Okay, so first up, I am not a professional, I don’t have a degree in giving advice. What I do have is the personal experience of quitting University half-way through my degree.
Even before university, I didn’t know what I wanted to do career wise, and why should I have done? I was 17/18 and didn’t have a clue about life, let alone have to choose a degree based on your future. Everyone was telling me to go into teaching, but I don’t really like doing what people say, so I chose American Studies. My reason was because it covered so many different subjects including film, politics and literature. My response when people asked what I was going to do with it, was that I would go into writing/journalism.
I also feel that when I was in sixth form, university was the only option given to do after your A-Levels. Apprenticeships and getting a job just weren’t discussed, which is awful thinking about it now. Even in my family, it was expected that I went to Uni, so I don’t think I ever fully had a choice to think about my options.
Anyway, a few months into my degree, I kinda figured the degree wasn’t for me, but I just thought that I would stick it out. Another aspect of uni life I hadn’t bargained for, was the financial side of things. I was completely naive about how much money I would need. In the January, we had to find a house for our second year and we had to put a deposit down to guarantee the house. Each of the housemates had to put £1000 down plus a months rent. I was 19, how on earth was I meant to whip out that amount of money, on top of everything else!
I didn’t go to that many lectures and I wasn’t bothered, but of course I wasn’t, because I had chosen a random degree and didn’t know what I wanted from life.
It wasn’t until the January of my 2nd year at uni, that I called my mum and said I couldn’t do it anymore. I was actually in Sainsbury’s buying some chicken! I felt like I was going to faint. I guess I hadn’t realised how unhappy I was until that moment. I also knew that I wanted to come back home, I didn’t want to stay in the university city. A couple of weeks later, I was back home. The next few months were the hardest months of my life, breaking up with my ex (a whole other story), sorting out finances and finding a job. But leaving uni was the best decision I ever made.
Not enjoying university?
The first thing you need to do, is work out what it is you are not enjoying.
Is it your course? – see if you can change your degree or some of the modules. Speak to your tutor if you are struggling in certain areas, don’t let it build up.
Is it finances? – This is a huge, added strain on students that can hugely impact your uni life. If you love your course and want to stay at uni, then you need a part-time job. Look into babysitting (Earn money babysitting) or getting a retail job. I had a weekend job at Primark. Also look into ways you can earn money online doing things like surveys.
Is it friends? – Want more of a social group, then join some uni teams or clubs. There are so many opportunities at uni, it is unreal! My biggest regret is not joining any social teams.
Bullying? – Speak to someone immediately! Do not let other people push you away from your dream. Please speak to your tutor or housing team if they are in your halls or class.
Made the decision you want to leave?
Firstly, well done on making that decision, it’s not easy! The next step is you need to tell your family. I found it hard because I didn’t want to be a disappointment, but your family would hate the thought of you being miserable at uni more. You need to also look at the boring stuff. If you are in rented accommodation, and are planning on moving back home, then you need to read your contract. You will probably have to pay until the end of your contract, as I did. You need to also let student finance know, as they carried on paying me, which just adds to my student loan!
Now think about your next steps. Are you going to do an apprenticeship or get a job? It took me a couple of months, but I eventually enrolled in a childcare apprenticeship and I loved it! I felt like a proper adult with my own money and career! It’s important to realise that leaving uni means getting a job and growing up that slight bit quicker.
So there we are guys! I really hope you enjoyed reading this post and that I have helped you if you are thinking about quitting uni. Feel free to comment on this post or on my twitter if you want more advice!
In the words of Cinderella, have courage and be kind.