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    Hi,

    So I'm in my first year of University

    I think I may be struggling because I have never been away from home for so long before and don't talk to my parents super often as of recent even though they live in London, most of the time anyway when I call they ask me about if i'm on top of uni work and if I have enough food, that they are there for me and to call if I need anything. Sometimes I feel to bend the truth when my mum asks me about uni work since one time she asked me and I told her I didn't do too well on a piece of coursework she couldn't sleep that night, which I somewhat feel responsible for if you know what I mean. I want to be successful long term; if I get hit by a **** storm(get kicked out of uni/have to repeat year etc) due to my current state of uni underperformance ok cool, I will brush myself off and keep trying to succeed. But I feel like that happening to me will really hit my mum VERY hard. My older sibling dropped out of uni twice and I have nearly always been more academically proficient so she has a level of higher expectations of me and seems she's almost hanging her hopes on me.

    When I took a gap year before going to uni (I had no intention of going at the time, which my mum knew, for reasons I wont mention here to safeguard my anonymity), my mum got somewhat depressed and there were a few times she told me that she sometimes sits in her room and cries because of the state of our family.

    Now that I'm at uni, I feel like if I was to get kicked out or drop out, the guilt I would feel from her getting depressed at that would be near unbearable for me, I really love my mum and wouldn't want her to go through this so obviously I want to get my **** together.

    I think I may also be feeling like this partly because I don't having many friends at uni.

    What should I do?
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Hi,
    When I took a gap year before going to uni (I had no intention of going at the time, which my mum knew, for reasons I wont mention here to safeguard my anonymity), my mum got somewhat depressed and there were a few times she told me that she sometimes sits in her room and cries because of the state of our family.

    Now that I'm at uni, I feel like if I was to get kicked out or drop out, the guilt I would feel from her getting depressed at that would be near unbearable for me, I really love my mum and wouldn't want her to go through this so obviously I want to get my **** together.
    Hey there,

    I'm so glad you chose to talk about all of this, talking is so important, it's the first step towards making the changes you want to see. You've had such an awful time lately, and I can't tell you how fantastic it is that you're still handing in work, still putting in that effort, even though you're heart isn't in it, and you're prepared to put in whatever effort it takes to get your degree. You are amazing, and you shouldn't let yourself forget that.

    You didn't want to go to uni in the first place, for whatever reason, you decided it wouldn't be for you, and I think that you were right the first time. You forced yourself to do it because it was what you were expected to do, and you didn't want to hurt your mum, and can I say, what a loving, kind and caring thing that is? There aren't as many people as lovely and as kind as you, not by a long chalk.

    You say it's uni and uni life that's messing with your head, but it seems to me that it's the position that you're in that's causing you the most hurt. You're stuck somewhere you don't want to be, but you also don't want to hurt your mum.

    You talk about her depressive tendencies, the pressure she places on you to do well and get your degree, the insomnia and the crying. I don't know what your expectations of her are, if she's always been this way, even when you were a child, but I'm so glad that you can see that she's hanging her hopes on you. Let me tell you that you are not responsible for it. You are not responsible, you are not accountable. She wants do see you do well, and you want to make her proud, but no parent can live their life through their son or daughter. Look how kind, thoughtful and resilient you are, those are traits that you should both be proud of.

    You also talk about wanting to get things together in your life, but even if you were a straight A student, I'm not so sure that that would help either of you. You spoke about how she thinks your family is a mess, perhaps this is the area of her life that she uses to try and get everything else under control. But the thing is, it's not her life, it's yours. Unintentionally, she's making you guilty for not being that perfect student, just like your elder sibling wasn't the perfect student.

    You haven't spoken much about your father - does he place the same high standard on academic success as your mum? Perhaps you could talk to him, tell him how your mum makes you feel. Your sibling too, they've been through something similar and may be a good person to confide in. You need help and support in what you're going through, but it sounds like your mum does too. Maybe you could ask your family if they've noticed any changes in her behaviour, anything that would make them worry. Above all, be honest. It's in no one's interest, least of all yours to suffer doing something through guilt or a sense of obligation.

    I hope that this has helped in some way, that I haven't been too forward. I think you're amazing, that your sense of perseverance and duty is incredible, and that you are everything that any parent could wish for. I wish you every possible happiness and success with the academic year, and with talking to your family.

    All my love,
    - Miss D
 
 
 
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