landscape architecture”) Didn’t your parents always tell you to pick a practical major? And now the internet is backing them up. But surely your parents also told you to not to believe everything you read on the internet. The fact is, that landscape architects are designing all over the world, so if you can’t find a job in your hometown, don’t be afraid to look overseas. After all, you chose this major because you’re probably a dreamer so don’t be afraid to dream big when it comes time to choose a firm. 4. Four/five years for a degree?
4/5 years will be gone before you know it, so don't sweat it.

4/5 years will be gone before you know it, so don’t sweat it.

Five years might seem excessive, but remember, there are a lot of professions that require graduate school (or medical school) before you can start working. So, five years really isn’t that bad. The longer time also gives you time to work in internships and other real-life experiences, which will eventually land you your dream job. 3. The dreaded all-nighter Apparently, the powers that be don’t understand that you require eight uninterrupted hours of sleep per night and that without it, you end up drawing smiley faces for trees. Unfortunately, this is just part of it. Try to remember though that it is temporary and like the old adage says, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. This is another time to work on time management because in the end if you don’t want to pull an all-nighter, you don’t have to. Treat college like a nine to five. Make a schedule and stick to it, by staying on track you’ll be able to eliminate extra hours in the studio. 2. Heartless and over opinionated reviewers Remember that time that you dreamt you were walking into class naked? That’s exactly how you’ll feel after every presentation. Reviewers, while experienced and mostly well-intentioned, know how to belittle and degrade your projects to the point where you’re ready to burn them in the studio. But, remember, they have good intentions. Related Articles: 

By pushing you to do your very best they are preparing you for a highly competitive industry where only the best projects actually get built. So, unless you’re fine with drawing base plans and construction documents all day, listen to them and correct your projects so that when it’s time to create a portfolio you’ll be presenting your very best. 1. You don’t believe in yourself After all the bad reviews and lack of sleep, you feel like you’ll never succeed as a landscape architect, not to mention you’ve yet to land that high profile internship. This is the hardest to fix because in the end a negative outlook can be detrimental to your career. Take heart, even the best of the best have had their doubts, so take a walk, grab a snack and look back at some of your best projects and remember why you want to do this. In the end, landscape architecture is a noble profession that will allow you to change the world, even if it’s only one yard at a time, for the better. Who else can claim to be a steward of the natural environment, after all? No one, that’s who. So, suck it up, go to all your classes, stay up all night, grow a thick skin, and don’t forget to hit the local coffee shop before heading to class. Recommended Reading: 

Article by Erin Tharp Return to Homepage Featured image: Source. License: CC0 Public Domain / FAQ

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