Starting uni is a huge buzz. But what happens if, after the initial excitement of Fresher’s Week passes, you’re just not feeling life as a student?
A lot of things can crop up after the first few weeks – maybe your course isn’t what you expected, you’re having trouble making friends or you’re struggling to deal with such a big change in your life. Dropping out might seem the only option.
Sound like you? Remember: there is support wherever you need it. We teamed up with experts from UEA, Student Minds and the National Apprenticeship Service to tackle the TSR community’s big questions about dropping out.
“I don’t like where I’m living”
Patience is key. You’re new at uni and you need time to adjust and form proper bonds with new friends to help you feel more at home. Mental health charity Student Minds encourages students to join societies and sports clubs, as these can help to introduce a new group of people who live nearby. It also recommends staying at your university if you like it, but perhaps moving closer to a city where there is more happening. If you're dead-set on transferring, they suggest going to visit other universities to understand what it would be like to be a student there, rather than making a quick decision or waiting for open days.
Tempted to drop out and change unis?
Like my course but HATE uni
Commute an hour by train or get accomodation?
“I’m not enjoying my course”
If you’ve given it your best shot and still aren’t enjoying it, ask yourself why. Is it the subject area in general? Do you wish you were doing something more practical/academic/interesting? Is it just your university that’s the problem? It’s worth talking out your main concerns with a friend or family member so you can work out the problem.
I hate my course!
Feeling lonely at uni...
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“My mental health is stopping me settling into university life”
When going through tough times, giving up can feel like the only option. Remember: there’s plenty of help on hand to assist you through these times. Student Minds has plenty of experience in this field, and it recommends consulting with your university. Their advisers can put you in touch with a counsellor to speak with confidentially, if you wish. They will also be able to give you more information about how anxiety may be affecting your studies, and can put support in place for things like deadlines and exams – particularly with busy exam halls, if that's a reason for anxiety.
Mental health made me drop out, now I want to go back?
Regretting going to Oxford because of anxiety
Has uni sent you on a downward spiral?
“I just don’t think it’s for me!”
UEA explains how the first year of university can cover key fundamentals and topics that you build on as you go forward, so it’s important to keep up with everything if you do want to stick it out. While they emphasise how important it is to enjoy the uni experience in general, it’s crucial to attend your lectures and seminars, as the more you attend, the more you'll really enjoy the subject and get into it.
If you’re falling out of love with academia, take the time to explore your options. Before you drop out, speak to a careers advisor at your university to see if they have any other suggestions.
University isn’t for everyone, but whatever situation you find yourself in don’t forget there is support available for you. Talk to people you trust before making any key decisions, so you can make the call for yourself with all the information you need.
Is uni not what you expected? Are you thinking of dropping out, or have you already? Let us know in the comments below.
I've just dropped out of uni
I'm applying to uni, but my heart's not in it
Is uni right for me?