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Thinking of Leaving Uni

PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 5:05 pm
by crumpetsandtea
I am currently in my third year of university and I don't know what I want to do or whether to stay anymore.

I'm on a design course, and I've found it extremely difficult to concentrate and produce work of the standard I normally can. This year I've been getting so frustrated with my work that I've got really wound up about it and burst into tears. I really mucked up my first project of the year and ended up getting a 3rd when I should be on a 2:1 at least. This grade is now set in stone and I can't retake or do anything about it, I also handed in my dissertation last month and won't find out how i've done until the very end (but I don't think it will great), and I've got an uphill struggle now to not only improve my mark but produce a portfolio of work I can be proud of for my degree show. I feel under a lot of pressure and I think this is making me panic and making the problem worse.

I've had numerous family problems whilst being at university, which have recently all come to a head. I live with two other girls on my course and they go off together quite a lot, and i've often felt left out and unable to speak to them about how i've been feeling. I'm constantly worrying about money and I never have a full nights sleep. I feel really down and I feel really over sensitive and little things seem to make me burst into tears, when they never did before.

I have been thinking for a while about having a break from uni and coming back when I am less stressed. Uni has gone from being an amazing experience to somewhere where I feel lonely and out of control. My university at home runs the same course and I would like to go home and finish my degree there, with all my friends around me and hopefully a lot more focussed.

I have spoken to my tutor about it and she doesn't want me to leave. She wants me to carry on and see how it goes, and her point of view is that I shouldn't put myself through the extra debt and I may return to uni and having been away from education I might lose a bit of edge or have exactly the same problems as i've had this year.
I feel very miserable and I just want to escape from it, sort myself out and go back with a clear head and do my best.

I really don't know what to do, and I would really appreciate any advice anyone has, or if they have been in a similar situation.


Re: Thinking of Leaving Uni

PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:54 am
by dipsydoodlenoodle
Ok you finish uni around May - it's February now. Is it really worth dropping out with the chance of maybe never being able to go back to any uni and complete your degree, if you do go back you'll be in more debt, being older you may feel more of an outcast for the sake of February, March, April and May?

Re: Thinking of Leaving Uni

PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:27 am
by Bel Bel
I tend to agree with dipsy.
Can you try to do something to help you relax, like yoga or try taking rescue remedy when your feling really stressed out.
How long has the course got to run in total, if there is another year or more to go after May can you complete the rest of the course at home like you said but don't leave mid term.
Stop beating yourself up too becasue you can't change what has gone past but you can change the future and stressing about the past is not going to achieve anything except making you feel worse.
Have you got a counsellor you can talk to becasue i think just getting a lot of it off your chest will help.
Ask you tutor if she has any practical solutions to help you up your grade for future work.

Re: Thinking of Leaving Uni

PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:02 pm
by crumpetsandtea
Hi, thanks for your replies.

The thing i'm worried about is that I have tried to relax, and i've been to see a counsellor at uni, but i'm on a waiting list and it could be 4 weeks before I get to see one again. I feel like i've got a hell of a lot of catching up to do and no time to do it, I'm constantly tearful and down and all I want to do is go home, I really can't concentrate. It makes it worse because of the atmosphere in the house with my housemates, its just turned into a bit of a nightmare.
I know it seems like a waste to quit so late on (we finish at the end of june) but my course is quite intense, in that i'm in every day 9-5pm if not later and if you miss even a couple of days it puts you really behind, and its our main project coming up which is the most important bit, and I just can't concentrate and I don't think I have the time to sort myself out. I just don't know what to do for the best.

If I live at home and finish my degree there I wouldn't need a student loan to live off because i could just live on my wages from my job. It would just be my fees, but I think that it would be worth it to finish a better body of work to show at the end of it.

I really don't know what to do for the best :( I just know i'm really unhappy and this means a lot to me and I don't know whether it would be better to finish my degree at home with my friends around me. :(

Re: Thinking of Leaving Uni

PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:16 pm
by Bel Bel
Have you talked to your parents about it

You say you could live off your job at home, how do you know you will get a job in the current circumstances

If you really feel you can do a better jopb at home and get a better grade perhaps that is the best thing to do but is it really realistic, ie. can you be accomadated at your local uni

Re: Thinking of Leaving Uni

PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:23 pm
by dipsydoodlenoodle
Chances are if you leave uni you may have to re-start year 2, rather than go into year 3.

I also did two courses for 5 years which were 9-5 every day plus an hours travel each side, plus assignments galore, with at least a 20 hour job to do. I think you are just expecting too much of yourself. You don't always need to get the top mark available, just do what you can.

When I got my job they asked about my first degree but NEVER asked what grade I got.

Re: Thinking of Leaving Uni

PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:22 pm
by crumpetsandtea
I did my art foundation at the uni at home, so providing they have the places I think I have a good chance of getting on. The course is also very similar in teaching style to the one that i'm on now, and my tutor said it would be possible to transfer and go back into 3rd year again. I also know a few people who are on the course at home who I could talk to about it, and would give me their honest opinion on what the course is like.

Job-wise, I work for a big chain and transfer between the branches at home and uni between term-time and the holidays. I've worked at my branch at home since I was 17 and get on with my manager really well and she has said i'm welcome back whenever I want to, and I know there are a couple of girls who are due on maternity leave when I get back so I know i'll have the hours.

I have spoken to my parents about it, and my mum doesn't want me to go, because she thinks its too late on, and my dad didn't know what to say and just said do whatever you think is right.

If you don't mind me asking, dipsydoodlenoodle, how come you changed courses? And are you glad you did it? And did you find it hard being a bit older?

Thanks again for your replies its been really helpful.

Re: Thinking of Leaving Uni

PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 3:53 pm
by dipsydoodlenoodle
No problems asking. I didn't change courses I just happened to do a BSc and then a MSc in different things. However a lot of the people on my MSc were older; I don't think they found it difficult because there was so many older people - the young people were in the minority. I did the MSc between the ages of 21-23 where I'd say the average age was 30-40s.

If you are a year or so older then the age difference won't matter it was just if you were thinking of having some time out before completing your course then it would be 10 years older. One of my friends did the BSc with me, decided after 3 years she wanted to be a Doctor, went back to school to do As and A-Levels in Biology and Chemistry in one year (she was 21, the rest of the class were either 16-18). Now she's at uni and although she doesn't mind the age difference she did say it was quite noticable.

Would you be able to continue your year now or would you have to start again for the year in September? I don't know how it would work but you may end up paying fees to both universities since you have technically started semester 2.

Re: Thinking of Leaving Uni

PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:36 pm
by crumpetsandtea
Thanks dipsydoodlenoodle, I think I would just take a bit of time out and re-start in September. The age gap for me shouldn't really be too bad, as it will only be a year, and I've got an august birthday, so really it would only be a difference of a few months. I have always been creatively inclined and I know I need this degree to go and get the career that I want, so I know that I would never drop out and not go back. I feel a bit like all the stress and disappointment has made me run out of steam and forget why I love my subject so much, so a bit of time away would do me good.

The trouble is every time I make a decision, someone always tells me I should stay and because I respect their opinions, it makes me doubt myself and get a bit confused, although I think deep down I've probably made up my mind.

Re: Thinking of Leaving Uni

PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:25 pm
by dogtan
Uni is really hard and part of the experince is learning to carry on and drag yourself through it even when you feel your life is falling apart.

Having said that If you are sure its the right thing for you then it is. I had friends who pulled out at the last mo and went back later. It can work out for you, you just have to find your way through things.

Make sure you carefully consider your choice carefully you must to what feels right for you.

Re: Thinking of Leaving Uni

PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:36 am
by Bel Bel
whatever decision you make there will be people who disagree

you could stop discussing it with everyone so then they can't comment, just tell those that need to know like mum and dad, tutor, closwe friends

At the end of the day it's your decision, once you have deiceded just stick to it and don't let others influence you. It's always easy for an outsider to have an opinion but they are not living what you have to live

Re: Thinking of Leaving Uni

PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:45 am
by dipsydoodlenoodle
The only advantage of asking outsiders is that we can perhaps give you a more level answer since we are only seeing the logical bits and have maybe experienced this ourselves, however as Bel Bel said we aren't living your life so we can't see how it is affecting you.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Re: Thinking of Leaving Uni

PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:12 pm
by crumpetsandtea
Thanks everyone, I really appreciate your thoughts!

The main problem is I didn't really want anyone to know, I only told my mum and dad, my tutor and a couple of my close friends. But one of my friends went and told everyone, and now everyone on my course feels the need to stick their oar in, I know they're only trying to help but I wanted to keep it to myself until I'd decided what to do and like everyone I suppose, I don't like people knowing my business!

Only last week one of my friend's housemates came up to me in a bar and started saying 'Oh I hear you're thinking of leaving, don't go! Why do you want to do that?', and I know she was only trying to be nice but I wanted to go out, enjoy myself, and not have to think about it, and she just kept going on and on, and it ended up really upsetting me because I didn't want to talk about it and I didn't realise anyone knew, and in the end I ended up going home early because I got all emotional and I thought I was going to make a fool out of myself and cry! (alcohol and stress, not a good combo! haha)