It’s been a while since I have written a blog post and that’s because a lot has been going on. Since I have written my last post, my boyfriend has come to visit, which included us going to see a play and Bohemian Rhapsody, I booked another flight to visit my family back home, took that trip back home (which is also where the beautiful photo of the Scottish coast comes from haha) and ultimately, two weeks ago, decided to leave university after the first semester. While my time here has also taught me a lot and I have also made many good memories, this is going to be a very sad post, explaining why I’m leaving so if you’re not into sadness, I advise you to leave haha.
Since I have talked about and been obsessed with going to Uni in Scotland for like the past two years, leaving after only 3 months was a really difficult decision to make. But my mental health has gone to complete shit during my time at uni here, which has to do with the location of the campus, the scottish weather and lots of small reasons. One particularly bad night, I went through my journal entries from the last few weeks and I realized that at least every other day or so, I was so sad about being at QMU. I couldn’t even be happy about going home because no matter how long I would be at home, I always had to come back and that was such a horrible thought for me. So, I made the decision to take care of my mental health and leave. I don’t really see it as dropping out, because I do plan on starting Uni in Austria in September, so to me it feels more like taking a gap year/semester. However, officially, what I’m doing is considered dropping out and it’s been super stressful to get everything sorted so here are some of my top tips for how to do it:
- Be 100% sure you want to leave. I know this is annoying to hear but if you’re just having a bad day, dropping out might not be the best decision and a lot of issues can be fixed. However, if you know that you want to leave and are certain about that, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
- Talk to someone from your Uni, like your Tutor or the school office. This is not because they’ll convince you to stay but because dropping out isn’t just you stopping to go to Uni, it actually includes paperwork and documents and you’ll probably need some help with that.
- Think about accommodation. I live in Halls and in order to finish the first semester, I had to find another student to take over my room so I wouldn’t have to pay for a year’s rent even though I would only be there for half of it. Don’t leave this until the last minute. As soon as you know that you want to leave Uni, look into how to get out of accommodation without spending huge sums of money.
- If you receive funding (e.g. from SAAS) let them know as soon as possible and find out if you have to (and are able to!) pay them back.
- Have a plan. I do not yet have a plan for the 9 months between I leave QMU and start studying again in Vienna, but I know that I will start Uni in September again. Leaving without having a single idea of what you want to/can do after can and probably will leave you feeling confused and like a failure sooner or later. You’re not a failure if you leave uni, but you have to do something else (sorry if i sound like your mom right now).
- If you can’t/don’t want to take everything (like pots, pans etc.) home with you, try to find someone to take them so you won’t have to throw your stuff away.
I’ve not even left yet but the past week has been the happiest week I have had while being here, simply because I know I will leave this all behind soon. Sometimes you have to put your own health and happiness before an academic career.