The Student Room Group

not enjoying uni

I'm an international student in uni first year and i feel like i don't really like my uni life here. My experience so far is 6/10 and i don't really know what to do. i have been feeling depressed lately, i don't really like the friends i have and i am feeling stuck in life. I don't know if i really want to transfer or not but what i do know is that i am hating my social life here and sometimes the university in general. it's so small with limited people and it sometimes makes me feel like i am in high school again.
what do i do?
Is your small university on an isolated campus or is it in a town/city? I would say try to find some clubs or activities to get involved with outside university - you don’t have to only socialise with other students from your university.
Original post by Anonymous
I'm an international student in uni first year and i feel like i don't really like my uni life here. My experience so far is 6/10 and i don't really know what to do. i have been feeling depressed lately, i don't really like the friends i have and i am feeling stuck in life. I don't know if i really want to transfer or not but what i do know is that i am hating my social life here and sometimes the university in general. it's so small with limited people and it sometimes makes me feel like i am in high school again.
what do i do?


Hi Anon,

I'm really sorry you're feeling like this, I know university can be overwhelming and lonely at times.

If you can, I'd recommend joining societies you are interested in and meeting new people through those, or maybe reaching out to people on your course (e.g. asking people if they want to go get a coffee after a lecture/workshop). In my experience from when I've briefly met people that I got along with, if I dropped them a message asking to hang out again outside of lectures/society meetings they've been more than happy to. Another thing to look out for is if your university offer any events aimed at international students? It may be worth checking them out if they do as you'll meet a lot of people who relate with your experience.

Please don't panic if you feel like you're not happy with where you are friendship wise in first year; some of the closest friends I have at university I've met in second year, and I only became close to them because I went out of my way to reach out and say hi.

If you're struggling with low mood due to this and feeling depressed I would also recommend reaching out to the university's mental health services. They might be able to talk with you and give you some advice. I'm always an advocate for getting things like that on record so if in the future mental health has any affect on your studies you'll have evidence written down.

I hope I could help a little
Rebecca (Lancaster Student Ambassador)
change unis if you are not enjoying it. It costs a lot of money and you have two more years to do. Pick a uni more suited to your needs e.g. in a city, bigger uni.
Original post by Anonymous
I'm an international student in uni first year and i feel like i don't really like my uni life here. My experience so far is 6/10 and i don't really know what to do. i have been feeling depressed lately, i don't really like the friends i have and i am feeling stuck in life. I don't know if i really want to transfer or not but what i do know is that i am hating my social life here and sometimes the university in general. it's so small with limited people and it sometimes makes me feel like i am in high school again.
what do i do?

Hello,

The Lancaster Student Ambassador has given some very good advice about how to potentially remedy the situation. As a first step, I would also highly encourage you to seek the support of your university's health and wellbeing team. They will be able to guide you on your next steps given your situation. To add on to what has been said, you could also look out for events run by your university's students' union, they tend to organise events that appeal to a wide variety of people. Volunteering is also another great way of giving yourself a feeling of satisfaction, as well as making new friends. You could join a sports club for a sport that you play or even try out a new sport. I joined the Archery Club as a novice in my final year, and it was a good experience!

I hope this helps. I wish you all the best!

Kind regards,
Juzer
Cov Uni Student Ambassador
Reply 5
Original post by PQ
Is your small university on an isolated campus or is it in a town/city? I would say try to find some clubs or activities to get involved with outside university - you don’t have to only socialise with other students from your university.


Hello, thank you for your answer. yeah its on an isolated campus.
Reply 6
Original post by Lancaster Student Ambassador
Hi Anon,

I'm really sorry you're feeling like this, I know university can be overwhelming and lonely at times.

If you can, I'd recommend joining societies you are interested in and meeting new people through those, or maybe reaching out to people on your course (e.g. asking people if they want to go get a coffee after a lecture/workshop). In my experience from when I've briefly met people that I got along with, if I dropped them a message asking to hang out again outside of lectures/society meetings they've been more than happy to. Another thing to look out for is if your university offer any events aimed at international students? It may be worth checking them out if they do as you'll meet a lot of people who relate with your experience.

Please don't panic if you feel like you're not happy with where you are friendship wise in first year; some of the closest friends I have at university I've met in second year, and I only became close to them because I went out of my way to reach out and say hi.

If you're struggling with low mood due to this and feeling depressed I would also recommend reaching out to the university's mental health services. They might be able to talk with you and give you some advice. I'm always an advocate for getting things like that on record so if in the future mental health has any affect on your studies you'll have evidence written down.

I hope I could help a little
Rebecca (Lancaster Student Ambassador)


Hello, thank you so much for your reply, I will definitely consider the advice you have given me. :smile:
Original post by Anonymous
I'm an international student in uni first year and i feel like i don't really like my uni life here. My experience so far is 6/10 and i don't really know what to do. i have been feeling depressed lately, i don't really like the friends i have and i am feeling stuck in life. I don't know if i really want to transfer or not but what i do know is that i am hating my social life here and sometimes the university in general. it's so small with limited people and it sometimes makes me feel like i am in high school again.
what do i do?

Hiya,

I’m sorry to hear you’re having such a hard time at the moment! Can I ask, is this the first time you’ve lived away from your family?

I’m an ARU student and have been luckily enough to be able to stay by my family and friends. However, many years ago I did move away from my friends and family and I found the transition very difficult.

Does your university have a mental health and well-being team? ARU has a team that we can contact for support. This might be a good option for you if you’re feeling depressed. They might be able to offer advice and support.

Have you considered branching out and joining some of the university social clubs? I know myself and many of my peers have joined various different clubs. It’s a great way to expand your social circle and you might be able to make a group of friends that you feel happier with.

If your uni doesn’t offer anything like the options I’ve suggest, does your local community have anything similar?

It’s a massive step moving away to study and I’m sure something that you was previously excited about! Don’t give up just yet, try accessing support and expanding your social circle. Also don’t be too hard on yourself. The first year is difficult enough as it is and it can take a while to settle in and find your place!

I hope things get better for you. Please feel free to reach out if you’re still struggling or would like more advice.

Sophie :smile:
Original post by Anonymous
I'm an international student in uni first year and i feel like i don't really like my uni life here. My experience so far is 6/10 and i don't really know what to do. i have been feeling depressed lately, i don't really like the friends i have and i am feeling stuck in life. I don't know if i really want to transfer or not but what i do know is that i am hating my social life here and sometimes the university in general. it's so small with limited people and it sometimes makes me feel like i am in high school again.
what do i do?

Hi there,

I’m sorry to hear you’re not enjoying your experience. University is different for everyone so its hard to know what to expect especially since you’re coming far from home.

My first recommendation is to speak to the services you have at your university. Hopefully they will offer some wellbeing support where you can go and discuss your feelings and options you might have.

I’m also sorry to hear you’re not the happiest with your friends. I made a lot of mine through joining societies and clubs. Since your first year is (assuming) over, it may be a good chance to branch out next year and see if you can find a group which you feel suits you and meet new people.

I strongly recommend speaking to family and friends at home. The worst thing to do is to bottle it up and push through as you may end up feeling worse and alone.

Lastly try not to be influenced. It’s easy when you’re feeling low to just follow with what others believe is correct but remember this is for no one but your benefit. Consider your options and whether you believe its right or if you can stick through etc. its no one’s decision but your own.

Good luck with everything! Hope you feel better soon
- Sophie (uni of Bath)
Original post by Anonymous
I'm an international student in uni first year and i feel like i don't really like my uni life here. My experience so far is 6/10 and i don't really know what to do. i have been feeling depressed lately, i don't really like the friends i have and i am feeling stuck in life. I don't know if i really want to transfer or not but what i do know is that i am hating my social life here and sometimes the university in general. it's so small with limited people and it sometimes makes me feel like i am in high school again.
what do i do?


Hey!
I understand that transitioning to university life as an international student can be challenging and overwhelming at times. It's not uncommon to feel unsure or dissatisfied with your experience, especially during the first year. However, it's important to remember that your feelings are valid, and there are steps you can take to improve your situation.

Firstly, it's crucial to address your feelings of depression. It's commendable that you've recognized this and reached out for advice. I strongly encourage you to seek support from the university's counseling services or student support center. They have professionals who can provide guidance, offer a listening ear, and help you navigate through your emotions. Remember, it's okay to ask for help, and many students find counseling services to be beneficial during challenging times.

Regarding your social life, it's not uncommon to feel disconnected or unsatisfied with the friends you've made initially. Building meaningful connections takes time, and it's important to remember that friendships can evolve and change throughout your university journey. Try to actively engage in activities or join clubs and organizations that align with your interests. This can provide you with opportunities to meet like-minded individuals and expand your social circle.

It's understandable that the size of your university and limited social options may contribute to your feelings of being stuck or reminiscent of high school. However, consider exploring the resources and opportunities available to you within the university. Are there any study abroad programs, internships, or research opportunities that you can pursue? Engaging in such activities can provide a sense of growth and broaden your horizons.

In terms of contemplating a transfer, it's important to carefully weigh your options. Transferring to a different university is a big decision, and it's crucial to assess whether the issues you're facing are specific to your current institution or if they might arise elsewhere as well. Reflect on what aspects of your university life are causing the most dissatisfaction and determine if they are fundamental to your overall happiness and academic success.

Lastly, remember that it takes time to adjust to a new environment. It's natural to feel homesick or unsettled when living away from home, even if you have prior experience being independent. Embrace the opportunity for personal growth and try to stay positive. Engage in self-care activities, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and seek support from friends and family back home.

Keep in mind that your first-year experience doesn't define your entire university journey. I can assure you that many students, including myself, have experienced similar feelings of uncertainty and unhappiness initially. However, with time, perseverance, and the right support, it's possible to find your place and create a fulfilling university experience. Remember, you have the power to shape your own journey and make the most out of your time at university.

Best Wishes
Priya :smile:
Postgraduate Ambassador
University of Southampton
Anon,

It's not easy being an international student. It takes a lot of courage to study in a different country and it can take awhile to adapt. There can be differences in culture and it can feel like there are many challenges aside from your studies. You are not on your own with this. A lot of international students find it difficult to adapt and relationships really do make the difference!

I am not an international student but at the first university I attended, I had a lot of international friends and the way they handled being far from home was to reach out to other international students and to form friendships. They made friends easily with other international students because they were all experiencing similar problems and wanted friends.

It might be an idea to get in contact with the International Office at your uni to find out if there are events or trips that they plan to do next year. You could also talk to them about some of the challenges you have faced and see if there are ways they can help.

At Huddersfield University, we have a buddy scheme where international students are paired up with another university student. The student has normally been at the uni for at least a year and they help to guide and support the new international student as they adjust to the area and studying in the UK. It means that the international student has someone to talk to who can help explain things or who can be a useful contact if they need them.

You might also like to join a global society. At Huddersfield there are lots of societies representing different nations. They regularly meet up to celebrate their culture and to hold events and to invite others to learn about their country and traditions.

Some universities also have something called Globe Cafe, which is a place where international students can meet and learn more about British culture. There are normally run by local churches or a Christian Union.

Is there a big city near your university that you can get to? I am a city girl and I know that when I was struggling last year, it was great to be able to hop on a train to Leeds and to be in a city again. It might be an idea to try and get to know the area around you better. There might lots of interesting or cool things happening near you. Definitely take time over the summer to see some different places in the UK. This might be a nice change or if you do decide to switch universities, it might give you an idea of where you might like to go.

As @mike23mike said, as an international student you are paying a lot of money to study in the UK, so do consider your options. It might be an idea to talk to your university tutor and parents.

All the best,

Oluwatosin 2nd year student– University of Huddersfield
If you’re considering a transfer please seek advice from your university visa team first.
Hi there,

I am so sorry you are having a tricky time in your first year of uni. First year can be really hard, especially if you are adjusting to a new city with people you don't know. I think if you are really hating the university and the course you should speak with your personal tutor or an academic at the uni who could advise you on this. In terms of the social life, you should try joining university societies and clubs, they are a brilliant way to get integrated into the university and meet people who have the same interests as you.

You should definitely seek help if you are feeling depressed, try your university wellbeing service or go to your GP.

I really hope this helps and you start feeling better,
Ellen
Y3 Medical Student
Uni of Sunderland
Digital Ambassador
Original post by Anonymous
I'm an international student in uni first year and i feel like i don't really like my uni life here. My experience so far is 6/10 and i don't really know what to do. i have been feeling depressed lately, i don't really like the friends i have and i am feeling stuck in life. I don't know if i really want to transfer or not but what i do know is that i am hating my social life here and sometimes the university in general. it's so small with limited people and it sometimes makes me feel like i am in high school again.
what do i do?

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