Not sure the prestigious uni I've picked is right for me

'Why don't I feel more excited about the uni I'm meant to be going to?' 

Sound familiar? It's a question that's more common than you might think - especially if you're aiming for a prestigious university such as Oxford or Cambridge.

Feeling some degree of burnout is normal; after all, you've only just come through two years of full-on A-level study. 

Here's what TSR member Platopus had to say about the unis they've chosen...

"I chose two very prestigious unis as my firm and insurance, purely because I somehow felt I should. 

"I'll be upset if my grades are bad on results day, because I will feel that my work all year was for nothing. But, I'm also half wishing for bad grades so I have an excuse not to go to my firm or insurance. 

"I don't think I'd be brave enough to defy everyone's expectations and ask them to release me."

If you’re also feeling the pressure to go to a uni that you're not sure is right for you, here’s some expert advice from our community:

1. Talk to someone

"Definitely speak to your parents and explain how worried you are about burning out if you go somewhere too high pressure," says PQ. 

"Explain that you're half-hoping you miss your offer grades because you're afraid of disappointing them if you go to your firm or insurance. 

"If they realise how unhappy this decision is making you and how they're adding to the pressure, then there's a good chance they'll surprise you with their response."
 

2. Don’t wait till you get to university to voice your fears

Whatever your family background, it’s important to talk about what's worrying you.

"Most parents want what's best for their children - and most will count 'being happy' as an important part of that," says PQ. 

"The sooner you communicate any doubts and stress the more seriously they are likely to take you. The response of most parents to finding out their child is unhappy at university is usually 'I had no idea you were so unhappy.' "
 

3. Stop putting pressure on yourself

Sometimes the pressure can feel like it’s coming from family, friends and teachers and it can feel really hard to deal with. 

"Don’t worry about others' expectations, the only ones that really matter are yours about yourself," says 999Tiger. 

Sometimes it can be you being your own worst enemy. Listen to what you’re telling yourself, would you accept it if a friend spoke to you like that? You gave your exams everything, try to be nice to yourself.

4. Hold on tight to your confidence ahead of results day

Everyone feels nervy as the big day looms. "It's extremely common for new students anywhere (but especially at Oxbridge) to feel they 'aren't worthy' and the admissions people must have 'made a mistake'," says support team member Jneil. 

Try not to let the 'I'm not going to be good enough' fears creep in too much, in a couple of days you’ll know your grades and feel so much better. 

5. The reason why you ARE good enough

If you’re still beating yourself up remember this. The admissions tutor saw your predicted grades and read your personal statement. They liked what they saw so they interviewed you and then they offered you a place. 

You obviously impressed them and they offered you a place because they saw something special in you and value your academic abilities. 

6. Make sure you won’t regret your decision later on

"If you do make the scores to attend Cambridge but choose not to go you risk ultimately regretting that decision later on," says Hopefully1. 

Right now you may be feeling overwhelmed with the thought of results day and going to uni. But after you have your results you might feel completely different so don’t rush to decline your place on the day. 

Instead give yourself some time and make the decision when you feel really ready. 

7. Studying at uni is different to A-levels.

"Terms at Cambridge are pretty intense, so you will have to work hard, but they are short, and people do still have time to have fun," says Jneil. 

"For sixth form you needed to get 90%+ in pretty much everything, but for a degree even a first is 'only' 70%+, and a 2:1 (60%+) really is a good goal to have." 

At uni you’ll be studying the one course you love, not the subjects you had to study for your uni application. 

"At uni, you've chosen a subject that you have a genuine interest and passion for," says Raniafern. "You should find it easier to study, considering that you want to learn and study it."

Follow the rest of the conversation: Made a mistake choosing two very prestigious unis.

Your options if you think you’ve picked the wrong uni

Right uni, wrong time? Consider a gap year
Contact your firm and insurance to ask about whether you’ll be able to defer your place. This will give you extra time to reflect on whether this is the right decision for you. If you decide that you don’t want your place you can then apply stress-free in September with your grades already confirmed. 

Wrong firm, wrong insurance
On results day, tell those unis you want to find a course in Clearing. Then pick a uni that's a better fit. Clearing vacancies are live on UCAS Search for the whole of July and August, so you can do your research before results day just in case. Need to know more about Clearing? Head into our Clearing section

Get to uni; it doesn't work out
If you decide it's not working out once you're at uni, you've got two options. You can stop studying at any point in year one and make a fresh application, or you could transfer to a different university at the beginning of year two following the completion of your first. 

To do this you’ll need to contact the university you’d like to go to and ask whether this could be an option and if they’d accept you transferring. 
 

Changing your mind about uni 
Tell Student Finance England you’re changing uni. You can speak to them on TSR 
Find out more about transferring to another uni 
Find more info on taking a gap year