5 months ago I made the drastic decision to quit university, I’m writing this post now because I know I wish I could have found a post like this when I was in the consideration stage. Standard human behaviour, contemplating making a big change in my life and I turned to Google. I found that the results were lacking in a positive light, a good number of people talked about their regrets and how they decided to restart the course. Personally, my feelings have gone the complete opposite way, going back all those months ago I can remember thinking that I would feel refreshed and inspired to go on with the course after my month away in Hong Kong – SPOILER ALERT! That didn’t happen and I felt completely hopeless and I became a nervous wreck the week before my return to uni. The thing is, just before we broke up for the Christmas break I had a presentation and halfway through I broke down and cried in front of the half a dozen people in the room. I got caught up on how pointless the course was for me and how little I was actually grasping about the module content, that’s when I snapped and I knew it was over for me.
The fact is, I was spending 5 hours every night trying to understand things that everyone else understood in an hour and it was too much. I just didn’t have the same passion and motivation for the subject as everyone else and to be quite frank, it terrified me that I might have had to write a 40,000 word dissertation on a subject that I didn’t love. From then on, the anticipation of going to uni caused panic attacks and I spent every morning before meeting up with everyone just crying and convincing myself to go. My hair was falling out, I lost sleep and to me I felt like a completely different person. I broke up with someone as a result of my anxiety and I made stupid excuses but at the end of the day, you can’t be with someone if you’re not comfortable in your own skin. It was an incredibly difficult time and I didn’t want to tell everyone that I was feeling that way; it seemed like to admit it would be to tell everyone that I was weak, that I couldn’t cope.
Going through the process of quitting was almost as difficult as making the decision itself, everyone told me that I was being stupid and as mentioned earlier, Google was no help whatsoever. One particular tutor told me that I didn’t understand my feelings properly and even shared her own story but I had my mind made up and I went through the process. Once I got the email through that said I was officially no longer a student, it felt like tonnes of weight dropped off of my shoulders. As cliché as it sounds, I felt free. The one thing that did upset me, however, is the fact that I had to move away from the university where I had made friends and a semblance of a social life. The anxiety wasn’t quite over but I knew I had made the right decision, the tougher part was moving back in with my parents and living by someone else’s rules again. I had moved out two years prior to this and it took some getting used to!
Back to present time, I still don’t know how to fill my time but in the mean time I am blogging and working in my dad’s mini-market. So it’s not exactly big step towards my goals but I know I have the luxury of taking my time. I would love to get back into social media and PR, I’m just biding my time and building my blog first. I’m actively seeking opportunities but my main process is to live by me and to do what I want to rather than taking others ideas as my own and following someone else’s path. I’ve done it for as long as I have remembered and now I have no influence, I’m taking a step back and truly thinking about what makes me happy. I’m not going to lie, it really hasn’t been easy but I’m fighting to feel like me again and I do feel much more chilled out as a person.
I’ve been through hell and come through the other side so here are the 4 things you need to know before you quit uni:
- People are going to tell you it’s a mistake; take comments on board but don’t let that scare you away from doing what’s right for you personally. You can always choose a different course or return later, there’s always a financial option (you have to speak to financial advisors before you’re allowed to complete the quitting process anyway).
- You don’t need to justify your decision to ANYONE, it is your choice and your choice only. If you’re not willing to accept your own reasons then maybe it would be best if you stuck it out because you need to be sure. Whilst finance options are manageable, it’s something that you’re going to want to be sure about.
- Once you have quit, you need to contact student finance to let them know about your decision. This is so you can set up a payment plan to pay off any loans that may have occurred over a half term or whatever time between the current year and the time that you quit. It’s best to stick with Student Finance rather than the alternative which is basically that they hand over your debt to a different company that will want to take back the money in a more aggressive fashion. Student finance will take anything from £10 per month and up so it’s not as bad as you would think.
- University isn’t the be all and end all, seriously, it isn’t. Have you seen the statistics these days? Just because you graduate, doesn’t mean that you’ll get your desired job at the end. Companies want you to stand out but it is possible to get a good job without that extra tier of education, just show that you’re dedicated and you’ll be in for the running!
So that’s what I have to say on the matter, if you’re going through the process of quitting or even if you’re just thinking about it – feel free to get in touch (my email can be found here). I don’t mind talking to people through Twitter, Facebook or Instagram either if that’s easier!