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Tips if you're thinking of leaving uni

Why I left uni and started an apprenticeship

Communications Apprentice

I left after my second year. I wasn’t happy with my course and my mental health wasn’t the best. There is actually a lot to consider when dropping out of university. It’s not as straightforward as quitting a job or college.

I decided to leave university towards the end of my second year, when I was living in Canterbury with three of my best mates. When the thought popped up into my head, I talked to my mum about it, at first, she wasn’t happy about the thought of me leaving but she came round to support my decision and she was there for me throughout the process.

The whole process of quitting university wasn’t that hard but it was really scary. First, I spoke to my tutor and she agreed that I was making the right choice. The next thing to do was to officially withdraw from university. After all the deliberating, it only took a click or two online  and I was no longer a university student.

Leaving university was the right decision for me but it’s not right for everyone. Don’t make any rash decisions. Most universities allow you to ‘pause’ your degree so that’s always an option. Do you want to take time out? Maybe work for a year or go travelling? (I know a lot of people who did this). Speak to your friends, family and especially your tutor. Your tutor is there to help you. So utilise any help available to you given by your tutor such as extending your coursework deadlines or accessing support at university.

If, after thinking it through, you do decide to leave uni, here are a few tips you may find useful, from someone who’s been through it, to make the transition from university to an apprenticeship a bit easier:

Tell Student Finance and your bank

If you decided to quit or to pause your degree, you need to tell student finance. I got a nasty shock when I was asked to pay back the remainder of my maintenance loan. We agreed on a monthly payment plan that I could afford. Another thing to note is that you will need to talk to your bank, if you were in your overdraft, like I was, you will need to talk to them to arrange repayment, they may allow you to keep your overdraft until you pay if off. I know, a lot of adulting to do! But you can do it.

Make sure you change your address

Update your address everywhere it’s listed to make sure you receive important letters from Student Finance, your bank and everyone else. It will also help you provide proof of address when you start a new job or want to open a new bank account. Also, remember to re-register to vote at your new address, there is a very important election coming up soon!

Get your CV in shape

Take advantage of your uni’s employability department. I went to mine and they helped me a lot, there’s also a lot of resources online to help you tailor your CV and personal statement to suit the type of job you are applying for.

Next step? Job or Apprenticeship?

Yes, this is a very scary process to go through, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I got a summer job at a school as an exam invigilator, when I moved back home, which allowed me to start applying for all sorts of jobs and apprenticeships. But do what you wanna do and remember whatever you choose, you don’t have to do it forever.

If you are applying for apprenticeships, do your research and make sure you prep for any interview questions they may ask you. CareerHacker has tons of resources to help you! Use them! Do the quiz! It’s amazing.

I hope these few bits will help you make your decision. It’s not all doom and gloom. There are so many people who have been in your shoes! Bill Gates dropped out of university and look at the empire he built!

Photo by Bernard Hermant

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