Why I Am Going Back To College Even Though I Chose To Leave

Don't be afraid to look back and see where you left off.

woman going back to college Dean Drobot via Canva

By Candice Zhang

A few years ago, I decided to leave my studies at the university I first attended.

Throughout this period of time, I didn’t like my program, lacked a proper support system, and wanted to try something new. So I took a leap of faith and enrolled in a local community college to take a fashion management program.

I graduated from the program two years ago and decided to try something else.


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However, the other program that I did try after wasn’t how I envisioned it. And just months before my expected graduation date, my placement got terminated. Although I knew that the termination wasn’t my fault, I felt that I needed a redirection in life.

After considering all options, I decided to go back to university.

I didn’t want to leave things unfinished because I already completed so many courses. I’m somewhat close to the finish line, so I think I can complete my program to the best of my abilities. If I get too stressed, I can simply choose to take less courses; even one to two courses a semester count as progress.


When I tell people this plan, they all ask “Why?”

Many people believe my reasoning is an example of sunk cost fallacy because I choose to go back mainly because I already invested time and effort into the program. And even then, the cost may outweigh the benefits.

However, I know the degree can provide more direction and structure in my current life.

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After my diploma, my interests changed. I never worked a job in the fashion or retail industry. Even if I studied this field, I never applied my knowledge to the real world. But if I have a degree in another field, I can expand my options, and I may have more opportunities in terms of applying for internships or co-op.

Although some people see education as a waste of money, I believe that obtaining a degree is worth my money.

I’ll still gain new skills, network with more students, and learn new things. Moreover, I’ll learn how to hone my critical thinking and analytical skills.

Throughout these past three years, I worked multiple jobs and realized my self-worth.


Many people in their current job I work have diplomas. However, a lot of these jobs, which require a college diploma, are in toxic environments or terrible workplace settings. You often do the grunt work as a diploma graduate. And in order to advance to a management-related position, you usually need a degree.

With this in mind, I decided to re-enroll back in the university.

Although I won’t know what will happen in the future, I know that my degree and program can provide me with different knowledge and skill sets. And if it gets way too tough, I’ll just take it one step at a time.


After all, our circumstances and situations change. When that does happen, don’t be afraid to look back and see where you left off. Then, you can make the best decision for you.

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Candice Zhang is a writer and frequent contributor to Unwritten whose bylines have been featured on Her Campus, The Strand, and others. She writes primarily about health and wellness, relationships, and current events.