Why I Dropped Out of College and Took Classes Online –

Keely’s Disability Awareness Month Story 2021


By: Keely Messino

Edited By: Kaitlin Graham


The ability to go to college should be a right. When I first started college, I had plans of becoming a bereavement counselor, who is a counselor who helps people whose loved ones have passed away. I started taking college classes at a college not far from where I grew up. 


The campus had charming wrought iron fences, Victorian-style buildings, and a beautiful on-campus Chapel. I was very excited about beginning a new adventure.


That didn’t last long.


Professors would sometimes refuse to give me three extra minutes to go to the bathroom or have someone take notes for me.


I had asked to live in a dorm, but the campus had no wheelchair-accessible doors. Not being able to open a door would have made going to class or getting food on a campus impossible. 


I have cerebral palsy and have to use mobility devices. However, the campus was not accommodating to that. 


There were two elevators, and they didn’t often work; the straw that broke the camel’s back for me was having to climb up a flight of stairs while many students stared at me. I called to complain, and the campus director told me that they could not accommodate me, something they didn’t tell me for over a year while I was trying to attend this school.


I tend to make some of my best decisions when I’m under pressure. Dropping out and going to Art School online was one of my best decisions. I have met many people who have similar disabilities to mine and are living their best lives.


When I was attending the college that I originally attended, I had the opportunity to take an internship. Unfortunately, they only offered one internship. But, there was no other option. The internship was over an hour away and I turned it down because I needed to find something closer to home.


Pursuing a degree online allows me to pursue many internships, much like the one I have with WeTalkRadio Network. Going to online school has been the biggest blessing I could have imagined and has opened so many doors for me. 


However, part of me still wishes that I got the college experience that I deserved. I sometimes wonder where I would be now if I had a more traditional college experience. Would I have gotten to study abroad like I dreamed I would? Would I have a job as a therapist as I had planned?


If you or someone you are close to is facing similar issues to the ones I faced, don’t be afraid to go in a different direction. Sometimes dropping out or transferring is the best thing you can do. 


To find resources for college students with disabilities, visit publicservicedegrees.org