Overhead image of students walking and their shadows

Do you struggle to get out of bed in the morning in dreaded anticipation of an uninspiring lecture and a long stint in the library? We’ve all had tortuous tutorials and evenings fighting essays, however for some the urge to leave university is even greater, and if you’re one of those who are contemplating dropping out, here are some ways to deal with your troubles:

Remember you need time

University is full of changes, and it may be that you just need time to settle in. Alongside keeping up with your essay due dates, you’ve got friends to make, meals to cook, and a new city to explore and it may just be that it takes you longer find your feet. If you've only felt that university isn't right for you for a few weeks ride it out for a few weeks longer and you may find the homesickness subsiding over time. 

Identify what is making you unhappy

Is it the course you don’t like or university life itself? If it’s just the course you are struggling with and you love everything else about your university life speak to your personal tutor about a change of direction. You might be able to sample a few other courses and find something which suits you to a tee. It's quite common for students to switch degree programmes so your university will have a system in place to help.

Take time out

For many, 17 is too young to make a decision involving lots of money that may affect you for the rest of your life, and maybe, having started university, you don't feel as though you are ready for the huge life changes thatuniversity entails.

The student loans system offers you the opportunity for a change in direction after the end of your first year and you are entitled to an additional year of finance in case of long-term illness or a false start.

With this knowledge, you may want to think about taking a year off from studying, giving you the time and space to think about what you want from your education and life, and to explore your options. You might consider getting a job, travelling the world, applying for apprenticeships, exploring taster courses or attending some other open days. Whether you return to the same university, or a different one, you’ll be a year older and will really appreciate your education, doing something because you want to do it, as opposed to university being the thing that everyone does after they leave school.

You'll also gain plenty of life experience along the way.

Talk to others

You may feel as though you are alone, but voicing your concerns and seeking support can be hugely helpful. Although you may feel as though you are letting them down, speaking to your family straight away can avoid the chance of being unhappy for the next two further years and a future career that you don’t really want.

You might find that you’ve friends who feel the same as you so you can work through your issues together and share information, while if you’ve no one to speak to you can go to your personal tutor or even the university’s student counselling service. There are a variety of support services that universities can offer, however if you don’t say anything, even if you don’t think your problem is serious enough, you’ll never get help.

Get involved

University is not all about grades and taking the opportunity to get involved in student activities might just make all the difference. Focus on an aspect of university life you enjoy, whether it's writing for the newspaper, playing in the football team or volunteering for the university's branch of Amnesty International. You'll meet like-minded people along the way, find something you might contemplate as a career after university, gain soft skills and the confidence it will give you can boost your enjoyment and ability in your academic work.