What to do if you're not enjoying your course at uni

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With all the opportunities it provides, uni can be a great time in your life. However, if you’re not enjoying your course, you can spend your time questioning whether you should stick it out, switch courses or leave altogether.

As a student who changed courses after first year and enjoyed it so much more, I have some tips for anyone who might be disliking their course and considering what to do next.

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1. Look at future modules

Have a look at the syllabus for next term, next year and the year after that too.

See if future modules interest you and are more up your street. This way, you can work out whether it’s just this term or year that isn’t for you, or whether the whole course doesn’t match up to your expectations and you think your dissatisfaction will continue.

 

2. Research other options

Think about other things you could do, such as switching courses, changing unis, getting a job or applying for an internship, work experience, or apprenticeship.

When you’re researching, something might stand out to you as an interesting opportunity you hadn’t considered before or that you decide to reconsider.

While changing courses at your current uni is probably easier logistically than changing unis, consider all options and work out what would be best for you and would make you the happiest in the long run.

You might decide uni isn’t for you and that’s okay. You might decide you want to do a slightly different course or you might change completely. That’s okay too.

I did a year of Physics with Astrophysics before switching to English Literature. Bit of a change, I know! But it worked for me and I enjoyed my time at uni so much more once I was studying a course I really loved!

 

3. Reach out for support

It’s really important that you have support through this process, as it’s likely to be quite a stressful one and other people may be able to offer information and advice, or at least shoulder to lean on.

Your personal tutor is there to support you through your university life, so definitely go and talk things through with them if you feel comfortable doing so. They may be able to put you in contact with other relevant people, such as heads of other departments if you’re considering switching courses, or student support services.

Family members and friends can offer a sympathetic ear, as well as different perspectives or ideas.

 

4. Join clubs and societies

A big part of many students’ lives is the activities they do outside of studying.

Baking, dance, volleyball, writing for the student paper - there are so many groups and societies you can get involved in. These might appeal to some of your skills or interests that your course isn’t catering to yet. Not to mention just being great for meeting people with similar interests and alleviating some of the stress you might be feeling.

 

5. Journal

This is most likely a challenging time where you’re considering and possibly re-writing your future plans.

Things can feel overwhelming and confusing. One thing that always helps me, and that I always suggest to my friends when they’re struggling too, is to write down how you feel.

Yes, the age-old technique of putting pen to paper really works for decluttering your mind and making sense of your thoughts.

Writing is cathartic as it provides an outlet to express how you feel, leaving your head feeling less messy. Often when you start writing, it’ll help you realise something important.

Following these tips will ensure you give yourself the best chance to make an informed decision about your future and be supported in the process. Good luck figuring out your next steps and remember there are always lessons to learn along the way. Even if things don’t work out as you think they will, you will end up where you are meant to be!

 

Keep reading: 6 TED Talks that will help you at uni

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