What to do if uni isn't working out for you

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Here’s the thing: Liberty Living provides student accommodation; we all know that. But what if the whole ‘student’ deal really isn’t your thing?

So many people have such high hopes for University that when they get there, the reality is quite different to what they were expecting. Most people make it work and carve out their own path of fun and discovery, but what happens if you’re one of the people who just… don’t?

Do you know what? I was one of those people. I started out at the University of Leeds in 2009 and it just wasn’t what I thought it would be. I didn’t have anything against the University, or where I stayed, but it wasn’t quite right for me. My course wasn’t what I pictured, and I felt like some of my fellow students were just on a completely different wavelength to me. That would have been fine ordinarily, but there were just too many pieces of the jigsaw which didn’t fit, and I realised – I just wasn’t ready, and it wasn’t the right time, place, or subject.

Deciding to drop out was one of the scariest decisions of my life. One of my best friends at the time joked with me I couldn’t just drop out because I “didn’t feel like doing any work”. Some people expressed that they “knew this would happen because I took a gap year”. But the truth was, negativity wasn’t what I needed. Thankfully, my mum was very supportive and after about two months, I knew what I wanted to do.

Two months doesn’t seem like a long time. It’s not! But sometimes, trusting your instincts is exactly what you need to do. Whether you’re two months or two years in, it’s a big decision. But you are entitled to make it, because it’s your life. Put some thought into it, but ultimately do what’s best for you. Consider what else you’ll do, consider finances and all of that – but most of all, consider your happiness.

You’ll need to speak to your family, your tutors, and the faculty. No matter how big of a deal this might seem and how scary it is, it isn’t all bad, or a waste. I still have two very close friends from my time in Leeds, as well as some great memories. I even moved back to the city years later, so it didn’t taint anything. Plus, I learned something about myself.

University isn’t for everyone. We’re expected to go straight from school and it’s simply unnatural that the same model will work for us all. I did Spanish and English in my first degree; I wanted to be a Spanish teacher or International Journalist. Now I’m a freelance writer, with a background in marketing. I’ve changed since I was 17, and that’s pretty normal!

I went back to University. I studied English and Communications at Liverpool, and I have no regrets. It was one of the best things to happen to me and it got me onto the right path for today. You can go back, too. Next year. In five years, or in ten. Or… never. There are lots of options.

When you’re 18 and being asked to decide on the rest of your life, it can be a huge step to take. You don’t have to make choices just because people around you are. If you’re staying or going, make sure it’s for the right reasons. Other than that? Good luck with your life!

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