Careers Advice Blog

How do you decide whether to drop out of university?

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The decision to go to university, and what university you want to go to may be one of the hardest decisions you’ll have to make in your lifetime. So, it’s understandable that if you feel like you’ve made the wrong decision, life can start to get a bit stressful.

In our current school system there is often a lot of emphasis placed on the ascent to university, so students can feel as though they didn’t really have another option, making their arrival at university a tad anti-climactic. So, here’s some things to think about when you’re starting to consider whether university was really the right choice for you (it may help to write down your thoughts to organise them somewhat).

Are you making the decision for you?

Sometimes there can be pressure from parents to return home while you’re settling in. They’re likely to feel over-anxious if you mention any settling in problems you’ve been having. Ultimately however, it’s your future, so don’t let someone else’s influences determine your decision.

Is it homesickness?

Homesickness can occur in many ways – it’s hard getting used to living with people in halls, especially if you’ve been allocated to one in which you and your flatmates are unlikely to get on. Let’s face it, if your favourite thing to do is have a quiet night in with some tea and a good film with some friends, you’re probably not wanting to live with a group of people who love nothing more than to race trolleys outside your window at 3am. Asking to move halls is a great solution to this rather than dropping out of university. Most universities will be accommodating to the fact that staying in a hall with people you don’t get on with is going to be detrimental to your happiness and studies and thus be incredibly helpful in sorting out a new residence.

Is the course not what you expected?

Choosing exactly what you want to do at university, especially when your A Levels could be used to study a whole myriad of degrees can be tricky. This is probably the most important factor when considering whether or not to drop out of university – you need to be passionate about your course and enjoy it, otherwise you’ll spend three or more years questioning whether this was ever worth the massive £9,000 a year fee. Ultimately, if you don’t like your subject, you won’t try as hard in it and are likely to end up with lower grades.

Finally, make a list of pros and cons. Rationalise each one and remember that things like “I hate the food I make and it’s making me miserable” will be solved within a few weeks of learning how to adjust (aka perfecting how to make a decent pasta meal).

Did you decide to drop out of university? Why? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo: Hernan Pinera / Flickr

Stephanie HartleyHow do you decide whether to drop out of university?

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