Graduate Blog

Not enjoying your Degree? It’s not the end of the world.


Many people fail to realize just how difficult University can be at times. Sure, from the outside it would seem like the party never ends. That it is three (or more) years of drinking, socialising and trying all kinds of new things you’ll probably not get chance to do again. But there is more to it that meets the eye. It can be very stressful, very tiring and very challenging, especially towards the end of the year, when exams and deadlines beckon. Ultimately though, you are away from home for long periods of time, and it is a massive change to your life in general. The last thing you want is to wake up one morning and think you have made a bad decision in going there. Alas, though, it does happen.

It happened to me quite regularly, in fact. The reason was simple; I just didn’t like my degree. At all. Don’t get me wrong; the law department at my University was very good, and many of my fellow law students have gone on to do quite well for themselves. Law simply was not for me. It took me a few short weeks to realize that I’d made a mistake in my decision to do it, and to be honest I felt very trapped. The obvious solution, of course, would be to leave, but as apparently everyone I’d ever met kept on telling me: what would I do if I did leave? With other course costs soon to triple, and the numerous modelling agencies not responding to my applications, it seemed the best option for me was to remain where I was.

So if, like I was, you are stuck doing a course you are not really enjoying but have decided to stick it out, I find it is always best to make the most of a bad situation. The first thing I’d advise is get yourself a hobby, and I don’t just mean an alcoholic based one. There are bundles of things to try at University, and do you know the vast majority are actually legal? Join a society, work for the Union, get a job in your local city, join a gym, go for a run once in a while… hell, you can even set up a society if you can gather enough support. Sure, you do need to concentrate on your degree, but you might find that much less daunting if you have something else to focus your mind on. There is so much to try at University, and one thing you will always regret is not making the most of it. I do speak from experience here; I will never forgive myself for chickening out of sky diving.

Make the most of your social life as well. Sure, there’s plenty of drinking to do, but go for days out to places, or nights out in new cities. Some of the best times I had at University was ironically not in my home city, but in a day elsewhere. A night out in Blackpool springs to mind, where I drunkenly tried to convince X Factor winner James Arthur to come and dance with me. He wasn’t impressed, although to be fair he didn’t smile that much anyway. Giving yourself something to look forward to in this regard can, again, help to break up work you might not be enjoying so much.

Thirdly, I would advise to not give up on your degree just yet. Sure, the things you are studying now may not be so great, but you may well start something next term you really enjoy. My third year was full of courses that interested me, even if I ultimately did not want to take my law degree further. Three years of material is a hell of a lot to get through, and you would be very unlucky to take a great disliking to all of it.

However, you know your own mind. If your course is really not for you and if it is getting you down, then you should have a serious think about whether it is worth it. Nothing is worth making yourself depressed over. Just because your degree was not for you doesn’t mean that education isn’t for you, or that you won’t find something else to do with yourself. I stuck it out because I enjoyed all the other aspects of University, and I’m glad I did. You must, at the end of the day, do what is best for you. Those around you can advise you, but remember that this is your life. Just be sure to not make a decision you’ll end up regretting.

About the Author

Ben McCarthy Ben McCarthy

Hello there! I’m Ben, a 21 year old Graduate looking to pursue a career in writing. Up until June last year, I was a student at Lancaster University, undertaking the gruelling task of a law degree. And I’m here to tell you: it’s hard work! Currently in a (hopefully!) small period of unemployment and looking for work where I can find it, I spend most of my time writing any old thing I can think of, whether it is reviews or reminisces about my University life. It was quite a three years of experiences; if you can name it, I probably did it! I hope to one day take my writing further, as well as a potential career in marketing and promotion. For now, I’m just happy writing for whoever wants to read!

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