So, thinking of dropping out of college? Have a read of this first…


The transition from secondary school to third-level can be overwhelming on so many levels.

While some people take to the new environment like a duck to water, countless others struggle massively with the process, and often feel out of step with the rest of the student body.

From adjusting to independent learning to adapting to changeable timetables, college is a far cry from your days in the local comprehensive, and for some, it's a transition which impacts on their mental and emotional wellbeing.

As you face into the second semester of this academic year, you may have toyed with the idea of jacking it all in, and if that's the case, you may want to consider some of the following questions.

1. Are you unhappy with your subjects?

Identifying the source of your upset is the first step towards taking positive action.

If you are unhappy with your subjects or degree, you need to approach the university and ask for guidance on the matter.

The staff and faculty of any university are employed to guide and support students, so they'll be more than happy to advise you on your options.

And remember, they've heard it all before, so lay it out for them, and it could be as simple as swapping subjects for one you're more interested in.

2. Are you unhappy with your university?

If you don't feel your choice of degree at this particular university is what you were expecting, that's not a reason to drop out of education altogether.

Seek guidance from the staff at your current university, and communicate your concerns.

It's always possible to start again, but doing it by yourself is where it gets tricky, so reach out and give yourself a voice.

No one knows the system better than those working within it, so there's a high chance there are options available to you which you haven't even considered.

3. Are you unhappy with the social element of third-level?

TV and movies would have us believe that college is where you make life-long friends, but for many, college is spent floating between various classes, unable to make a proper connection with fellow students.

After groups forge in the first week, those who didn't make the cut are often left looking in – a sensation which makes for a wholly unpleasant third-level experience.

In this instance, you need to bite the bullet and join some societies. College is chock-full of clubs which don't require a passion for philosophy or history, so join the trampoline club or movie society, and start making pals.

But listen…

College isn't for everyone, and maybe it's just not your time yet.

If you have addressed all of the above issues, and still know that you would benefit from some time away from education, there's no harm in taking a year out or deferring your place.

Everybody is on a separate journey, and there is no rule that says you have to do everything in the same sequence as everyone else.

But before you simply turn off your alarm, and refuse to step foot on campus ever again, make sure you talk through your options with the experts.