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    Hi everyone,

    I'm currently one term into a masters course in Oxford and I've hated every minute of it. At first, I thought I hated lab work and due to a couple of problems I had in there, I ended up with some pretty serious anxiety issues. I ended up swapping just before the holidays to the only non-lab project on my course which focuses on programming and statistics, which I have no knowledge in whatsoever in the hopes that things would get better. However, I ended up getting no better over Christmas and I think the problem stems from Oxford as a whole. I've now been back a week and my anxiety and stress have got to an unbearable level. I've been totally put off my whole subject area and I'm wondering if it would be in my best interests to quit now and take some time to feel better and decide what I want to do. Is there anyone out there who has had similar problems and can give me any advice? I don't really know how this choice might affect my future career or academic choices, and I don't want to make a decision I will regret in the future.

    Thanks!
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    Not sure how your course is structured but if its a one year masters you will be done in five months or so, I would stick it out till then but I don't know about your problems. The only one on this website who knows exactly whats up with you, is you. None of us know what it feels like to be in your shoes doing lab work. As I said personally I would just put my all into my modules and see where that can get me. Dropping out although feasible would be a waste of a great opportunity, time and money.

    But don't be afraid to make a decision which makes you happy, if as you say, your mental health is at an unbearable level then it would be wise to quite. Maybe speak to your tutor or course administrator to see if you can take a gap and resume your studies next year after Christmas.
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    My advice from my own personal experience would be to drop out. Life is too short to be doing something that doesn't make you happy, so I think you should focus on yourself, and doing what makes you feel more rewarded.
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    (Original post by SirAlexFerguson)
    Not sure how your course is structured but if its a one year masters you will be done in five months or so, I would stick it out till then but I don't know about your problems. The only one on this website who knows exactly whats up with you, is you. None of us know what it feels like to be in your shoes doing lab work. As I said personally I would just put my all into my modules and see where that can get me. Dropping out although feasible would be a waste of a great opportunity, time and money.

    But don't be afraid to make a decision which makes you happy, if as you say, your mental health is at an unbearable level then it would be wise to quite. Maybe speak to your tutor or course administrator to see if you can take a gap and resume your studies next year after Christmas.
    Thank you for the advice, unfortunately my course is a research one, so it could last up to three years. I'm worried that since I'm now on a project I know nothing about, it's going to take me longer and in the end I'm probably never going to use these skills or this course ever again. I hate to sound like I'm whining, I'm just trying to decided if it'll all be worth it if I don't even want to do this anymore D:
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    (Original post by Lord Gaben)
    My advice from my own personal experience would be to drop out. Life is too short to be doing something that doesn't make you happy, so I think you should focus on yourself, and doing what makes you feel more rewarded.
    Thank you, do you mind if I ask how it ended up working out for you? I appreciate you might not want to share details, but I'd be grateful to get some insight from someone who is on the other end of making the decision
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    (Original post by well-hello)
    Thank you for the advice, unfortunately my course is a research one, so it could last up to three years. I'm worried that since I'm now on a project I know nothing about, it's going to take me longer and in the end I'm probably never going to use these skills or this course ever again. I hate to sound like I'm whining, I'm just trying to decided if it'll all be worth it if I don't even want to do this anymore D:
    In that case, I would drop out. I would hate to spend three years doing something I hated. I joined TSR to ask a similar question to yours, but I figured out I was just sad leaving home and soon my friends persuaded me to stay which now seems like a good decision.

    Could you not possibly request to transfer courses?
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    (Original post by well-hello)
    Thank you, do you mind if I ask how it ended up working out for you? I appreciate you might not want to share details, but I'd be grateful to get some insight from someone who is on the other end of making the decision
    It was a difficult decision to make, because I invested a lot of time into the course. But, I certainly feel a lot better physically and mentally after dropping the course. I was at a Top 10 University, and studying an integrated Masters so it was quite a heavy workload.

    It's not really negatively affected me. I work part-time and moved back home. I'm saving up some money, and learning to program through online courses and textbooks in my spare time. I'm hoping to be a full stack web developer (front-end and back-end).

    Obviously, you will have people that might judge you and look down on you. But, what you have to remember is that you are living your own life and not theirs. Plus, if you have a degree already, it gives you more options.

    I hope it all works out!
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    It depends on how much an Oxford degree means to you. Sure, you won't get the same doors open but it won't be detrimental to your career, just like how you'd still have a career without ever attending Oxford.

    President Bill Clinton dropped out of his master's, and he's a Rhodes scholar.
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    I'd suggest that the first decision to make is not whether to drop out of the course, but what support you need to deal with your anxiety, clear your head and feel better about life etc.

    Contact student support services, your GP etc. Discuss your problems frankly with your director of studies/tutor. Come up with an anxiety management/mood maintenance plan for you, and a revised programme for your academic work that lifts the pressure until you have had the chance to look at the situation when you are not feeling overwhelmed, panicky and - well - just wanting to run away! It might well be that the best option is to switch to another course or uni. or even to drop out of academia altogether. But give yourself the chance to make that decision when you are not having to deal with managing acute anxiety at the same time.

    Hope that doesn't sound patronising - it's a horrible situation to be in, and much easier to preach about than to live. Good luck, anyway.
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    Thank you very much for all of your advice so far! I am actually already seeking help for anxiety, so hopefully that will help me to sort things with a clearer mind. Currently I'm definitely leaning towards leaving, but I'm still a bit afraid to make that leap!
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    (Original post by well-hello)
    Thank you very much for all of your advice so far! I am actually already seeking help for anxiety, so hopefully that will help me to sort things with a clearer mind. Currently I'm definitely leaning towards leaving, but I'm still a bit afraid to make that leap!
    Fair enough; I thought i better say that just in case...For what it is worth, I persisted with my U/G course at Oxford despite hating it. For me, it wasn't the academic side of it that was difficult, but feeling socially isolated. Having a supportive friendship network around you, in daily, real-life contact fixes most things. But with hindsight, I think that the act of taking control of the situation rather than drifting on with the inertia of it may be more important than the stay/leave decision itself - but I didn't learn that till much later...! Hope it goes well for you anyhow.
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    Thank you again for everyone who has given me advice or shared their experiences to help me figure out what to do. I just wanted to let you know that after speaking with my college and a few other advisers, I have decided to either suspend or withdraw from the university. It's been a difficult decision to reach, but overall I value my health and happiness above a degree, and I need some time away to focus on that. I also have some career ideas for back home that look promising, so overall I think this is the best option for me, and I'm very grateful for your part in helping me reach this point. I hope you all continue with what is best for you too
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    (Original post by well-hello)
    Thank you again for everyone who has given me advice or shared their experiences to help me figure out what to do. I just wanted to let you know that after speaking with my college and a few other advisers, I have decided to either suspend or withdraw from the university. It's been a difficult decision to reach, but overall I value my health and happiness above a degree, and I need some time away to focus on that. I also have some career ideas for back home that look promising, so overall I think this is the best option for me, and I'm very grateful for your part in helping me reach this point. I hope you all continue with what is best for you too
    Thanks for the update. Like you say, health and happiness is much more important, and there are always opportunities to remake your future. Hope all goes well for you.
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    (Original post by OxFossil)
    Thanks for the update. Like you say, health and happiness is much more important, and there are always opportunities to remake your future. Hope all goes well for you.
    Thank you!
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    (Original post by Little Toy Gun)
    It depends on how much an Oxford degree means to you. Sure, you won't get the same doors open but it won't be detrimental to your career, just like how you'd still have a career without ever attending Oxford.

    President Bill Clinton dropped out of his master's, and he's a Rhodes scholar.
    Didn't drop out, he was kicked out for molestation.

    Check it
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    (Original post by Stoke123)
    Didn't drop out, he was kicked out for molestation.

    Check it
    I highly doubt they kicked him out as they gave him an honorary degree:

    "In 1994, as President of the United States, Clinton would be honored with an honorary degree and a fellowship by the University of Oxford, specifically, for being "a doughty and tireless champion of the cause of world peace", having "a powerful collaborator in his wife," and for winning "general applause for his achievement of resolving the gridlock which prevented an agreed budget"."

    I don't necessarily agree with the decision, but perhaps this was during his pre-molestation days (if such days do exist!)
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    (Original post by Stoke123)
    Didn't drop out, he was kicked out for molestation.

    Check it
    He might or might not have raped anyone at any time, but there's no evidence that showed he was sent down from Oxford. The only sites that made the claim are ultra conservative ones that have offered no proof. If that were true, it would've been mentioned during his presidential campaign.

    Regardless that's beyond the point. He didn't complete an Oxford degree and got to be POTUS anyway.
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    (Original post by Little Toy Gun)
    Regardless that's beyond the point. He didn't complete an Oxford degree and got to be POTUS anyway.
    He still got in in the first place which definitely says something but you're right in that a degree from Ox/Cam is by no means the way to success.
 
 
 
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