Doubts About Your Studies?

  A photo of students working from above © Martin Braun

Should I continue my studies, start a new subject, or pursue other career paths? There are different reasons why you could be having doubts about your studies. Depending on the reason, different solutions are possible and can help you reach your goals. Reflecting on how to deal with study blockades, changing your course of study, or transferring universities is not taboo at RWTH.


Team Advising for Students, offered by the Student Advice Centre, offers students different options to reflect on and face their doubts about studies.

Start of Studies: The beginning is hard.

If you are doubting your studies during your first semester, you should ask yourself if it's related to difficulties integrating and adapting. If the answer is yes, these are normal difficulties that occur when transitioning from school to university. Time and self management, study strategies with an unfamiliar large amount of material, and the performance to succeed, particularly in the initial semesters, are challenging.

In order to reflect on and tackle these difficulties to adapt, the following advising services are helpful:

Switch? I want to study a different subject.

It doesn't matter what semester you're in, if you lack motivation, aren't interested in the topic any longer, or visible performance issues arise, you should take the time to thoroughly analyze your next step. Various solutions can be considered and discussed with the help of this analysis.

The team helps you analyze the cause and re-orient yourself using the following measures:

Leave? I want to pursue other career paths.

There are many career paths open to students who may discontinue their studies. If you decide to stop studying after thorough consideration, do not view this as a step backward, but a step toward a brand new beginning. Not finishing your degree has a lot of a stigma attached to it, which could negatively affect your resume. However many employers appreciate decisions that were well thought out and are interested in applicants who intentionally made their decision.


SWITCH Initiative


Am I the only student doubting their study choice?

Do other students also doubt their study choice? How do they deal with these concerns? And what steps have they taken regarding this subject? In the Fuck up Stories students edition, four students tell us about how they dealt with the situation .

What does the science and academic community have to say about students doubting their study choice?

A podcast, conceived as part of the Next Career project, is aimed at all students doubting their choice of study, wanting to change their study focus, or just looking for information on the issue. The podcast deals with study doubts, changing degree programs, and dropping out. We warmly invite you to have a listen to the German podcast, you will feel relieved to hear you are certainly not alone!

In another podcast in German, advisors at the Student Advice Centre (ZSB), talk about feeling down about your studies. Again, we invite you to take a listen and, if necessary, contact the Student Counseling Team at the ZSB. It is always better to talk to someone. You are always welcome there!

Logo Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen