The prospect of going to University can certainly be an exciting time, new friends, new beginnings and new found freedom. But for many, University life doesn’t turn out as people had imagined, and you may find yourself amongst them, wondering whether University is really for you.
You can find yourself struggling for money, as the cost of accommodation needs to be met whilst being able to afford the daily essentials; and sometimes it can be a struggle to even afford to eat. Additionally you can find that the course that you’ve enrolled on simply isn’t for you.
In this guide we look at 5 things that should be considered before the major decision to leave university is finalised.
1. Struggling or disliking your course? Can you swap?
If you’re struggling or simply disliking your course then you should find out if you can swap; whilst every university has a cut off point for changing courses (which will generally be around November in your first year) you should still enquire. Even if you’re in your second year, you may find that something can be done to avoid you leaving all together. Whilst this may involve an additional year at University, there may be a course out there that you’re perfectly suited to and hadn’t even thought of.
2. Is it due to poor financial management?
If the reason you’re considering leaving University is because you’re in a financial mess, are struggling to eat or are over working yourself simply to get by, then you need to consider how you conduct your finances. If you don’t have a part time job then you should seriously consider one; your university will have a careers advisor that can help with this, and often there are many suitable positions that won’t interfere with your studies.
If on the other hand you do have a part time job, but are so over worked that you’ve fallen behind on your studies then you should speak to a financial advisor at your university to see how you could manage your money better.
Additionally each and every University has a ‘hardship’ fund; this is emergency money that is provided to students in serious financial crisis. You wouldn’t have to pay this money back, but your would need to prove that you are in urgent need of a financial breather.
3. Getting outside advice
When you consider leaving university, for whatever reason, the stress and anxiety that you may be feeling can often cloud your judgement on what your options are. It is all too easy to feel despair and not see that there’s actually a way out of whatever situation you find yourself in.
Try talking to friends, family and university welfare staff as to what you’re feeling and why. Nine times out of ten they’ll be able to offer an alternative option to leaving university altogether.
4. The debt amassed already
The decision to leave university is made all the more serious by the amount of debt that you would have amassed already; given that any student loan and university fees will have to be paid thus far, it is important to make sure you’re making the right move.
5. The cost of accommodation and the option of moving home
It can come as a surprise to many that once at University, you find that your student loan is barely enough to cover the cost of their accommodation; in fact, in many instances it can fall short. This is hardly the university lifestyle that is typified on TV, which portrays an amazing social life, never ending nights out and a diet of junk food.
This is a commonly quoted reason for people quitting university and moving student baggage home, as they find themselves struggling to make ends meet by juggling numerous jobs. However, if you live relatively locally (or even a train journey away) then you should consider moving back home. Whilst this isn’t what you had in mind when you started university, you can avoid high accommodation costs all together. Prior to this, you may wish to undertake a little research as to what accommodation is available in the university area at a lower rate; you may find that you’ve been paying over the odds.
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Cormac Reynolds has worked for a number of student websites in the past. He enjoys sports and football.