Dear Coleen,

I’m 20 and during lockdown I’ve been living back at home with my parents, and have had a lot of time to think.

I’ve worked out that I’m not happy at university and I don’t want to go back when classes are due to start again in September.

I suppose I was just getting on with it because I thought I had to but, the truth is, I don’t have many friends, I’m not loving the course and I’m not that happy. I think I just didn’t realise it until now.

My issue is, I think my parents will go mad but, worse than that, I think they’ll be upset and disappointed. Neither of them went to university and they were so proud when I won a place at a really good uni.

I know they’re proud of me and are always bragging to their friends about how clever I am. I think this will break their hearts, but I think it’s the right decision for me.

I have no plan about what I’ll do – I haven’t got that far yet – I just know I want to do something different.

I hope you can help.

Coleen says:

I think so many people are questioning their lives at this time. I’ve had letters from readers planning a career change or thinking about whether to leave a partner.

Although it’s a great time to reflect, I think you also have to be careful about making huge decisions while in this cocoon.

There’s a long way to go until September, so why not use that time to see what opportunities are out there, and maybe also request a call from one of your tutors to discuss how you’re feeling about your course.

It’s important to have discussions and get some input from others.

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Also, speak to your parents – I know you’re frightened of doing that, but I think if you start the conversation by explaining that you haven’t been happy at uni, you can begin to talk about it as a family.

It’s also important to remember that the economy has taken a severe bashing, so it might not be that easy to walk into something else right now.

I’m not suggesting you carry on with something you're not happy doing, but think carefully about all the pros and cons, and if there are any changes you could make to help you enjoy uni more.

How would you feel if you had to sit at home doing nothing or working in a job you don’t like because you need the money?

Good luck.