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Depressed about uni.. Any advice?

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    I'm from Sri Lanka and I'm currently studying in the university of Colombo.

    I attended a local private school and was quite popular and I was almost always the section first and did well in my GCE O/Ls. Then I decided to change schools for A/Ls because my school didn't offer one of the subjects that I was interested in. I got into a very competitive government school and found it to be nothing like my previous school. I hated the rat race and competition and absolutely hated the teachers there who tried to fit everyone into their "model 3 A's student" framework and started staying at home.

    My father used to work abroad at the time and it was during this period that my mother found out that he was having another affair. She was devastated and after going with him to spend time with him she found out that he hadn't stopped it as he had promised and after a suicide attempt she came back with father who had quit his job.

    During this time we had a lot of issues going on at home, and since I didn't like school, I started neglecting my studies and started going in a downward spiral after doing well in the first two terms. I didn't tell anyone about the problems at home and my teachers started humiliating me in class and outside.

    Thinking about that time I don't know how I managed to get through that period but I think I stayed strong for my mother. I didn't do as well as everyone expected on my A/Ls(I got 3 C's) but managed to get into the University of Colombo which was where I had wanted to go.

    After I finished my A/Ls, during the year which we have to wait until we start uni, I did Edexcel A/Ls and took STEP and got A*AA for Further Maths, Maths and Physics and a I,S for STEP II and III in the hope of applying to Cambridge. Despite having done well in STEP, I didn't do quite so well at the interview and got rejected by Cambridge but got offers from UCL and Warwick.

    By this time the situation at home was much better(my parents managed to stay together without getting a divorce and had learned to compromise about each other's weaknesses). Even though I got offers from all universities which I applied for except for Cambridge, I decided to attend Colombo uni because I didn't want my parents to spend for me while I could do my bachelor's here for free and I was quite happy with my decision until I started.

    University was nothing that I expected. I got ragged(even though in my case it wasn't as severe as few others) in the university by seniors and this time, it hit me hard. I started hating uni and started skipping lectures. Everything seemed to be falling apart since doing Mathematics at university was all I wanted to to do but it was nothing like I expected. At this point I got into a severe depression and started cutting and burning myself. This went on for some time and during this time, I once again neglected my studies but managed to get all A's for Maths units but failed all of Physics and thereby having a low overall GPA of 2.75.

    Finally, a close friend managed to convince me to see a psychiatrist and I was diagnosed as bipolar. Now I'm on medication(Escitalopram 20mg, Olanzapine 5mg and Lamotrigine 50mg) and psychotherapy. It has helped me stop my self harming tendencies to some extent but I overdosed on purpose on olanzapine and sodium valproate three times.

    My problem is that I feel completely aimless regarding my studies(except maybe for math). I don't attend most of the lectures and keep on failing physics because I lack motivation to put an effort into it and I always feel so empty and have suicidal thoughts on a daily basis.

    I don't let out my emotions and can act completely normal while being completely messed up inside my head so most people think that I am seeking attention.

    I will be 22 this year and I am thinking about reapplying to Cambridge(which is my dream university) for entry 2013 as a mature student. I think it might give me back my motivation and will help me get back on track. But I'm having second thoughts about it because I don't want to trouble my parents for money as studying as an international student can be expensive even though they might be able to spend for me.

    I also have the option of completing my degree here and then applying as an Affiliated Student but I really don't want to stay here for 2 more years. Would it be a waste of time having to start all over from the beginning? Any advice on what I should do?

    I'm sorry for this long post and thanks in advance for any replies.
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    Hi, I am just bumping this as you haven't received any replies yet
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    Hello fellow Lankan :wavey:

    Firstly I'm sorry that you're having all these troubles and that you've taken drastic action in the past :hugs:

    With regard to Cambridge, I would have a serious think as to whether starting from scratch there is a good idea. There are three reasons why I say this:

    1) You didn't do well in the interview last time - how do you know you would succeed this time?
    2) As you are aware, it is a LOT of money for international students
    3) This is the most important one, as far as I'm concerned. Cambridge is a very tough place. It's a high pressure environment and thus is not the greatest place to enter if you already have health problems. You could manage it fine... but your health problems could become much, much worse. (Take it from someone who went to Oxford and had serious mental health problems!) I'm not sure it would be the best place for you to go, with your health as it is :nah: In any case, you also mention hating the rat race and competition at your former school and this would obviously be the case at Cambridge too :yes:
    • Thread Starter
    #1

    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    Hello fellow Lankan :wavey:

    Firstly I'm sorry that you're having all these troubles and that you've taken drastic action in the past :hugs:

    With regard to Cambridge, I would have a serious think as to whether starting from scratch there is a good idea. There are three reasons why I say this:

    1) You didn't do well in the interview last time - how do you know you would succeed this time?
    2) As you are aware, it is a LOT of money for international students
    3) This is the most important one, as far as I'm concerned. Cambridge is a very tough place. It's a high pressure environment and thus is not the greatest place to enter if you already have health problems. You could manage it fine... but your health problems could become much, much worse. (Take it from someone who went to Oxford and had serious mental health problems!) I'm not sure it would be the best place for you to go, with your health as it is :nah: In any case, you also mention hating the rat race and competition at your former school and this would obviously be the case at Cambridge too :yes:
    Many thanks for your reply. what do you think I should do? do you think it's better to wait and finish my B.Sc here?
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Many thanks for your reply. what do you think I should do? do you think it's better to wait and finish my B.Sc here?
    You sound very unhappy though. Do you think a change of subject would help?
    • Thread Starter
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    I have always wanted to do maths and I'm pretty good at it. We have to take other subjects such as physics and statistics in the first two years but didn't like any of them. But I have thought about changing into something like philosophy but it's not available here in our uni so far what I've understood is that I am unhappy because of the university I attend. Do you know of anyone whom I could contact in order to get some advice?
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I have always wanted to do maths and I'm pretty good at it. We have to take other subjects such as physics and statistics in the first two years but didn't like any of them. But I have thought about changing into something like philosophy but it's not available here in our uni so far what I've understood is that I am unhappy because of the university I attend. Do you know of anyone whom I could contact in order to get some advice?
    Do they have personal tutors at your university? In the UK, that would be the first port of call for someone who was unhappy and wishing to change subjects or get help :yes:
    • Thread Starter
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    Do they have personal tutors at your university? In the UK, that would be the first port of call for someone who was unhappy and wishing to change subjects or get help :yes:
    Maybe I should talk to my psychologist about this. She might have some ideas on whether a change of subjects could be of help.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Maybe I should talk to my psychologist about this. She might have some ideas on whether a change of subjects could be of help.
    That would be a good idea :yep:

    :hugs:
    • Thread Starter
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    That would be a good idea :yep:

    :hugs:
    Thanks for your advice. I really appreciate it. :hugs:
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    No worries. Good luck with getting yourself some support and hope you feel better soon :hugs:
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I'm from Sri Lanka and I'm currently studying in the university of Colombo.

    I attended a local private school and was quite popular and I was almost always the section first and did well in my GCE O/Ls. Then I decided to change schools for A/Ls because my school didn't offer one of the subjects that I was interested in. I got into a very competitive government school and found it to be nothing like my previous school. I hated the rat race and competition and absolutely hated the teachers there who tried to fit everyone into their "model 3 A's student" framework and started staying at home.

    My father used to work abroad at the time and it was during this period that my mother found out that he was having another affair. She was devastated and after going with him to spend time with him she found out that he hadn't stopped it as he had promised and after a suicide attempt she came back with father who had quit his job.

    During this time we had a lot of issues going on at home, and since I didn't like school, I started neglecting my studies and started going in a downward spiral after doing well in the first two terms. I didn't tell anyone about the problems at home and my teachers started humiliating me in class and outside.

    Thinking about that time I don't know how I managed to get through that period but I think I stayed strong for my mother. I didn't do as well as everyone expected on my A/Ls(I got 3 C's) but managed to get into the University of Colombo which was where I had wanted to go.

    After I finished my A/Ls, during the year which we have to wait until we start uni, I did Edexcel A/Ls and took STEP and got A*AA for Further Maths, Maths and Physics and a I,S for STEP II and III in the hope of applying to Cambridge. Despite having done well in STEP, I didn't do quite so well at the interview and got rejected by Cambridge but got offers from UCL and Warwick.

    By this time the situation at home was much better(my parents managed to stay together without getting a divorce and had learned to compromise about each other's weaknesses). Even though I got offers from all universities which I applied for except for Cambridge, I decided to attend Colombo uni because I didn't want my parents to spend for me while I could do my bachelor's here for free and I was quite happy with my decision until I started.

    University was nothing that I expected. I got ragged(even though in my case it wasn't as severe as few others) in the university by seniors and this time, it hit me hard. I started hating uni and started skipping lectures. Everything seemed to be falling apart since doing Mathematics at university was all I wanted to to do but it was nothing like I expected. At this point I got into a severe depression and started cutting and burning myself. This went on for some time and during this time, I once again neglected my studies but managed to get all A's for Maths units but failed all of Physics and thereby having a low overall GPA of 2.75.

    Finally, a close friend managed to convince me to see a psychiatrist and I was diagnosed as bipolar. Now I'm on medication(Escitalopram 20mg, Olanzapine 5mg and Lamotrigine 50mg) and psychotherapy. It has helped me stop my self harming tendencies to some extent but I overdosed on purpose on olanzapine and sodium valproate three times.

    My problem is that I feel completely aimless regarding my studies(except maybe for math). I don't attend most of the lectures and keep on failing physics because I lack motivation to put an effort into it and I always feel so empty and have suicidal thoughts on a daily basis.

    I don't let out my emotions and can act completely normal while being completely messed up inside my head so most people think that I am seeking attention.

    I will be 22 this year and I am thinking about reapplying to Cambridge(which is my dream university) for entry 2013 as a mature student. I think it might give me back my motivation and will help me get back on track. But I'm having second thoughts about it because I don't want to trouble my parents for money as studying as an international student can be expensive even though they might be able to spend for me.

    I also have the option of completing my degree here and then applying as an Affiliated Student but I really don't want to stay here for 2 more years. Would it be a waste of time having to start all over from the beginning? Any advice on what I should do?

    I'm sorry for this long post and thanks in advance for any replies.
    i believe in fact it might slightly increase your chances of getting an offer applying as a mature college they have specific colleges setup to cater for students in your shoes

    in regards to your health i would ignore what the previous post said and if oxbridge is truly where you want to be then you will enjoy the high work load provided you have a keen interest in your program

    applying after you have graduated as an affiliated student will severely decrease you chances of getting an offer they only give a few affiliated offers


    hope this helps a little

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Updated: June 22, 2012
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