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Want To Drop Out Of University? Questions To Ask Yourself
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Want To Drop Out Of University? Questions To Ask Yourself

Despite the fierce competition to get on degree courses, every year there are a number of students who want to drop out of university. This may be at the very beginning of the course, after a few months, at the end of the first year or even later. The fact is university isn’t for everyone. If it’s really not for you then you should never feel embarrassed or guilty to say so. However, before you take the final decision to drop out of university there are some questions to ask yourself.

Why do you want to drop out of university?

This may seem an obvious question to ask yourself, but it’s important that you answer the question honestly. Don’t kid yourself by saying it’s because you’re lonely if you’re actually struggling with your course work, or saying that you’re not happy with your choice of degree if the actual reason is because you didn’t get into the university you wanted. It doesn’t matter what reason or reasons you have for wanting to drop out of university, just as long as you’re clear about it.

What would need to change for you to stay at university?

When you’re clear about the reasons why you want to drop out of university you need to think through what if anything could be changed to make you stay and what you’d need to kick start those changes. For instance if you’re unhappy about your choice of course – talk to student services and see what options there are. If you’re lonely and homesick find out how you can become more involved with the different activities and form some lasting friendships. If it’s you’re course work that’s getting you down – talk to your tutor and find out whether there’s anything that can be done. Whatever the reason you need to explore the other options before you take the final decision to leave.

What will be the costs or benefits of leaving university?

It’s very important before you make a final decision to drop out of university that you have thought through the costs of leaving as well as the benefits of leaving. These will be completely personal to you. When I have a difficult decision to make I always like to complete a cost and benefits analysis to ensure that I have looked at the issue from every possible angle and thought it through. In this case I would look at the costs and benefits of staying at university and the costs and benefits of not staying at university. It’s not something you should do in a hurry because you will keep thinking of other things that you might add. It is a good tool to help you make that final decision.

What would you need to do before leaving?

Before you make your final decision about whether you’re going to drop out of university make a list of the things that you would need to do if you left. That includes finding out whether you can gain any credit for the work you have done, how long your studies stay open if you should change your mind and you want to return, what financial implications there are if you’ve taken out a student loan and letting your tutor and student services know of your final decision.


Deciding to drop out of university is a huge decision for anyone to make. However, if it’s the right one for you then you should make it, but only after you have explored all your options so that you're as certain as you can be that you're making the right decision. Be honest about your reasons for wanting to leave, look at anything that could influence you to change your mind, be clear about the costs or benefits of your decision and get advice from people at the university as well as your friends and families.

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