College Grads Talk About The Moment They Almost Gave Up

College isn't for everyone, but it's a smart choice to give it a try. However, sometimes things happen during people's time in school that makes them question why - and if - they should keep going with it.

Below are stories of frustrated college students who experienced moments in school that were so annoying, they almost dropped out. Check them out. A source to even more can be found on the last page.

I got a failing score on a lab report even though me and the rest of the group thought we did everything in the rubric. We went to our teacher assistant's office hours later to ask about the score. She basically reversed all subtracted points because she was taking off points for things we had done correctly. The next year one of my lab mates got a grading position with that teacher's assistant. She admitted to him that half way through the year she stopped paying attention to the reports and assigned random scores.

This is a college level course for our major. You can't do that.


I tanked my GPA due to missing half a semester for a health issue. I was allowed to appeal to the dean and basically get my grades tossed (I woulda been out the tuition but my GPA would have survived), however I had to have all my professors sign off that they agreed the appeal was justified. One professor refused to agree on the appeal and I wasn't allowed to turn it in.


My advanced foreign language professor dictated that we could not speak English at all during the class, or we would have marks taken away. This was fine, until one day a girl started coughing up blood and we all stopped to make sure she was okay and help her out. Professor took marks off because we spoke in English.


I was fairly confident about a final exam I had taken, but when I checked my grade it was a 56. I spoke to the professor and asked him to take a second look, but he refused and said it was obvious that I just hadnt put in the effort. I finally convinced him to recheck it, and it turned out that only one side of my answer sheet had been scanned. My actual grade was a 94. Thankfully he changed my grade to the correct score, but it was still frustrating.


I was assigned a project to go to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and to then write an essay on what it was like.

It was a super weird/creepy invasion of privacy. We were supposed to either not say why we were there or to "just pretend" to be an alcoholic/ex-alcoholic.

My dad used to drink a lot and I took the assignment personally. Couldn't even look at it. A few students straight up refused to do it. I ended up giving my friend a bribe to make up some bullcrap essay for me.


I had swine flu pretty badly in 2010. As in, had to have a friend drive me to the hospital and the doctor giving me codeine cough medicine and swearing I would quarantine myself until I felt better bad. 

I was taking O-chem in a class of close to 200 people and had a big exam the next day. I somehow managed to contact my professor while in a drug-induced haze to ask if I could reschedule, especially since I had a doctors note. He flat out refused, and insisted I show up for the exam or Id fail the test, basically ensuring I wouldnt get the grade I needed for the class (I was in a very competitive undergrad program). 

I finally talked him into letting me take the exam in his office before class the next day. I dont know how, but I managed to get a B on the test....and who ended up with swine flu the next week? 

Thats right, my O-chem teacher.


I got a C- in a third year Chemistry class because my "cover page didn't have enough pizzazz".



I missed a quiz due to a medical emergency and had the documentation of my ER visit and everything. I emailed my teacher's assistant (our quizzes were during discussion sections led by our TAs) about making up the quiz. The assistant told me to email the professor because it's his class policies. I emailed the professor who then told me to email the assistant because the assistant is the one who administered the quiz.


As a professor, I try to be understanding if students are just taking my class because it's a requirement, so they're rusty on some things.

But once when I was teaching Calculus II, a student asked "What's a derivative?" I actually gave a very quick answer, along the lines of "A derivative is a function that measures the rate of change of another function", but come on. This is Calculus II, the course that comes after Calculus I, and Calculus I is all about derivatives.

It's like going to watch the World Series at someone's house and asking "What sport is the World Series again?"


My significant other is working on her master's right now, and a couple weeks ago, the professor added a huge assignment that wasn't in the syllabus, and it wasn't even going to be graded. However, if they didn't do it, it was going to count against their participation grade.

A few days ago, he announced that it was actually to try to teach them to stand up for themselves. He wanted the class to tell him the assignment was bullcrap. They all failed this little "test."


One time my English teacher had asked us what profession we wanted to pursue. When it was my turn I told her that I wanted to be a physician. Anyways, she went on, in front of the entire class to say "Well, sometimes we want to do things that aren't really meant for us..." No student should ever be told that he/she can't achieve their goals. In the end, it's all good, because I'm posting this between seeing patients after finishing my training and specializing in a field I've always wanted to specialize in.

If you have a dream, don't stop until you exhaust every last effort. And never stop believing in yourself. Ever.


The moment I got massive weekly group assignments that were only worth between 2-3%.

We lost half the marks on one question because that page of the PDF submission was sideways.


English 101: Write a 3-page creative piece on why you chose this community college.

So, not knowing how to stretch "It's cheaper than university" into 3 pages, I wrote about how I struggled with menial jobs my whole life and wanted a better future for me and my family. I was actually pretty proud of it. Classic "overcoming hardship" story.

The teacher hands it back with a C, says I didn't answer the question. I flipped. I circled the "Creative writing" portion of the assignment sheet and stapled my graded paper to it and gave it to the department head and Dean.

The teacher was replaced mid-semester due to "medical issues," I assume I wasn't the first one to complain about her.


I did event management at university a few years ago. Our lecturer brought in her 8 year old daughter, who had been in a stage show once, to 'teach us' about stage management.

Almost all of the class didn't turn up to the next lecture in protest.


When my supervisor decided that I needed to completely rewrite my masters thesis for publication to an angle that was complete nonsense and unpublishable.


First day in a particular finance class senior year.

Professor: "Who here is taking other classes?"

Pretty much everybody raises a hand.

Professor: "Who here has a job?"

Most of the class raises a hand.

Professor: "Well, that's a mistake because this class will take you at least 50 hours a week just to pass."

I thought he was just trying to be a tough guy, but then the guy behind me confirmed that the class would indeed take that much time per week every week just to get by because it was his THIRD time taking the class, and he was otherwise an A student.

Sorry, I have bills to pay, other classes, and other responsibilities. The time does not exist to put that much time into this class.

So I DID rage quit...after trying desperately to get through the class for a couple of months.


I was docked 10% of a final essay because I had the wrong date so it wasn't following MLA standards. I put the date I submitted instead of the date it was due. I got a 90% on the paper.


Just recently bought a $300 textbook for math. This isnt any higher level math, its college algebra. Something everyone at my school has to take. Of course its written by my professor, of course it changes every year. I took it out of the shrink wrap and saw that the book was ~150 pages. I went through it, and saw that it is literally NOTHING. Theres hardly any information, like two practice problems per topic, and a glossary. 

The real information comes from a $100 access code that has more practice problems, and actual information needed to complete the class. So now Im out $300 dollars on a PAPERWEIGHT and $450 on one general education. class. Theres nothing that can be done at this point. I cant get a refund, all I can hope for is pawning it off to some unsuspecting student for likely less than half of what I paid for.


I had to give a presentation for a class. There were going to be lots of graphs and stuff, so the professor made a point of saying that we should be careful with the colors we used, because if the graphs weren't legible he would deduct points. I spent hours agonizing over color choices, because why lose points for something stupid like that?

I load the presentation on the projector, and the bulb was messed up or reds (and by extension, every other color) weren't showing up properly. I was looking at my screen, so I had no idea. The professor gives me his comments (and grade)...and I lost points for the graphs being hard to read.


I had to take this freshman US Geography class that was like a 300 person lecture. The professor was in his 80's and tenured. He spent multiple lectures going over his evidence that global warming was a liberal hoax and that Al Gore was wrong, and since he was an academic, every slide on every powerpoint was cited, and the most recent data he used to back up his climate change denial was from 1995.

He also spent a lecture on how Costco was a Chinese company using deceptive marketing practices to appear American because he didn't realize that Costco and COSCO are completely different companies.

I paid to sit in that lecture.


There's always some person in a lecture who rephrases what the prof just said and asks it as a question to sound smart.

Professor: So based off X we found Y to be true.

Student: So does that me Y is true because of X?

It's infuriating.


I asked a question and the teacher ignored me. Just minutes later, a different student asked the same question and the teacher said good question and answered it enthusiastically.


I had a professor who had a scariest explosive temper. The smallest things would set him off, for instance this one girl had a bunch of papers stacked on her desk and he asked her what it was and she politely informed him that she was a teacher's assistant and they were tests that she was going to grade later. It's not like she was grading them in class, she was taking notes and being quite, it just happened to be on her desk, he shouted at her to put it away. 

He would get angry when anyone asked any questions. He almost threw a chair at someone and yelled profanities. Everyone was scared of him. So myself and another student spoke to the dean under condition of anonymity since we were still in his class. The dean disclosed our names to him and our prof started cold calling us and he gave me a B instead of an A even though I made an A on every test and quiz because my class participation was abysmal. No body wanted to speak in his class anyway. 

The whole thing was aggravating. There are people at the company I work for who have been fired for less. My brother is a college professor now and he says the world of academia has its share of jerks. But of course there are also nice ones.


Usually when you take any kind of math oriented exam (math, physics, mechanics, etc.) You get a pack of problems slapped on your desk and you finish it in the time allotted. So you can generally blow through 90% of a test and get stuck on one difficult part for the remainder or just have that "A-ha!" moment at the end to squeeze in a few extra points. But this one guy had the bright idea if handing out and collecting each problem at 15 min intervals. So once the problem was collected, that was it. Even if you figured out the mistake earlier, it was already too late. I hate the prof to this day.


I had to write an essay about my feelings studying abroad for reflection. So obviously I made the whole essay then had to resubmit it because "that is not how you should be feeling"

She misspelled my name in the e-mail.

This still makes me really mad.


The amount of sheer rage I have regarding online assignments is borderline infinite. I know it's my responsibility to ensure this stuff goes smoothly, but if it isn't a nightmare to contend with. Some examples from this semester:

- I missed first three online homework assignments as my book got lost in shipping and I didn't have the access code.

- I failed an online homework because I had the right answer, but I was putting it in (x,y,z) form when it just wanted a coordinate.

- A drop down menu laid over the submit button, I missed the selection slightly and submitted a quiz with only 2/10 problems completed.

- When submitting code online, grading program doesn't work and isn't returning anything. Contact professor, he says someone else will contact me, they never do, just say "screw it" and take a 0 for the assignment.

- The Spanish homework does not correctly list under the "filter by date" selection, missed a handful of assignments as they didn't even pop up as being due before I realized.

- Normal "It's not '-1', we expected '-1/1'" type bullcrap

The rage I feel man.



Points have been edited for clarity.

Whoops. That snip was just a hair too far....

Your first bad haircut probably made you want to die a little when you looked in the mirror. Imagine how the person cutting your hair must have felt. Although, maybe they didn't care at all, as evidenced by the bs excuse they gave you when you finished in the barber chair.

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