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    thing is, I've lived away from home for the last few years, so I know it doesn't have to do with that as much. But yes I think the other two factors - the workload and the emotional baggage from being pressurised simply from having the 'Oxbridge' name does definitely have an effort.

    Thank you so much - have sorted out times with counsellors/tutors, and i'm having long chats with my parents about it. I think the root of the issue is indeed the course. Individual books and literature does really excite me, but when I think about how little time I have to do them in, and the pressure under which that would be done, i feel all the excitement drain out of me. If that's happening now, I'm not sure I will regain my passion for my subject. virtual hug right back at you

    (Original post by jaguargirl)
    The cocktail of leaving home, 8 week terms vs high workload & emotional baggage that comes with an Oxbridge place - all powerful triggers for any number of mental health issues. In my 3 years there, I witnessed several & knew of a couple of suicides. And don't even get me started on the heavy drinking culture amongst some students, that was so clear even at the time (and later admitted as) a coping mechanism.

    As other posters have said, you are absolutely not alone in terms of a) your experience & b) support available to you. You come across as incredibly clear thinking - I'm just wondering though whether the panic attacks are down to the triggers I mention above rather than your degree course alone?

    Get yourself to the university counselling service pronto - you need to get control over these panic attacks (have you tried breathing in & out of paper bag when one comes on - it works a treat) & talking therapy will really help you work out where to take things. Please don't make any big decisions until you're well into this process. There is every chance that, with the right support, things will work out just great staying where you are.

    Don't get me wrong - it may be course specific (I read History & we used to joke that our essays were 'O' Level standard (showing my age here!) most of time as we just didn't feel able to read around the subject. If it transpires that the course structure is the root problem and the only problem then yes, a change of uni could well be the right answer.

    You're spot on about sticking out this term and yes, use the holidays to reflect on what's right for you (no-one else or their egos/ vicarious bragging rights). If leaving & reapplying elsewhere is the right answer, then go for it. There is no degree course and no university worth jeopardising your mental health.

    A huge virtual hug to you - you've already made the first step towards getting this sorted. Don't forget, counselors first thing tomorrow & then onwards and upwards. xxxx
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    (Original post by jneill)
    Don't forget that students can and do suffer MH problems at any university, not just Oxbridge.

    Also Cambridge (0.35%) and Oxford (0.4%) have among the very lowest dropout rates of all UK universities. Although how much of that being due to good support structures, and/or people putting on a "brave face" and trying to "tough it out" is not so clear... (and clearly the later could cause yet more MH problems too.)

    Bristol has a low dropout rate too (0.87%)

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    I appreciate that, what I'm saying is that if ANY university had that effect on me I'd leave.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    Recent article in the Telegraph

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education...ure-not-alone/

    thank you - I've read this and it was very interesting to hear someone talking from my point of view
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    (Original post by whatnamewhatname)
    Thank you everyone - it's really useful to see other people's opinions and thank you for your advice.

    I think although things might and could get better, at the moment I am leaning towards leaving. If not only because I think I would thrive more in a less intense atmosphere. I'm going to stay in Bristol for a few days this Christmas to have a look around the university.

    I'm going to try and make it till Christmas - using all the support around. Maybe I'll end up loving it by then. But fundamentally I feel the fact that I actively am seeking for other reasons why I shouldn't stay (someone today said they never thought I was suited to Oxbridge simply because of the pressure and I felt massively relieved - surely I shouldn't have felt relieved at that?) points towards it being in my interest to leave.

    If I do regret my decision I'm sure I can throw myself into lots of other activities, and, if it is the Oxbridge environment I miss, I could always try to obtain a Masters here.

    Again, it might get better, and I can slowly feel myself getting closer to other friends, but if I like Bristol, I think I will end up moving.
    I'll keep this thread updated thought as it might be helpful for other people here in the same/similar predicament.


    At the end of the day I want to enjoy my university experience. I work hard if I'm happy. I know that. I've never personally seen the point of having a hellish 3 years for potential future benefits when my mental health might be at stake, and I might be better suited somewhere else.
    That sounds like a very sensible thing to do. Do visit as many unis as you can though!! You might fall in love with one with a much more relaxed environment. Maybe Leeds?
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    I am sorry it has been so hard for you.

    Since you never really wanted to go, it would be fine for you to leave. However, it may be worth trying to stay and finding out if you can synch with the place.

    My daughter went to Cambridge, her absolute dream school. She picked it, we supported her efforts; she was not pushed into it. She loved the first year but was constantly tired. The second year, she was diagnosed with depression, did not like one of her classes, and struggled very hard to keep her head above water; the MH services were essentially useless, which still makes me angry to remember. Reflecting on it over the summer, we saw her throw herself back into it and she did extremely well upon graduation. The whole thing was a great growth experience, she embraced her subject and is continuing in it, but it was very hard on all of us. She's glad she did it, but glad she's done.

    This is an excellent article:
    https://www.theguardian.com/educatio...ting-disorders
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    I'm currently a 2nd year studying English at Cambridge. My first term was the most miserable I've ever been - everyone else was cleverer than me and seemed to fit in so well, and I hated my yeargroup. I really didn't fit in, and although I had a friendship group I didn't really enjoy spending time with them. I had some personal stuff going on, and whilst I didn't get behind with work I never felt on top of it either; like you, I hated doing an essay a week. I couldn't understand how it was possible to get to grips with someone like Chaucer in under a week - the pace of life was absolutely manic so whilst I was able to produce a decent essay every week, it brought me no satisfaction.

    I retreated into myself. I don't really remember much of that term, but I remember being at formal with some friends and just all of a sudden feeling so angry and **** and frustrated that I literally just walked out after the starter and went for a run. I remember arranging a night out with some friends and then just inexplicably not showing up because I couldn't face it. I've never behaved like that in the past. By week 8 I was barely talking to anyone and I felt alone and isolated in my cohort of utter *****. As soon as I got back home at the end of term, I got appendicitis and went straight into hospital.

    However, I went back to Cambridge next term. We'd stopped doing medieval stuff so it was easier academically. The sun had stopped setting at 2 in the afternoon. I'd started to find some people I actually enjoyed spending time with. Slowly, things got better. I felt like I was making progress academically; I talked to my DoS about my academic frustrations and she helped me to improve my style and structure. Then Easter term came around and I suddenly felt so on top of everything. The days were long, prelim exams were done, and Shakespeare was fun to study. That term was one of the best times of my life.

    My point is that it gets easier. When I was knee-deep in Michaelmas last year it felt like I was locked in a battle not just with Cambridge, but with myself, and that I had no help. But not only does first-year English get easier once you move beyond medieval, you get better. You won't realise it because the process is so slow, but by Easter term you'll have a workflow for the week, you'll be on top of what you're doing, and you'll be able to get a handle on an author/text in under a week and feel like you 'get' them. I promise. Cambridge has taught me less about English and more about how many hours there are in a day, how many of those hours I previously wasted, and how I can be a stronger person and juggle my time more effectively to get the most out of those hours. My advice would be to ride it out. I'm not going to ******** you: this term will be ****ing awful. The holidays will also be miserable. I'm sorry, but that's how it is. After that, things will get better - I guarantee it. Come May Week (or whatever equivalent thing they do at The Other Place) you'll have found who you want to be.

    Cambridge has to tear you down to your bare bones first before it can build you back up in a stronger way. Stick it out, and good luck.
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    (Original post by Parliament)
    I'm currently a 2nd year studying English at Cambridge. My first term was the most miserable I've ever been - everyone else was cleverer than me and seemed to fit in so well, and I hated my yeargroup. I really didn't fit in, and although I had a friendship group I didn't really enjoy spending time with them. I had some personal stuff going on, and whilst I didn't get behind with work I never felt on top of it either; like you, I hated doing an essay a week. I couldn't understand how it was possible to get to grips with someone like Chaucer in under a week - the pace of life was absolutely manic so whilst I was able to produce a decent essay every week, it brought me no satisfaction.

    I retreated into myself. I don't really remember much of that term, but I remember being at formal with some friends and just all of a sudden feeling so angry and **** and frustrated that I literally just walked out after the starter and went for a run. I remember arranging a night out with some friends and then just inexplicably not showing up because I couldn't face it. I've never behaved like that in the past. By week 8 I was barely talking to anyone and I felt alone and isolated in my cohort of utter *****. As soon as I got back home at the end of term, I got appendicitis and went straight into hospital.

    However, I went back to Cambridge next term. We'd stopped doing medieval stuff so it was easier academically. The sun had stopped setting at 2 in the afternoon. I'd started to find some people I actually enjoyed spending time with. Slowly, things got better. I felt like I was making progress academically; I talked to my DoS about my academic frustrations and she helped me to improve my style and structure. Then Easter term came around and I suddenly felt so on top of everything. The days were long, prelim exams were done, and Shakespeare was fun to study. That term was one of the best times of my life.

    My point is that it gets easier. When I was knee-deep in Michaelmas last year it felt like I was locked in a battle not just with Cambridge, but with myself, and that I had no help. But not only does first-year English get easier once you move beyond medieval, you get better. You won't realise it because the process is so slow, but by Easter term you'll have a workflow for the week, you'll be on top of what you're doing, and you'll be able to get a handle on an author/text in under a week and feel like you 'get' them. I promise. Cambridge has taught me less about English and more about how many hours there are in a day, how many of those hours I previously wasted, and how I can be a stronger person and juggle my time more effectively to get the most out of those hours. My advice would be to ride it out. I'm not going to ******** you: this term will be ****ing awful. The holidays will also be miserable. I'm sorry, but that's how it is. After that, things will get better - I guarantee it. Come May Week (or whatever equivalent thing they do at The Other Place) you'll have found who you want to be.

    Cambridge has to tear you down to your bare bones first before it can build you back up in a stronger way. Stick it out, and good luck.
    Brilliant post. I'm so glad it worked out for you in the end. I think so many people feel like this in their first Michaelmas, but through bravado or not wanting to seem incapable in front of their peers, keep it to themselves.
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    If you can handle finishing off this year I'd do that then transfer than just dropping out
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    just wondered if anyone knows of anyone who dropped out of oxbridge music course
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    PS Reviewer
    (Original post by walkinthepark)
    just wondered if anyone knows of anyone who dropped out of oxbridge music course
    I did music at Oxford. No one I know ever dropped out from the course at Oxford. One person had to complete it over 4 years on disability grounds, and I almost didn't finish it, but that's all I am aware of. Oh and I think one person couldn't sit his Finals at the proper time due to heavy drug use. I think he did graduate in the end though...

    If you're an Oxford person (or even a Cambridge person), do feel free to PM you if you need a friendly, sympathetic ear. I know how gruelling it can be! :sadnod:
 
 
 
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