So, you want to drop out of university?

How dare you!?

An example of what people may respond with if you’re brave enough to admit that you’re not loving life as expected at university. The only reason dropping out may seem so outrageous is because we don’t discuss enough the very real possibility that you may start university only to find yourself hating every second.

I absolutely hated my first year of university. My very first year was actually spent at the University of Warwick studying a degree in Politics. I chose Politics because I had remote interest in the subject. I chose Warwick because of its reputation and standing in several league tables. I got completely blindsided by prestige.

The university wasn’t actually located in Warwick but in Coventry, which isn’t my idea of a nice place to live or to have a decent student experience – at least by my standards. I spoke with coursemates about my concerns over Politics and we all shared that all-so-familiar dread of looming deadlines and exams. I mistook what actually was discontent with the course and university for stress caused by assessments. Deep down I think I knew something was wrong but it was a good cover and so I played along.

A couple of weeks before exams, however, I decided that enough was enough and that action had to be taken. I’m going to give you a brief run down of what I did to give you some insight into what you can expect if you make the decision to confront your university woes.

My thoughts were all over the place and I was unsure of what I planned to do instead of studying Politics at Warwick and so I decided to talk to someone. I was lucky enough to have an amazing personal tutor. If you don’t have a personal tutor, find the next best thing. Find the staff contact list for your department (which can usually be found quite easily online) and find the person who deals with student welfare. Drop them an email briefly outlining your concerns and possibly request to meet with them to discuss details further. You’ll feel better for finally telling someone and they’ll be able to talk through your options with you.

Make a plan now that you know what your options are. At this point, the plan doesn’t have to include definitive decisions, it can simply serve to help you explore your options further. Here are some options which you may wish to consider:

  • Changing course
  • Staying on the same course but transferring to a different university
  • Changing course and transferring to a different university (which is what I chose to do)
  • Depending on your circumstances, intermission may be also an option for you
  • Dropping out completely and pursuing a path other than university and, perhaps, education altogether.

Changing course and transferring universities doesn’t come without its complications and limitations. The Student Room have a useful resource guide which answered all of my questions. The Careers Service will also be able to help provide you with some useful information so be sure to make an appointment. Additionally, the SSID have a whole host of tips on what to do if you are thinking of leaving university.

Lastly, don’t panic! No one talks about what to do if you don’t get on well with university but as I hope I’ve managed to assure you in this post, you have options and a lot of them! I am now very happy here at Sheffield in my second year studying Geography. I love everything about the university, the course, Sheffield as a city and all the bits in between. You can follow a week in my life over on this post to see what I get up to.

Good luck!


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