Sunday, 14 February 2016

Why I Dropped Out Of University

It occurred to me the other day that I don't seem to write many personal posts, my blog is full of chatty beauty favourites but not that many posts actually about me! I figured that as my blog is getting a lot more views than it used to I'd get a little more deep and share some of my life experiences. Kicking things off with why I dropped out of university and what happened following dropping out!
Rewind back to September 2012 and I was an excited but completely terrified fresher preparing to leave home for the first time. I'd made it through my A-levels, written the dreaded personal statement, battled through UCAS (application form of horror) and actually managed to get offers to study at university. I was off to study Law at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. I got celebratory pancakes with my Mum, bought way too much new home ware and made the 4 hour car journey to be waved off my mum and younger sister, who uncharacteristically cried, begged me not to go and said she'd send all of the spiders in the world to find me in Norwich, I'm not a fan of spiders!
I was in a flat of 16 which although fun was also a pretty loud and sometimes scary environment. The thing about freshers, is that there is so, so much drinking involved, and it probably isn't the ideal environment to be learning your limits and sampling home made (and vodka heavy) blue lagoon 4 or 5 times a week. I'd chosen to study law, which although an amazing subject was just not right for me. It was very, very academic and also seemed to attract seemingly focused and competitive people, some of whom I found pretty intimidating. In hindsight, I don't think it was the actual work or classes that I struggled with (I managed to attend nearly every lecture and got a first in the one exam that I sat), what the problem was was my confidence, or lack thereof. Despite having achieved good grades at A-level and written a passionate personal statement, I always felt that I just wasn't good enough. My public speaking skills weren't good enough, my essay writing wasn't good enough, my general life skills weren't good enough. I'll also admit the subject never really captured me and the only module I really liked was my criminology one. My best friend on the course wanted to be a wedding planner and also dropped out, so its safe to say that despite trying really, really hard we weren't the most natural law students!
As I mentioned, at this point I had really low confidence. My A-levels were probably 2 of the worst years of my life with my anxiety being probably the highest its ever been and this really affected me going into university. Despite making friends on both my course and in my flat I just could not shake this feeling of failure. Whether I'd attend all my lectures hungover or miss a night at the pub quiz to complete seminar reading, I'd still feel like I'd failed in some way. Either I was messing up socially or I was messing up academically, when in hindsight I was probably doing okay in both areas. I'm a pretty sensitive person and I really take things to heart. I'd take one throw away comment about myself and massively over-think it while simultaneously managing to come up with reasons for why the good things in my life were not actually because of me. My inner psychology student is now aware of the cognitive distortions I was making!
To put it bluntly, I was hugely out of my depth with no self-belief in my abilities. I didn't think I was good enough to be at university and I really let that show. So after a phone call to my mum at 2am in floods of tears having got so worked up over a university assignment to the point that I couldn't complete it, I made the decision in early January to drop out. At the time this was a mixture of devastation but also relief. I wasn't ready for the demands of university, I needed more time to learn how to mange my anxiety and to get some self confidence back.
So after 3 months in Norwich I left and returned home to Reading. I got a job working in a coffee shop and I actually ended up loving it. It was easy, I was earning quite a bit of money and I met some great people. I also thankfully had a few friends who'd taken gap years, so I settled into a routine of going clubbing on Thursday and Friday nights and working 5 days a week. I went on a girls holiday to Malia (so classy) and reapplied for university, this time to study my favourite A-level, Psychology. The combination of working, being with close friends and getting 5 offers for university slowly improved my confidence, and by the time September rolled around I set off for Southampton! This time around, I had so much more confidence, could handle my drink and loved my course. I made close friends quickly, and while there were still moments of feeling lonely or not good enough these were massively outweighed by the fun, happy moments.
For me, dropping out of university was the right decision. It gave me the opportunity to take some time to help myself, to gain some confidence and to figure out what I actually wanted to study. Despite how it appeared at the time dropping out wasn't the end of world, if anything it was the total opposite. Have you ever experienced something which at the time felt like failure, but actually may have been the right move? And I'd love to know your thoughts on this post! 
As ever, thanks for reading!
Georgia xxxx
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28 comments

  1. Studying what you actually enjoy makes a huuuge difference! It sounds like you made the best decision, what an upgrade! :)

    elainea
    toast the girl almighty

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  2. This was such an interesting and brave post, I really enjoyed reading it. I never felt my uni course was quite right for me either and I wasn't very happy, but I stuck with it and struggled on which in hindsight wasn't the right decision for me and I'd have been better off dropping out and finding something that was a better fit for me! I'm glad you made the right decision for you and are so much happier now.

    Lucy x- Yellowicing

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    1. Thank you so much! Oh, sorry to hear that :( I hope things work out! xx

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  3. I know how it feels to not feel good enough. I was never the greatest student but I was consistent. This made Uni all the more of a challenge to me and it really worked.. I came out with a first. I do regret not doing Law though but that's because I thought I wasn't good enough. I loved your honesty in this post and I think you sound so unbelievably happy now that it was definitely the right choice :) xox

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    1. Well done, that's amazing!! Sorry you regret that though :/ Thank you so much for your lovely comment :) xx

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  4. Really interesting read Georgia! I actually wished I had dropped out of my Psychology degree as I hated it but I just didn't have the balls!

    Danielle's Beauty Blog

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    1. Thanks! Sorry to hear that lovely! Hope everything's okay now :) xx

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  5. I'm happy to hear you made the right choice! I'm a big believer that everything will work out in the end, there's been many times I've wanted to drop out of my course purely because I don't think I'm smart enough for it but I know I just need to work for it and I'm there for a reason. Thanks for sharing! :)

    -Eternalleigh.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you! Glad you stuck with it! Good luck with the rest of your course :) xx

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  7. It's so nice and refreshing to read about dropping out being the right thing for someone. I left uni 2 years in and sometimes feel ashamed to tell people, but I gained some amazing experiences and love what I do now so don't regret it for a second!!

    X

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    1. Glad you don't regret it!! I think leaving can definitely be the right decision sometimes :) xx

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  8. Feeling of failure and not good enough haunts me almost everyday. No matter what I do or how hard I work for something, I just can't shake this feeling off. I think you did a very good decision to drop out and come back whenever you felt more ready. It's all about finding the right place for yourself and the right course.

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

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    1. Its horrible isn't it :( I hope things improve lovely, your blog is brilliant! Thank you :) xx

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  9. Great post. It was nice to see someone so openly happy about dropping out, as most of the time people don't want to talk about why they dropped out.
    I myself dropped out of University and I am going back to a different one in November and it was the best decision I ever made. At the time I felt like I had failed everyone, when in fact I had done the right thing for myself and I am now a lot more happier and confident with the decision I made. :)x

    http://my-world-heather.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. It was the same for me, but definitely the right decision :) Glad you're happy with your decision too!! xx

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  10. There is so much pressure to go to uni and stick with it. Dropping out is seen as a failure in some way, when it absolutely isn't! I have a similar story. Went to uni and studied something that turned out not to be what I thought. I stuck it out for almost 2 years and did fine academically. I finally found the courage to drop out and moved back home. I applied to another uni and commuted everyday. My confidence grew, I loved my course and I came away with a 1st. It's okay to decide something isn't for you and to find out what it-- whether that's another uni course or something entirely different. Life's too short to be stuck doing something that's not for you. Good luck with your new course!

    Donna
    http://www.februarystars.co.uk

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    1. Completely agree! So glad to hear things worked out so well, and congratulations on your first! That's incredible! Thank you :) xx

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  11. Everything is different for every single person! It takes a lot of strength to deviate from the normal "routine" I guess you could say, that people tend to fall into.. You broke out of your shell and are happier, and that is the most important thing of all! Wishing you all the best with your new course dear! xxxxx

    www.romantiquely.com

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    1. Completely agree! Thank you so much :) xx

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  12. I'm so glad you made the decision to do what you really wanted, it must have taken a lot of courage! I've actually dropped out of university after a really short time, after realizing I was studying the wrong thing.. Now I study Sports Science and it was the best decision. x

    - Anne | annesmiles

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    1. Thank you! Glad things worked out, Sports Science sounds so interesting! xx

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  13. Great post lovely !! It's so good to see that something good came out of you dropping out! I think it can be so overwhelming going to uni .. Especially with all the expectations of going to Uni straight away! I am so glad you were so open about it... I stuck with uni doing psychology and I enjoyed it so much ! However now I have a job which I don't think I got because of my degree, but my experience instead! I am so glad you came it of a time where you were unhappy and came out better instead ! Good on you girly !!
    Saira
    www.throughtheglitterglass.wordpress.com
    Xx

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    1. Thank you! It can definitely be overwhelming as its such a huge change. Psychology is such an interesting degree isn't it? I'm not sure if I'm going to end up actually getting a psychology related degree either, but it was definitely a great experience! Thank you so much, means a lot! xx

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  14. You literally just described my first two years of my law degree. It is really hard work and everyone is super competitive - you weren't making it up in your head! I'm glad that you made the right decision though and very happy for you. Looking forward to seeing what you'll get up to in the next few years! xxx

    Gweni // www.gbeauty.co.uk

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    1. Glad someone else found this as well! Thank you so much lovely!! xx

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  15. This sounds like me. I went to London in my first year of university and suffered so much with anxiety I couldn't cope and ended up transferring to my local university at home - which happens to Portsmouth so quite local to you. I loved my course but the people and uni just weren't for me.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one and good on you for taking the plunge to drop out!

    www.cultivationofjasmin.blogspot.com

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Thank you so much for reading and commenting! Have an amazing day! Georgia xx

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