Doubts about your studies

When things just aren’t going according to plan
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Now and then, students doubt whether they have chosen the correct study programme or not. This is completely normal. Often, it is even helpful to question your own situation and the decisions you have made to determine new goals or to correct the course previously taken.

If you are having doubts, however, you should not throw in the towel straight away! Review your situation first and find out which approach is the most appropriate for dealing with your own doubts, and who can help you in such situations. 


Are you looking for an alternative to studying? Then register for the »Online Trainee Speed ​​Dating«! Many companies from the region want to fill their apprenticeships with dropouts this year.

Further information can be found on the

Also the Federal Ministry of Education and Research offers you the opportunity to identify options.

Clear up your doubts and go on studying with a new motivation Show content

Are you having troubles, but still want to complete your studies successfully? When it comes to overcoming difficulties, the following approaches can be helpful.

Performance problems and fear of examinations

Review your experiences of examinations you have taken up until now. If you are still new to studying, it can be helpful to think back to your school days. When and how did learning go particularly smoothly? Monitor closely the best way for you to absorb new knowledge. With regard to overcoming stress before examinations, even the best preparations are sometimes not enough. If you experience such problems, the Psychosocial helpdesk of the Student Services Organization can assist you in an advisory capacity.

Too much to learn

Try to structure your everyday life better. Diaries, to-do lists, and a good balance between work and relaxation are only a few examples which can help you to organize your studies more effectively. Often, it can be helpful to organize your learning environment to avoid any disturbances while learning.

Problems with motivation

Motivation is very important, particularly in difficult situations, because it pushes us to achieve the goals we have set ourselves. Re-assess your expectations and goals. Are these realistic? It is important that you set yourself achievable goals and reward yourself afterwards as well.

Financial difficulties

In addition to state funding options, there are other sources to finance your studies. Would a student loan would be an option for you or could you apply for a scholarship?

Family problems/illness

Are there other things with which you have been dealing lately requiring your full attention? Is your performance rather limited? This can have both physical and mental causes. One option to remain a student, but to escape the temporary inability to study would be to take a semester on leave.

Lack of prospects

Do you not know exactly what you should do after your studies and are scared of entering the unknown world of labour market? This is a fear students frequently face because is usually their first entry into professional life with all advantages and disadvantages. At this point, your wishes for the future can help. Imagine how you can find satisfaction in everyday working life. When you know what you are looking for precisely, it is also easier to find it. Looking at practical situations can also sometimes open a new perspective and restore your motivation for and enjoyment of your studies.

Change your field of study to head in a right direction Show content

Despite numerous efforts, sometimes we do not manage to dispel the doubts we have about our studies. If so, it might be worth considering changing your field of study and/or your institution of higher education. This might be an option if you are sure you want to study, but not in the field of study you are pursuing at the moment, or that the institution of higher education does not suit you.

Change your subject of study

Do you feel at home in the city and at the university, but the study programme has not lived up to your expectations? Perhaps a different field of study would better suit your interests and skills.

Change from a university to a university of applied sciences, or a cooperative state university

If a traditional degree programme is too theoretical for you, perhaps a university of applied sciences or a cooperative state university (“Duales Studium”), which place more emphasis on practice, would be the right choice.

Change your location

Feeling at ease in the location of your university plays a decisive role when you study, particularly at the beginning of your studies. Is the city/town too large or small for you? Is the distance between your home and the university acceptable? Changing your location can help if you are experiencing problems—many universities offer similar study programmes elsewhere. You can either study the same subject elsewhere or a different subject at another university.

Part-time or full-time

Particularly for students who have to work a lot alongside their studies (at least 20 hours a week), studying on a part-time basis can be a reasonable option. You may also opt for part-time studies if you want to combine studying with raising your children.

Give up your studies and try something else Show content

If, after analysing your situation critically, you have come to the conclusion that giving up your studies is the best solution, there are many other options. You should not consider ending your studies without graduation as a failure. Vocational training, for example, also offers attractive career opportunities. Think of dropping out of university as of an opportunity to take up a professional career that is more suitable.

The career service of the Jena’s Employment Agency may be your initial point of contact. Moreover, the PereS Project in Jena can also help you work intensively on your re-orientation trying yourself out in different professional fields.

Central Student Advisory Service
University Main Building / SSZ
Fürstengraben 1
07743 Jena
+49 3641 9-411111
Office hours:
We will offer consultations and the handling of your concerns in person as well as by e-mail, video chat and telephone from 18 October 2021.

Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 to 12:20, Wednesday 14:00 to 16:00

Appointments can be made by e-mail or by phone.
Video chat:
Videochat Zeiten
Monday, tuesday und thursday from 13:00 to 14:00,
wednesday from 11:00 to 12:00
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