My situation was a bit different in that I worked the whole time I was in college, and had my own place, but all the same, I flunked out of college and things still turned out great.
I started fresh at 18, and things were rocky from the get-go. I never went to class out of sheer apathy. I drank constantly, and was pretty depressed, although I was pretty apathetic toward that too. Regular self harm and big highs with low lows. It definitely had an effect on my studies, but if I gave half a shit I probably could have gotten through my classes anyway.
Ultimately I ended up getting kicked out of school for three consecutive semesters of academic probation. I had a 1.5 GPA. After that I bartended and barista’d my way through a few years, just dragging my feet, continuing to drink constantly, getting into small trouble here and there, and doing nothing to provision any sort of future for myself. I struggled a lot with money, and lived paycheck to paycheck. I had to hit up my mom for help with rent way more often than I’d like to admit. I always paid it back, but it still felt like a brick to the head asking, which I’m sure you could understand.
One year, I got a fat tax return from my Starbucks job for ~$3k. That was the most money I’d ever had at one time at that point. Life was getting really Kerouacian and I knew I had to get out for a bit, so I took the $3k and went to Japan for a month, since I’d wanted to go since I was a child. I came back with a fresh perspective, and long story short, I started living for the future.
I went back to school, but the University I had gotten kicked out of didn’t make it easy, understandably. They told me I had to go to the community college and get a 3.0 or higher on relevant coursework before they’d even consider letting me back in. My parents were kind enough to help me pay for that semester as a last-ditch attempt to salvage my degree. I got a 4.0 and they let me back in.
I rushed my ass to graduation, and got my BS in Comp Sci. I managed to get my 1.5 to a 3.6, and got my own research published, with my name as the first on the paper. I transitioned from an internship to a salary position right out of school, in the exact position I wanted, and now I can help out my mom when she needs it, like she helped me.
It took me NINE LONG YEARS after graduating high school to get my degree.
I really hope this doesn’t come off as show-boaty, and I hope my experience shows that things can get really really fucked up beyond all recognition and still turn out great. I didn’t expect to live beyond 20, but I’m really glad I did.
You can do it. Sometimes taking a step back can give you the perspective you need to break a slump.