Drop out and totally change course in second year? Watch

Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#1
So I’m having a crisis and everyone I could talk to is asleep and this is really a desperate search for some advice. It’s gonna get long so I won’t mind if no one replies, I just sort of want to vent and y’all need context. (There is a tldr though if you wanna skip my rambling)

I’m currently at Queen’s University Belfast and I’m in my second year of studying Sociology and Social Policy. I’m gonna be honest with y’all, I chose this course because the entry requirements was BBB instead of the usual ABB, which I knew I wouldn’t be able to get. Getting in to queens is a big thing and my school really pushed it on all of us. I desperately wanted to go to queens with my best friend. And then results day came and I got the BBB I needed but my friend (who experienced some extremely difficult family and mental health circumstances during our A levels) did not get the grades.
So there I was, now registered on a course that I only chose so I could get into what I have been told is a very respected university that would mean I could have all sorts of opportunities. And none of my friends were going there. I can’t really describe to y’all how utterly lonely I was during my first year. I was put in a flat in halls with five other mostly “mature” students who were studying medicine and other fancy courses. I had such awful anxiety that I could barely go into the kitchen because I was a) terrified of social interaction and b) you guys, I lived with three boys and that kitchen was in such a state I was literally sweating from anxiety every time I went in there, I just couldn’t make myself any food there. I did sign up for a couple of societies at the freshers fair but I only went to one LGBT meeting and got a bit overwhelmed by everyone there and left 20 minutes early and didn’t go to any other society meetings. I’m not a very social person and I don’t drink or go out to clubs so I didn’t really meet anyone new. And I would say the majority of people on my course in first year were “mature” students who were also studying social work. So I didn’t really fit in there either. To this day I have exactly two people on my course that I can sort of talk to, one is only in one of my modules and the other got pregnant this year so she won’t be back for my final year. I still talk to my best friend on a daily basis but everyone else in my old group of friends sort of drifted apart. I really miss them.
But here’s the thing. I am a massive nerd. While I was still in school I discovered the wonders of comic conventions and the even more wonderful concept of: cosplay. I LOVE cosplay. I absolutely love designing and making my own costumes based on the characters and worlds that I adore (looking at you Critical Role). I go to most of the cons in Northern Ireland (of which there are like.... three) and the bigger ones down south and I’ve gone to MCM London twice now and I’ll be back in May! I’ve met so many people through it and it’s such an amazing little community. I even have a cosplay Instagram, which I will not give out here, where I have around 650 followers. In my first year at uni I kind of started taking my hobby really seriously. The cast of Critical Role (aka my heroes) announced they would be at MCM London that October and me and my best friend went into OVERDRIVE to get costumes together. If anyone reading this is familiar with the show, which I highly doubt, you’ll know what I mean when I say that Keyleth was an... interesting costume to make. I spent a week and a half handsewing individual leaves onto a cape pattern. I spent days constructing antlers out of pipe cleaners and tinfoil and paper mache for a headpiece. And I had the best time. I felt so relaxed. After the con, where I got lots of compliments on my costumes, I decided this was something I really loved. I started learning to embroider for other costumes and I hand sewed a leather bodice for a Vexahlia cosplay, breaking so many needles in the process. Now, I have a dressmakers dummy in my room at home and a sewing machine at last.
But here’s the thing. While I was designing and making my cosplays I came to the realisation that my hobby is something that I am a thousand times more passionate about than sociology. This is something I can really see myself doing as a potential career and it’s something I would absolutely love to do. Obviously I can’t make cosplays as a job but there is the next best thing: costume construction. I adore costume design and since I started cosplaying I notice it a lot more in theatre shows or films/tv. I find myself spotting lace front wigs more often (y’all I love the Witcher but there’s some shots where Geralt’s wig is not glued right) and while watching period dramas I try to imagine just what goes into them. This is something that I really honestly love and I’m genuinely interested in pursuing it. And tonight I discovered the perfect course- costume production at Rose Bruford College in London. I’m not even exaggerating, I cried while reading the module contents and absolutely sobbed when I saw the entry requirements were something I can actually fit in to. It’s just the portfolio that I would need to do and that’s something I have been thinking of working on anyway. The other issue is that it’s in London but I think I can figure that out. This is my dream course. I would do anything to get there.
So here I am. In my second year in a degree that is kinda interesting but not what I can see myself doing. My lecturers are talking about jobs and dissertations and I’m having panic attacks in the back of the lecture hall because I don’t want to do that. I’m genuinely considering dropping out of university. This isn’t even the first time I’ve seriously considered this. This course is draining me. There’s some mornings where I physically can’t bring myself to get out of bed because I’m too anxious about what’s going to happen in my lectures today. I’m lonely. I feel like I was pushed during my A levels to apply for this university because it was a good one. I really wish I had taken a gap year to figure myself out. But I’ve read that if you drop out of university in second year and then reapply to a different course then you might not be able to get a tuition loan and I definitely can’t afford to pay the fees and I certainly don’t want to ask my mum and dad. I don’t really know what to do, other than invent a time machine and stop myself from ever considering sociology and social policy as a degree.

Tl;dr, I’m studying sociology and social policy at qub (a good uni) but I hate it and I’m far more interested in and passionate about costume design. Should I drop out of second year and work on a portfolio in order to apply to my dream course? Or keep working towards a degree that could possibly guarantee me a job? Pls help.
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999tigger
Badges: 19
#2
Report 4 weeks ago
#2
(Original post by Anonymous)
So I’m having a crisis and everyone I could talk to is asleep and this is really a desperate search for some advice. It’s gonna get long so I won’t mind if no one replies, I just sort of want to vent and y’all need context. (There is a tldr though if you wanna skip my rambling)

I’m currently at Queen’s University Belfast and I’m in my second year of studying Sociology and Social Policy. I’m gonna be honest with y’all, I chose this course because the entry requirements was BBB instead of the usual ABB, which I knew I wouldn’t be able to get. Getting in to queens is a big thing and my school really pushed it on all of us. I desperately wanted to go to queens with my best friend. And then results day came and I got the BBB I needed but my friend (who experienced some extremely difficult family and mental health circumstances during our A levels) did not get the grades.
So there I was, now registered on a course that I only chose so I could get into what I have been told is a very respected university that would mean I could have all sorts of opportunities. And none of my friends were going there. I can’t really describe to y’all how utterly lonely I was during my first year. I was put in a flat in halls with five other mostly “mature” students who were studying medicine and other fancy courses. I had such awful anxiety that I could barely go into the kitchen because I was a) terrified of social interaction and b) you guys, I lived with three boys and that kitchen was in such a state I was literally sweating from anxiety every time I went in there, I just couldn’t make myself any food there. I did sign up for a couple of societies at the freshers fair but I only went to one LGBT meeting and got a bit overwhelmed by everyone there and left 20 minutes early and didn’t go to any other society meetings. I’m not a very social person and I don’t drink or go out to clubs so I didn’t really meet anyone new. And I would say the majority of people on my course in first year were “mature” students who were also studying social work. So I didn’t really fit in there either. To this day I have exactly two people on my course that I can sort of talk to, one is only in one of my modules and the other got pregnant this year so she won’t be back for my final year. I still talk to my best friend on a daily basis but everyone else in my old group of friends sort of drifted apart. I really miss them.
But here’s the thing. I am a massive nerd. While I was still in school I discovered the wonders of comic conventions and the even more wonderful concept of: cosplay. I LOVE cosplay. I absolutely love designing and making my own costumes based on the characters and worlds that I adore (looking at you Critical Role). I go to most of the cons in Northern Ireland (of which there are like.... three) and the bigger ones down south and I’ve gone to MCM London twice now and I’ll be back in May! I’ve met so many people through it and it’s such an amazing little community. I even have a cosplay Instagram, which I will not give out here, where I have around 650 followers. In my first year at uni I kind of started taking my hobby really seriously. The cast of Critical Role (aka my heroes) announced they would be at MCM London that October and me and my best friend went into OVERDRIVE to get costumes together. If anyone reading this is familiar with the show, which I highly doubt, you’ll know what I mean when I say that Keyleth was an... interesting costume to make. I spent a week and a half handsewing individual leaves onto a cape pattern. I spent days constructing antlers out of pipe cleaners and tinfoil and paper mache for a headpiece. And I had the best time. I felt so relaxed. After the con, where I got lots of compliments on my costumes, I decided this was something I really loved. I started learning to embroider for other costumes and I hand sewed a leather bodice for a Vexahlia cosplay, breaking so many needles in the process. Now, I have a dressmakers dummy in my room at home and a sewing machine at last.
But here’s the thing. While I was designing and making my cosplays I came to the realisation that my hobby is something that I am a thousand times more passionate about than sociology. This is something I can really see myself doing as a potential career and it’s something I would absolutely love to do. Obviously I can’t make cosplays as a job but there is the next best thing: costume construction. I adore costume design and since I started cosplaying I notice it a lot more in theatre shows or films/tv. I find myself spotting lace front wigs more often (y’all I love the Witcher but there’s some shots where Geralt’s wig is not glued right) and while watching period dramas I try to imagine just what goes into them. This is something that I really honestly love and I’m genuinely interested in pursuing it. And tonight I discovered the perfect course- costume production at Rose Bruford College in London. I’m not even exaggerating, I cried while reading the module contents and absolutely sobbed when I saw the entry requirements were something I can actually fit in to. It’s just the portfolio that I would need to do and that’s something I have been thinking of working on anyway. The other issue is that it’s in London but I think I can figure that out. This is my dream course. I would do anything to get there.
So here I am. In my second year in a degree that is kinda interesting but not what I can see myself doing. My lecturers are talking about jobs and dissertations and I’m having panic attacks in the back of the lecture hall because I don’t want to do that. I’m genuinely considering dropping out of university. This isn’t even the first time I’ve seriously considered this. This course is draining me. There’s some mornings where I physically can’t bring myself to get out of bed because I’m too anxious about what’s going to happen in my lectures today. I’m lonely. I feel like I was pushed during my A levels to apply for this university because it was a good one. I really wish I had taken a gap year to figure myself out. But I’ve read that if you drop out of university in second year and then reapply to a different course then you might not be able to get a tuition loan and I definitely can’t afford to pay the fees and I certainly don’t want to ask my mum and dad. I don’t really know what to do, other than invent a time machine and stop myself from ever considering sociology and social policy as a degree.

Tl;dr, I’m studying sociology and social policy at qub (a good uni) but I hate it and I’m far more interested in and passionate about costume design. Should I drop out of second year and work on a portfolio in order to apply to my dream course? Or keep working towards a degree that could possibly guarantee me a job? Pls help.
Not reading all that this late.
Are you being financed by NI student finance or SFE?
NI are a bit mean and I would have to read up on their rules because they are different from SFE who the vast majority of student queries on here use. There will be differences and I expect NI to be less generous to its students.


If it was student finance England then it would work as follows.
Assuming you were fresh to uni and hadnt done any previous uni courses or foundation etc, then course entitlement is for 1 degree and you get 1 gift year. That is known as degree+1.

You appear to be in Y2 of Sociology, so your finance status is now degree -1.
That means if you tried to switch to costume design they would only pay from year 2 and you would have to find fees for year 1.
You would still get maintenance. Do you have a spare £9,250 around? If not then your chances of ever starting a costume course are dead. That means continuing might be trhe only option, except maybe take a gap year and suspend studies.

The only way round this is to submit a compelling personal reasons claim and drop out of uni for health reasons, in this instance anxiety and depression backed by Dr and other professionals over time. If you won such a claim, they would discount this year and your funding would go to degree+0 and you could start a costume course. Theres absolutely no guarantee they would go for this and its best you have great evidence.

That is how I would try and solve it.

If its NI though, then I suspect its going to be more rigid and offer less scope from previous times I have done queries on it. Confirm who it is and I will try and look it up for you. I am not expecting the facts to be different from that and if they are point them out please.
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LunaLovegood2508
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Hi! I read the whole post, and it sounds like your current course isn’t right for you. And that’s okay!

I can relate somewhat, as I went from sixth form straight to the University of Exeter, without taking a gap year. I chose to study French, because I knew I could get an A in French and my main priority was getting into a prestigious uni. I didn’t think about whether I would actually enjoy the course. And lo and behold, I hated it. I dropped out at the end of my first year. I don’t want to go off on a tangent here; I’m just letting you know that you’re definitely not the only one that feels this way.

My advice is go with your gut instinct. The only obstacle I can see here for you is the student loans thing. I’m not sure what it’s like for Northern Irish students (assuming you’re from N. Ireland?), but Student Finance Wales/England let you have 4 years worth of student loans. Assuming it’s the same for you, you’ll maybe have to support yourself financially for one year at uni in London (if your course is 3 years). You could get a part-time job while you're at uni, or even work full-time before you go. Or if it’s a really big issue, consider taking a gap year where you can save up.

I honestly have no regrets dropping out of uni the first time. Best thing I ever did, without a doubt. Follow your passion in life.
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