Messed up in College? Here is what you can do

You know you have messed up in college when your transcript is loaded with fails. College can be very discouraging in such a situation.

But don’t worry if your college experience is already messed up with pathetic results. I was in your position after my first year in college.

My results were nothing compared to what anyone would expect from me. I failed because I made freshman mistakes I should have avoided.

I then made a decision that dramatically affected the course of my life; I dropped out of college. When I thought I had seen it all, my academic life took an even more surprising twist.

I don’t have the time to narrate in detail what happened but you can get the full story in my eBook.

In this article, I will only use relevant parts of my experience to help you recover from the college mess you are in.

The steps I discuss in this article are the exact steps I followed after I messed up my freshman year of college. I find them simple. They have made my life great. I have no regrets whatsoever.

1. Messed up in College? Take a Break

If you have messed up in college, why not take a break? The idea of taking a break from college is frowned upon by many but I find it very helpful. Why should you stay in college when you are already discouraged by your results?

Chances of turning around the mess you made are low especially if you have a low level of understanding.

By taking a break from college, you will allow yourself sufficient time to mature so that when you return, you will have a higher chance of repairing what you messed up.

Don’t follow the mainstream advice of trying to fix your freshman year mess while you are still in school unless you are sure of what you are doing.

Don’t Mess up your College Expenses

Being in college costs a lot of money. It also takes up a lot of time. Being in college with no direction is the last thing you can do if you value your time and money.

Instead of drifting through college with mediocrity, why not take a break, find direction in life then go back to college with a clear mind?

Related Post: Should you work during your Freshman year of College? Follow this Rule

When I posted poor results in my freshman year of college, I decided to drop out immediately so that I don’t waste any more money and time on something I was unsure of.

It was scary to think of dropping out of college at first but I am more than grateful today that I followed my heart and left college.

Not only did I save a lot of money and time but I also got a head-start in the real world. Before my classmates graduated from college, I had been in the real world for three years trying out different things.

This blog that you are reading today is a result of the three years I was out of college.

Then something even more amazing happened; I enrolled back in college to pursue a course I loved and one that I knew would be beneficial to my blogging career.

When you take a break from college after a terrible performance in your freshman year, you can always go back when you feel ready.

My second spell in college was far better than my first spell.

Therefore, amidst the confusion you are experiencing now, allow yourself time to relax and get a clear way forward.

2. Messed up in College? Figure out your Life

How exactly should one figure out his life after messing up in college? Well, there are a few decisions you need to think about.

Once you make definitive choices to the following options, you will find direction in your career life.

Career Path after Messing up in College

I wrote an article called how to be successful in life without college. In the article, I outlined a path that anyone can follow and achieve success in life even if he doesn’t have a college degree.

Knowing that you can still be successful in life without a college degree is liberating. Apart from just being liberating, it is essential in deciding whether you are a college person or not.

To know more about whether college is for you or not, you can read my article on 5 Signs college is not for you.

Before you try to correct the mess you have made in your freshman year of college, begin by assessing yourself to know whether you are better off being in college or outside college.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to know for sure which choice is best for you until you try out each option.

When I dropped out of college after my freshman year, I ventured into business. At first, it was hard for me to shift my mindset from the employment mindset to the business mindset.

But as I kept pursuing the business side of things, I realized I loved it. The fact that I would be paid for my efforts instead of a flat sum with little regard to my work was appealing to me.

Having tasted and liked the business side of things, I knew college was not for me.

When I eventually went back to college, I knew that I must get a degree that will help me in my business. I studied with business in mind and not employment.

Likewise, I want you in your break from college to test the business side of things and see how it feels to you. If it is appealing, feel free to stick with it. If necessary, you can get a college degree for society’s sake.

Discover your Inclination

Choosing between art and science is the other important choice you must make in an attempt to figure out your life after messing up in college. It will be frustrating if you drift through college not knowing whether you are an arts person or a science person.

In reality, every person has a bit of both but in most cases, one heavily outweighs the other. In my case, I did well in sciences than in arts but surprisingly, I enjoyed arts more than sciences.

My mind is naturally curious about science but I enjoy sharing the knowledge I have gained, which is an art.

As you can see from this blog, I love writing.

Therefore, test out your abilities and see which side you are inclined towards. Chances are that the course you are currently taking in college does not fit your personality and that is why you are posting poor results.

Getting a course in a field that is in line with your personality is the first step towards recovering from the poor results you have posted in your freshman year.

This is also why I insisted that you take a break from college to figure out your life. It would be pointless to try to recover from the mess you made in your freshman year if you enrolled in a field that is not in line with your personality.

3. Restart College if you Messed up

I would have simply said return to college but I have specifically chosen to say restart college. Returning to college would mean continuing from where you left off.

Though it is an individual’s choice, I advocate for a fresh start. You have made the mistake once. If you restart, you will know exactly what to avoid.

Restarting also means a clean result slip for you to post the kind of results you want to see. Fearing that you may take too long in college is pointless.

If you continue from where you left in an attempt to save time, be assured you will waste it trying to repair the mess you made.

Starting afresh will give you an easy time and better results. You will also move faster through college since you won’t be making the mistakes you made during your first spell as a freshman.


Those are the three things you can do if you messed up in college. I advocate for them because they have made my life stable and I have no regrets whatsoever.

Use the same route I used unless you have strong reasons that force you to use an alternative path. In the end, it is you who will bear the cost of your decisions.

If you have chosen to use the route I used, don’t forget to read my story of how I dropped out of college to get insight on how to navigate some challenging hurdles along the way.

All the best!