Experiences with dropping out?

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Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#1
Coming up to the end of the 1 st year and I just received my second failing grade. Most of my grades are at random points between 58-90 (MCTs on the higher end, essays on the lower end) but this most recent grade was 30% of my grade and I got a 38 and I've submitted 2 other assignments I haven't got back yet but I imagine the grades will be similar. The second term really was a tumble downhill for me. I've got 3 exams (the first of which is tomorrow) which to put it simply are not looking good. I took some language modules as extra this year and did pretty good but the subject is just a hobby and I really don't feel like pursuing it as a degree.

Honestly, I feel like this is all enough evidence that university simply is not for me and I'm thinking about dropping out to try my hand at a degree apprenticeship but there are the obvious issues of the fact I probably don;t stand out enough to be picked, not before entering uni and definitely not if I become a dropout. At least that's how I feel.

But I'm studying Law and in all the events with firms I've attended they've stressed that, while first year doesn't, count towards your degree overall firms definitely take it into account when looking at your transcript. Anyway, I'm not really sure if I want to become a lawyer anymore. but the law is the only degree I can bring myself to study. not a bash on another subject but studying politics etc is just not something I can do. it also doesn't help that this year has been a grand failure overall.

I just wanted to hear if anyone has any experience with dropping out how did it go for them? I'm not sure if I want to be I would really help to feel less like I'm trapped in uni/my degree

TLDR: If you dropped out, how did it go? what made you do it?
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cferrari93
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#2
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Hey, I first went to uni in 2011 at 18 and failed the first year spectacularly due to declining mental health. I repeated the year in 2012, but decided to drop out halfway through as I could feel that I wasn't going to make it again. I was failing essays when I'd been getting A*s at A Level, I felt so embarrassed and like a disappointment.

After that, aside from working for money obviously, I took time to recover before going back to college in 2014 to train in another subject. After a year my tutors advised that I was ready to go to uni so I did, completing a BA from 2015-2018. I went straight into an MA, which took me an extra year to complete due to managing ADHD through working and Covid. Now I'm about to start a PhD!

If I hadn't have dropped out of the first course, it's unlikely I would have achieved any of that. It also gave me space to understand my research interests, the wellbeing support I need to get through study, and rule out what I didn't want to do.

As for worrying that being a "drop-out" will affect your chances, the only time it was brought up in uni interviews was with intrigue. Obviously, there will be institutions or employers who take a "perfection and nothing less" stance, but I would ask yourself if those are places you would like to be. Many people find that they can actually thrive more in less restrictive environments, which may be the case for you.

BUT, having said all of that, it's not a decision to make lightly. I would suggest trying out all of the avenues of support you have before choosing to leave, it will ensure that you're as confident as possible in any decision you take. University Wellbeing services are very experienced in helping with this kind of query, and they won't share your worries with lecturers or course leaders.

I hope that helps a little and that things become clearer for you soon.
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Anonymous #1
#3
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Thank you so much for this reply. It's really lovely to hear that you've been so successful !!

I absolutely don't want to take this decision lightly so I've emailed the uni advice centre but it's almost certain I can't talk to them until after exams. Honestly I wish I'd started considering this earlier.

Again thank you so much and good luck with your PHD!!
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gjd800
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I dropped out at 18 after a couple of weeks.

Went back in 2010 and now I hold a PhD and a PGCE, had a stint at Oxford, and am an academic in a very good institution.

The point isn't that you must do what I did, but that doors are still open for you even years down the line. It changes your route, sure. But it doesn't define you or close you off from anything major.

Do you have an academic advisor (you should, maybe they call them personal tutors)? Speak to them. If they are worth their salt, they should be able to reassure you and give you some realistic options.
Last edited by gjd800; 1 month ago
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by gjd800)
I dropped out at 18 after a couple of weeks.

Went back in 2010 and now I hold a PhD and a PGCE, had a stint at Oxford, and am an academic in a very good institution.

The point isn't that you must do what I did, but that doors are still open for you even years down the line. It changes your route, sure. But it doesn't define you or close you off from anything major.

Do you have an academic advisor (you should, maybe they call them personal tutors)? Speak to them. If they are worth their salt, they should be able to reassure you and give you some realistic options.
Yes! I've contacted the advice centre at uni about maybe going to a different course or uni since I realise that dropping out is a big decision and I want to explore all avenues but reflecting on my performance throughout my life I wonder if school just isn't for me. But thank you !! What you've achieved is really impressive!
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gjd800
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#6
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#6
(Original post by Anonymous)
Yes! I've contacted the advice centre at uni about maybe going to a different course or uni since I realise that dropping out is a big decision and I want to explore all avenues but reflecting on my performance throughout my life I wonder if school just isn't for me. But thank you !! What you've achieved is really impressive!
That was why i left, too.

I had hated school but somehow did well at GCSE. I hated sixth form and bombed my A Levels (unsurprisingly), Went to uni only because my hand was forced by the college I was at. there were no other options, or so they said. Surprising precisely nobody, I left really early on because I couldn't be arsed with it. I was so over schooling and just wanted a job.

So, I went and got a crap job. Character building, but crap, then I floated around doing various other things - concreting, labouring, ironmongery assistant and all this other shite. Even when I went back to education it wasn't for love of learning. It was instrumental - solely to improve my odds of job progression. But this time I picked something I was interested in rather than something I was just good at, and it made all the difference.

I don't know your precise circumstances (and I don't expect you to spill your guts n here!) but if you are tempted by a degree apprenticeship, then honestly spend less time worrying about 'standing out' and more time trying your luck. Speak to people involved with the one you're tempted by, and have a wee think about how your current skillset - and you will have a skillset, by the way - can work for you in making it happen.

it's a big decision, this. but it doesn't need to be super stressful, I swear. Walking away from uni the first time was the best thing I ever did.
Last edited by gjd800; 1 month ago
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Anonymous #1
#7
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#7
(Original post by gjd800)
That was why i left, too.

I had hated school but somehow did well at GCSE. I hated sixth form and bombed my A Levels (unsurprisingly), Went to uni only because my hand was forced by the college I was at. there were no other options, or so they said. Surprising precisely nobody, I left really early on because I couldn't be arsed with it. I was so over schooling and just wanted a job.

So, I went and got a crap job. Character building, but crap, then I floated around doing various other things - concreting, labouring, ironmongery assistant and all this other shite. Even when I went back to education it wasn't for love of learning. It was instrumental - solely to improve my odds of job progression. But this time I picked something I was interested in rather than something I was just good at, and it made all the difference.

I don't know your precise circumstances (and I don't expect you to spill your guts n here!) but if you are tempted by a degree apprenticeship, then honestly spend less time worrying about 'standing out' and more time trying your luck. Speak to people involved with the one you're tempted by, and have a wee think about how your current skillset - and you will have a skillset, by the way - can work for you in making it happen.

it's a big decision, this. but it doesn't need to be super stressful, I swear. Walking away from uni the first time was the best thing I ever did.
All good advice. I suppose I'll never know until I try.
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Uni of Southampton Students
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#8
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Coming up to the end of the 1 st year and I just received my second failing grade. Most of my grades are at random points between 58-90 (MCTs on the higher end, essays on the lower end) but this most recent grade was 30% of my grade and I got a 38 and I've submitted 2 other assignments I haven't got back yet but I imagine the grades will be similar. The second term really was a tumble downhill for me. I've got 3 exams (the first of which is tomorrow) which to put it simply are not looking good. I took some language modules as extra this year and did pretty good but the subject is just a hobby and I really don't feel like pursuing it as a degree.

Honestly, I feel like this is all enough evidence that university simply is not for me and I'm thinking about dropping out to try my hand at a degree apprenticeship but there are the obvious issues of the fact I probably don;t stand out enough to be picked, not before entering uni and definitely not if I become a dropout. At least that's how I feel.

But I'm studying Law and in all the events with firms I've attended they've stressed that, while first year doesn't, count towards your degree overall firms definitely take it into account when looking at your transcript. Anyway, I'm not really sure if I want to become a lawyer anymore. but the law is the only degree I can bring myself to study. not a bash on another subject but studying politics etc is just not something I can do. it also doesn't help that this year has been a grand failure overall.

I just wanted to hear if anyone has any experience with dropping out how did it go for them? I'm not sure if I want to be I would really help to feel less like I'm trapped in uni/my degree

TLDR: If you dropped out, how did it go? what made you do it?
Hi there,

I'm in my third year at uni now, but before I came to University of Southampton, I started at another university. I did about 2 months before I dropped out. One of the reasons I left was because I found out I got a scholarship which would allow me to study anywhere in the world. But honestly, the decision to leave was instantaneous and I didn't even finish the semester, I dropped out pretty much the day after I found out about the scholarship. It was easy to leave since I hated the university, hated the course, wasn't enjoying my classes or assignments, and pretty much cried everyday. Looking back, I know I wasn't emotionally ready or mature for university (I went straight after sixth form) and I wasn't settled at all at that uni; it just didn't seem like I was meant to be there.

I ended up taking a gap year and applied to universities in the UK and apart from that, spent it hanging out with my friends and working an odd job for about a month. Dropping out was one of the best decisions I ever made; it let me mature emotionally and mentally, helped me grow and accept that I was going into a new chapter of my life, rather than constantly reminiscing on how great secondary school was. It also allowed me to find and choose a course that let me do what I enjoyed. I do a BA in Geography, which is human geography. At my first uni I was doing a BSc, which is the only option they had, and that was more physical. My time there taught me I definitely did not enjoy the physical side, so I knew what I was looking for the second time round.

Now I am completely happy with my three years, happy with all my modules and lectures, and I know it was the right and best decision for me to drop out as it let me find myself, figure out what I like and and now I'm completely happy with no regrets.

Did you take a gap year? I would honestly suggest that might be a good option for you to take a break, figure out what you want, maybe see if you could get an internship or a small job somewhere in the Law field so you can get a feel of it and see if you like it, or a job in a completely different field and see what works for you? But of course, you need to be realistic with your situation. I had the privilege of a scholarship to drop out, but if I hadn't gotten it I would have remained at my previous uni. I can't say if I'd have been happy (chances are I might have gotten so much more unhappy I'd drop out anyway) but talk to your tutor if you have one, the wellbeing team at your uni, or a guidance counselor or academic counselor and consider your options.

Best of luck with making your decision, and I hope everything goes well for you.

Jade
Official University of Southampton Rep
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Jonsie55
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#9
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#9
(Original post by Anonymous)
Coming up to the end of the 1 st year and I just received my second failing grade. Most of my grades are at random points between 58-90 (MCTs on the higher end, essays on the lower end) but this most recent grade was 30% of my grade and I got a 38 and I've submitted 2 other assignments I haven't got back yet but I imagine the grades will be similar. The second term really was a tumble downhill for me. I've got 3 exams (the first of which is tomorrow) which to put it simply are not looking good. I took some language modules as extra this year and did pretty good but the subject is just a hobby and I really don't feel like pursuing it as a degree.

Honestly, I feel like this is all enough evidence that university simply is not for me and I'm thinking about dropping out to try my hand at a degree apprenticeship but there are the obvious issues of the fact I probably don;t stand out enough to be picked, not before entering uni and definitely not if I become a dropout. At least that's how I feel.

But I'm studying Law and in all the events with firms I've attended they've stressed that, while first year doesn't, count towards your degree overall firms definitely take it into account when looking at your transcript. Anyway, I'm not really sure if I want to become a lawyer anymore. but the law is the only degree I can bring myself to study. not a bash on another subject but studying politics etc is just not something I can do. it also doesn't help that this year has been a grand failure overall.

I just wanted to hear if anyone has any experience with dropping out how did it go for them? I'm not sure if I want to be I would really help to feel less like I'm trapped in uni/my degree

TLDR: If you dropped out, how did it go? what made you do it?
(Original post by cferrari93)
Hey, I first went to uni in 2011 at 18 and failed the first year spectacularly due to declining mental health. I repeated the year in 2012, but decided to drop out halfway through as I could feel that I wasn't going to make it again. I was failing essays when I'd been getting A*s at A Level, I felt so embarrassed and like a disappointment.

After that, aside from working for money obviously, I took time to recover before going back to college in 2014 to train in another subject. After a year my tutors advised that I was ready to go to uni so I did, completing a BA from 2015-2018. I went straight into an MA, which took me an extra year to complete due to managing ADHD through working and Covid. Now I'm about to start a PhD!

If I hadn't have dropped out of the first course, it's unlikely I would have achieved any of that. It also gave me space to understand my research interests, the wellbeing support I need to get through study, and rule out what I didn't want to do.

As for worrying that being a "drop-out" will affect your chances, the only time it was brought up in uni interviews was with intrigue. Obviously, there will be institutions or employers who take a "perfection and nothing less" stance, but I would ask yourself if those are places you would like to be. Many people find that they can actually thrive more in less restrictive environments, which may be the case for you.

BUT, having said all of that, it's not a decision to make lightly. I would suggest trying out all of the avenues of support you have before choosing to leave, it will ensure that you're as confident as possible in any decision you take. University Wellbeing services are very experienced in helping with this kind of query, and they won't share your worries with lecturers or course leaders.

I hope that helps a little and that things become clearer for you soon.
ive never dropped out but i have stories about my dad if you wanna know?
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