So, after having read the insightful article by Athina Khalid, I decided that it was time to tell my story as a British student who has decided to leave the LSE. I applied to the School (as did the vast majority of British applicants) through UCAS. I will openly admit that I applied here on a complete whim, I’d vaguely heard of the LSE but had no real idea of what it was or even of the immense impact that the School has had on my discipline (Sociology, if you wanted to know) but I could tell from my teachers’ reactions when I told them I’d been offered a place that it was a pretty big deal. So, I went home and talked to my mum and we researched this place together, I am the first person in my family to attend university and thus, when I realised how lucky I was to get a place I dismissed all thoughts of attending anywhere else and threw myself wholeheartedly into the “LSE Brand”- as anyone who follows me on Instagram is all too happy to point out now I’ve decided to leave.
Why would someone who spent a good 8 months before coming here just fantasizing about drinking coffee in the SU and sauntering round London decide to leave after just one term? Well, that is not an easy question to answer or even think about but whenever people do ask, I just say “This just isn’t for me.” Coming here was a dream come true, but it was a pipe dream that various aspects of my life and outlook on the world just can’t work with. This isn’t an attempt to badmouth the LSE in any way, I love the School and I love the people I’ve met here with all my heart but it is a warning to anyone like me who allowed themselves to become caught up in the dream of “How the LSE should be” that, at least in my case, the LSE and London aren’t going to be anything like you imagined, it’ll be tough, noisy and frankly quite depressing at times and there is absolutely no shame in admitting that this isn’t what you wanted and that somewhere else might suit you better.
There are LOTS of other options. For example, I’m going home to Manchester to indulge in that age-old gap year trope of “working on myself” and full-time work. Then, it’s round two next September at a university that (hopefully) suits me better. Remember, there’s no shame in wanting to leave, lots of people across the country are feeling exactly the same way but please, speak to your Academic Advisor, mine has been absolutely amazing throughout this whole process and this is exactly what they’re here for. Drop them an email, speak to them and just be brutally honest about how you’re feeling and remember, IT WILL ALL BE OKAY!