The Student Room Group

Dropping out of university

Hello,

I’ve started a law degree at Cambridge uni, and I’m so so overwhelmed by it all. It’s so much more work than I was anticipating, and it’s taken such a toll on my mental health. I don’t know what to do anymore. I don’t know whether to drop out entirely. Or to stick with it. Or to try law at another uni. Or to study psychology instead.
It’s just so different from what I imagined and I’m not happy at the moment. Any advice would be greatly appreciated :smile:

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Reply 1
Original post by Anonymous
Hello,

I’ve started a law degree at Cambridge uni, and I’m so so overwhelmed by it all. It’s so much more work than I was anticipating, and it’s taken such a toll on my mental health. I don’t know what to do anymore. I don’t know whether to drop out entirely. Or to stick with it. Or to try law at another uni. Or to study psychology instead.
It’s just so different from what I imagined and I’m not happy at the moment. Any advice would be greatly appreciated :smile:

Have you talked to your tutor or anyone about this?
Reply 2
Original post by Muttley79
Have you talked to your tutor or anyone about this?


I have spoken to my tutor a couple weeks ago, and understandably they told me to give it time to adjust as I’m still settling in, but I’m still not feeling great about the course etc. I have a meeting with my DoS tomorrow, so hopefully that may help?
Reply 3
Original post by Anonymous
I have spoken to my tutor a couple weeks ago, and understandably they told me to give it time to adjust as I’m still settling in, but I’m still not feeling great about the course etc. I have a meeting with my DoS tomorrow, so hopefully that may help?


Yes - hope it goes well - be totally honest.

I do know students who have changed course at Cambridge ... let us know how it goes.
Reply 4
Original post by Muttley79
Yes - hope it goes well - be totally honest.

I do know students who have changed course at Cambridge ... let us know how it goes.

I can’t get into the PBS course at cambridge due to my A level subjects, so would have to look at another university. I’ve just never felt this lost before; I always had this plan of what I wanted to do, and now it doesn’t feel right. I’m not sure Cambridge on the whole is right for me, but I don’t know if going to a different university would be worthwhile, as I’m not sure if it would be any ‘easier’ (obviously any degree at any uni is hard, but hopefully you get what I mean)
Reply 5
Original post by Anonymous
I can’t get into the PBS course at cambridge due to my A level subjects, so would have to look at another university. I’ve just never felt this lost before; I always had this plan of what I wanted to do, and now it doesn’t feel right. I’m not sure Cambridge on the whole is right for me, but I don’t know if going to a different university would be worthwhile, as I’m not sure if it would be any ‘easier’ (obviously any degree at any uni is hard, but hopefully you get what I mean)

I do undertand - starting university can be overwhelming. I think it's worth exploring whether it is Law or Cambridge that is the main concern. Maybe see what other courses you could do? Your DoS should be able to advise ...
Reply 6
Original post by Muttley79
I do undertand - starting university can be overwhelming. I think it's worth exploring whether it is Law or Cambridge that is the main concern. Maybe see what other courses you could do? Your DoS should be able to advise ...


Thank you for your advice- I really appreciate it. I feel like my friends and family can’t really help much as they’ve little to no understanding of university and what it actually entails.
How do you reckon I would be able to tell whether it is the course or the uni itself? This is one of my biggest issues right now and I really can’t decipher what the real issue is.
I was debating a psychology degree a year ago, and I’ve started to look at that as an alternative, but I’m not sure about it, owing to the mathematical side of it, and the aspect of some challenging scientific parts to the degree, i.e. the biology side of it
Original post by Anonymous
I can’t get into the PBS course at cambridge due to my A level subjects, so would have to look at another university. I’ve just never felt this lost before; I always had this plan of what I wanted to do, and now it doesn’t feel right. I’m not sure Cambridge on the whole is right for me, but I don’t know if going to a different university would be worthwhile, as I’m not sure if it would be any ‘easier’ (obviously any degree at any uni is hard, but hopefully you get what I mean)

Hi there.

Sounds like you're having a hard time at the moment. The above is advice is great - talk to as many people at your university as you can to try and get some different perspectives on your situation.

You should try and think of yourself and your wellbeing as your first priority. Obviously it would be amazing if you stayed at Cambridge uni and continued with your degree. But if you're starting to feel like that's not quite what you want anymore, then that's okay too. You're allowed to change your mind and the direction you're going in. And it's very admirable of you to say that you're doing may not be working for you.

Maybe start thinking about if not Cambridge, and if not law, or both, what do you see yourself doing? Is it worth doing some research into other unis, and other subjects? Do you want to stay at university or do you want to work, or try an apprenticeship, etc? It's a lot to think about but just some things to consider...maybe they'll bring back some motivation?

Try not to put too much pressure on yourself. And I hope you make the right choice for you.
Best of luck
Emily :smile:
Reply 8
Original post by Anonymous
Thank you for your advice- I really appreciate it. I feel like my friends and family can’t really help much as they’ve little to no understanding of university and what it actually entails.
How do you reckon I would be able to tell whether it is the course or the uni itself? This is one of my biggest issues right now and I really can’t decipher what the real issue is.
I was debating a psychology degree a year ago, and I’ve started to look at that as an alternative, but I’m not sure about it, owing to the mathematical side of it, and the aspect of some challenging scientific parts to the degree, i.e. the biology side of it

Explore Law or Cambridge with your DoS and don't make a hasty decision. SFE allow a 'Gift Year' so you could start a new degree next year.

Which A levels do you have? I'll need to log off soon ... take care.
Reply 9
Original post by Anonymous
Hello,

I’ve started a law degree at Cambridge uni, and I’m so so overwhelmed by it all. It’s so much more work than I was anticipating, and it’s taken such a toll on my mental health. I don’t know what to do anymore. I don’t know whether to drop out entirely. Or to stick with it. Or to try law at another uni. Or to study psychology instead.
It’s just so different from what I imagined and I’m not happy at the moment. Any advice would be greatly appreciated :smile:

I know it’s easy for people to say, but I would not drop out. You have worked so hard to get here and deserve to do well. First thing I would do involves letting your parents and your tutor know how you feel. If you genuinely cannot see yourself getting through this year, I would request to take a year of absence

A year of absence enables you to still be a student, but you take a break from your studies to process what you are dealing with. This may be an option as being overwhelmed might be a side effect from working hard during A levels and not having a proper break
Reply 10
Original post by Muttley79
Explore Law or Cambridge with your DoS and don't make a hasty decision. SFE allow a 'Gift Year' so you could start a new degree next year.

Which A levels do you have? I'll need to log off soon ... take care.

Don’t worry if you can’t reply until morning, log off and get some rest :smile:

Yes, I was wondering how financing a new degree from scratch would work. As far as I’m aware, I could complete a 3-year course with full financing from SFE, but what about if the new course I wanted to take was a 4 year course- would I have to fund the 4th year myself?

My A levels are A*A*A* psychology, sociology, and law, with AS levels in Politics (A) and biology (C)
Reply 11
Original post by BCU Student Rep
Hi there.

Sounds like you're having a hard time at the moment. The above is advice is great - talk to as many people at your university as you can to try and get some different perspectives on your situation.

You should try and think of yourself and your wellbeing as your first priority. Obviously it would be amazing if you stayed at Cambridge uni and continued with your degree. But if you're starting to feel like that's not quite what you want anymore, then that's okay too. You're allowed to change your mind and the direction you're going in. And it's very admirable of you to say that you're doing may not be working for you.

Maybe start thinking about if not Cambridge, and if not law, or both, what do you see yourself doing? Is it worth doing some research into other unis, and other subjects? Do you want to stay at university or do you want to work, or try an apprenticeship, etc? It's a lot to think about but just some things to consider...maybe they'll bring back some motivation?

Try not to put too much pressure on yourself. And I hope you make the right choice for you.
Best of luck
Emily :smile:


Hi, thank you for the great advice, I know I’ve got a lot of thinking to do!
Reply 12
Original post by ?Hannah?
I know it’s easy for people to say, but I would not drop out. You have worked so hard to get here and deserve to do well. First thing I would do involves letting your parents and your tutor know how you feel. If you genuinely cannot see yourself getting through this year, I would request to take a year of absence

A year of absence enables you to still be a student, but you take a break from your studies to process what you are dealing with. This may be an option as being overwhelmed might be a side effect from working hard during A levels and not having a proper break


Yes, I see where you’re coming from. I worked so so hard in college to get to where I am, and so much hard work in general; it seems like it’s finally paid of in respect to where I’m at now. And I know so many people would love to be in the position i am in now regarding the uni and the course- I’m so so so lucky to have a place here.
I’m only 5 weeks into term, and I feel like the mental health issues are solely related to the degree/uni. If I took a year out, I feel like I’d just experience the same thing over again once I started the degree again.

I did do 3 years of A levels, so I’ve not really had an academic break before, but that honestly scares me- I don’t know what on earth i would do with myself if I didn’t continue my studies.
Original post by Anonymous

Yes, I was wondering how financing a new degree from scratch would work. As far as I’m aware, I could complete a 3-year course with full financing from SFE, but what about if the new course I wanted to take was a 4 year course- would I have to fund the 4th year myself?

Student finance is calculated as follows:

length of new course + 1 (gift) year - years of previous study

So if you wanted to take a 4-year course the calculation would be:

4 +1 - 1 = 4 years of funding
Original post by Anonymous #1
Hello,

I’ve started a law degree at Cambridge uni, and I’m so so overwhelmed by it all. It’s so much more work than I was anticipating, and it’s taken such a toll on my mental health. I don’t know what to do anymore. I don’t know whether to drop out entirely. Or to stick with it. Or to try law at another uni. Or to study psychology instead.
It’s just so different from what I imagined and I’m not happy at the moment. Any advice would be greatly appreciated :smile:


Hey,

I know this is probably the worst thread to ask. But how did you get into Cambridge law I want to do it procure it (even with all the stress it’ll come with) 😭 what was your GCSEs and A-levels and LNAT like any extra curriculum.

All an all I hope everything works out for you :smile:

Thanks
Reply 15
Original post by Anonymous
Hey,

I know this is probably the worst thread to ask. But how did you get into Cambridge law I want to do it procure it (even with all the stress it’ll come with) 😭 what was your GCSEs and A-levels and LNAT like any extra curriculum.

All an all I hope everything works out for you :smile:

Thanks


Hello, please don’t let this thread scare you off in relation to cambridge/law! Everyone has different experiences.

I actually got summer pooled, my firm was bristol, and my offer became unconditional on results day. I was very happy to go. I was eligible for the august reconsideration pool, so I applied on the off chance, and girton gave me a place, which I was so so so lucky for.

My grades are A*A*A* in A level law, psychology and sociology.
My GCSEs werent the best (i had extenuating circumstances), they were 888776655, with both english subjects being an 8, and maths a 5
My LNAT score was 23, but I do believe that I had a good essay.

In terms of extra curricular- don’t worry about work experience or things like that- they don’t expect you to have it, nor do you need it! If you applied in this cycle then this advice is essentially useless as I know you’ll have already submitted your PS, but even still.

I did the sutton trust law programme with exeter uni, and part of that was work experience at a law firm. I also got another lot of work experience through another programme.

Interview is important- the initial application is only part of it as a whole. I got rejected post interview after being winter pooled (applied to christs, who winter pooled me, and no one wanted me haha).

One thing I would say is cambridge is not the be all and end all, by any means. If you don’t get in, it’s not the end of the world. If you do, amazing, well done! Either way, you’ll be off to a good uni to study an amazing degree
Are you in first year? I'm second year law at Oxford and had entirely the same crisis in the final term of first year but I refused to drop out because Oxford has always been my dream uni, but last year I was fighting to drag myself out of bed and study a few hours a day because I hated being here so much. This year I'm enjoying it way more, feeling way more motivated and my grades are higher but nothing has really changed except my outlook on my degree. Give it time and you might find things just naturally improve. For a lot of Oxbridge students it's a massive shock to go from being top of your class/constantly receiving academic validation to suddenly just being average (because you're now only around people who were also top of their class)
(edited 3 months ago)
Reply 17
Original post by Username123ab
Are you in first year? I'm second year law at Oxford and had entirely the same crisis in the final term of first year but I refused to drop out because Oxford has always been my dream uni, but last year I was fighting to drag myself out of bed and study a few hours a day because I hated being here so much. This year I'm enjoying it way more, feeling way more motivated and my grades are higher but nothing has really changed except my outlook on my degree. Give it time and you might find things just naturally improve. For a lot of Oxbridge students it's a massive shock to go from being top of your class/constantly receiving academic validation to suddenly just being average (because you're now only around people who were also top of their class)


Yes, I am a first year, I relate to that so much 😂😂. I’m getting 2:2’s in my essays, I’m getting told that I’m so close to a 2:1 but it still makes me feel like a failure
Original post by Anonymous #1


Hello, please don’t let this thread scare you off in relation to cambridge/law! Everyone has different experiences.

I actually got summer pooled, my firm was bristol, and my offer became unconditional on results day. I was very happy to go. I was eligible for the august reconsideration pool, so I applied on the off chance, and girton gave me a place, which I was so so so lucky for.

My grades are A*A*A* in A level law, psychology and sociology.
My GCSEs werent the best (i had extenuating circumstances), they were 888776655, with both english subjects being an 8, and maths a 5
My LNAT score was 23, but I do believe that I had a good essay.

In terms of extra curricular- don’t worry about work experience or things like that- they don’t expect you to have it, nor do you need it! If you applied in this cycle then this advice is essentially useless as I know you’ll have already submitted your PS, but even still.

I did the sutton trust law programme with exeter uni, and part of that was work experience at a law firm. I also got another lot of work experience through another programme.

Interview is important- the initial application is only part of it as a whole. I got rejected post interview after being winter pooled (applied to christs, who winter pooled me, and no one wanted me haha).

One thing I would say is cambridge is not the be all and end all, by any means. If you don’t get in, it’s not the end of the world. If you do, amazing, well done! Either way, you’ll be off to a good uni to study an amazing degree


Thanks so much, this really helped. :smile:

One of my A-levels is sociology. I'm aiming to get A*.

How did you revise for your subjects (any techniques/tips) and get such good grades? Mine is decent but AAA stars are impressive.

Do you read a lot? Listen to podcasts? If so, what would you recommend?

Thanks, and again, wish you all the best!
Original post by Anonymous
Don’t worry if you can’t reply until morning, log off and get some rest :smile:

Yes, I was wondering how financing a new degree from scratch would work. As far as I’m aware, I could complete a 3-year course with full financing from SFE, but what about if the new course I wanted to take was a 4 year course- would I have to fund the 4th year myself?

My A levels are A*A*A* psychology, sociology, and law, with AS levels in Politics (A) and biology (C)


Have you seen your DoS yet?

I think the amount of Maths in a Psychology degree can vary so you could look in detail at some courses?

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