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    Just thought I needed to write this to just to finally get out the thoughts I’ve had for the majority of my life and to see if what I think is actually justified.

    I’m 21 and will be starting a postgrad course in September after getting a 2:1 in Psychology. A lot of the people I come in to contact with who know my situation always congratulate me for ‘beating the odds’ and for ‘getting through a tough time’. At this current time to me it would seem that gaining a 2:1 at a (very average) university in a field that really isn’t that respected and going on to postgraduate in isn’t exactly world beating.

    Just to explain my situation, I came to England when I was 5 after fleeing my home country after a civil war with my mom, and sister. After a while my mom found a guy and long story short I was put into foster care at 7. From then on I have felt pretty much on my own and to this day although I have friends and do genuinely love my foster family I find it really difficult to show or sometimes even make deep and meaningful relationships with people. For example, every girl I have ever spoke to I force myself out of speaking to them because I don’t want to get too close. This has got to the stage where I feel awkward even speaking to girls as friends and I hate going out when girls are around because everyone always seems to change.

    Add this to being a short guy (I’m 5’3 and I know it’s not the worst problem to have but for me it’s pretty demoralising). There have been too many times I’ve been told by girls that I’m too short or cute etc etc. In addition to the constant journal articles, news articles and pieces/opinions written on how shorter men are less successful and desired than taller men it doesn’t really do great for my self esteem. This is conflicting because I have always felt like I genuinely do have the potential to do something that will benefit positively benefit other people’s lives but I always seem to mess up at the wrong time e.g. I should have got AAB in my A levels and ended up getting BCC. I also had a really good chance to get a 1st in my degree.

    Another problem I have is that I feel like being black does help my cause either. Don’t get me wrong I do love being my skin colour and the only thing I would phycisally change about me is my height. But it’s not like I really gain from being black as I haven’t really had a chance to even experience my heritage or culture. I grew up in a dominantly white area/school and obviously a majority white country. And with constant open racism where people really do hate you because your skin is darker I’m finding myself not even confused anymore but just completely defeated. Like imagine having a child and having to explain to them that people will hate them with a passion; even sometimes to the degree where they’d rather see them dead. It’s not great.

    On top of this both my dad and my uncle have died in their 50s from heart attacks. It’s really a shame because I wish I could have got to at least have a conversation with them. But it just adds to the bleak nature of my genes that I may also die of the same thing, fairly young, most likely bitter and lonely. On top of this I have the struggle of being a graduate trying to find a job and make something of himself in a constantly changing world that we all know isn’t exactly fairies and rainbow dust.

    I just have a sense that I shouldn’t really be here and that if we didn’t have advances in medication then naturally due to evolution I wouldn’t be here anyway. I am honestly not looking for attention (if you knew me you’d be sure that that’s the last thing I want) but am I over reacting? I’m asking for an honest opinion on whether or not I’m just overacting because in my head I see no real advantage of me being here. The ever more frequent private breakdowns I’m having seem to be a sign that as much as I keep on telling myself to carry on and that I should be grateful the more I unconsciously tear myself apart. And when people say things like “you should get help”, thank you for the suggestion but sometimes help really doesn’t help.

    P.S. I wholeheartedly apologise if I have put a downer on your day – please go and watch ‘unlikely animal best friends’ videos on youtube to brighten up your day.

    Your journey to date has been eventful and clearly emotionally challenging. Leaving your home country from civil war, foster care, racism, body image and self esteem issues - these are all things which will shape you and affect your outlook on life.

    However these events do NOT define you as a person and they certainly do not dictate your future success in career or relationships. Being a Psych grad I'm sure you know the statistics of your future coming from certain backgrounds and ethnicities but they are not concrete. You can create any type of life you want by research, creating your plan and executing it. It's about choices, taking advantage of any opportunities coming your way and most importantly the self-belief that you can do anything you set your mind to. If you can picture it you can be it.

    As a start it would definitely be worth going to your GP, explaining how you feel and asking for some counselling to help you explore the feelings and perspective you have at the moment, I honestly cannot promote enough the benefits of counselling. It may sound like a cop out but all you have to do is make the appointment, go to it, wait for your referral then have your first session. You may be surprised at how much better you feel after it and how your perspective and outlook on life changes for the more positive.

    Good luck!

    p.s.: Also check out this link:


    life is hard. just try to enjoy the good bits.

    a 2:1 is very good and you've got onto a postgrad course . well done
“Yanny” or “Laurel”
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