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    I'm a first year currently studying at Oxford uni but I'm thinking of dropping out. Let me explain.

    Last year I did a gap year and reapplied for university. I basically applied for Oxford on a whim and to be honest I never expected to get in. When I found out I got my offer I was actually upset because I felt like my mind had been made up for me, even though I already had my mind set on another university I really liked. But I felt like I couldn't say no.

    For the whole of my gap year I was worried and I debated the issue with myself constantly; the weekend before I moved I felt dreadful and just didn't want to go. I've now been here nearly 4 weeks and honestly I just feel worse. The workload is crippling and I dislike the place both as a city and a university; the city is boring and I find the traditions antiquated. I tried to transfer universities but unfortunately I have to wait until next year, setting me back two years now.

    Honestly, the fact that it's Oxford doesn't mean anything to me and it never has. My own university experience and what I imagined/want it to be means more. I've realised I essentially came here because of what other people thought and not once did I actually think about what I wanted myself. I never worked hard specifically to get into this place and it was never my dream, so it feels pointless.

    Essentially, my question is - is it worth throwing away this opportunity, when I know I would be so much happier at the slightly less prestigious (but still Russell Group) university I wanted to study at all along and still do?
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    If it means nothing to you, why even ask for others opinion? We're not the ones in your shoes. Do what makes you happy, even if it means going against others wishes.
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    (Original post by omnidroid70)
    I'm a first year currently studying at Oxford uni but I'm thinking of dropping out. Let me explain.

    Last year I did a gap year and reapplied for university. I basically applied for Oxford as a joke and to be honest I never expected to get in. When I found out I got my offer I was actually upset because I felt like my mind had been made up for me, even though I already had my mind set on another university I really liked. But I felt like I couldn't say no, and a lot of people told me so.

    For the whole of my gap year I was worried and I debated the issue with myself constantly; the weekend before I moved I felt dreadful and just didn't want to go. I've now been here nearly 4 weeks and honestly I just feel worse. The workload is crippling and I hate the place both as a city and a university; the city is boring and I think all the weird traditions of the university are stupid and antiquated. I tried to transfer universities but unfortunately I have to wait until next year, setting me back two years now. But honestly I don't really care about that.

    Honestly, the fact that it's Oxford doesn't mean anything to me and it never has. My own university experience and what I imagined/want it to be means more. I've realised I essentially came here because of what other people thought and not once did I actually think about what I wanted myself. I never worked hard specifically to get into this place and it was never my dream, so it feels pointless.

    Essentially, my question is - is it worth throwing away this opportunity, which to me means nothing, when I know I would be so much happier at the slightly less prestigious (but still Russell Group) university I wanted to study at all along and still do?
    Don't drop out. You have 2 years left. Do it, get the Oxford degree then you can do whatever you want.

    You clearly are not swayed by the Oxford name, but there may be other attributes including quality of teaching, facilities, university network and other aspects of the Oxford machine.

    Good luck.
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    If you aren't happy at the uni then the simple fact is that you won't do as well. Would employers rather you had a 2.3 from Oxford or a 1st at Durham? The thing is, uni is supposed to be the best years of your life. Your youth is very precious and you should spend it well and happy.
    It sounds like you have already made your mid up tbh.
    Do what you think is right for you.

    P.S. What were your A level and GCSE results? Just out of curiosity.
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    If it makes you happy 100% you should leave. Just remember in 3 years time when getting a job, Oxford would have likely got you any job you wanted. But, if you are looking for short-term happiness and want the full 'university experience' then leave. I'm using this harsh tone because I would hate for you to look back in 5 years and think for a few years of hassle you could have had an amazing career from a university most dream of attending. Yes, you can still have a great career from any Russell group uni, but I just think you shouldn't rush into anything. You sound like you went into Oxford with a negative mindset, which will always lead to unhappiness.
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    Tagging OxFossil and The_Lonely_Goatherd
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    I felt exactly the same when I was choosing my sixth form for A levels.
    I was offered a place at an decent independent boarding school hours away from home but also one of the best state schools in London that was local to me.
    Once I collected my GCSEs, I accepted BOTH on the day.

    I didn't personally like the boarding school in comparison to the state school - And I have endless arguments and tears on the day but eventually chose the independent one in terms of having a new experience and putting extra effort because people around me to do so.

    To be honest, I do have regrets sometimes but really I'm happy now. It took me near enough 2 months to get over everything.
    I didn't like going church 3 times a week but I got over that, the absurd atmosphere was uncomfortable at the start but you must learn to adapt now better than later.

    You either go with your heart or continue in hopes the same thing happens to you.
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    (Original post by GovernmentEarner)
    If it makes you happy 100% you should leave. Just remember in 3 years time when getting a job, Oxford would have likely got you any job you wanted. But, if you are looking for short-term happiness and want the full 'university experience' then leave. I'm using this harsh tone because I would hate for you to look back in 5 years and think for a few years of hassle you could have had an amazing career from a university most dream of attending. Yes, you can still have a great career from any Russell group uni, but I just think you shouldn't rush into anything. You sound like you went into Oxford with a negative mindset, which will always lead to unhappiness.
    I agree with this. You only need to stick it out for 2 years and then you'll have a degree from Oxford (which will make you incredibly employable) If you don't think you can do that then leave. But it is worth bearing in mind that after you get your Oxford degree, you can always go to another university as a mature student and take another if you want the "university experience"
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    (Original post by omnidroid70)
    I'm a first year currently studying at Oxford uni but I'm thinking of dropping out. Let me explain.

    Last year I did a gap year and reapplied for university. I basically applied for Oxford on a whim and to be honest I never expected to get in. When I found out I got my offer I was actually upset because I felt like my mind had been made up for me, even though I already had my mind set on another university I really liked. But I felt like I couldn't say no.

    For the whole of my gap year I was worried and I debated the issue with myself constantly; the weekend before I moved I felt dreadful and just didn't want to go. I've now been here nearly 4 weeks and honestly I just feel worse. The workload is crippling and I dislike the place both as a city and a university; the city is boring and I find the traditions antiquated. I tried to transfer universities but unfortunately I have to wait until next year, setting me back two years now.

    Honestly, the fact that it's Oxford doesn't mean anything to me and it never has. My own university experience and what I imagined/want it to be means more. I've realised I essentially came here because of what other people thought and not once did I actually think about what I wanted myself. I never worked hard specifically to get into this place and it was never my dream, so it feels pointless.

    Essentially, my question is - is it worth throwing away this opportunity, when I know I would be so much happier at the slightly less prestigious (but still Russell Group) university I wanted to study at all along and still do?
    Thank you for the summons, Doonesbury. I attended Oxford many years ago, had a poor experience, but persisted to graduation. My daughter has just graduated from Oxford (her idea, not mine!) and had a good time. So the contrast between our experiences has been educational. My suggestions would be:


    - definitely discuss your concerns over workload etc with your tutor(s). I'm sure it is quite normal to feel utterly overwhelmed in the first weeks. But most people do adjust, and your tutor may be able to help stagger the work a bit if you are struggling.

    - speak to the college and university welfare services and pastoral care people too. Helping students who are depressed or even just thoroughly fed up is their job. More generally, why not make yourself the person who puts food out for the hedgehogs, or the one who hangs baubles from the gargoyles (not your gargoyles, the college ones) or who leaves a creme egg for the Porters every Sunday? It's surprising what a difference it makes if when you walk across the quad, a few people smile and say "hello, omnidroid, how are the baubles hanging?"

    - like you, I hated the "traditions" and felt socially isolated. Eventually, I found a solution in living out in a houseshare with a bunch of student nurses, and made a social life based on those relationships and a couple of non-university voluntary groups. Those connections helped me escape the Oxford bubble and keep me (just about) sane. My feeling is that if you can find a warm and supportive social network, you can cope with pretty much anything!

    - if you feel you need a general mood-maintaining schedule, try and do the "5 Ways to Well Being" daily routine (that means doing something every day that includes 1. social connection 2. physical activity 3. mindfulness 4. a random act of kindness 5. working towards a self-chosen goal

    What I got out of staying at Oxford was the sense of having had a really good education, and I have never felt intellectually intimidated in any professional situation since. On the other hand, I suspect that I would have had a better time socially, and felt happier somewhere else. I don't feel that having the "Oxon" tag has been a great advantage (I once got an interview at the BBC which I am sure was down to it - but I didn't get the job!)

    Four weeks into your first term really isn't long. I'd suggest really pushing the boundaries to see if Oxford can accommodate itself to what you need and want. Be wary of creating a fantasy about the alternative that is unrealistic (the grass is always greener etc) and postpone a final decision about switching until you have demonstrated that's the only option.
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    As per usual, OxFossil has given some great advice.

    Generally speaking, it sounds like you never really wanted to go to Oxford in the first place, and that in itself is a good enough reason for leaving. That said, do exhaust all the pastoral options available to you and give it a bit more time, would be my usual advice. 4 weeks isn't very long in the grand scheme of things.

    My advice also tends to apply on the course you're studying. If you're studying law, for example, then I'm sure you are aware that the Oxbridge name can take you very far indeed.

    That said, your ultimate priority has to be your wellbeing. But do let your college tutors know how you feel. You're not the first - and won't be the last - person to have ever felt this way :nah:

    :hugs:
 
 
 
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