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    Hi everyone

    I am due to start a PGCE course in September 2014 - I applied through apply 2, got an interview, and was very quickly told that I had a conditional offer for the university. I have been constantly anxious and quite down ever since the middle of June. Sounds crazy right?

    Here's the backstory: I have an anxiety disorder which hardly anyone knows about, and thus normally 'happy' events such as getting a place at uni, or getting top grades is replaced in my mind with 'now i need to do better' and 'OMG this course is going to be rock hard'.

    I have been dawdling for a couple of years since Uni which is really my own fault, but it has damaged my self esteem and confidence quite badly (not that many people would see from the outside)and I question and doubt everything I do. My worry about the PGCE course is that firstly, I am not quite ready for such a demanding course: I have been mollycoddled a bit in my life (again my own fault mostly) and have quite a high level of dependence on others ( I don't even drive because I have put it off for ages, it makes me nervous).

    Secondly, the subject I am interested in is not a high demand subject, so there is no financial help and consequently tying that with my own doubts about whether I am ready for teaching or not, is making me quite miserable.

    I have told my family about my concerns, and although they mean well, they want me to do this course and do not understand about my anxiety. I recently went on holiday and realised that I need to take back the control of my life, but that maybe the PGCE is not the first or best step. I visualised getting my driving license, doing a TEFL/CELTA course and going abroad to teach English to gain confidence and experience of teaching and see whether I like it or not, with less financial pressure. I got quite excited about the thought of going abroad to be honest. BUT I am scared stiff of disappointing my family, the course advisers, and myself later on in life. I AM a doubter and worrier, but I feel this is more than just nerves - any advice? Thank you very much in advance!
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    Hi Razinho90,

    My advice would be to do what you want, not what you parents, family, friends or course tutors want. It's your life, and you need to do what makes you happy. No one else can give you the answer, as only you truly know yourself, and how far you can push yourself and also how well you can deal with your anxiety.

    Relax - go for a long walk, and weigh up the pros and cons of doing a PGCE to deferring and going travelling, or whatever else it is that you wish to do. Don't be too hard on yourself, as you've done amazingly well to get to the position you're in now. Ultimately, only you can decide, and only you know what's best.

    Best wishes,
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    Dear Targetpoint

    Thank your very much for your kinds words, it really means a lot!

    I guess it is my life, and in my head, it makes perfect sense to do some experience of teaching beforehand. Yes, I should have done the TEFL or something a couple of years ago and done that experience by now, but hey ho that's life! I'm just worried that I will be blacklisted from the PGCE courses, and that I will waste this opportunity. I AM determined to get my life back on track though, just not sure PGCE at THIS stage of my life is quite right. I'm getting in touch with uni hopefully soon to see what they say.

    Thanks again for your advice!

    razinho
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    (Original post by razinho90)
    Dear Targetpoint

    Thank your very much for your kinds words, it really means a lot!

    I guess it is my life, and in my head, it makes perfect sense to do some experience of teaching beforehand. Yes, I should have done the TEFL or something a couple of years ago and done that experience by now, but hey ho that's life! I'm just worried that I will be blacklisted from the PGCE courses, and that I will waste this opportunity. I AM determined to get my life back on track though, just not sure PGCE at THIS stage of my life is quite right. I'm getting in touch with uni hopefully soon to see what they say.

    Thanks again for your advice!

    razinho
    I'm going to play a devil's advocate here and say to go for the PGCE because, ultimately, you don't know how you will feel while on the course until you start it. I think, striving for more experience is fine, but maybe this opportunity is precisely the chance for you to take back the control and see that you are be tougher than you think you are.
    I would think long and hard about it but without the veil of fear.

    PS: looks like I'm speaking to myself from a year ago!
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    For what it's worth, I'm in a similar situation to you. Doing a PGCE in September, and though I have no nerves or anxiety about it whatsoever, I know I can be prone to what is known as 'generalised anxiety disorder' because I suffered it quite severely last year during a bar job I had. Before I got that job, I had no worries about it whatsoever. When I started with it, for the first few months I was completely fine. Then somehow I began to develop an anxiety towards it that slowly snowballed - to the point where near the end of it I was feeling strong stomach pains consistently in the few hours before I would leave for work. Then, when I got to work, the anxiety would melt away. This happened every week, and seemed to get worse rather than better, despite me getting better and better at the job. So not quite the same anxiety issue that you have, but the point is that I am well aware that I could develop the same issue on the PGCE. At this stage I don't really know whether this anxiety is completely irrational, or whether it will be exacerbated from doing a stressful and important job.

    Here's the thing though: I really really want to be a teacher. I absolutely adore my subject (English), and I want some of my enthusiasm for it to be passed on to the next generation. Though I do not know how much I'll like all the less pleasant aspects of the job (behaviour control and paperwork), I know I love standing in front of a class and teaching as I've tried it a few times with Sixth Form classes. I am certain that if I didn't take this opportunity I would regret it for the rest of my life, and somehow the prospect of my anxiety coming back scares me far less than the soul-crushing thought of being stuck in an easier job that I have no enthusiasm towards.

    So forget how tough the course will be or how well you'll do at it - think to yourself: 'how much do I want this?' Humans naturally regret opportunities they didn't take moreso than opportunities they took and failed at, so make sure if you choose not to do the course you are certain that in five years you won't be sitting in some ho-hum office-cubicle job you don't care about, aching with regret.
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    (Original post by razinho90)
    Hi everyone

    I am due to start a PGCE course in September 2014 - I applied through apply 2, got an interview, and was very quickly told that I had a conditional offer for the university. I have been constantly anxious and quite down ever since the middle of June. Sounds crazy right?

    Here's the backstory: I have an anxiety disorder which hardly anyone knows about, and thus normally 'happy' events such as getting a place at uni, or getting top grades is replaced in my mind with 'now i need to do better' and 'OMG this course is going to be rock hard'.

    I have been dawdling for a couple of years since Uni which is really my own fault, but it has damaged my self esteem and confidence quite badly (not that many people would see from the outside)and I question and doubt everything I do. My worry about the PGCE course is that firstly, I am not quite ready for such a demanding course: I have been mollycoddled a bit in my life (again my own fault mostly) and have quite a high level of dependence on others ( I don't even drive because I have put it off for ages, it makes me nervous).

    Secondly, the subject I am interested in is not a high demand subject, so there is no financial help and consequently tying that with my own doubts about whether I am ready for teaching or not, is making me quite miserable.

    I have told my family about my concerns, and although they mean well, they want me to do this course and do not understand about my anxiety. I recently went on holiday and realised that I need to take back the control of my life, but that maybe the PGCE is not the first or best step. I visualised getting my driving license, doing a TEFL/CELTA course and going abroad to teach English to gain confidence and experience of teaching and see whether I like it or not, with less financial pressure. I got quite excited about the thought of going abroad to be honest. BUT I am scared stiff of disappointing my family, the course advisers, and myself later on in life. I AM a doubter and worrier, but I feel this is more than just nerves - any advice? Thank you very much in advance!
    Hey hun,

    I have anxiety and totally know where you are coming from. Mines more social anxiety (big thing I need to get over considering I'm going to have to stand in front of people and teach, though I am fine around children it's adults that scare me lol) and anxiety about whether I am good enough essentially worthy enough to do it. Is there anyone you could talk to about your anxiety's? Maybe a group, forum or someone you are close too that understands.

    Tbh I would say go for it you have been picked for a reason your enthusiasm for your subject must of shone through and they saw what potential you have. Xx
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    I could have written this myself....even down to the lack of a driving licence! I have also questioned whether a PGCE is the right thing for me, given my anxiety. Mine involves social anxiety as well, so I am a bit worried about being observed constantly. Sometimes the thoughts of September makes my stomach drop. However, like you, I got stuck in a rut for a few years after Uni, working in retail, and the thoughts of continuing like that is what is giving me the drive to start the course.

    My anxiety has made me miss out on things in my life, and I am determined to change this. If I pulled out of the course now, I know I would look back and kick myself. I thought about maybe getting TA experience for a year, but knowing me I would get 'comfortable', and never push myself out of my comfort zone. I used to be very nervous at work, and sometimes if I was by myself and there was a queue forming I could feel panic attacks coming on, but I have worked through that, with the help of CBT, and now it really doesn't phase me. I am hoping that the PGCE will be similar. I know I will be anxious at first, because it is all new, and change scares me, but it'll get better the more experience we get!

    I would think long and hard about not doing it. I don't think many places will allow you to defer, so you might lose your place altogether. If you don't think you are 'tough enough' for the course yet, will a year make a difference? I have fooled myself with this thinking in the past....'next year I will confident enough/be brave enough/be extraverted enough to....etc etc', but if I am honest with myself, it is only by actually 'doing' things that I have gotten any more confident.

    Whatever you choose, I hope it works out for you. I know how much it sucks to have to make a decision like that, to feel like you are at a crossroads, and only one road will lead to good things! Best of luck x
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    Thank you everyone for your replies and advice, it really helps.

    My head is saying do the course and suffer the consequences, but my heart is pulling towards doing the CELTA, living life a bit and breaking out of my shell, catching up on life compared to others and actually seeing if I like it. I refuse to believe that we just get once chance at this PGCE lark - If I don't get in (that's if I want to go) to my current provider, then I will apply elsewhere.

    For me, it's also whether I like my subject for the learning part, or whether I want to teach it to kids which I am not sure about, I quite like the idea of pursuing further studies through masters and PHd too, so I have options.
 
 
 
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