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    Hi

    I feel like I've failed in life. I've dropped out of uni 4 times (twice for undergrad and twice for postgrad), but still managed to get my BSc in the middle of the dropping out.

    I'm 26 and the only jobs i've had are retail, data entry/data admin, and I feel like my life is at a dead end at the moment. This is such a far cry from my time at high school where i was a top 5 student with 4A's at a-level and the only boy to get into oxford. I feel like life has gone down hill since I dropped out.

    I start a new data entry job next week after nearly 9 months of being unemployed and I'm desperate to go back to uni and do a masters and try get my dream job in the oil industry.

    Has anyone been in a similar boat to me where you just hated uni so much you kept dropping out, but at the same time you badly want that piece of paper which employers want so much?

    Is 28 too late to do a masters and start a career job? I'm 26 at the moment and I will start the MSc in a years time when i've saved up enough money, and i'll be 28/9 by the time I come out - will I be too old to start a graduate job? So many things i'm worried about at the moment. Just wish I could rewind 7/8 years back to when I was doing my a-levels and take a different path!
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    Why did you drop out of Oxford?
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    I completely agree.

    28 is not too late to do any degree, many people start Masters years after their Bachelors. I would however question your commitment to higher education. It isn't for everyone.
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    (Original post by rock_climber86)
    Is 28 too late to do a masters and start a career job? I'm 26 at the moment and I will start the MSc in a years time when i've saved up enough money, and i'll be 28/9 by the time I come out - will I be too old to start a graduate job? So many things i'm worried about at the moment. Just wish I could rewind 7/8 years back to when I was doing my a-levels and take a different path!
    Well I did it when I was 44, so I'd say you have plenty of wiggle room yet!

    Firsty, I know it sounds daft, but do you understand why you didn't get on with your undergrad course? Was it the style of teaching or assessment? The atmosphere of the uni itself? Individual staff members? As long as you understand the factors which led to you repeatedly dropping out, then you can avoid them in your Masters. If you just "hate uni" then more postgrad study might not be the way to go.

    The key thing is to research your dream job and make absolutely sure that a Masters will give you an advantage in getting through the door. You need to make sure that you spend your thousands on exactly the right thing. Some industries will value practical experience over postgrad qualifications.

    Good luck but don't worry about timescales. You might be well served by giving yourself some "time off" mentally, and seeing the jobs that you do in the meantime as intellectual recharging time before your next stab at academia.
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    (Original post by Alpharius)
    I completely agree.

    28 is not too late to do any degree, many people start Masters years after their Bachelors. I would however question your commitment to higher education. It isn't for everyone.
    Well I hate university. I love to learn, but being in university makes me anxious/inferior and I worry to such an extent that I am literally not able to function. I dropped out of Imperial in October for anxiety/health reasons. I've been told by numerous people that to do my dream job I need a Masters as most people in the career i'm after have one (MSc petroleum geophysics/geoscience).

    (Original post by marcus2001)
    Why did you drop out of Oxford?
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    I left oxford because I was really unhappy there and kinda had a nervous breakdown from the pressure :/
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    (Original post by rock_climber86)
    Well I hate university. I love to learn, but being in university makes me anxious/inferior and I worry to such an extent that I am literally not able to function. I dropped out of Imperial in October for anxiety/health reasons. I've been told by numerous people that to do my dream job I need a Masters as most people in the career i'm after have one (MSc petroleum geophysics/geoscience).



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    I left oxford because I was really unhappy there and kinda had a nervous breakdown from the pressure :/
    I see.

    Not an expert here, but consider counselling? Ask for stress-relief methods. It shouldn't be a reason to stop you doing your dream job, so don't let it be.
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    (Original post by Klix88)
    Well I did it when I was 44, so I'd say you have plenty of wiggle room yet!

    Good luck but don't worry about timescales. You might be well served by giving yourself some "time off" mentally, and seeing the jobs that you do in the meantime as intellectual recharging time before your next stab at academia.
    Thanks for this advice. You have great positivity and I wish I had this! Please read about my background if you have a moment and it'll give you a better idea of where i'm coming from:

    Spoiler:
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    I have dropped out of oxford because:
    it was too posh/pressured/i felt too inferior/health reasons. [actually I did really badly at end of year exams (scraped a pass), and they said I should leave so I did ]

    Left warwick because the course wasn't for me and I got in via clearing - decided to take year out to reapply

    I completed my degree at UCL between 2007-10, but needed 2 years of counselling to get me through - I was just miserable throughout, but enjoyed the work, just not being at uni.

    I left PGCE because I was scared of the people at uni and decided I needed more thought before committed myself to be a school maths teacher.

    I left Imperial course because my anxiety got really really bad and I thought I was going to kill myself (no exaggeration). I might be able to attribute dropping out of the PGCE to anxiety too, but I left before it got really bad.


    Now i'm looking to go back to somewhere mid tier like the royal holloway, which i'm hoping will have less pretentious people, and a less pressured environment to the other uni's i've been to, and possibly better pastoral care than imperial. I'm pretty sure the geoscience course there will lead me to an oil job if i can complete it, but I'll probably need therapy/counselling to get me through it.

    Hopefully with the above info. you guys can see where i'm coming from I hope
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    (Original post by rock_climber86)
    Well I hate university. I love to learn, but being in university makes me anxious/inferior and I worry to such an extent that I am literally not able to function. I dropped out of Imperial in October for anxiety/health reasons. I've been told by numerous people that to do my dream job I need a Masters as most people in the career i'm after have one (MSc petroleum geophysics/geoscience).
    I agree that you really need to address this root cause before you have another attempt. If you don't change - and it sounds like you need help to change - then the situation is likely to just repeat itself.

    If it helps, exactly the same thing happened to me, also at Oxford. Flunked out after two years aged 20. I've now completed an undergrad degree, a Masters and am three months into a PhD. If you get your head in the right place, you can recover and enjoy yourself. But you do need to get yourself help to break out of your current cycle of thoughts and feelings. I didn't, and it took me over twenty years to recover enough to love learning again.
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    28 is not too old- I started uni later and my mum started her OU degree at 45.
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    (Original post by rock_climber86)
    Thanks for this advice. You have great positivity and I wish I had this! Please read about my background if you have a moment and it'll give you a better idea of where i'm coming from:

    Spoiler:
    Show
    I have dropped out of oxford because:
    it was too posh/pressured/i felt too inferior/health reasons. [actually I did really badly at end of year exams (scraped a pass), and they said I should leave so I did ]

    Left warwick because the course wasn't for me and I got in via clearing - decided to take year out to reapply

    I completed my degree at UCL between 2007-10, but needed 2 years of counselling to get me through - I was just miserable throughout, but enjoyed the work, just not being at uni.

    I left PGCE because I was scared of the people at uni and decided I needed more thought before committed myself to be a school maths teacher.

    I left Imperial course because my anxiety got really really bad and I thought I was going to kill myself (no exaggeration). I might be able to attribute dropping out of the PGCE to anxiety too, but I left before it got really bad.


    Now i'm looking to go back to somewhere mid tier like the royal holloway, which i'm hoping will have less pretentious people, and a less pressured environment to the other uni's i've been to, and possibly better pastoral care than imperial. I'm pretty sure the geoscience course there will lead me to an oil job if i can complete it, but I'll probably need therapy/counselling to get me through it.

    Hopefully with the above info. you guys can see where i'm coming from I hope
    prehaps get out of london? Big city like that can't be healthy. Plenty of smaller cities with good universities.
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    (Original post by rock_climber86)

    Is 28 too late to do a masters and start a career job? I'm 26 at the moment and I will start the MSc in a years time when i've saved up enough money, and i'll be 28/9 by the time I come out - will I be too old to start a graduate job? So many things i'm worried about at the moment. Just wish I could rewind 7/8 years back to when I was doing my a-levels and take a different path!
    Stop looking back and look to the future! You can't change the past, but you ARE in control of your future!

    My nephew took a while to decide what he really wanted to do in life and is currently doing Graduate Entry Medicine. He'll be 28 when he qualifies. You must know from the amount of time you spend on tsr that many people take a few attempts to get things sorted out.

    You've found a job and can make some progress towards your goal. You can relax a bit!
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    (Original post by Klix88)
    I agree that you really need to address this root cause before you have another attempt. If you don't change - and it sounds like you need help to change - then the situation is likely to just repeat itself.

    If it helps, exactly the same thing happened to me, also at Oxford. Flunked out after two years aged 20. I've now completed an undergrad degree, a Masters and am three months into a PhD. If you get your head in the right place, you can recover and enjoy yourself. But you do need to get yourself help to break out of your current cycle of thoughts and feelings. I didn't, and it took me over twenty years to recover enough to love learning again.
    Excellent advice!
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    I'm in a similar situation (top notch school performance, completely wrecked it at Uni, in a crap job at 27) and I do often have these "too late" feelings... which is ridiculous, as 27 is quite obviously still very young. A 70 year old would probably find our moanings of being "past it" in our 20's absolutely ridiculous. But anyway, yes, I do know what you mean. In my case however - I would absolutely LOVE to be able to go back to University and finish my degree, but I have absolutely no way of affording it. How on earth did you afford to start four times?? Personally, I started once and lated 6 months, then got my "false start" funding and managed 2 and a half years (of a 4 year degree) before stupidly letting it slide. So I've "used up" my funding options, and I definitely can't personally afford it without a loan.

    Trade?
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    Say you're done by 30, that means you still have a good 40 years of work to look forward to. It would be silly not to do it. Would distance learning be an option for what you want to study? It would get you out of a university environment altogether.
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    (Original post by RachaelBee)
    Say you're done by 30, that means you still have a good 40 years of work to look forward to. It would be silly not to do it. Would distance learning be an option for what you want to study? It would get you out of a university environment altogether.
    Yup the new course i found I can do full time/part time and distance learning too! I'm not sure which option to go for but have 9 months to think about it. I would love to just do it full time over a year and get it out the way but not sure if i'd cope...some serious thinking needs to be done :eek:


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    (Original post by rock_climber86)
    Yup the new course i found I can do full time/part time and distance learning too! I'm not sure which option to go for but have 9 months to think about it. I would love to just do it full time over a year and get it out the way but not sure if i'd cope...some serious thinking needs to be done :eek:


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    If you have the time to do it in a year then go for it, if not there's nothing wrong with taking a bit longer. I'll be spending 3 years on A levels instead of 2, not ideal but I'll live with it!
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    God i've been worrying about uni all day and i've not even applied or anywhere near starting yet :/. No idea wtf is wrong with me. Wish there was a non-uni way into industry.
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    (Original post by Klix88)
    I agree that you really need to address this root cause before you have another attempt. If you don't change - and it sounds like you need help to change - then the situation is likely to just repeat itself.

    If it helps, exactly the same thing happened to me, also at Oxford. Flunked out after two years aged 20. I've now completed an undergrad degree, a Masters and am three months into a PhD. If you get your head in the right place, you can recover and enjoy yourself. But you do need to get yourself help to break out of your current cycle of thoughts and feelings. I didn't, and it took me over twenty years to recover enough to love learning again.
    Hi Klix,

    I've been meaning to seek your advice for a few days but forgot. I was wondering how you broke out of your negative thinking cycle? I'm desperate to overcome my problems but i'm not sure what to do :/ I had therapy with a psychologist for 1.5 months but now it's stopped i'm back to my anxious state of mind, and it's driving me crazy!!! thanks for your advice.


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    (Original post by rock_climber86)
    Hi Klix,

    I've been meaning to seek your advice for a few days but forgot. I was wondering how you broke out of your negative thinking cycle? I'm desperate to overcome my problems but i'm not sure what to do :/ I had therapy with a psychologist for 1.5 months but now it's stopped i'm back to my anxious state of mind, and it's driving me crazy!!! thanks for your advice.
    I wish I could offer an easy answer, but my recovery took many years. I still have yet to really put my finger on what tipped the balance for me. I think the main thing is that I found something I wanted to do which demanded a degree as an entry-level qulification - and the passion to follow that dream finally outweighed the self-doubt which had been installed by my first attemot at uni. I still spent the first two undergrad years convinced that my good results were a fluke! The core self-doubt only truly melted away during my third year and my PhD supervisors recognise that I still need a lot of reassurance positive reinforcement.

    If you can go back to some kind of therapy I'd really advise sticking with it. I wish I'd had the opportunity. It isn't a quick fix though, and it's something you really have to work at. Friends of mine who've been through it describe the end of their therapy as the just the start of their recovery. The concepts and ideas introduced need to be practiced over time - the therapist should give you the tools but ultimately, you're the one that has to keep using them. You're training your mind to behave differently which takes time. One of my friends described becoming calmer, happier and more confident after therapy, as being like learning to ride a bike. You wobble and keep falling off, but if you keep getting back on and trying and you can eventually do it without thinking. Your thoughts and feelings don't change overnight, but if you stick with it, they do change eventually.

    Good luck with the next part of your life. It may be that more studying isn't the best thing for you right at this moment, but your enthusiasm shines through all of your posts - otherwise you wouldn't be putting yourself through it - so you *will* get there in the end.
 
 
 
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