Dropping out of university: failing is allowed!
written by: Nena Aichholzer, 08.04.2021
written by: Nena Aichholzer, 08.04.2021
Studying can be like a roller coaster ride. From awesome to absolutely frustrating, everything is possible. And that’s perfectly normal! After all, you can get a lecturer with whom you are simply not compatible or there are lectures where you already have to yawn when reading the headline of the class. Fortunately, you can do something about boredom at lectures. However, if, for a long period of time, or even from the start, you feel that this is the wrong way to go about it, you should take it seriously and reconsider your studies. Because if your studies are an unbearable burden for you and have been like that for a long period of time or already from the beginning, you will probably not find your happiness within your current subject. So try to think about when the feeling first appeared and for how long it has already been there.
The beginning of a degree is usually also the start of a new phase in your life. Most people move and will have to make new friends within their new place of residence. In addition you will be confronted with many things that you have to sort out for yourself for the very first time: curriculum and modules, ECTS, electives, deadlines and much more. It certainly takes some time to find your way around university. All of this may overwhelm you at first, but you usually grow into this environment pretty quickly. After all, changes always take time.
Anyways, people learn in different ways. Some love to acquire knowledge independently, to scroll through books, to work out scripts and to deal with learning topics on a theoretical basis. Others, on the other hand, want a school-like character and a form of imparting knowledge that is as rich in experience as possible. So if you are more of the practical and application-oriented type who prefers clear structures, it may be that you do not feel comfortable at a university and that the technical college, a dual course of study or an apprenticeship are more suitable for you.
It’s a bit of a dilemma when you perform well in a degree and find the course content totally exciting, but the job prospects are anything but rosy. You probably don’t want to study for unemployment, but you shouldn’t just give up and conjure up the worst-case scenario either.
If your studies really suit you, you may be particularly good in this area and have the best chances to find a good job afterwards. Of course, it’s never wrong to look for alternatives that match the knowledge you have acquired so far.
If your grades jeopardize further studies or graduation, the first logical question is whether this is due to your own motivation to study, whether you have too little time because of a part-time job or private obligations, or whether the study is simply very difficult and perhaps too demanding for you . It’s not easy, but try to be really honest with yourself about the answer.
Most of the time solutions can be found so that you can find more motivation for your studies. There are also tons of ways you can best prepare for exams or overcome your exam anxiety. But if your studies are simply too much for you, you really don’t need to feel bad or be ashamed of yourself. We don’t have to be able to do everything and are allowed to pull in the reins for ourselves if it doesn’t work out like we imagined beforehand.
Your decision has actually already been made: the course does not fit. However, you are still worried about how your family or friends will react to your decision and therefore you don’t go through with it? We know it is not easy for us if we do not meet the expectations of others. However, hand on heart! You are an independent person who is responsible for yourself and you probably have your own expectations of how you want your life to turn out. Of course, you care about those around you, but changes like this happen all the time and they will most definitely support you in finding your way. Try to have a conversation with them, explain your alternative to current studies or what you are planning to do next. Thinking about it carefully beforehand should be part of your strategy anyway. And maybe you are even more worried than you really need to and the reactions are far more positive than you feared.
If you already know what you want to study instead of your current degree, you have a big advantage and are one-step further on your new adventure. When making decisions, the rule of thumb is that you should move on to something new instead of just breaking off or ending something. There can be absolutely no question of failure if, instead of dropping out of your studies, you simply take a different path that suits you better. That sounds completely different, doesn’t it?
Dropout or not: Successful and above all ideal paths of life are rarely straightforward. Try to stay open to finding your own path and give yourself enough time for orientation and decision making. People who are close to you are often your best advisors.
We at STUWO wish you every success and all the best for your future paths!