When Quitting is a Good Thing


We’ve all heard phrases like “winners never quit and quitters never win” and “quitting is for losers,” but are they really true? We live in a culture that can shame us for quitting, but recognizing when something is no longer working and taking action to make a change also has merit. Whether it’s a relationship, extracurricular activity, or current major, knowing when to quit can greatly improve your life. So, how do you know when it’s time to throw in the towel?

It no longer meets your needs.

We make decisions based on the information we have at the time. You’re bound to learn new things during your time in college. With all this new information, it’s healthy to adjust your plan. For example, you may enter college thinking you want to be a finance major, but after taking a few classes you may realize that finance makes you miserable. You may discover you have a real talent and passion for chemical engineering, though. It’s totally okay to quit your major to pursue a new one! Don’t think of it as necessarily giving up; it’s more about being conscious of your needs. You may change, your needs may change, and you could receive new information along the way that may cause you to rethink your current plans and goals. Be aware of this newfound knowledge, and use it to determine if you have any present projects, plans, or activities you’d be better off quitting.

It comes at the expense of other options.

Something doesn’t necessarily have to be an active negative force in your life for it to be worthwhile to quit. If it’s preventing you from doing or having other things you want or need, that may be a perfectly valid reason to consider quitting. You’ll have opportunities available to you in college that you may not have accessible to you again. It can be easy to adapt to a routine and not even think about why you do what you do, but this can be at the exclusion of all those valuable opportunities available to you in college. There’s no need to stick with a relationship, major, after-school activity — or anything else that isn’t fulfilling you — when there are so many other options that can make you genuinely happy. So, take advantage of all the new, exciting doors open to you. You never know what activity will become your passion or where you may meet a new, lifelong friend. Quitting doesn’t necessarily make you a loser. Knowing when it’s right to stay and when it’s OK to quit are valuable skills that can lead you down a better, more fulfilling path.

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