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Ask HN: Are you glad you dropped out of college?
3 points by jlevers 59 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 2 comments
I'm strongly considering dropping out of a solid school (a tier or two down from Ivy) to pursue programming. I have a year+ of work experience from a few internships I did during/after high school, an outstanding job offer from one of them, and I've picked up some interesting contract work while in school.

I'm very self-motivated, and it's making me a little crazy doing all this work that seems to not be relevant to my goals. I think I could do a lot of interesting things on my own, and have a history of doing that. I just finished up a gap year in which I did a ton of traveling which I planned and financed myself, and got a high-paying (for my age) internship.

I also feel like if I at some point wanted a degree, dropping out now doesn't mean I won't be able to get one ever -- I could just re-enroll down the road.

I'm curious to hear from people who've made the decision to drop out, and how it ended up turning out for them.




Hey there.

I dropped out just over 6 years ago to join Pinterest (I still work there). It’s the second best decision of my life (besides asking my wife to marry me).

How much longer do you have left in college? Do you enjoy it?

Obviously this is a case by case basis, but my thought process was -

1. I went to a decent regional school (nowhere near Ivy) and had a below average GPA (2.7 IIRC).

2. The cause of that low GPA was due to me spending my free time hacking on things, not studying.

3. Worst-case, I try and interview at a bunch of places and don’t get any offers so the decision is made for me.

Fortunately for me, I didn’t have a ton of student loan debts due to scholarships, so financing the education was not a factor in my case.

I had 1.5 years left. I loved college and some parts of school. It was really hard to leave. Looking back, I’m glad I did it but it was a rough few years seeing all of my friends have the time of their lives while I was working (even though I’ve loved my job). Once everyone graduated all of that FoMo went away. That’s also when new grads who were my age also started working there, which was nice.

Graduating from the university I went to wouldn’t have put me in a better situation relative to other applicants (meaning, I would still be going up against Ivy grads for the jobs I was after).

I ended up dropping out after being offered a promising job opportunity and I’d recommend that route to you if it’s possible. It makes the transition a lot easier.

Hope that helps! Happy to chat more via email. c at cnnr dot me.


What's the outstanding job offer, and what does the company do? But a great job offer doesn't mean the job will stay great, or that you won't decide to leave later. Plus graduating might get you better offers down the road.

I'm working full-time and finishing up school. I decided I was really interested in working full-time and accepted a really good job offer. Working full-time isn't always fun while finishing a degree, but it was a decent decision. It's definitely delayed my graduation though.




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