Doubts About Your Studies

Whether you are having doubts about your studies or are considering switching to another degree program or withdrawing from university altogether, you will find a great deal of advice and tips on this page.

  • Do you often find yourself wondering whether your degree program is still right for you?
  • Do you sometimes think about switching to another degree program, changing university or withdrawing altogether?
  • Or maybe you simply get an uncomfortable feeling in your stomach whenever you think about university?

We want to help find the right path for you. To do this, we can put you in touch with various counseling services, provide first-hand reports from (former) students with similar doubts and show you various things that you can do when in doubt about your studies and how you can handle them.

Telephone counseling for students with doubts

Thursdays 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Tel.: +49 228 73-5520

Finding ways forward

The doubts that someone can have about their studies are manifold. There are various things you can do depending on what kinds of doubts you are having and what is behind them. Please feel free to seek personalized advice on your options.

Carry on?

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Ev, Unsplash

For many difficulties that lead people to have doubts about their studies – such as financial problems, personal/health reasons, difficulties organizing their work or making progress with their degree program, and uncertainties about their career prospects – there are support options available that can allow them to continue their studies.


Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Burst, Unsplash

If you come to realize that you have picked the wrong degree program, maybe because you don’t like the content, can’t get motivated or made your original choice based purely on a “rational” decision that didn’t match your abilities, interests or values, it may make sense to switch to another degree program.

Information on changing degree program and university


Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Jan Tinneberg, Unsplash

A lack of practical relevance in a degree program and an (excessively) wide range of career options can prompt people to have doubts about their studies. Nobody who passes their Abitur is obliged to go on to university, and the fears that some have of not earning very much or not being sufficiently challenged if they choose a non-academic education are often unfounded. Switching to vocational training or moving into employment straight away can be a suitable option.

Take time out?

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Austin Schmid, Unsplash

If you’re having doubts about your studies, it can sometimes be helpful to take time out in order to take a deep breath, recharge your batteries, explore potential careers, do some voluntary or paid work and/or get clarity on your next steps. Depending on how you arrange your time out, you may be able to take it as a leave of absence.

Advice and support

If you have any questions or need support, feel free to contact the University of Bonn’s network of advisory services or our external partners. If you are unsure about which place to contact, you are welcome to get in touch with the Central Study Advisory and Counseling Service as your first port of call. First-hand reports from others who have been in a similar situation can also help.

© Volker Lannert

Advice and support at the University of Bonn

The University of Bonn boasts an extensive network of counseling services with people to contact for a range of different issues. The following overview is intended to help find suitable advice for you.

© Matthew Henry, Unsplash

External advisory services

Our external partners can advise you on dual degree programs, vocational training, career opportunities not requiring a university degree and much more. The following overview may help you find suitable advice.

© Bewakoof Com Official, Unsplash

Sharing and networking

In videos and blog posts, (former) students also experiencing doubts about their studies explain how varied and diverse these can be and how you can move forward. You will also find a lot of self-help strategies and group offers for dealing with doubts of this nature.

Events and workshops on doubting one’s studies

© Andrew Knechel, Unsplash

How do others feel about and deal with doubts about their studies?

How can small groups help me improve my skills, deal with insecurities and discover new goals?

These and many other questions are covered in different events offered by the Central Study Advisory and Counseling Service.

Einfach Connecten!
04:00 PM - 05:00 PM
Habt ihr Lust, euch mit Mitstudierenden zu connecten? Würdet ihr gerne Leute aus anderen Fächern kennenlernen und mal aus der eigenen „Fachbubble" rauskommen? ...

Self-reflection: Where am I standing? Which direction do I want to take?

How do I feel about my studies?
Self-reflection tools can help reflect on your own situation and make important decisions.
Your own view of a situation may be different from what others see. These tools provide structure and guidance to look at your own situation from different angles.

First scientific study on doubting one’s studies

The German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (Deutsches Zentrum für Hochschul- und Wissenschaftsforschung, DZHW) conducted a study titled “Studienzweifel und Beratung an den Hochschulen in Nordrhein-Westfalen” (“Doubts about one’s studies and consultation at universities in North Rhine-Westphalia”) as part of the Next Career project. The authors investigated the extent to which students have doubts about their studies as well as the impact consultation offers might have on academic success.

Researching options and (re)orientation

Discovering professions

Sorted by topic areas, find professions, educational paths and degree programs that suit your personal strengths, wishes and abilities.

Find degree programs

Overview of all degree programs offered at German higher education institutions including further references, plus information on how to choose the right degree program.

Find your interests

Use psychological tests to find out what you are good at, what you are interested in and which career options suit you.

Subject-specific orientation

Use online self-assessments to find out if a certain degree program is right for you or which academic disciplines suit you best.

You’re not the only one experiencing doubts about your studies!

Many students will be in the same boat at some point. Sometimes, these doubts are only short-lived, but there are also doubts that persist and get stronger. Ceyda, Farina and Florian recount their own doubts and how they tackled them.

Ceyda - Studienwechselerin
Farina - Studienzweiflerin
Florian - Studienaussteiger

Nightline Köln: support and info line run by students for students

Talk about your problems anonymously late into the night. Whether you are facing stress in your studies, day-to-day worries, exam fears, money problems or conflict in a relationship – no issue is too big or too small.

During the lecture period: Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri, Sat 9:00 pm to midnight


Avatar Jenkner

Lea Jenkner

Study advisor | Project Next Career

+49 228 73-5028

Avatar Fabian

Theresa Fabian

Study advisor | Project Next Career

+49 228 73-7921

© Next Career

The University of Bonn receives funding from the state-wide flagship project "Studienaussteiger*innen NRW - Next Career".

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