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    This is getting too much for me. On paper, my best option is to get a degree under my belt so I have a solid backup option, but I really don't know that I can do it. I've never been this profoundly unhappy and thoroughly miserable than I have since I started at university. Every single day I wonder what the hell I'm doing here, every single day I think about my future, and every single day it makes me sad as hell.

    The abridged life story: did decently at schools, solid A-levels. Never really enjoyed it apart from Computing and DT. I love making things, I love machinery and I love showing others how. I was dead against uni, and took a gap year to figure things out, hunted for apprenticeships, looked for work, couldn't find anything meaningful. Decided that I should train to become a DT teacher. Good wages and holidays, access to a good workshop, and I enjoy teaching. I was never exactly passionate about the idea, but it seemed like the 'least worst' option. I'm hoping to do something else really (I might get to that), but I need a backup option, which is why doing this seems the best idea on paper.I go to UCA in Rochester doing Product Design. There's 6 on our course and one doesn't show up. The people are okay, can't fault them. The course is just... okay. Very lackluster and not much freedom, not the kind of projects I can get passionate about. I still take pride in my workmanship, but it's the other side that annoys the hell out of me. Being told things like "the product is great, but it lacks a narrative/story" multiple times makes me want to rage. I cannot muster the energy to put a modicum of effort into work like the reports we have to do or any of the more mundane stuff at home that isn't problem solving. I just don't care enough. If I'm honest, since I've started uni, I've put the most effort into developing my business plan, the second into using the workshop to machine parts for the grain mill I'm building, and thirdly the actual course.

    I should mention the social side too, because it really doesn't help. As I say, there's 4 others on my course who actually turn up, and they're the only people I know. I commute in as many do here, but even if I didn't, you're put in halls with people on your course! Fresher's week basically didn't happen, and I was really annoyed to find out they got rid of our student bar over the summer break before I joined, which would have been ideal to meet people and chill out.Most of all though, I feel like I've betrayed myself more than anything. I look at the way I am, and I hate what I've become. I'm not myself, I don't carry the personality and passion I carry elsewhere. I used to have a good reputation, slightly unusual but charismatic I suppose. I'm the guy who turns up to parties with tons of homebrew, and by the end of the evening, we'll all have sung at least one sea shanty! People knew me, and I could just act like myself and feel welcome. Banter, I actually miss the friendly banter, there's just none of it anymore. I used to be an outdoors kinda guy. Over the last few years with A-Levels I slowly stopped going out walking, camping or shooting as the pressure got more and more and I had less time. I didn't really notice it. But now I look at myself in the mirror and I don't really see me anymore. I'm just another suburban student going to university. No trace of who I really am. For the first time the other day someone referred to me as a 'designer', and my first reaction was to try and correct them. Not that I have any disrespect for designers, it's just not what I ever considered myself to be, or ever wanted to be. Call me a blacksmith, a brewer, a machinist or a craftsman and I feel I can stand by that, but a designer... it's just not who I am.

    I think I've done a terrible job of getting my point across, and probably made myself look like a moron, but I hope you get the gist. The point is, this is driving me insane. Problem is, I lack alternatives. I want to start this business, but it's risky. My plan was to start it up slowly alongside uni so I have a qualification to fall back on if things go wrong. But I'm really concerned I'm not going to make the 3 years, and I'm not even sure I want to. I know it would be better, but I have no motivation for it at all. The way I see it, I have these options:

    - Continue like this, do uni while developing the business, but run the risk of not completing the course (wasting time and money) and/or being a miserable wreck the whole time

    - Drop out and just go for the business and to hell with the consequences- risky, perfect if it pays off, but leaves me in the **** if it doesn't

    - Look for alternatives. Not sure what there is. Couldn't find anything viable in my gap year, and I was desperate for something to avoid going to uni. Perhaps look at going to an agricultural college or something? Risks- the eternal anger of my parents

    I'm in a rut. Something's got to change otherwise these next few years are going to be depressing as hell.
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    I can particularly relate to your first paragraph. I truly understand what you feel right now. What would your plan B be if you was to give up? Are you sure it would be a wise move?
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    (Original post by Emily.97)
    I can particularly relate to your first paragraph. I truly understand what you feel right now. What would your plan B be if you was to give up? Are you sure it would be a wise move?
    My big passion is brewing. My plan is to open a meadery, it's a really untapped market in the UK and one that I think has great potential. It also has a low investment cost and scales well. Most of the planning is done and I'm currently doing market research.

    Problem is, it's risky. I'd basically be going all in and perhaps taking out a small loan. If it fails I don't really have anything to fall back on in terms of a career. So on paper building it slowly while I do my degree is the safest option, but I don't know that I can even do it. Other than that, finding work wouldn't be difficult, but finding a career would.
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    (Original post by gundog48)
    My big passion is brewing. My plan is to open a meadery, it's a really untapped market in the UK and one that I think has great potential. It also has a low investment cost and scales well. Most of the planning is done and I'm currently doing market research.

    Problem is, it's risky. I'd basically be going all in and perhaps taking out a small loan. If it fails I don't really have anything to fall back on in terms of a career. So on paper building it slowly while I do my degree is the safest option, but I don't know that I can even do it. Other than that, finding work wouldn't be difficult, but finding a career would.
    Are you sure? I'm looking at Brewdog and the likes of.
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    Is there a way that you could just start viewing the degree as a necessary evil to get you where you want to be? It's likely that when building up a business, you'll have to do a few jobs you're not interested in, in order to keep paying the bills. A degree could help with that. You won't be inspired by what you do - most of the time you might loathe it - but it's a means to an end. Let's face it, as as the owner of a start-up business you won't be the slightest bit interested in accountancy, but you won't be able to afford an accountant and you'll have to do it yourself for a while. Part of the degree process could be learning how to focus on the more mundane aspects of making a living.

    If it really is that fundamental to you, does it matter that your parents will be angry with you? I'd suggest that it does, if you leave uni and your only option is to go back and live with them whilst trying to job hunt or start your business. Would they react better if you could present them with a carefully researched business plan for your first five years? You could probably research that online and it might give you something to do which you see as directly assisting your ultimate aim. I suppose they must have the worry that you took a gap year and nothing much appeared to happen. If they're concerned that you would leave uni and just drift, try doing something concrete towards your goal which demonstrates your commitment - to both them and yourself.
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    Don't know if you considered it, but Heriot-Watt run a BSc in Brewing & Distilling up in Edinburgh:

    http://www.undergraduate.hw.ac.uk/programmes/C980/

    Looking at the content it's more geared towards large-scale industrial management work rather than independent artisan brewing, but it might be an interesting insight. The big plus is that the uni has its own brewery & distillery plant, so you really could learn the basics, hands-on, whilst being funded by Student Finance.

    Nottingham offer an MSc Brewing Science in the International Centre for Brewing Science, but that might be going beyond your interest:
    http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/brewingscience/index.aspx
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    the more you think you need to drop out the more that may happen might as well remove that thought from your head
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    I would suggest a good chat with a GP before deciding to drop out.

    You give what seem some good reasons for your course and institution not suiting you (although are you still only in your 1st year so really only a few weeks in?)... but it sounds much more as though you may be suffering from depression and that it started well before you arrived at university.
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    (Original post by Roving Fish)
    Are you sure? I'm looking at Brewdog and the likes of.
    Specifically with regards to mead. Craft brewing is massive and we have a really long standing brewing tradition, but mead is something that most people haven't tried, and I can't think of a single good commercial producer of it in the country! Most commercial mead is just white wine mixed with honey.
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    Looks like you have put a lot of thought into this. Would it be possible to see out the year while slowly giving the business a go. Have you considered contacting breweries to see if there are any apprenticeships out there? How about researching courses like the one at Herriot Watt and seeing if you could start over next year.

    Do you have student services you could talk to for advice, they might have suggestions.

    Whatever you do, I wish you luck, it is always hard to turn your back on what people see as the expected option once you leave school. Whatever you do, it has to be right for you. You are still young and have time.

    Good Luck.

    PS I love mead!
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    (Original post by Klix88)
    Is there a way that you could just start viewing the degree as a necessary evil to get you where you want to be? It's likely that when building up a business, you'll have to do a few jobs you're not interested in, in order to keep paying the bills. A degree could help with that. You won't be inspired by what you do - most of the time you might loathe it - but it's a means to an end. Let's face it, as as the owner of a start-up business you won't be the slightest bit interested in accountancy, but you won't be able to afford an accountant and you'll have to do it yourself for a while. Part of the degree process could be learning how to focus on the more mundane aspects of making a living.

    If it really is that fundamental to you, does it matter that your parents will be angry with you? I'd suggest that it does, if you leave uni and your only option is to go back and live with them whilst trying to job hunt or start your business. Would they react better if you could present them with a carefully researched business plan for your first five years? You could probably research that online and it might give you something to do which you see as directly assisting your ultimate aim. I suppose they must have the worry that you took a gap year and nothing much appeared to happen. If they're concerned that you would leave uni and just drift, try doing something concrete towards your goal which demonstrates your commitment - to both them and yourself.
    That's what I'm trying to do, but I'm not sure I can keep it up. I don't mind working. I'm working a job while at uni- packing veg boxes for an organic veg box scheme. I work on my own in a cold store, but I come home from there with much more satisfaction than when I get back from a day at uni. And that's the thing, I'm excellent at dealing with the mundane when I care about it. Am I interested in biochemistry? No. But I'll spend days researching it to make my beer better. Do I enjoy the maths, accountancy and heap of legal requirements to start this business? Nope, but I'll be damned if I haven't poured an enormous amount of effort into it with enthusiasm.

    I think it boils down to the fact that I can get motivated easily for things I care about to a point where it's more like leisure to me than work, but I really struggle to force myself with things I don't care about so much.

    The second paragraph is exactly why I haven't spoken to them about this. If I go to them now, it's just whining without direction. But if I come to them and show them exactly what it is I'll be doing and that I've really thought it out, they'll be less bothered. Problem is that my parents both grew up from a fairly poor background, started with blue collar work and made their way pretty high into middle-management. They want me to do better. When I was looking at apprenticeships they were getting upset because they took it as a step backwards, they just don't want me to live the bad parts of their past I guess. But really, white collar work doesn't interest me as a rule.

    I like you're thinking, it's exactly the same conclusion I always come to when I think this thing out. I guess that in the mean time I either need to drop out and go for it, or find a way to get motivated and shake this terrible feeling that's following me around. Honestly, I've never felt so low, and I just want to get out of this rut.
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    (Original post by reid5532)
    the more you think you need to drop out the more that may happen might as well remove that thought from your head
    My head doesn't exactly work like that. And I don't see dropping out an a necessarily bad thing so long as I can line up an alternative.
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    (Original post by dirtmother)
    I would suggest a good chat with a GP before deciding to drop out.

    You give what seem some good reasons for your course and institution not suiting you (although are you still only in your 1st year so really only a few weeks in?)... but it sounds much more as though you may be suffering from depression and that it started well before you arrived at university.
    I've thought about it, might try speaking to the uni councillor, not sure how much it'll help though. One thing that does bother me is that I don't really know much about how they treat depression. If that is what I have, I don't want to be given something that's going to make me feel content when maybe I shouldn't be. Your hand hurts when you hold it over a flame so you stop doing it, maybe this is my mind telling me I'm doing the wrong thing in the same way?
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    (Original post by rhiannon277)
    Looks like you have put a lot of thought into this. Would it be possible to see out the year while slowly giving the business a go. Have you considered contacting breweries to see if there are any apprenticeships out there? How about researching courses like the one at Herriot Watt and seeing if you could start over next year.

    Do you have student services you could talk to for advice, they might have suggestions.

    Whatever you do, I wish you luck, it is always hard to turn your back on what people see as the expected option once you leave school. Whatever you do, it has to be right for you. You are still young and have time.

    Good Luck.

    PS I love mead!
    That's what I'm trying to do, and it's definitely the best option. Problem is that uni is really sapping my energy and happiness to a point where I'm not putting in enough work into it. I need to work out how I can get over that.

    I'm going to see about breweries, Shepard Neame is very close to me as well as countless micros. Problem is that I don't really have any kind of experience in the industry (homebrew doesn't count!) so best I'd be looking at would be packaging or operations to begin with, which isn't so bad I suppose!

    With regards to the degree, I'll have to research it. I'm not sure how far that gets you in industry, and I already know more than enough theory personally to brew big batches of beer, mead, cider, etc.

    I'm just aware that I need to get a move on! I already took a gap year and if I waste another year I'm just pushing back the years until I can finally earn some decent money and support myself. This is really the reasoning for doing the business alongside uni, because by the time I leave, I should be able to pay myself a modest wage.

    Thanks for the advice! If you're ever down my way you're more than welcome to have a tasting! :P
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    (Original post by gundog48)
    I've thought about it, might try speaking to the uni councillor, not sure how much it'll help though. One thing that does bother me is that I don't really know much about how they treat depression. If that is what I have, I don't want to be given something that's going to make me feel content when maybe I shouldn't be. Your hand hurts when you hold it over a flame so you stop doing it, maybe this is my mind telling me I'm doing the wrong thing in the same way?
    The uni counsellor won't be about treatment (they certainly don't prescribe medication), so much as helping you clarify and understand the various pulls on you, so that you can move forward. They may conclude that you are depressed and need to see a doctor. Or it may be that they can help you prioritise what needs to be done next, to get you where you want to be. To be honest, if you *are* depressed then it sounds like your inability to progress your preferred life plan might be a key root cause. Sorting out your situation may resolve any depression, rather than it being the other way round. Don't get hung up on the notion of having depression. I'd feel awful if I was in your place - it seems like a pretty logical emotional response, rather than the sometimes irrational and unfounded response of depression.

    The uni counsellors are independent of the uni and I found mine very helpful when I was getting in a tangle about whether I should suspend my PhD or not. Mine were not only able to help me understand what was going on and stop blaming myself, but they actually asked why on earth I wasn't lodging a formal complaint against the uni! Obviously this won't be your situation, but it does demonstrate that they're "on your side". There won't be any pressure for you to stay at uni if that isn't the best thing for you.

    Your tuition fees help to pay for them, so please do use them. At the very least, they can be a very helpful sounding board for plans and ideas.
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    (Original post by Klix88)
    The uni counsellor won't be about treatment (they certainly don't prescribe medication), so much as helping you clarify and understand the various pulls on you, so that you can move forward. They may conclude that you are depressed and need to see a doctor. Or it may be that they can help you prioritise what needs to be done next, to get you where you want to be. To be honest, if you *are* depressed then it sounds like your inability to progress your preferred life plan might be a key root cause. Sorting out your situation may resolve any depression, rather than it being the other way round. Don't get hung up on the notion of having depression. I'd feel awful if I was in your place - it seems like a pretty logical emotional response, rather than the sometimes irrational and unfounded response of depression.

    The uni counsellors are independent of the uni and I found mine very helpful when I was getting in a tangle about whether I should suspend my PhD or not. Mine were not only able to help me understand what was going on and stop blaming myself, but they actually asked why on earth I wasn't lodging a formal complaint against the uni! Obviously this won't be your situation, but it does demonstrate that they're "on your side". There won't be any pressure for you to stay at uni if that isn't the best thing for you.

    Your tuition fees help to pay for them, so please do use them. At the very least, they can be a very helpful sounding board for plans and ideas.
    That sounds pretty useful, I'll look into how it's done. I think it's going to come down to me needing to find an alternative, but that's easier said than done. Just want to be left alone for a while to work stuff out! Maybe over the Christmas holidays I'll have the time and right frame of mind to look into it deeper.
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    (Original post by gundog48)
    This is getting too much for me. On paper, my best option is to get a degree under my belt so I have a solid backup option, but I really don't know that I can do it. I've never been this profoundly unhappy and thoroughly miserable than I have since I started at university. Every single day I wonder what the hell I'm doing here, every single day I think about my future, and every single day it makes me sad as hell.

    The abridged life story: did decently at schools, solid A-levels. Never really enjoyed it apart from Computing and DT. I love making things, I love machinery and I love showing others how. I was dead against uni, and took a gap year to figure things out, hunted for apprenticeships, looked for work, couldn't find anything meaningful. Decided that I should train to become a DT teacher. Good wages and holidays, access to a good workshop, and I enjoy teaching. I was never exactly passionate about the idea, but it seemed like the 'least worst' option. I'm hoping to do something else really (I might get to that), but I need a backup option, which is why doing this seems the best idea on paper.I go to UCA in Rochester doing Product Design. There's 6 on our course and one doesn't show up. The people are okay, can't fault them. The course is just... okay. Very lackluster and not much freedom, not the kind of projects I can get passionate about. I still take pride in my workmanship, but it's the other side that annoys the hell out of me. Being told things like "the product is great, but it lacks a narrative/story" multiple times makes me want to rage. I cannot muster the energy to put a modicum of effort into work like the reports we have to do or any of the more mundane stuff at home that isn't problem solving. I just don't care enough. If I'm honest, since I've started uni, I've put the most effort into developing my business plan, the second into using the workshop to machine parts for the grain mill I'm building, and thirdly the actual course.

    I should mention the social side too, because it really doesn't help. As I say, there's 4 others on my course who actually turn up, and they're the only people I know. I commute in as many do here, but even if I didn't, you're put in halls with people on your course! Fresher's week basically didn't happen, and I was really annoyed to find out they got rid of our student bar over the summer break before I joined, which would have been ideal to meet people and chill out.Most of all though, I feel like I've betrayed myself more than anything. I look at the way I am, and I hate what I've become. I'm not myself, I don't carry the personality and passion I carry elsewhere. I used to have a good reputation, slightly unusual but charismatic I suppose. I'm the guy who turns up to parties with tons of homebrew, and by the end of the evening, we'll all have sung at least one sea shanty! People knew me, and I could just act like myself and feel welcome. Banter, I actually miss the friendly banter, there's just none of it anymore. I used to be an outdoors kinda guy. Over the last few years with A-Levels I slowly stopped going out walking, camping or shooting as the pressure got more and more and I had less time. I didn't really notice it. But now I look at myself in the mirror and I don't really see me anymore. I'm just another suburban student going to university. No trace of who I really am. For the first time the other day someone referred to me as a 'designer', and my first reaction was to try and correct them. Not that I have any disrespect for designers, it's just not what I ever considered myself to be, or ever wanted to be. Call me a blacksmith, a brewer, a machinist or a craftsman and I feel I can stand by that, but a designer... it's just not who I am.

    I think I've done a terrible job of getting my point across, and probably made myself look like a moron, but I hope you get the gist. The point is, this is driving me insane. Problem is, I lack alternatives. I want to start this business, but it's risky. My plan was to start it up slowly alongside uni so I have a qualification to fall back on if things go wrong. But I'm really concerned I'm not going to make the 3 years, and I'm not even sure I want to. I know it would be better, but I have no motivation for it at all. The way I see it, I have these options:

    - Continue like this, do uni while developing the business, but run the risk of not completing the course (wasting time and money) and/or being a miserable wreck the whole time

    - Drop out and just go for the business and to hell with the consequences- risky, perfect if it pays off, but leaves me in the **** if it doesn't

    - Look for alternatives. Not sure what there is. Couldn't find anything viable in my gap year, and I was desperate for something to avoid going to uni. Perhaps look at going to an agricultural college or something? Risks- the eternal anger of my parents

    I'm in a rut. Something's got to change otherwise these next few years are going to be depressing as hell.
    If going for the business is really what you want to do, go for it. In your situation I think it may be okay to say "university will always be there" but money on the other hand may not always be in you favour is you want to go back, but that's another problem...

    Clearly you have put so much thought into your business plan and you want it to work, it is risky but in a way I feel like if that is what you want to do, you will probably put the risks to the side anyway. Maybe the best thing to do is to make up your mind, no indecisiveness. If dropping out feels right then drop out and don't look back, if it feels right to continue then continue atleast that way by that time you know what you want to do after you leave.

    You just need to make a clear cut decision. There is no other way around it I suppose.
 
 
 
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