Don’t choose to leave college

By Suzanne Capron

I don’t want to sound like your parents when I say this, but I am going to say it anyways – please stay in school.

I am graduating in December at the age of 44, and if telling my personal story can prevent just one person from making the mistakes I made, I would be happy.

I came to The University of Akron when I graduated from high school in 1987. I made it through two semesters mainly spent in the Student Union, which resulted in a vast knowledge of euchre and billiards, but terrible grades.

I then found a full-time hospital pharmacy job with good pay and full benefits and thought I was set for life. Against the wishes of my parents, and because I was a know-it-all 19-year-old, I dropped out of school to enter the working world.

This worked out well for the next 11 years, until a hospital merger eliminated my job. At that point I was 30 years old with no job and no college degree.

I eventually found a job with minimal benefits and pay, got married and had a child. I always wanted to return to college but never had the time.

Then, facing a divorce, I knew I had to do something to support myself and my daughter, so I came back to school and didn’t let anything stop me. It hasn’t been easy. I am on my own paying for school now.

I have had to juggle work, school and parenting for the last six years. Looking back to 1987, when I only had to work part time and my parents were willing to pay for my school, I realize how good I had it.

You may not understand how important it is to stay in school now, but speaking from experience I can tell you it is the smartest decision you can make.

You’re already here, so stay here. Your future self will thank you.