What do you do if you’re just not happy with your course?
This is a topic that I haven’t really seen discussed among studyblrs, and I would have liked a post like this when I was going through this; so I thought I’d make a post in case any of you are struggling with the same things I did.
There can be quite a few reasons that you might want to drop out, but make sure you know what the problem is so you can weight out the solutions.
- The classes aren’t what you expected.
Maybe you went for a psychology degree but you’ve realised that the subject just doesn’t interest you as much as you thought. Or maybe you didn’t get your first choice and you’re stuck in a subject that you really don’t feel passionate about. Maybe the classes are too big or too small or you don’t enjoy the way things are taught.
- The university isn’t what you expected.
This was a major factor for me - I expected something completely different, and I was surprised by how much the university resembled high school.
- The classes are too difficult.
If this is one of the major reasons that you’re contemplating dropping out of college, seek help first. Pretty much all students feel like they’re drowning in work 24/7, so speaking to other students about this, organising your work in a way that suits you and talking to your professors will be a huge help.
- You’re just not cut out for college life.
This is possible; a lot of people don’t feel comfortable with the pressures and academic aspect of university, even if they thought that they would enjoy it. Chances are, if you didn’t have a good high school experience, you may find it hard to continue the whole teaching/learning thing in adulthood. If you’ve really checked in with yourself and realised that college isn’t for you, then that’s perfectly fine. It isn’t for everyone, and you can still have a fantastic life without a college degree.
- It’s too expensive.
Maybe you went into college thinking that you could handle the debt, but you see it accumulating and you don’t think that the experience you’re having is worth all that money, or maybe your loan application got rejected halfway through your first term (which happened to me). You should talk to your university’s financial advisers before making any decisions, and look into grants and scholarships for the upcoming years if you haven’t already.
- You want to do something else.
If you’ve just started a philosophy degree and realised halfway through your first lecture that you’re destined to be a carpenter, follow your goddamn dreams dude. Bear in mind that you can always get your philosophy degree and then study carpentry afterwards, but if you feel like you’re getting a philosophy degree for no reason then yeah, consider dropping out.
Of course there are countless other reasons that you may be unhappy at university, but you have to be sure that the reason for your unhappiness isn’t easily fixed by talking to your tutor, or just getting away from it all for a while. I asked myself these questions repeatedly:
- What is it about college that isn’t working?
- Is there a solution that doesn’t involve dropping out?
- Is being in college affecting your mental health?
- How have you benefited from being there?
- Why did you decide to do this in the first place?
- What aspects of college do you enjoy? Are you ready to give those up?
- Would you be happier in a different course (or a different school)?
- Have you discussed the problem with your friends and family?
- Is there another path that seems more appealing?
If something about college just doesn’t feel right, and you know it isn’t going to get better with time, then trust your instincts. Life is far too short to be stuck doing something that you don’t want to be doing. That may sound simplistic, but trust me, I’m now sure that dropping out of the college that I was in was the right decision. REMEMBER - dropping out does NOT mean you’re a failure. It means that you were brave enough to make this huge decision about your future and your happiness; it’s a very courageous thing to do.
How do you go about dropping out?