Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Depression - dropping out of Russell Group uni and transferring to Open University? watch

    • #1
    • Thread Starter
    #1

    Having has issues with depression and social anxiety in the past which led me to dropping out my first course after one semester (in addition to me not enjoying the course), I reapplied for Computer Science and got a place at a Russell Group uni the following year.

    I thought I'd recovered from the depression and was all set to make a go of my new course but I quickly found upon starting my new course that I struggled a lot with the programming courses. I hated it... just looking at code made me feel depressed. I put this down to lack of interest, and somehow managed to make it through to now (near the end of 3rd year). However, this semester in paticular I've found the symptoms of depression intensifying and my social anxiety has caused me a lot of problems with a major group project and it just all seems like a downward spiral. I hate the course, I can't motivate myself, I struggle to get of bed let alone go to classes or study, and even when I do find the energy I find I can't take anything in because I can barely concentrate and I'm too busy tearing myself apart in my head.

    That said, I did enjoy the Economics outside course in 1st year and did pretty well in it, but my personal tutor advised me to take the less rigorous course as oppose to the compulsory 1st year economics degree course to allow me to concentrate on my actual degree, thus I wouldn't have been allowed to switch degrees without starting back in 1st year again. I also struggled with the maths to an extent, but I feel this was more down to circumstance as oppose to my own inability or lack of interest in it (as it is with programming). I did well on the non-programming computation/logic/data analysis courses which leads me to believe that the programming is the main culprit for my awful time on this degree. I may have a chance of obtaining an ordinary degree if I do well in my other modules, but my overall mark from 3rd year will stand at around 40% (accounts for half the overall degree classification, meaning I'd have to get over 80% in 4th year to even scrape a 2:1) and the thought of doing 4th year fills me with dread, especially the honours project and the fact the majority of courses are level 11 (i.e. Masters level - to allow masters students to take the course as well). I feel it's just going to crash and burn.

    I still want a degree... and have been looking into the Open University and really contemplating transferring to their maths or economics degree into 2nd year (which is level 9 equivalent to 3rd year in Scotland). So I'll be a year behind, but in theory anyway, I will be studying something I find a lot more interesting with more scope for me to do well. I've even heard of people going from OU to do masters at Oxbridge and Russell Group universities afterwards. The only other options I feel are to A) Stick on my current course and have very slim chance of doing well, B) Try to transfer to a different course within my own uni (which I'd be lucky if they event let me start back in 2nd year) or C) Give up on uni completely. The Open uni would let me complete the degree in 2 years (thus I'm 2 years behind where I otherwise could be). Transferring in my own uni would leave me at least 3 years behind, and even then I'm not guaranteed to have a better experience.

    I'm not sure why I'm posting this... My parents want me to stay on my current course, and most people say I'll regret leaving, but I honestly can't see any light at the end of that tunnel. I guess I'm looking for reaffirmation that I'd be doing the right thing. We all want to be happy at the end of the day, don't we? I imagine a lot of people with mental health difficulties have also contemplated or in fact gone ahead with switching to the OU and may have similar experiences they could share?
    • TSR Support Team
    • Very Important Poster
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    TSR Support Team
    Very Important Poster
    You have to do a lot of self studying with the OU. Your post suggests that you're struggling with this, which may make it harder for you?
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Having has issues with depression and social anxiety in the past which led me to dropping out my first course after one semester (in addition to me not enjoying the course), I reapplied for Computer Science and got a place at a Russell Group uni the following year.
    The Open uni would let me complete the degree in 2 years (thus I'm 2 years behind where I otherwise could be). Transferring in my own uni would leave me at least 3 years behind, and even then I'm not guaranteed to have a better experience.
    Don't worry about how far 'behind' you are.. That isn't important, what is important is you.

    What would you recommend to someone else in the same position as you? Try to look at it from a third person perspective, I find doing this often helps you decide on the best option.
    • Peer Support Volunteers
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Peer Support Volunteers
    Are you receiving any help for your depression and social anxiety?

    Also, do remember that RG unis are not the end of the world. I'm at a non-RG uni and yet it ranks quite well internationally. You should focus on what's best for you and forget where you'll receive your degree from. A degree is a degree. It's what you do with it that's more important (as well as looking after your mental health!) :hugs:
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Check out the support services available where you are enrolled now cos tbh uni support is much better funded than the NHS.

    switching from one thing to another and hoping it'll get better on it's own seems unlikely to work.
    Offline

    7
    ReputationRep:
    As someone who suffered with sever depression during university and studied the wrong degree, I feel your pain. It is horrendous to have to try and study while depressed. I think the Open University IS a reasonable option, but not in the sense that you would leave your current uni and start straight away. If you can, I would take a break from uni, go home, try and get a fairly basic job and get yourself better. That is probably the best thing you can do right now, then you can worry about sorting your degree later, whether it is returning to university or going the OU route.
    • #1
    • Thread Starter
    #1

    (Original post by Tiger Rag)
    You have to do a lot of self studying with the OU. Your post suggests that you're struggling with this, which may make it harder for you?
    I've basically been self-studying the whole time I've been here. I believe the underlying problems of being on the wrong course is the main reason for my lack of motivation. In earlier years I put a lot of hours into learning the maths side of things and I was always on top of revision in school and came out with top grades. As such not finding the course interesting and not living up to my potential has been a great demotivator I guess. I still have a drive to learn and achieve... just something I can find some passion for!

    (Original post by KyleH123)
    Don't worry about how far 'behind' you are.. That isn't important, what is important is you.

    What would you recommend to someone else in the same position as you? Try to look at it from a third person perspective, I find doing this often helps you decide on the best option.
    A lot of people are telling me I'll regret leaving... at the end of the day I'd tell someone if something in their life is making them truly miserable then they should cut it out and move on, find something that will make them happy instead. I had a lot of problems in my first year here - I didn't enjoy uni, my job and I was living with a manipulative cheating partner (now ex). I cut out the latter two, thinking the first would improve. Got a new job I feel a lot happier in and replaced the ex with a dog. It's really uni that's bringing me down.

    I've been thinking about this for over a year and I think it makes sense to jump ship and study a different course which I find interesting and is more relevant to careers I might pursue which I have to potential of succeeding in. Studying in an environment better suited to me that will allow me to juggle my commitments more easily should also mean I'm less burnt out and allow me to keep to a schedule that's going to work for me. The only reasons that I came up with against leaving were A) I'm at a Russell Group uni, B) Employers will look down upon not completing a course and C) I will have to spend at least an extra year to get my honours degree. Though C is pretty irrelevant since I'd likely have to take a year out and resit modules on my current course anyway, or accept it would be impossible to achieve a 2:1 or above. The key point is there were no positive reasons - I don't enjoy the course, I don't do well, I don't have friends at uni... It's unsurprising I'm depressed when this is the main aspect of my life right now.

    (Original post by Airmed)
    Are you receiving any help for your depression and social anxiety?

    Also, do remember that RG unis are not the end of the world. I'm at a non-RG uni and yet it ranks quite well internationally. You should focus on what's best for you and forget where you'll receive your degree from. A degree is a degree. It's what you do with it that's more important (as well as looking after your mental health!) :hugs:
    In all fairness, it's only recently that I've noticed the depression having a substantial impact on my day-to-day life, and I feel it's pretty much directly linked to problems with the course and the self-esteem issues that arise from that. Similarly with my social anxiety, it has improved massively over the past few years until I was hit by the major group project (other than that I just avoided tutorials and lectures whenever I didn't feel up to it and didn't think much of it). My GP offered medication which I put off due to problems with it when I was diagnosed with depression previously (though I'm thinking of going back and asking for a different type of medication) and I have been given a list of counsellors I can speak to (which I'm still to arrange). I am being set up with a mental health mentor in the university whom I thought would be a massive help, however the one who I saw the other day I felt was really cold with me and she ended the session within 20 minutes. I actually got way more benefit speaking to the disability advisors.

    You're right though... everyone should just do what's best for them, and I think this would be the right decision (or at least I hope so) and I can picture myself succeeding and being happy. It's really just the thought of leaving a course for a second time and how that might look. I wish I could turn the clock back 4 years and tell myself to pick a different course! But I guess our mistakes make us who we are, and without them some of the good things in life wouldn't have happened to us! (Forever being a part-time depressive, part-time optimist!)

    (Original post by Joinedup)
    Check out the support services available where you are enrolled now cos tbh uni support is much better funded than the NHS.

    switching from one thing to another and hoping it'll get better on it's own seems unlikely to work.
    As above I wasn't impressed with the university's mental health mentor - usually I really benefit from speaking to counsellors and such, but I felt worse after speaking to her. I don't think I'd merely be switching and hoping for things to get better - but rather switching to something better suited to my personality, interests and circumstances which will allow me to achieve. And I think that's where things have went wrong because that hasn't been possible for me on my current course.

    (Original post by StayEvergreen)
    As someone who suffered with sever depression during university and studied the wrong degree, I feel your pain. It is horrendous to have to try and study while depressed. I think the Open University IS a reasonable option, but not in the sense that you would leave your current uni and start straight away. If you can, I would take a break from uni, go home, try and get a fairly basic job and get yourself better. That is probably the best thing you can do right now, then you can worry about sorting your degree later, whether it is returning to university or going the OU route.
    When I dropped out my first university and course this is what I did, and it helped massively. I felt the happiest I'd felt in years after a couple of months. I already have a part time job which I enjoy and I support myself from my earnings. Whilst there is temptation to move back home and get a transfer at work and save money, I think my indepdence is one thing I'm proud of - as in it's one thing I'm good at and can manage my money a lot better than a lot of people my age who I know. I think moving home would in essence be give up the aspects of my life I am happy about. Although certainly if I went down open uni route it would relieve some of the pressures of it, allowing me to concentrate on my studies more I guess. I think the few months in between leaving my current course and starting at the open university should be enough to feel better, knowing that I'm not going to be returning.
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: March 11, 2016
Poll
Do you agree with the PM's proposal to cut tuition fees for some courses?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.