Explore your options
If you are looking to change your course or current direction, we can help you. Feeling unsettled at university is fairly common. You have already taken the first steps towards overcoming your problem by looking for help.
Common issues include:
- Course choice: disliking the subject you have chosen
- University choice: perhaps you don’t feel it’s the right place for you
- Financial worries: finding the cost of living difficult
- Personal problems: feeling homesick, relationship issues, being lonely or study pressure
- Future career plans: worrying if your course choice is relevant
Take some time to clarify your thoughts and feelings by working through and noting down some responses to the prompts listed below. The next steps could also involve talking through these ideas, in confidence, with a Careers Consultant.
1. Briefly describe your current situation
- the course is not what I expected
- I am finding the course difficult
- I feel like I don't fit in
- I would prefer to go to a different university
- my career ideas have changed
2. What were your reasons for choosing your current course?
3. Do you have ideas about what you would like to do next?
- I want to study a subject that leaves my options open
- I would like a more vocational/practical course
- I have a preference for a particular style of course
- I want to find full-time work
If you are thinking of changing course, please take a look at the first section below. If you are considering leaving university, please take a look at the second section. If you are undecided, work through both. The flowchart below may help clarify for you which section to complete. Finally, complete the action plan.
Section 1: Choosing an alternative course
If you are thinking about changing your course it is helpful to reflect on your past experience, what interests you, how you like to learn and what has motivated you to succeed in the past. Note down any ideas about your preferred course, including practical issues that may affect your choice (e.g. subject interest, teaching style, assessment method, more vocational, geographical considerations).
Below are some skills you might like to develop on your new course:
- Written communication
- Creative thinking
- Creative work
- Business skills
- Being artistic
- Information work
- Being logical
- Oral communication
- Reading comprehension
- Scientific work
Section 2: Doing something else
Below are 4 examples of things you might like to do instead of university. Take yourself through each section as relevant.
1. What are the advantages of working? (e.g. to earn money, or to gain experience)
2. What are the possible disadvantages? (e.g. potential for limited job satisfaction and long-term prospects)
1. What are the advantages of voluntary work? (e.g. good work experience opportunity, positive impact on CV, opportunity for self-development)
2. What are the possible disadvantages? (e.g. unpaid)
1. What are the advantages of going travelling? (e.g. experiencing cultural differences and taking some time out to explore your interests)
2. What are the possible disadvantages? (e.g. it could look like you’ve avoided making decisions, or it could be expensive)
Taking time out for other reasons
1. What are the advantages of this? (e.g. time for self-reflection and making decisions, or it may suit your personal circumstances)
2. What are the possible disadvantages? (e.g. you may find it hard to keep yourself focused, or you may encounter a lack of financial support)
Below is a table that you might find useful to draw up an action plan. On the left, list your options. On the right, note down any actions that you would need to take to get there. The first row is filled in as an example.
Identify alternative courses using UCAS and university websites
Contact Student Finance to find out implications of course change
Going through any transition can be an isolating and uncertain time. You may wish to bring your completed action plan to a confidential careers appointment to discuss your ideas in greater depth. We’re here to help and support you.