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Advice for a miserable first-year - should I drop out and reapply? Watch

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    EDIT 13/7/2017: Hi all, OP here - just wanted to update this post and say that I decided to stick with SOAS, I'm now in my second year and absolutely loving life. I know I had loads of teething problems last year when I came to London but honestly I'm so glad I stayed! By the end of first year I had cemented my friendships and learned to love London, and although the SOAS politics irritate me still, they do loads of people's heads in and I'm not the only one haha - I've learned to laugh at it and to make the most of what the rest of London offers.

    The reason I've decided to edit is because I've had a few PMs from prospective SOAS students asking me about my decision as I didn't actually post anything else, and thought I'd just quickly write that I've stayed and, as I said, I now love it. If you want more detail and/or you're interested in studying Japanese please feel free to message me! Best of luck to all uni applicants who happen to read this!

    Hi all,

    I'm currently in my first year at SOAS studying Japanese and honestly am not enjoying myself at all. Whilst the academics are brilliant, the atmosphere is horrible and I feel so out of place. I feel I settled for SOAS after gaining an unconditional and being told by my teachers at school to accept it when I also had an offer from Durham which would have suited me far better. I honestly feel so isolated in London and although I'm doing well academically and getting firsts, I'm not enjoying myself socially and I don't think anyone at SOAS is taking their studies seriously. I have nothing in common with anyone and feel alone to the point that I'm considering dropping out and re-applying next year as now I've missed the UCAS deadline.

    I'm just so worried about everything because I thought I was making an intelligent decision by coming to SOAS and can't believe that I've made such a huge mistake, but now I'm scared about ruining my chances for a future university.I'm considering applying to Durham again as well as Edinburgh and Oxbridge, but would these universities even look at me knowing I'd dropped out of another institution? I got AAA at A-Level and was Head Girl, and I'm a dedicated student, but I'm worried that the likes of Durham wouldn't see it like that as I'd be a dropout and I'm scared I'm making the wrong decision based on the wrong reasons.

    I know SOAS is going to get me a good degree in Japanese but I really hate it here - is it worth taking a year out and re-applying to somewhere that will suit me better? Or do I stick it out for another three years knowing I'll still get a good degree, despite being unhappy?I never thought I'd be in this position, but I've become so miserable since coming to here to SOAS, as well as London in general.

    Any advice would be appreciated greatly.
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    Have you looked into the possibility of transferring university without reapplying i.e. transfer into the second year elsewhere? Not sure if it's feasible but surely worth researching.
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    (Original post by Paralove)
    Have you looked into the possibility of transferring university without reapplying i.e. transfer into the second year elsewhere? Not sure if it's feasible but surely worth researching.
    I contacted Durham about transferring to second year and am waiting for a reply at the moment. If it were possible, I'd go, but part of me is also wondering whether it'd be best to simply start again...
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    I know someone who was in your position. He left a degree in economics after year 1 , he then reapplied to several unis and got into Cambridge.

    He too had done well academically but hated his first uni.

    Because you are doing well academically you have already proved your ability, you are paying 9000 pounds a year so it has to be right, but ultimately you have to be happy.

    You have proved what you can acheive when you are unhappy, so really you have nothing to fear.Go for it!
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    (Original post by ZoZo1770)
    I contacted Durham about transferring to second year and am waiting for a reply at the moment. If it were possible, I'd go, but part of me is also wondering whether it'd be best to simply start again...
    Definitely explore transferring into year 2 elsewhere - universities are a lot more forgiving on deadlines for this as long as the courses are compatible.

    Also speak to your tutor at SOAS about your situation. They're there to help you but you have to seek out that help.

    It may well be possible to suspend your study at the end of this year, take a year to reapply to other choices and get some funds and fun experiences under your belt (that should help you in working out what environment you need to do your best and be happy). Your tutor should also be your reference for UCAS applications so speaking to them early to discuss how unhappy you are and what options you want to explore will get you a headstart on getting a good supportive reference.

    Universities are very sympathetic to applicants who chose the wrong university for them and are looking to put that right. It's the people who reapply without even spending 2 weeks at their university who aren't treated sympathetically
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    I am currently at Durham wanting to move to a London uni, although a different course. What do you think you're going to do?
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    I would try asking durham and maybe a few other uni's if they would accept a transfer into second year.
    Also, since you only got AAA oxbridge will be out of your reach i think...
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    try and get through the next 3 months, im sure it will go quickly (3 week easter holiday aswell ) and then you can make a better informed decision with a long summer to mull over everything.
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    (Original post by ZoZo1770)
    Hi all,

    I'm currently in my first year at SOAS studying Japanese and honestly am not enjoying myself at all. Whilst the academics are brilliant, the atmosphere is horrible and I feel so out of place. I feel I settled for SOAS after gaining an unconditional and being told by my teachers at school to accept it when I also had an offer from Durham which would have suited me far better. I honestly feel so isolated in London and although I'm doing well academically and getting firsts, I'm not enjoying myself socially and I don't think anyone at SOAS is taking their studies seriously. I have nothing in common with anyone and feel alone to the point that I'm considering dropping out and re-applying next year as now I've missed the UCAS deadline.

    I'm just so worried about everything because I thought I was making an intelligent decision by coming to SOAS and can't believe that I've made such a huge mistake, but now I'm scared about ruining my chances for a future university.I'm considering applying to Durham again as well as Edinburgh and Oxbridge, but would these universities even look at me knowing I'd dropped out of another institution? I got AAA at A-Level and was Head Girl, and I'm a dedicated student, but I'm worried that the likes of Durham wouldn't see it like that as I'd be a dropout and I'm scared I'm making the wrong decision based on the wrong reasons.

    I know SOAS is going to get me a good degree in Japanese but I really hate it here - is it worth taking a year out and re-applying to somewhere that will suit me better? Or do I stick it out for another three years knowing I'll still get a good degree, despite being unhappy?I never thought I'd be in this position, but I've become so miserable since coming to here to SOAS, as well as London in general.

    Any advice would be appreciated greatly.
    Sorry to hear it's going badly for you. I was also pushed by my school to accept SOAS' unconditional last year, but withdrew on results day and am now on my gap year. As has already been suggested, I would first see if it's possible to transfer to another university. If not, then you need to consider carefully whether or not you want to drop out and reapply. You're half-way through first year so already have a good idea of what it's like, but I'd recommend waiting until the year is over before definitely making a decision, as your opinions could change...

    With regards to what the unis would say, your best bet is to call and talk to them about it. You have good grades and you want to study Japanese, so it's more of a case of you getting this across, and making it clear that you're leaving SOAS not because the work is too difficult, but because you don't fit in in the university and aren't enjoying the experience there, even though you enjoy the subject itself. I'm assuming you would have your tutors from SOAS write your reference, so they could mention this.

    I know someone who dropped out of Japanese at Oxford during their first year and reapplied this year. Unlike you, though, they dropped out because of stress/not keeping up. Nevertheless, they still got offers this year (though were rejected by Oxford), so I wouldn't worry about your chances beng ruined, especially because you would be dropping out for reasons other than the course being too difficult.
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    (Original post by LiquidGold)
    I would try asking durham and maybe a few other uni's if they would accept a transfer into second year.
    Also, since you only got AAA oxbridge will be out of your reach i think...
    Oxford do not ask for A*s only Cambridge does, so absolutely no reason to not approach Oxford.Good luck and go for it.
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    I'm at SOAS too. It's nice to know I'm not the only one. I'm having the worst experience and I've made the wrong choice definitely.
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    (Original post by ZoZo1770)
    Hi all,

    I'm currently in my first year at SOAS studying Japanese and honestly am not enjoying myself at all. Whilst the academics are brilliant, the atmosphere is horrible and I feel so out of place. I feel I settled for SOAS after gaining an unconditional and being told by my teachers at school to accept it when I also had an offer from Durham which would have suited me far better. I honestly feel so isolated in London and although I'm doing well academically and getting firsts, I'm not enjoying myself socially and I don't think anyone at SOAS is taking their studies seriously. I have nothing in common with anyone and feel alone to the point that I'm considering dropping out and re-applying next year as now I've missed the UCAS deadline.

    I'm just so worried about everything because I thought I was making an intelligent decision by coming to SOAS and can't believe that I've made such a huge mistake, but now I'm scared about ruining my chances for a future university.I'm considering applying to Durham again as well as Edinburgh and Oxbridge, but would these universities even look at me knowing I'd dropped out of another institution? I got AAA at A-Level and was Head Girl, and I'm a dedicated student, but I'm worried that the likes of Durham wouldn't see it like that as I'd be a dropout and I'm scared I'm making the wrong decision based on the wrong reasons.

    I know SOAS is going to get me a good degree in Japanese but I really hate it here - is it worth taking a year out and re-applying to somewhere that will suit me better? Or do I stick it out for another three years knowing I'll still get a good degree, despite being unhappy?I never thought I'd be in this position, but I've become so miserable since coming to here to SOAS, as well as London in general.

    Any advice would be appreciated greatly.

    Hey, may I ask. Are you commuting to uni or living in halls? Wondering if that has made a difference. Im in year 13 and I've just received an unconditional offer from soas(for history). Previously, I really wanted to firm Warwick(I hold an AAB conditional offer). But this unconditional changes everything. I do like the feel of soas, and I'm very political. It's just that warwick is a Russell group...

    One more question, are you politically charged? A leftist. Trying to work out if I'll find myself in the same situation as you.

    All the best.

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    Transfer.

    If you cnat transfer then reapply, but talk to your traget unis as to what they would prefer. Well done for being able to get great grades, that will be massively in your favour. Yni is about more than your degree so ots good you realise that. Your tutors should support you.
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    (Original post by LiquidGold)
    Also, since you only got AAA oxbridge will be out of your reach i think...
    For Japanese, Oxford quote AAA and you need to pass an aptitude test, before shortlist interviews.

    http://www.orinst.ox.ac.uk/undergrad...dmissions.html
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    (Original post by Paralove)
    Have you looked into the possibility of transferring university without reapplying i.e. transfer into the second year elsewhere? Not sure if it's feasible but surely worth researching.
    I agree the op has got firsts so a transfer to durham is a probable possibility I think.
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    Hi! I am glad you are enjoying your second year! i am also applying for japanese this year. how do you find the atmosphere and academics standard in soas? can you tell me about japanese course in soas, and its career opportunities? also what choice of japanese universities do you have for the year abroad? do you know which uni in japan to the durham students go to? Thank you!
 
 
 
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