Thinking about dropping out?

Sunday, 24 April 2016


Having done it myself, I'd like to think I can offer some advice for those who are in a difficult place right now deciding whether or not to drop out of university. It's hard and it's a really huge life change, but don't panic. Here's seven handy tips.
  1. Give it a massive think. Don't make any willy-nilly decisions, you have to know in your heart (or gut, whatever) whether it's right or not and trust me, you'll know. It's such an obvious feeling when you know something's not right and you're not happy. Trust your instinct and make sure you're happy with your decision.
  2. Don't worry if you don't have a plan. I left uni and came home without a job in the works or much money in my bank account, but so long as you have a roof over your head and someone around for support you'll be fine. You'll find your calling, whether it's getting a job or applying to a different university or course later on. So long as you're healthy and happy, that's all that matters in the end.
  3. Try to ignore anyone who says anything negative about you dropping out. Might be your family, might be your friends, but try and focus on yourself. It's not about them or their life, it's about you and yours.
  4. It's not the end of the world. You might think it is because that's what it's made out to be by society and boring old snotty people, but it really isn't. At all. The world keeps spinning and you keep going. You'll find your place again, even if it takes a while.
  5. If you're struggling with a mental illness, please focus on looking after yourself. If that means taking a year out, do it. If it means leaving uni altogether, do it. If it means getting help at university or finding help at home, please do it. Do what makes you feel better. If you need or want to stick out university, make sure you talk to someone who can help you get through it (counselling services are often available for students for free on campus). If you need or want to leave university, discuss it with your tutor or counsellor and make sure you have all the facts, that way you'll feel more confident about your decision.
  6. Don't freak out about debt. It honestly doesn't matter right now. I had a letter from the SLC two weeks after I dropped out and they were demanding well over £700 from me immediately because they accidentally overpaid me my maintenance loan. Sounds absurd, right? Sadly that's just how cold hearted they are, but I didn't (and still don't) have that money, so after a minor freak-out I decided not to care, because there's (excuse my French) shit all they can do about it. Concentrate on yourself, or getting a job, or whatever you end up doing. The SLC can wait. In terms of course costs, people in the UK don't pay that back until they're earning over £21,000. If you'd like more information on money and debt, check out the Student Finance section on GOV.UK.
  7. It's your decision in the end, so do what you feel is right. That's all there is to it, really. It's tricky to offer advice because I suppose everyone's situation is different, but generally all you need to do is give it a long think and maybe talk about it, whether it's to your mum, your sibling, your best friend, or your tutor. They'll all offer different perspectives which can be helpful in making a decision.
Hope some of that was useful! I also struggled with depression at university so if any of you want any advice on that, drop me a comment, I'll be glad to help.


Kate

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