University

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It is 5 years since I first started at university now. I always had the grades and desire to do well but my anxiety made it impossible to do well at that time. When I dropped out, I felt a sense of relief more than anything else. That was the first time in my life that I had felt genuinely suicidal and I was glad to escape from the trapped feelings that I was experiencing.

Over the last few months though, my unemployment and seeing other acheive things with their lives reawoke the desire for me to get a degree. I think I’d be letting myself down and my parents too if I never gave it a proper go. I don’t want to be stuck in a dead end job, which I can’t even get at the moment, and I don’t have the people skills to do well in customer service like my sister. I don’t look down on people who did not choose an academic path in life but I know that it’s the right thing for me to do.

I was always gifted at school, in all top classes and got the best results for a long time before my anxiety made me start wanting to miss classes. Seeing people who were at my school and much less intelligent than me doing so well in life makes me feel horribly jealous and I know I’ll have messed my life up if I can’t get things back on track soon.

One of my best friends whom I know from the internet has helped me enormously by encouraging me to apply this year and helped me to realise that it is possible to get by alright even if you have SA. It took a long time for me to work up the courage to tell my parents, I was afraid that my mum would try and talk me out of it or undermine my confidence which is very fragile. Luckily they have been supportive though and despite some problems with the financial application because of their dubious marital status, I haven’t ran into too many problems with them.

I had my UCAS form all filled in and ready to submit (it’s all done online now which is a relief, I hated that stupid paper form) but I was waiting over a month for one of my old college tutors to send me a damn reference. That place is still as disorganised as ever. I finally got it this afternoon and sent my form off, so fingers crossed that I get accepted on one of the courses I’ve applied to 😀

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6 thoughts on “University

  1. mspennylane

    I just came across your blog whilst browsing posts related to social anxiety. I experience social anxiety, though at times it is practically fine and at others I just want to stay in bed all day and hide. Particularly I have a fear of blushing which leads to social phobia, though I have only briefly mentioned this on my blog here: http://marmaladeskiesblog.wordpress.com/2008/05/25/erythrophobia/

    II just finished my degree. My social anxiety actually got worse after the first year of uni. I did dread seminars, but I usually forced myself to say small comments, and after I did I usually felt a bit better though there were many times when I had so much to say but couldn’t bring myself to say it. Usually I don’t think people minded so much when you don’t say anything, though people always have your opinions which can be good or bad. It’s hard to remember that it doesn’t really matter. Now I’ve finished I’m probably never going to see most of those people again.

    I understand your frustration in feeling held back by something like this. I hope that you go ahead and live the life you want rather than the life that the social phobia creates. Universities should be able to offer support for this, and I know a friend of mine was able to get extensions on essays etc due to anxiety.

    In my spare time I volunteered at charity shops and it really helped. The more I was ‘out there’ the easier I would find things. Of course, it never lasts 100% of the time, but it helps.

    Sorry for the long post. I know you have tried it once before so you may not think any of these things work for you, but I wish you the best of luck as I know how much of a struggle it can be!

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  2. Nick

    Thanks for the comment 🙂 I’m glad you managed to finish your degree. I understand what you mean about seminars, I used to dread them when I was at uni before. I think I’ve got a little better since then though because I really had no idea what was wrong with me at the time, I hadn’t heard of social anxiety and I thought it was just a problem unique to me. I know how to cope with things a bit better now so hopefully I’ll be better off now.

    It’s interesting that you mention volunteer work because my therapist (well she’s a mental health practitioner but it’s awkward to write that every time) recommended it to me.

    No need to apologise for the long post! I’m happy to get my first comment 🙂 Thanks for the advice! I’m going to read your blog now..

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  3. mspennylane

    I’m also interested to learn that your therapist recommended volunteering. Well it definitely helped me! Thanks for checking out my blog and I will keep reading yours 🙂

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  4. digitalsquid

    i can relate with your blog. i’ve also stopped schooling, only to go to rehab. i was so optimistic to start again. i envisioned myself meeting new people and acting real friendly and making lots of friensds. as time went on, it really depended on how i act day to day and whether i give a conscious effort. usually it sucks and i still take forever just to have the guts to leave home. school is a struggle, especially because we’re expected to be social. we study multimedia, and interacting w/ people is part of the job. the hard part is telling people or telling the faculty about my condition, because im afraid they’ll say its just an excuse. theres a preconception about kids nowadays. (even though im 25), about how kids have all these problems and such. do you have motivation to study alone to produce work alone? i wish i could work with people coz on my own i dont have motivation as well, u know.. .dreams… expectations of myself… if i ever had a dream it would be to be subsistent and alone, have the money to afford an isolated life with no one to bother me… what a dream. and when i try to be optimistic. what really fuels me? wanting to be alone? or wanting to change? ive been in wordpress the past couple of days surfing coz im thinking of the idea to start a blog though im paranoid. its cool i get to see people share their lives like u.

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  5. digitalsquid

    i surfed upon a guy who was 50 (haveu seen his blog?) here in wordpress, and still dealing w/ social anxiety. i guess, these things just dont go away do they. life and age creeps up on you, and sometimes i just say ‘hello squid’, is that you? ive always had big dreams as a child as well. at 25, will i ever have a normal life? friends… just …not being tense, relaxed..where can i go? so i guess the insanity is really kicking in, kinda like in a maze and see the exit, but still too busy hiding and crawling in all the possible corners, but this time if i dont leave, im done for. only one way out and no more hiding.

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