Christmas is the most popular time to drop out but here are things to consider before leaving for good

University isn’t for everyone and thats okay; dropping out is a personal decision but here are some things to consider before you do

It is very possible, when you’re 17 and doing your A-levels, to feel like university is the only meaningful option available to you. Suddenly you are 22 and £30,000 in debt.

It is easy to fall out of love with uni and there’s no point wasting your time doing a degree that you don’t enjoy. You shouldn’t put yourself through something you don’t want to do for anyone else’s sake.

Christmas, specifically mid-November, is a common time for students to choose to drop out, but don’t leave yourself feeling lost and unprepared.

What is it that is making you want to drop out? It could be problems with friends, family, your course, money or any number of reasons, but finding exactly what it is and seeing if you can solve that issue should be one of the first steps you take. Many problems at uni have solutions, and exploring different options available to you can help you stick it out.

1. Ask for help when you need it

Bristol University has a mental health and well-being service to help students who are struggling with physical and mental illnesses. It is so important to know when it is time to reach out for help when you need it because it can make a huge difference in helping you stay at university.

If you aren’t passionate about your degree, or you’re struggling with making friends and all the new changes in your life, a conversation with someone who can help might be the solution you need.

2. Be financially aware

If you are struggling financially, the university offers a hardship fund which you may qualify for. University is an expensive choice and it’s important to consider whether you’ll make a bigger loss by dropping out or staying with it. Dropping out before Christmas may mean you have to pay back 25% of your loan for that year but between January and March, you might have to repay 50% of your loan (more information on the UCAS website).

For more financial advice look on Save the Student. You also have to be aware of what your housing contract means, and whether leaving the city will leave you paying rent for somewhere you don’t live for the rest of the year.

3. Research options for your course

It might seem like those hours of lectures are just too hard to keep going to, or too repetitive and feels like A-levels all over again. It might feel boring or not what you signed up for, but take a look online at the modules you’ve got coming in the future and maybe reconsider if you still don’t fancy it.

It’s also worth contacting your department to see if there are any options for transferring to a different course, some may offer a change in the second year if your first-year grades are high enough.

4. Come up with a plan first

While looking after yourself is important, it is also key that you don’t drop out without a plan as this can make your situation worse. If that means planning to take time off and recover for a few months, or taking a full gap year then do it but don’t drop yourself into freefall.

5. Consider what options are the best for you

There are so many options outside of a degree which can be just as valuable and better suited for lots of people. You may choose to take an entry-level job, or maybe take time to do an apprenticeship, both are respected options and no less worthwhile than a degree.

Getting experience in a career can be incredibly useful, and maybe encourage you to come back to university one day when you’ve found a degree that you are passionate about pursuing.

6. Ask for advice from those around you 


Your friends and family only want the best for you, and asking them for what they think can help give you guidance on what to do.

Talking to your tutor about what they think is the right path to take, as well as visiting the careers service can also add insight to your decision; their experience and knowledge are part of what you pay for at university and you might as well use it while you have it. Dropping out isn’t a decision to be made lightly and getting valuable opinions can give you confidence in whatever you decide.

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