Deciding your course isn’t right for you

Starting university opens a new chapter of your life that you hope will be filled with excitement and new opportunities. After the long process of writing personal statements and choosing both your course and university, the fun should start when you finally move into halls, experience freshers’ week and embark on your chosen degree.

It’s no doubt that most people do enjoy their course – it’s a subject they already love, something they’ve done before or at least something they’ve extensively researched. However, what happens when you reach university and it’s not what you thought?

After reading module descriptions over and over and even coming to open days and taster events, a lot of us would feel relatively certain that we will enjoy the course we’ve chosen to do. But, sometimes, the reality of studying one course in this much depth can sometimes throw you off and it may turn out that it’s not for you after all. I certainly felt this and  went through several stages of realising that I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue with my course:

After reading module descriptions over and over and even coming to open days and taster events, a lot of us would feel relatively certain that we will enjoy the course we’ve chosen to do. But, sometimes, the reality of studying one course in this much depth can sometimes throw you off and it may turn out that it’s not for you after all. I certainly felt this and  went through several stages of realising that I wasn’t sure I wanted to keep studying my subject:

  • A little bit of denial – it’s not unusual to keep telling yourself to give it time, after all, you do need to settle into a brand-new environment whilst figuring out how to live independently for, probably, the first time. Plus, studying at degree level is completely alien to you too! It was for me!
  • Panic – a daunting feeling my creep over you if you realise that you’re already part way through semester one and it’s usually a little bit too late to change by then. It also hit me that I had basically uprooted my whole life to study a course that’s now making me miserable.
  • The ‘maybe next semester/year will be better’ mindset – I had this point of view too and for some people, they simply don’t enjoy the current modules, so when they change in the next semester or when you can choose some of your modules in the second year, all is well again. But, this isn’t always the case though.
  • Thinking you’ve wasted a year – I got to the point where I realised for definite that I didn’t want to continue with my chosen course, and by that time I’d done a fair chunk of the year. If you’re here, you might seriously be panicking, because questions arise such as ‘do I have to continue with this now or is my only other option to drop out?’

Please don’t panic. The good news is once you’ve decided that your course isn’t well suited to you, you can now take steps to change it. It’s time to think about the type of degree you might like to study instead, and maybe spend some time reading up on the modules and talking to students who are already on that course.

It’s important to remember that everyone deserves to study what they enjoy and thrive in their educational environment.

Therefore, if you feel as though you can relate to this, don’t worry, because I guarantee you’re not the only one. If you’re currently at any of these stages my advice would be to talk to your personal tutor as soon as possible. They are there to help you and obviously want you to do as well as you possibly can.

Meet The Author

Katie

My name is Katie and I’m in my third year studying English, but I previously studied Journalism in my first year. I’m part of the Athletics sports society and I also volunteer with an organisation called ‘Just Lincolnshire’, which aims to raise awareness about hate crime and discrimination. I enjoy reading, my favourite book is ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ and I have an interest in fashion, crystal healing and natural home remedies.

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