Advice for an indecisive drop out who wants to finish

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Report Thread starter 9 years ago
Hey TSR, I have just signed up for advice (something I should have done a long time ago). My full story is as follows, here goes:

2006 - Started an Environmental Engineering degree at University of Southampton, I wanted to do this degree, I thought it was interesting, relevant and had good prospects. Hated the social side of university but got on with a difficult first year (ended up getting a First for the first year)

2007 - Grades slipped but still did OK, made a few good friends and didn't hate university so much.

2008 - Third year brought a broken relationship and a ruined self esteem that destroyed my motivation for a course which has started to bore me. Drop out/resign myself to a retake year by the end.

2009 - Third year repeat. Enjoyed the start of this year, had a lighter workload because I had already done some of the work. Somewhere, somehow (the details are hazy), I managed to throw everything away, slip into depression and find myself stumbling into another retake. Go to see my tutors and the school office almost weekly to talk about extensions, resit exams, staying over summer and having reduced assignments. Get given a piece of paper with about 5 things to do: a few exams, a dissertation, a couple of essays. With a deadline. Easy. Didn't do any of it and come home.

Get better. Get a job. Work for two years. Live with my regret for these years.
Now it's 2012, and I have been on and off looking for a way to repair what I messed up.

Some ideas I've had:

- Call Southampton and ask about coming back for one last try: I did this sometime last year. I was informed that I hadn't 'stopped/deferred' my course. In fact, I had 'exited' with a two year DipHE (Diploma of Higher Education) pass. They say there is nothing they can do for me.

- Start a new degree elsewhere, perhaps going straight into second year: I cannot afford to pay for the £9000 fees for another three or four years. I also can't afford to rent, and I'm living with the parents at the moment. The ultimate goal would be able to study at a university where I could commute from London (no rent) and have straight entry into the third year (after all, that is the only year I haven't finished).

- Do a Master's degree: I have heard you can sometimes be accepted to do one without finishing (or even starting) a Bachelor's degree. Not sure if this is true/universal/legitimate in the long run - would questions be asked about a half finished BEng?

- Do an unrelated qualification: For example, a CELTA - go abroad and teach English...have friends who loved it, most have no cash saved up. Is an experience. Have all the paperwork filled out to start a CELTA in February 2013, but am not sure if it is for me.

- Continue working in an unrelated field: I'm a Science Technician at a school. Poor pay, and I've been there a while. Stale prospects.

- Get on with it: Get another job. Quit thinking about this past misery. Good advice from a friend - unless you repair what went wrong and do it right, you'll always worry about it.

So my query for you guys, as people who have probably heard of hundreds of people in different (if not similar) situations:

What would you do in this situation? I feel I'm letting myself down by not having a degree.

Any advice, any help or even berating me for being indecisive would be much appreciated. Thanks a lot for reading my TLDR post.

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Report 9 years ago
I was in a similar situation where I failed the 3rd year of my Mech Eng course due to various personal issues and couldn't decide what to do as if I retook it I'd have ended up with just a pass non-honours degree and it just seemed like wasted effort.

I then spent 2 years working abroad/travelling and decided that with a new found maturity, I really wanted to complete my degree and work in Engineering. I could have gone back to my original course even now, but decided I needed to get at least a 2:1 for it to be worth it (for me at least) to go back to uni.

So I set about contacting admissions tutors for potential courses/unis and just explaining the situation and asking for options. I quickly discovered that third year entry with my results in the first course was pretty much unavailable (although I did get one offer in a related course from Plymouth) and therefore I tried to get a place somewhere with a decent reputation with a good course and apply to second years. I was offered a place at Sussex and will be studying there in September.

I accepted the place and I'm really excited about it. The two years away from education made me realise that the failure would have hung over me forever and was something I needed to rectify. My family were unsupportive in the two year gap and tried to influence a decision, but I knew it had to be a choice I made mysel, which is often where I've gone wrong before.

If you've got any questions, fire away.
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Report 9 years ago
Your situation is almost identical to mine. I started a chemistry degree and 2006 and messed up. Passed the first year before withdrawing in 2007. I've been in limbo ever since and feel i've let myself down by not having a degree. Currently frantically exploring clearing options. I wish I had never dropped out. I would have graduated in 2009.

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