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What If I Don't Like My Course?

BlogStudentsTips and AdviceUniversity

Going to university is full of the unknown and uncertainty. You leave home for the first time and move to a completely new city alone to become independent, your first big step into the real world. But what if you have realised you don’t enjoy your course? If you are not sure what you should do next, then here are some tips on what to do if your course isn’t for you…

You Are Not Alone

Never think you are alone in this situation because not liking your course is more common than you think. It can be scary to realise this especially after working hard in sixth form, not to mention the mountain of student debt you seem to obtain throughout university to get this far. Most people have no real idea about their course before university, it could have seemed like the best thing on paper when you applied for it, in reality, it may not always turn out the way you were expecting and follow the expectations you had. It is completely normal to feel a little lost about it, chances are, others are also feeling slightly lost and deflated and also beginning to question their own course too.

 If you are not enjoying your course this may not be the best-case scenario for anyone but it is still important to know that you don’t have to have everything figured out just because you are at university now. Schools indeed place a strong emphasis on the importance of university and how crucial it is to open doors for you, but this doesn’t mean that you should stick out a course that you're not enjoying for the sake of a degree or to say that you went to university. The most important thing is to not panic! In most circumstances, it can be easier than you think to switch courses or universities if you have to.

Identify The Problems 

It is a crucial step to identify what are you struggling with as it helps with your decision making later on. It might be helpful for you to start listing reasons why you are not enjoying your course. Is it the course content? Teaching style? The assessments? Or is it the workload that makes you feel this way? Make a list of all the things you are not enjoying to give yourself some clarity. This is always a good place to begin. It is important however to give your course a chance first, they tend to develop very differently as the year goes on in particulary from you first week at univeristy

Going to university is very different from sixth form, the course you are studying may have been similar to your A level subjects however the structure of your course and the teaching becomes an altogether different style and format. There is more independent work required at university level and the teaching is a faster pace so it is normal to feel overwhelmed at the start. This is one of the reasons first years don’t always count towards your final classification, most universities just want you to get adjusted to you new university life! It is important not to presume that at university you will be achieving the same level of grades that you may have got in sixth form so don’t worry if you are getting anything lower than expected. University is harder and more challenging than sixth form and college! It doesn’t mean you are incapable of achieving anything higher, it just means you need a bit more time!

It is also completely okay to not love every single module in your course. First-year is designed to help you to build a strong foundation in preparation for your second and third year. It is always worth looking into your course structure as you might be able to study more specific modules you enjoy later on in your degree.

a hand with a pen writing a list on notepad

Speak To Your Academic Advisor 

Once you have identified the reasons why you are not enjoying your course, it may be worth booking a session to talk it through with your academic advisor. They will be able to give you professional advice, guidance and offer you alternatives or help you to explore different options and possibilities that may suit you better than your current course. If changing course all together perhaps isn’t the best option for you it is important to let your academic advisor know which areas of the course you are struggling with so he/she will be able to provide you with more support. This might seem like a lot of effort but always talk to your academic advisor if you need help. University is a big place so you will have let them know if you need help and remember they are there to do this for you.

two men sitting at a desk with a computer on it talking

It’s Never The End Of The World 

Just because you aren’t enjoying your course a much as you thought you would it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. It’s normal to feel lost and anxious in this situation but it is never as bad as you might expect! You have gone through the agony of things like GCSEs and A levels so it is safe to say that you are a warrior already!

You have already done the hard part and that is to get into university, so switching courses or just about anything else is never going to be as challenging than that! Plus, most universities are pretty flexible with course changes in the first few weeks. So, if you don’t see yourself doing your course for the next 3 years, contact the academic office ASAP!

So here are some of the tips as to what you should do if you hate your course. Please remember everyone’s journey is different and just because you don’t enjoy your course, it doesn’t make you a failure in any way, after all, life is about learning!

Enjoyed this blog? Take a look at: Second Time Lucky or Student Life and University Myths Debunked 

Sharon is an English Literature student at The University of Manchester. She enjoys reading and writing in her spare time, in particular writing about university life, lifestyle and beauty.

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