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Anixety/Depression. Can I apply for college? Watch

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    I turned 24 in November and I am yet again stuck in a rut and can't break out. I have been at applying for college for a good few years yet the thought of interviews etc just cripples me. (I also have an issue with getting lost. If I've never been somewhere etc I basically have a mass panic attack about how I'm gonna get lost and die, I've had it for years, I can't stop it.)

    I'm looking at applying for Edinburgh College for Photography because it's pretty much all I've wanted to do since I was 14. I have basically self-taught myself all I know just now and have been really lucky with the success I've had in my town/surrounding areas so far but now I'm at the point where I really want to learn/.

    I want to go and be taught the things I don't know and have trouble understanding, I want to be able to go to a place where there are people like me who have a passion for making art.

    The only thing is my anxiety is holding me back, it literally feels like barbed wire around my throat and chest and whenever I even think about applying my brain just spirals out of control.

    oh what if I dont get accepted?
    but what if i do get accepted? and they want to interview me and I need to take a portfolio.
    how do I make my portfolio?
    Where in Edinburgh is the campus?
    I've never been to that side of Edinburgh, I'm gonna get lost or be late and they'll be angry and I wont get a place. What if they hate my portfolio and think I'm crap?
    What if I get accepted and get there and I don't know what I'm doing?
    What if I'm the stupidest human in the world?
    What if I dont understand anything?
    What if everything I've taught myself is wrong and a lie and everyone is better than me and I fail?
    What if everyone thinks I'm useless and stupid?
    I'm going to fail and die.

    That is basically my brain 30 seconds after I log on to the college website and then I close the site and give up or I sit there for ages and just ponder the thought.

    Is there any advice out there from anyone who has been through college/uni with anxiety? how did you manage to cope? what was the application process like, do you have any tips about getting though it?

    literally any advice you guys can give would be super appreciated!

    Thanks!
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    (Original post by jadeandrea)
    I turned 24 in November and I am yet again stuck in a rut and can't break out. I have been at applying for college for a good few years yet the thought of interviews etc just cripples me. (I also have an issue with getting lost. If I've never been somewhere etc I basically have a mass panic attack about how I'm gonna get lost and die, I've had it for years, I can't stop it.)

    I'm looking at applying for Edinburgh College for Photography because it's pretty much all I've wanted to do since I was 14. I have basically self-taught myself all I know just now and have been really lucky with the success I've had in my town/surrounding areas so far but now I'm at the point where I really want to learn/.

    I want to go and be taught the things I don't know and have trouble understanding, I want to be able to go to a place where there are people like me who have a passion for making art.

    The only thing is my anxiety is holding me back, it literally feels like barbed wire around my throat and chest and whenever I even think about applying my brain just spirals out of control.

    oh what if I dont get accepted?
    but what if i do get accepted? and they want to interview me and I need to take a portfolio.
    how do I make my portfolio?
    Where in Edinburgh is the campus?
    I've never been to that side of Edinburgh, I'm gonna get lost or be late and they'll be angry and I wont get a place. What if they hate my portfolio and think I'm crap?
    What if I get accepted and get there and I don't know what I'm doing?
    What if I'm the stupidest human in the world?
    What if I dont understand anything?
    What if everything I've taught myself is wrong and a lie and everyone is better than me and I fail?
    What if everyone thinks I'm useless and stupid?
    I'm going to fail and die.

    That is basically my brain 30 seconds after I log on to the college website and then I close the site and give up or I sit there for ages and just ponder the thought.

    Is there any advice out there from anyone who has been through college/uni with anxiety? how did you manage to cope? what was the application process like, do you have any tips about getting though it?

    literally any advice you guys can give would be super appreciated!

    Thanks!
    Alright, I think it's most important to address the fact that you think you'll get lost when you go somewhere new, nobody knows their way around a town their first time visiting it! But, the great thing is, you can always ask for directions! Imagine not speaking English and being lost, now that's scary!

    oh what if I dont get accepted?but what if i do get accepted? and they want to interview me and I need to take a portfolio.You seem like you know what you're doing, you have just as much chance to get accepted as anyone else. Might as well give it your all instead of saying 'what if' years down the line!

    I've never been to that side of Edinburgh, I'm gonna get lost or be late and they'll be angry and I wont get a place. What if they hate my portfolio and think I'm crap?
    You won't get lost, the college will have contacts to help you not get lost, you can also ask the locals when you're in Edinburgh for directions!

    Is there any advice out there from anyone who has been through college/uni with anxiety? how did you manage to cope? what was the application process like, do you have any tips about getting though it?
    Almost everyone experiences anxiety, almost all colleges / universities are able and willing to offer counselling and support for those that experience it. I think starting uni/college will be a big step in lowering your anxiety.

    how do I make my portfolio?
    Many colleges/unis offer help with PS' and Portfolios -- many people on TSR would be able to help you too.

    What if I get accepted and get there and I don't know what I'm doing?
    when you apply to study, nobody knows the material before they've been taught it. You're applying to learn, not to be examined on your pre-existing knowledge

    What if I'm the stupidest human in the world?What if I dont understand anything?
    What if everyone thinks I'm useless and stupid?
    I'm going to fail and die.
    What if everything I've taught myself is wrong and a lie and everyone is better than me and I fail?

    These questions are ones that should be said openly to a psychologist/psychiatrist, I don't feel qualified to help you there. But I think I can safely say you're being pessimistic when you are probably one of the best students Edinburgh will have.

    You just have to believe in yourself.

    This is your passion - Don't let it slip away CHASE IT.
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    I can relate. I'm 23 and I've suffered from depression my whole adult life.

    I studied photography for less than a year at Glasgow School of Art in 2012/13 before leaving because I was so damn depressed.

    Since leaving I had been working part time while working on myself. I have matured a lot since then, even if my depression and anxiety remains. In regards to depression, I found it helped a lot to keep a notebook beside my bed, and writing down something positive every morning and every night, without fail. I've switched anti-depressant medication 3 times but the side effects were too prominent for me and i've resorted to just trying to cope in other ways. It can work for some people though, so maybe you should talk to your doctor.

    It sounds like I suffer less than you from anxiety, but interviews and speaking in front of people make me extremely nervous and my hands start visibly shaking and I start sweating sometimes. My doctor prescribed me a very low dose (2mg) of diazapam, which I take ONLY in highly anxious and important situations. Please note it's important to not take this too frequently as it is highly addictive and it will make you even more anxious when you're not on it, if you overdo it. Nevertheless, as long as you do not have an addictive personality, I would highly recommend this, especially for interview situations.

    After 3 years of working on myself and my art, I decided it was time to go back. I began working on my portfolio last November, applying for several art schools, and I just finished my last interview a few days ago. Since last Nov, I pushed myself to the limit to make a great portfolio, and it has finally paid off – i've received 3 unconditional offers so far and still to hear from one more school. I used to have frequent existential nightmares since leaving education, but they have stopped now. I feel like i'm back on track, and I hope you will get through your problems too so you can feel the same way.

    To conclude, people like you and me have to work extremely hard to get to where we want to be, much harder than people without our issues. We have to prepare twice as much for interviews and presentations, push ourselves harder than others to get things done, and unscrupulously organise our time so we are productive. But take it from me – it is worth it. The biggest lesson i've learned is to look at failures as a learning experience, and not let them hold you back.
 
 
 
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