As some of you may be aware, I dropped out of university in September 2017. Why I hear you ask? For my mental health. I was in first year and I moved to Manchester from the other side of Birmingham on my own and it was terrifying. I honestly don’t think that it was the university situation, I just think it was bad timing. I just think my mental health would have relapsed regardless of whether I was at university or home. I was going through a break up, I was struggling with eating and on top of that, I was thrown into a new city on my own. Probably not a good mix.
So yeah, I dropped out. And I guess you’re either reading this because you’re just curious as to why I’m writing a post about this or because you are thinking about it yourself. I’m here to say it is not the end of the world if you drop out of university. It truly isn’t. If you really think university is for you, then you’ve got the rest of your life to go back.
I’m planning on going back next September to a local university in the Birmingham area. You can do that too. What’s important is how comfortable you feel and how ready you are. There’s no point struggling through a three or four (or more) year course, unhappy because you think you’re trapped and you think it would be a good idea for you to go to university for your career.
I’m telling you it’s not. This day and age, we are forced to believe that we’ll be a nobody stuck in a dead end job if we don’t go to university and get a degree in law or medicine. There are so many ways you can get into your dream job. You don’t have to go university and like I said previously, if you want to go back you can. Whether that be next year or in ten years time.
I know someone who is going an apprenticeship in childcare to become a teacher eventually. It will probably be a lot easier to go to university but she is still getting into her dream career in another path. I know someone who wants to be a nurse and they are doing an apprenticeship for that too. Getting into your chosen job isn’t linear.
The thing is, you’ve gotta put your mental health or physical health first and that’s all there is to it. There’s no point forcing yourself when your health is gonna be whack at the end of it.
Dropping out of university has a lot of negative stigma around it and I’m gonna debunk it ever so quickly. Dropping out of university itself is fairly easy. You simply have to sign a form saying why you are doing so and the date you last went to any lectures and once that’s processed (it took my university a matter of hours), you’re out.
They contact student finance for you. I think this is so someone doesn’t just drop out university and keep the student finance for no reason. If you’ve dropped out for health reasons like me, they are a bit more lenient in terms of repayment because it’s expected that you may eventually return. It’s so simply because you really don’t have to contact student finance and go through that process because the university just kinda ring them up and say “so and so has dropped out so she doesn’t need her finance anymore”.
The hardest part, I’d say is cancelling your contract with student accommodation if you’ve got that. My accommodation company was a private one, not attached to the university, so I’d imagine that if it was university halls they’d do that along with everything else. I had to prove that I wasn’t just dropped out for any reason and that it was for my health. I just had to go to the doctors and get proof of me going to them for support after leaving, to prove that I’m actually ill. I know it’s annoying because what does a simple doctors note prove, but I guess it’s just protocol.
Then that’s that. Done. You’re officially dropped out of university. Bet you thought it was more difficult than that, huh? The reality of things, for me at least, it took just under a week to drop out. This would probably have been shortened if I did everything myself but I was so very ill at that point that I couldn’t do much for myself.
I hope this helps you ever so slightly with your struggles. And remember, if you are thinking about dropping out, it isn’t the end of the world AT ALL. Your life will continue just fine and all that really matters is your health.