Hello, hello, hello. Sometimes I have the urge to use greeting 3x times (meaning too many times) in a row for no reason at all. It doesn’t even sound better, it sounds like I’m some kind of creepy stalker waiting for you in a corner of a very dark room.. anyway. I’m here with (at least that’s what I think it is) a very useful article (yay, doing my job right for once.. and calling blogging my job for no reason at all). I’m not here to convince you that dropping out from university is all fun, unicorns and rainbows, because that’s definitely not what it is. I’m here to describe all the feelings and staff you might be facing after the decision.
I didn’t really specify, but I’m sure you managed to figure out yourself.. I’ve decided to withdraw from university. I was thinking about doing it for let’s say 5 long months and couple weeks ago, I finally made the final decision. It took a lot courage to realize university was just not for me especially when I was (and still am) surrounded by uni students everywhere I went. They’re living with me, they’re working with me, they’re customers in the place I work in, they’re my friends, (they’re my enemies),.. you get the point, they’re EVERYWHERE.
In October, I started feeling a bit depressed and lost. I don’t like using the word ‘depressed’ because I know that depression is something that should be taken seriously and is way way way worse than what I was dealing with but I just can’t think of any other word to describe what I was going through. I didn’t know if it was just all the stress from assignments or a signal I should finally find the balls and drop out. I decided to believe it was just the stress and kept working on all the assignments that were making me more and more miserable.
I was talking to my friends; my family and they were all very supportive telling me they were proud of me for studying in the UK and doing so well. And they were right, my marks were good so it actually didn’t look that I was struggling as much as I was. All of that was really helpful and unhelpful at the same time. I felt like dropping out would disappoint not only them, but mainly me.
So I kept going. And it just got to the point where I was having panic attacks on daily basis and felt even more lost than before. I was skipping lectures, I was procrastinating, I was asking people for advices, I was doing researches and considering my options and then one day I just did it. Well technically I still am a student, because I’m officially dropping out on the 5th April, because that’s the latest I can do it in order to avoid paying council taxes for as long as possible, but I’m not attending lectures anymore and I’m not working on assignments. I didn’t give up, I just decided to put myself and mainly my mental health first and it feels damn good!
Now let’s talk about all the observations. In the begining I felt like the happiest human being. I was smiling and people were noticing I was happier than I’d ever been. By that I mean they were a bit scared, because who knows what’s happy Lea capable of.. she hadn’t been around for a while. I liked the new start and all the options it gave me. I started accepting more shifts in order to be able to make more money and you know.. fill the free time I got by not having lectures every day.
But you all know nothing lasts forever so it’s not a surprise that all the excitement vanished after a while. Not completely, but it did. As I said, I was trying to fill all the free time with all different activities like working, photography, writing, working out in gym, yoga and others. But it wasn’t enough. Or it felt like I wasn’t doing enough. I’d dropped out for a reason after all and there I was not moving anywhere and being the same lame person I’d been before. Every time someone asked me what I was doing with all the free time I was ashamed for not having anything exciting to say. And you know what? That was stupid! Dropping out requires a lot of strenght and energy and you simply need some time to let that soak in without feeling bad for taking some time off, for spending all of your day off in bed watching Harry Potter, for not changing into this super human being you think you shoud change into. Allow yourself some rest (feels like I’m talking to myself right now) because if you won’t you will crash.
Apart from dealing with my own messed up and confused mind there was another thing I had to face. People. And mainly questions. If I got £1 from every person asking me ‘so what’s your plan after dropping out’ I wouldn’t even need a plan, because let’s face it, I’d be pretty rich. I know it’s a natural thing to do and I don’t blame people for being interested, but it can get annoying especially when you have NO CLUE WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR LIFE. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done my research I made sure I knew what I was doing, but that doesn’t mean I have a clear plan for future. Apart from finally doing things I enjoy like travelling and photography and for now that’s enough.
Apart from all the emotional instability there’s something I’m sure everyone will face after dropping out. Taxes and full prices. The reality of not being a student. I know some people who are studying just for the sake of not paying council taxes, but they’re mainly my friends from back home where studying is free so I would not recommend that if you’re studying somewhere where education is not free of charge. Not gonna lie, that’s one of the things I’m gonna miss the most. The other one is being educated, but always keep in mind that there are options of learning without being an university student. There are workshops, 10 week courses, online education. Just start a new hobby or go back to the hobby you never had time for. Trust me, you’ll need something to do.
You may also feel you don’t belong anywhere. I did for a moment. Your friends will be talking about assignments and.. well after you laugh at them for having so much work since that’s not your problem anymore.. you may feel like you kind of miss the stress that was connecting you. But don’t fool yourself. You don’t miss the stress. You miss bi*ching about lecturers and the amount of work you need to do, but that’s easily replaceable. There’s always staff to complain about, don’t worry 🙂
And that’s all I wanted to share today. I’m sure my mood will change around million times and I’m sure I will have plenty more to write about so there might be another ‘drop out update’ in future. I do know that we’re all different and what I’m facing can differ from what other people were facing after dropping out, but it’s always good to know what you may have to deal with. But for me, even with all the mood changes and doubts, it was a good decision and I don’t regret making it.