Why I dropped out of university

University: best or worst decision of your life?


Going to university is one of the biggest decisions you can make. The pressure of A-levels, being a teenager and all that debt can make deciding whether it’s worth going to uni difficult. What happens though if, after deciding, you hate the course you’ve chosen, the uni you’re at and everything to do with it?

After all the hard work to get in, deciding to drop out can either be the worst or best decision of your life. I was in that exact position after completing my A-levels and deciding on Roehampton University. When I got there, I hated it. I hated all of it, my course, the uni itself, the facilities, everything. The only redeeming qualities were my amazing flatmates and family who were totally supportive of all my decisions.

Dropped out and still smiling

Dropped out, still smiling

After coming to terms with the fact uni wasn’t for me, I dropped out, and began the gruelling process of starting again from the beginning, applying to King’s, and, eventually, getting in. One year in and I feel like I’m doing okay, even when approaching deadlines and exams bring up that feeling which makes me want to drop out all over again.

Our generation has so many opportunities, yet making the decision to drop out is still a massive taboo. I spoke to some friends who, like me, also decided to leave uni to see how they found it.

Anastasia

Anastasia, left uni, now exploring the USA

Anastasia, who dropped out of university after a few months said:

“Leaving my university was a very, very difficult decision. It kept playing on my mind as to whether I was making the right choice or not. It took me a while to pluck up the courage to do something about it and when I did it felt very right to do so. I got mixed responses when I left but I didn’t care.”

Did you feel pressured in to going to uni?

“I didn’t, only because my parents educated me on other options and that there wasn’t only one path. I realised my university choice wasn’t for me when I started speaking to my friends and family about it. I began to really resent my university and my friends and family would tell me this shouldn’t be how I feel towards it.”

What advice would you give to people who are considering dropping out?

“My advice would be to always trust yourself and not listen to other people. Do what’s best for you.”

Chloe

Chloe after leaving university

Chloe, who left uni after one year said:

“I felt more that I was going to uni for the social life instead of the academic side of things, however after dropping out I found life has so many other things to offer.”

Were your parents supportive of your decision?

“My family wasn’t supportive of my decision at the beginning because they wanted me to pursue a degree as they thought it would help me out for my future, but there are so many other paths and opportunities to take in society now that a degree isn’t always the right way for everyone.”

So you’ve left uni, what now?

“Since I’ve dropped out of university I’ve decided to take some time out to figure out who I am and what I enjoy doing. I’ve worked at a few different companies, and I am now saving up to go and teach English abroad, explore the world and get a bit of independence.”

For me personally, dropping out of uni was definitely the best decision. Despite sounding super cliche, I feel like I’ve absolutely grown into a better human being.

My advice to anyone thinking of dropping out? Think seriously about your decision and options, and follow your gut. You know deep inside when something is not right for you, and it’s always best to make a decision when you’re still young, rather than ten years down the line in a job you totally hate, and after racking up close to £40k in debts.

Most importantly, don’t be ashamed of dropping out. Speak about it, and be proud of it. Break the taboo.