Education Blog

Question: I think I’ve chosen the wrong degree. What are my options?

The Telegraph, 17 November 2016 – Read the article in full here.

Vivienne Durham: Have an honest discussion with your tutor about your conflicting feelings

I admire your strength of character in admitting your ambivalent and unhappy feelings.  Don’t panic. Every year undergraduates just like you think they have may have made a big mistake in the subject of their degree – or in even going to university at all. They are often among the most successful in their final university degrees and subsequent careers.


If you have not already done so by the time you read this, please seek out the university person who is your designated personal tutor or academic supervisor. He or she will be keen to help and have guided students through crises similar to your own.  

The university will be keen to help you thrive and enjoy your degree.

The first step will be to discuss openly and honestly with your tutor your conflicting feelings about your degree choice, about missing home and struggling to settle at university.  He/she will be a fund of experience and practical advice and will calmly identify the main issues that need to be solved. Your designated tutor will undoubtedly be able to give expert advice on your dilemma between history and English.


The university will be keen to help you thrive and enjoy your degree.  Putting you in touch with older students who have experienced and overcome similar anxieties at the beginning of their course might be invaluable.


Please do contact your university’s counselling service, if you have not already done so: they will understand exactly what you are going through and also be able to support you.  


Three years at university is very unlikely to be a waste. Please try to put to one side your worries about a future career, at the moment. Finding a solution to your current situation – which you will – will be a life-enhancing lesson and almost certainly make you more employable than ever, when the time comes.       

Vivienne Durham, schools advisory director at Enjoy Education and former head at Francis Holland School, Regent’s Park

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