I really don't want to return to university (2nd year)

(47 Posts)
Katharine21 Mon 07-Jan-19 12:51:40

I'm a second year university student, studying a Humanities subject. I really struggled in first year and was very close to dropping out due to an accommodation situation. This year, I thought university would get better with the different accommodation situation, but I am still finding it such a slog.
For info, I found it extremely difficult to pick something to study at university. I am not really interested in one given subject, so I am studying something I don't really enjoy. With the increase in workload this year, I am finding it very difficult to 'just get on' with the work. It is boring, dull and because of these factors it takes me ages to complete anything! At school, I worked very very hard and had a lot of focus/good concentration span. This year, it has just disappeared and I can't even focus anymore.
It is not just the academic side of things I am finding difficult. I am also struggling socially, which was a big surprise for me as I have never found it difficult to make friends previously. I really don't enjoy clubbing - I don't like drinking that much. My course only has a few hours per week, so i hardly meet people there despite my efforts to chat to people. I've joined a few societies, but groups seem to be established there already, and meetings are often cancelled.
I always find it horrible returning to university, that this time it seems worse. I spent a lot of my holidays writing essays so didn't have that much of a break, but when I was actually using the break to do my own thing I felt so happy. I'm also not sure whether this time it feels worse because there is no weekend that I can come home during the 11 week term. I've tried to work my way around it, but my timetable is really spread out so I have one hour most days that I cannot miss. Visits home twice a term help me 'keep going' with it; I know 11 weeks is not that long in the grand scheme of things but I know it will go very slowly.
Does anyone have any advice on ways to get through the term? I feel like dropping out is not an option, I've done my research and the apprenticeships I have found are all engineering/finance based it seems,so I must carry on despite not wanting to return. University is the first time in my life I have felt unfulfilled, bored and even lonely. I find it even worse because everyone appears to having the time of their lives - talks at school even said it would be the most exciting time of my life however, it doesn't seem to be for me.

OP’s posts: |
Threeforfree Mon 07-Jan-19 13:58:51

Sorry you’re having a hard time. I had a rough time at school and loved university as I couldn’t wait to get away - so the opposite to you. Does going home have to be a weekend? Could you fit it in between lectures during the week? Or is there one lecture that is easier to miss ie. one that is on website as a PowerPoint? What about getting a part time job or volunteering in something related to what you want to do? It’ll be good for the CV, perhaps give you a bit of extra cash too? Any job you do you can get skills that you can put on your CV to make you stand out when you leave. You may meet some really nice people through it too.

70sbaubles Mon 07-Jan-19 14:00:53

What are you studying? I'm an academic and I might be able to help x

CottonSock Mon 07-Jan-19 14:03:34

Is it too late to change your subject focus? Is there another thing that interests you? I did a hands on course with loads of contact time so the group bonded really well. Much different for my friends who had 2 hours a week contact

TinklyLittleLaugh Mon 07-Jan-19 14:07:46

My daughter felt like you. She decided to soldier on. In retrospect it wasn't a good decision. I think you should spend some time deciding what you really want to do. You can always start again on another course.

Katharine21 Mon 07-Jan-19 14:47:13

I am studying English Literature.
Yes, I was thinking as soon as I go back to look for a part time job while I'm there. I actually prefer it when I'm in uni and have something to do, at the weekends I get so bored and lonely. Sometimes I won't speak to anyone for the whole weekend as the people in my flat live nearby to university, they just go home. The one good friend I have there has a job that she works over during the week/weekend. I live with her but never see her. I definitely cannot go home this term, for one module there a lot of film screenings, workshops and seminars that I just cannot afford to miss (it is the module I have my exams based on).

The thing is, I have no idea what I wish to do with my life. There is no other degree that I would enjoy studying. It sounds so sad, but I don't have one big interest in my life. Many of the people on my course love it - they are genuinely interested and passionate. I used to like reading, but I don't even read 'my' (non-academic) books for pleasure like I used to.

OP’s posts: |
Miljah Mon 07-Jan-19 14:56:31

Do you have a support tutor at uni you could go to?

I'm sorry you're feeling down about uni- I do think the 'time of your life' thing can be over-sold.

My DS is in his first year at uni, and he's not loving it, to be honest. He's got himself 'involved' in a house-share for next year that he doesn't really want to do, but everyone piled in so early, he felt he had to. Fortunately, he has a reasonable amount of contact time so hasn't got hours to fill, otherwise I suspect he'd be saying the same as you are.

I hope you can find a solution that works for you!


Rhubarbisevil Mon 07-Jan-19 15:09:48

(((Big hugs)))

I think uni might have changed a bit these days as the pressure to get. 2:1/1st seems higher than ever before.

All I can say is that you’re half way through so the end is in sight. Would you be interested in focusing on the future, ie researching a masters degree or all the different types of career choices that are open to you? Graduate training schemes? Accountancy (I know two people who went into accountancy with English degrees- one of them is now incredibly successful)?

I know what you mean about the course, tbh. My DD is a 3rd year Eng lit student and I did an Eng Lit degree. Both of us have vowed to only read trash novels now grinwink

Lottie2017 Mon 07-Jan-19 17:29:38

Could you transfer to a different subject and use some of your credits? After my first year at university, My friend changed from Law to Sociology and another from English to American Studies, which includes literature but also History and Politics?

jeanne16 Mon 07-Jan-19 19:06:03

I do believe that uni being the ‘time of your life ‘is exaggerated and is quite the opposite for many people. I was terribly lonely at uni and felt very isolated. I agree with the suggestion of trying to get a part time job as this will keep you occupied and you may make new friends.

Threeforfree Mon 07-Jan-19 19:06:40

Glad you’re looking for a job. I worked in a clothes shop (did a science degree) called ‘why pay more’ in Newcastle. We had some right characters come in from the railways and I had a good laugh with the local shop workers. I had a few stories that I could tell at interview from working there too.

lonelyplanetmum Mon 07-Jan-19 20:23:13

I think lots of people feel like this but don't want to admit it!

Some ideas... Do you have an idea of another subject you'd prefer? Maybe transfer to a different subject or do a joint degree? Could you take a year out as a sort of interruption? I think an interruption is a deferral type thing but you may have to exaggerate your concerns a bit? Part time work is a good idea for another friendship group? A new society? Switch to a uni nearer home? Counselling - available st lots of unis? Or volunteering to help support of counsel others? What about getting school friends or family to visit you? Meet them half way? Any school friends at neighbouring unis you could call in on?

Hope those thoughts help!

lonelyplanetmum Mon 07-Jan-19 20:29:08

Another idea is babysitting, dog walking. There's lots of opportunities like this which tend to get you more involved in the local community too.

Meesh77 Mon 07-Jan-19 20:32:34

I hated my first degree. I was lonely and bored. I ended up dropping out in the third year, had a year off (working) and went to a completely different university/course. The year off helped me work out what I really wanted to do.

Maybe you need a year off?

namechanged0983 Mon 07-Jan-19 20:38:41

I agree with @TinklyLittleLaugh.

My daughter is super smart and got straight As across gcse and a level but she hated uni. She called me every day to quit and I wish I'd said it was ok to. She got a 2:2 which I think doesn't reflect her ability and has just landed her in debt.

Llareggub Mon 07-Jan-19 20:39:06

I felt like this. I definitely did not have the time of my life at uni! What helped me was to see term time as my job, instead of feeling sad about missing out on the amazing social life I thought everyone else was having.

I also managed to transfer from one uni to one closer to home. I didn't lose any time and it saved me money as I could work all year around.

Sunbeam18 Mon 07-Jan-19 20:52:16

Aw, I feel for you so much - I had exactly the same experience in second year at university (I did English Lit too). It was not the subject for me; in retrospect the university was too big for me. I later did a postgrad in Publishing at a much smaller campus university and was really happy there. If you are really unhappy then don't force yourself to keep going and take some time out to talk through options with your family and friends at home X

Sunbeam18 Mon 07-Jan-19 20:54:28

I phrased part of that badly - I meant that the subject wasn't the problem for me, it was the university.

Babysharkdoodoodoodo Mon 07-Jan-19 20:58:46

I switched subject after my first year. Did 1 year of Marketing and hated it so switched to Business Management. Loved this as it was so varied and ended up with a first. I didn't do that much socialising as I was a lone parent with 2 under 6 at the time. I only went as it was something to do until they were both old enough to go to school.

Have a look at what else your uni offers and see if they have anything else that appeals and see if you can switch focus?

Sunbeam18 Mon 07-Jan-19 21:03:10

Also, the best years of my life so far have been 30s and early 40s, def not student days. Everybody is different.

Rememory Mon 07-Jan-19 21:14:40

Being on your own at weekends must be so difficult. I think a part time job would help as you've tried with societies and that hasn't worked the way it should have.

Rememory Mon 07-Jan-19 21:20:35

And I think the best years of your life are when YOU have them, nothing to do with other people's experiences. How far is home away from your uni?

Spagyetti Mon 07-Jan-19 21:34:39

Poor you, OP. flowers

Can you transfer to a university closer to home?

KateGrey Mon 07-Jan-19 21:39:48

Am glad some other people have mentioned university years weren’t the best of their lives. I found that but was embarrassed to admit it. Can you transfer to another course? I found uni a hard slog but came away with a 2:1. But it wasn’t easy. I worked whilst there which helped a lot.

Ragwort Mon 07-Jan-19 21:41:41

I agree that maybe looking for a part time job might help? Also perhaps trying to get involved in community or volunteering projects might help to meet ‘real’ people not just students. When I was at university (years ago!) I helped with a local Cub Pack & joined the local Labour Party branch (as well as the student one), both were a good way to get involved in the community.

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