Lots of students think about whether uni is right for them from time to time, writes Rosie Drew.
Going to university can be daunting at first: living independently, leaving behind old friends to make new ones, and learning to live on a budget. They say university is "the best time of your life" – how many times have we heard that phrase? But what if it’s not for you?
First things first, university isn’t for everyone. People may be tempted to leave for many different reasons. As we all know, university isn’t cheap – especially studying in London. You seem to be wasting most of your student loan on accommodation and the rest goes on tubes or buses and food. Then there’s the issue of actually having a social life, which is nearly impossible as you spend most of the year broke from just living, eating and making it to your lectures.
You could also be struggling with your workload, unhappy with your course, or simply missing home, which is why you may be considering leaving. But before you jump into any decisions too quickly, there's a few things to consider.
Firstly, is it worth it? University isn’t cheap, we all know that. Unfortunately, if you drop out, then the £9,000 a year debt doesn’t just disappear. If you’re in second or third year in particular, you should weigh up the pros and cons of dropping out, as the work that you have submitted this year actually counts towards your degree as opposed to first year. If you’re a first year who’s considering leaving, then maybe what you need is more time to settle in. Getting used to a new environment and being away from home may seem hard at first but everyone is in the same boat.
Get involved in societies and events that are going on in and around university and speak to other students or student services so that you don’t miss anything – remember, university is also about having fun!
You also need to ask yourself, are your feelings temporary? Is leaving university what you really want, or are you just going through a bad time? Perhaps you feel the workload is too heavy at the moment or you simply might be feeling a bit down. If this is the case, then speak to your tutors. Make time to see them during their office hours, when they’re not teaching – you should find this out in your module handbook.
Universities offer counselling if you are suffering from mental health issues, are worried about something, or just simply need to talk. This can be arranged through the university’s website and is completely confidential. You can find counselling services at the Learning Centre on the Holloway Campus or Calcutta House for Aldgate students.
If your course isn’t what you expected and this is the reason you are considering leaving, then why not consider changing? People may realise that the subject they have chosen isn’t for them but this is no reason to give up. There are loads of courses at London Met that you can do instead, just visit the courses section on the website to find out more.
Furthermore, remind yourself why you started in the first place. Thinking about or writing down the reasons why you chose to go down the path of university could help to motivate you into staying. For example, does your dream job require a degree?
However, if your mind is set and you are certain about leaving then it’s not the end of the world. Some people are more suited to go straight into work and there is nothing wrong with that. For many people, university just isn’t for them. Speak to your family, friends and university to see what other options there are for you.