Dealing with Wanting to Drop Out

16 November 2022

By Lauren E. White

University can be one of the most challenging times in an individual’s life. Suddenly, you’re all away from home and the friends and family you love with a bunch of people who are so utterly different from you. You might not like your course, your ‘friends’ or the city you’re in. And suddenly you find yourself dealing with wanting to drop out. It’s not very fun.

Wanting to drop out of uni is actually more common than you think. If you speak to people who are older than you, you are sure to find someone else who has wanted to quit academia and move to Mexico with a brand new identity. I was one of them.

It’s not fun wanting to drop out – especially when you’ve worked so, so hard to get into uni. It feels deflating, depressing and utterly bleak. If you drop out, you know that your future chances will be harmed. If you stay, you know that you’re going to have to haul yourself through the next two or three years. So, the best way to deal with it all is to weigh up the pros and cons. This includes the future, which not many people think about when dropping out. Sometimes the present seems so unbearable that the future isn’t even worth thinking about.


While this is fair enough, it’s important to gain some perspective. If you drop out, you will never be able to just click your fingers and go back. It’s a big decision – and one you might not think is worth all the effort.

Think about it: uni holidays are so long (and there are so many of them) that you’re hardly even there at all. And, when you are there, you can join in loads of stuff that isn’t degree-related. These extracurriculars aren’t just for job prospects, either – they’re for you. They keep you sane. And, even if the people didn’t turn out to be your cup of tea, the chances are that you have at least one really good friend at uni, or someone to speak to. They might even make it all worthwhile.

So, when dealing with wanting to drop out, remember to put everything into perspective. What are a few months for the next two years of your life in the grand scheme of things? You’ve probably been through much worse, so just see this as yet another one of life’s challenges. You’ll be fine in the end – we always are.

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