In defence of dropping out of university – Ashley Foskett

University isn't all its cracked up to be, according to Ashley Foskett
University isn't all its cracked up to be, according to Ashley Foskett

Ashley Foskett is an NCTJ journalism student at Highbury College, Cosham  

I dropped out of university in April 2016. Before attending, I never anticipated that I wouldn't enjoy it. 

Everything I heard and read was only ever from one perspective: how your time at university will be The Best Years of Your Life.

However, since attending, I think it is important to acknowledge certain misconceptions we are told about flying the nest for higher study.

Yes, the freedom, and particularly living in halls, is so fun.

Living with people, often for the first time, demands a closeness and friendship like no other I've ever experienced.

The ease of going clubbing and being able to walk home from the town is such a luxury and the novelty of attending lectures feels just like every American college TV drama ever.

But what if you are not a confident social butterfly? What if you don't like your course or don't have the money to spend on twice-weekly nights out?

Data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency reveals 60 per cent of students avoid going out with friends to save money, and almost half of UK students admit to loneliness during term time.

Making friends is so much harder.

Uni demands reaching out, and breaking free of your comfort zone to meet new people.

Homesickness struck me in a way I'd never imagined, and 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 to venture out alone and utilise uni counselling services.

And if you do decide to leave, know it is not giving up and you are not a failure. 

It takes a lot of courage to realise you aren't happy and your aspirations in life lie elsewhere.

Ashley Foskett is an NCTJ journalism student at Highbury College, Cosham