If this term hasn’t gone the way you hoped

University of Leeds
5 min readDec 9, 2022

There may be lots of reasons why things haven’t turned out the way you’d hoped they had this term. Some of them might be impossible to get over, but if you’re not feeling it, haven’t ever felt like you belong and struggled with it all, then maybe, give this a read and know what’s coming up.

This holiday is the one when some students question things — it’s perfectly normal. There may be something you weren’t aware of that might help you feel more in control and get some much needed perspective on things.

People to speak to who might be able to help

Sometimes it’s really difficult to see the wood for the trees and you need someone who can take a more objective look. However impossible a situation might seem today, sending a few emails or having a conversation might surprise you. You’ve got nothing to lose right? Who knows what you might gain?

Student Information Service — a team of people who will work with you to find answers right across campus (and beyond). Drop in, email or call and talk things through — if you’ve not spoken to them yet, then please get in touch with them. They can also help you book an appointment with your school’s student support team if you’ve not spoken to them yet.

Leeds University Union (LUU) Help and Support — drop in and online help, plus knowledgebase. You’ll be able to see someone on the day.

Your academic personal tutor — someone who can help you on a whole range of things. If you’re questioning your ability academically, are feeling out of your depth with the course, or just aren’t enjoying it, then have a chat with them. They’ll listen and help.

One of our student information points on campus where you can drop in for a chat

A chance to have a proper break

If you arrived at the end of September, then chances are you’re tired. It’s been a long term, and if it’s your first year at Uni, it’s probably your first one without having a mid-term break.

The festive holiday is a good one to switch off, and recharge those batteries. If you’ve got friends and family you can speak to, then definitely do so. You might find a conversation with someone away from Uni can bring new perspectives and an outlook you’d not considered before.

Remember too — you’ve done the longest term already. After exams in January, you’ve got a couple of months and then it will be the spring break.

Having a chat with friends or family can bring new perspectives and viewpoints

A fresh start

The last week of January is the Fresh Start Festival. It’s a week of events and opportunities. The 350+ clubs and societies will be there looking for people like you to join them. Whatever your interests are, chances are there will be something for you.

It’s designed for everyone, but will particularly resonate with people in your position. Finding your place isn’t easy, and although it might look like everyone else has it together, they haven’t. The Fresh Start festival takes place because there’s a demand for it, which tells you that there’s so many people looking to make a new beginning — and so who knows who you’ll meet?

Find out more about the Fresh Start festival

Find your passion, meet new people, try something new

More light

Our counselling and wellbeing team speak to lots of people who find the dark days of autumn really difficult to deal with. Some people find the end of the year, with its low light levels and leaves gone from the trees hard to deal with.

By January, we’re gaining about 15 minutes of daylight a week, and that’s an hour extra by the end of the month. By the end of the first week of February, it’s light past 5 o’clock and that can make such a difference to your wellbeing. Within a few weeks of being back, campus, gardens and parks will come alive too — those green shoots of crocus and daffodils will be here by February.

University of Leeds counselling and wellbeing service

Dafodills in the warm March air, Chancellor’s Court.

Opportunities you might not have thought of

The start of a new year means new opportunities that you might not have thought of before.

The second week of February is student volunteering week. With events, talks and opportunities, it’s a good time to do something completely different. You don’t even have to wait until then. Find out more about volunteering at Uni.

Fancy a summer abroad? Many of the opportunies to apply take place from January onwards. Find out more about our summer abroad opportunities

Part time work? Not just useful for bringing in more money, but doing something new, the feeling of being needed, meeting people and much more. Joblink in the LUU building can get you started.

It’s no good — I just don’t know where to even start

And that’s OK too. It’s an easy trap to fall into to just assume Uni isn’t for you, without analysing exactly what the issues are. Spend some time actually working out what bits work, and what bits don’t. There may be some things that are seemingly impossible to work around, for instance health or money issues. Even if you’re not really feeling it, why not give the following a go?

Academic

Money

Health

Mental health

Halls of residence

Private accommodation

  • Unipol’s advice pages

Deciding to leave University

We’ve got a whole section on our website about leaving the University. You’ll find all the things that you need to do listed there. In the end, this is your decision. However, you know how you think better than anyone — and make sure the 5 or 10 year on version of you would be happy you’d done everything to make things work.

If you’re not able to stay with us, then wherever your life takes you, thanks for choosing to come and study with us. We wish you all the very best for the future!

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