For some, University life can initially be quite a challenging time. Being away from home and facing the various challenges of university life can be a bit overwhelming. You might think that leaving college is the best option. There are many things you should consider before taking that leap however.

I’m feeling homesick and have been finding it hard to make friends.

Leaving home for the first time can feel very daunting, especially when moving in with strangers and meeting countless new people. The important thing is to try and take it in your stride and realise that the first few weeks are the most challenging part. Given time, you may wonder how you ever found it so difficult.  There are ways of decreasing the sense of homesickness too. Remember that there is never any shame in talking to family and friends at home regularly - no one expects you to be thrown into college life with little or no communication with home. However, do allow yourself to be free and a little more distant as time goes on, to ensure that you really relax into independent living.

If your new room feels strange and unpleasant, you should make sure that you decorate it as you would a room at home. The objective is to make this room feel as homely as possible. Posters, pictures with friends and decorations will make you feel far more at home in your new room.

If you are struggling to make friends you should strongly consider joining one of the college’s many clubs and societies. There is almost certainly one that will fit your interests and that will enable you to make new friends with similar interests to you. And remember! There are hundreds of other students in the same boat as you right now who are all as willing as you are to meet new people. You may make friends that will last your university life and beyond!

There are medical concerns that are making me consider leaving

Be sure to consult your doctor about the viability of continuing study through whatever medical concerns you may be going through. Remember too that it is possible to defer a year of study due to medical concerns and to return at a later date. This can be discussed with your course co-ordinator, school or college. It is generally simple to arrange if need be.

Financial concern is making me feel that I cannot remain in college

If you feel that you can no longer afford to stay in college, then it is important that you first contact Student Services and the Finance Office to explore all possible options aside from leaving university. Financial Aid is available to students whose situation has made it difficult for them to continue in education and the Financial Aid Fund is intended to tackle disadvantage by providing financial support to students who need it to benefit fully from their third level studies.  The Financial Aid Fund comprises the Student Assistance Fund and an additional contribution from the University. The Student Assistance Fund is managed by the Higher Education Authority on behalf of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. If you feel that you may be entitled to receiving this financial aid or would like advice on financial supports please email or visit the Financial Supports webpage.

I’m concerned that if I leave college now I may not be able to re-enter at a later date

If ultimately you do decide that now is not the time for you to be in University, then there is absolutely no shame in that. People grow and learn differently and sometimes taking a break from University can be the best decision for your personal growth. If you do decide to leave college, then there is absolutely nothing stopping you from re-entering the education at a later date when you feel more prepared and ready for such a decision. You can get more information about how to formally withdraw from the university at: