I dropped out of university in April 2016. Before attending, I never anticipated that I wouldn't enjoy it.Â
Everything I heard and read was only ever from one perspective: how your time at university will be TheÂ Best Years of Your Life.
However,Â since attending, I think it is important toÂ acknowledge certain misconceptions we are told about flying the nest for higher study.
Yes, the freedom, and particularly living in halls, is soÂ fun.
Living with people, often for the first time, demands a closeness and friendshipÂ like no other I'veÂ ever experienced.
The ease of going clubbing and being able to walk home from the town is such aÂ luxury and the novelty of attending lectures feels just like every American college TV drama ever.
ButÂ what if you are not a confident social butterfly? What if you don't like your course or don't have theÂ money to spend on twice-weekly nights out?
Data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency reveals 60Â per cent ofÂ students avoid going out with friends to save money, and almost half of UK students admit toÂ loneliness during term time.
Making friends is so much harder.
Uni demands reaching out, and breakingÂ free of your comfort zone to meet new people.
Homesickness struck me in a way I'd never imagined, andÂ financial stress (particularly when looking for second year housing) is especially taxing.
My advice to anyone who is struggling: be as proactive as possible. Join societies, don't be afraid toÂ venture out alone and utilise uni counselling services.
And if you do decide to leave, know it is not giving upÂ and you are not a failure.Â
It takes a lot of courage to realise you aren't happy and yourÂ aspirations in life lie elsewhere.
Ashley Foskett is an NCTJÂ journalismÂ student at Highbury College, Cosham