Problems at university? Time for a change?

© Photo by Oliver Easton on Unsplash

Many students have doubts during university. They may experience writer’s block, learning difficulties or communication problems with fellow students and/or lecturers, or may simply find it difficult to motivate themselves. Perhaps the degree programme is nothing like they had imagined, or students realise they are not so interested in the topics after all. Private problems can also affect students’ progression at university. Doubts may arise for a multitude of reasons.

If doubts linger or keep coming back, it is worth taking a deeper look at the reasons for them so that help can be obtained early on. That way, doubts can be a valuable catalyst for bringing about change. The links on this site are mostly in German language only, if you have any questions, please use the contact box below.


Step 1: Talk about your doubts or problems

If you have recurring doubts or problems at university, pluck up courage and seek support. It may initially take some effort to talk about them, but you will soon find that you are not alone with your questions.

Step 2: Get to the bottom of the causes

To be able to bring about positive change, it is important to become aware of the roots of your dissatisfaction and doubts. Sometimes they are relatively obvious. But other times, the reasons are not apparent at first sight, and tend to be vague or subconscious.

  • In addition, Leibniz University Hannover (LUH) offers a variety of support and advisory formats for students seeking answers to questions or problems encountered at university. You can find out below who to contact if you are in search of answers to particular questions.

Who can I contact?

Step3: Sound out your options. What options are open

Students with doubts about university often feel like they are stuck in a rut. In most cases, however, a wide range of options are open to them:

Step 4: Make a change: yes or no? How can I make the right decision?

What could help me in the decision-making process?

  • Decision processes need time. It is absolutely normal to initially put out feelers in different directions and to feel uncertain about things. Be sure to take your time to decide, and set yourself a realistic deadline by when you want to make the decision.
  • Find out as much information as you can – but remember that it is impossible to consider all aspects in advance.
  • If you are finding it difficult to come to a decision, make use of the support services
  • Never make an important decision when you are in a poor state of body or mind. Your health is more important. If in doubt, seek medical or psychological assistance.

Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation

Motivational psychology differentiates the reasons for our actions into internal (intrinsic) and external (extrinsic) motivation factors:

Intrinsic motivation

I do something for the sake of it :

  • because I enjoy doing it
  • because it appears meaningful to me
  • because it interests me and arouses my curiosity

Extrinsic motivation

I do something because of external inducements such as:

  • good pay
  • a high standing
  • my social environment expects it of me
  • anticipated job security

Ideally, both intrinsic and extrinsic factors should play a crucial role in your decision-making. Things can often become problematic in the long term if extrinsic factors clearly outweigh intrinsic factors, or if there is no intrinsic motivation at all, or if a decision based on intrinsic factors leads to major conflict in the external environment.


Leibniz University offers students several options of support and contact person for various situations.

Key Skills and More 

Do you need support with learning, with preparing for exams, with time management and self-organization, with presentations or with academic writing? The ZQS/Key Competences will be happy to help with personal advice, seminars and workshops.  

Learn about studying at Leibniz University Hannover on social media:

Student Advisory Services
Student Advisory Services
Student Advisory Services