Gap year struggles Watch

Anonymous #1
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Hi,

Throughout my life i've always been academically capable and extremely driven, expecting high things for myself for the future. I finished my A-Levels this year and got 3 A*s and went to a top UK uni. However, once at the uni I found the course was extremely boring and difficult and ended up dropping out.

This was never something that was part of the dream, the plan, everything I worked so hard for this year was to get into this university and all of a sudden it's awful and I have to get away. I've now returned home and have just lost all confidence and hope with my life, I've reapplied to uni for another course for next year but I just have so many doubts due to the bad experiences, what if it happens again? What if I can't do the work? I've applied for Economics, a course I haven't studied at a-level as it wasn't offered to me.

So far i've done little with my time except go out with my mother, and i'm becoming very sad and feeling hopeless. I can't even bring myself to apply for a job now as the prospect of an interview now terrifies me for some reason. But previously I had to have a fairly difficult interview for the university that I attended. My friends are all at university having a good time and I literally have none at home. When I visit my friends all the problems go away, i've always been one that needs to be talking to people and seeing friends often to maintain happiness.

Do I sound l have some sort of depression or anxiety or something? Can anybody offer advice?
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chelseadagg3r
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#2
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Hi,

Throughout my life i've always been academically capable and extremely driven, expecting high things for myself for the future. I finished my A-Levels this year and got 3 A*s and went to a top UK uni. However, once at the uni I found the course was extremely boring and difficult and ended up dropping out.

This was never something that was part of the dream, the plan, everything I worked so hard for this year was to get into this university and all of a sudden it's awful and I have to get away. I've now returned home and have just lost all confidence and hope with my life, I've reapplied to uni for another course for next year but I just have so many doubts due to the bad experiences, what if it happens again? What if I can't do the work? I've applied for Economics, a course I haven't studied at a-level as it wasn't offered to me.

So far i've done little with my time except go out with my mother, and i'm becoming very sad and feeling hopeless. I can't even bring myself to apply for a job now as the prospect of an interview now terrifies me for some reason. But previously I had to have a fairly difficult interview for the university that I attended. My friends are all at university having a good time and I literally have none at home. When I visit my friends all the problems go away, i've always been one that needs to be talking to people and seeing friends often to maintain happiness.

Do I sound l have some sort of depression or anxiety or something? Can anybody offer advice?
It does sound like you're having a hard time, I'm sorry to hear it. You'd probably benefit from speaking to your GP about how you're feeling. Maybe you could look into joining a club of regular session of some kind in your area. Maybe a football team, a fitness class, or a book group or something? You could find it helps you make more friends where you are at the moment. You might also like to look into volunteering
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Count Bezukhov
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#3
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I'm in a bit of a similar position. I decided to take a gap year after results day whilst all of my friends have gone on to university. It is a bit lonely at times, but try to keep in contact with them on social media, via text etc whenever you can. Find things to keep you busy in the meantime as well. I've downloaded an app called Duolingo and have decided to learn a bit of French in my spare time. I'm also applying for Economics this year, so I've just bought a 1st year undergrad textbook (wasn't available at A Level for me either) to introduce me to the core concepts and essentially catch-up with others who have already studied it. I'm also working currently which does help to pass the time, and the extra money will be nice for uni next year too. Any spare cash that I have will be used for travelling next summer, which will be a good opportunity to use my language skills irl and visit places.

To summarise: keep yourself busy, read up on your subject, and try to enjoy your time as best as possible
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ever so grateful
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(Original post by Anonymous)
x

First off, this isn't clinical depression (people should stop associating all temporary hardship situations with depression); we all get a bit down by what life throws at us sometimes! As suggested above, you just need to keep yourself busy! You must be feeling down because you are stuck home contemplating your friends' lives! Find a new hobby/ learn a new skill and go meet new people! Make the most of your free time.

Secondly, before setting off on a new path (it's a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly), it's strongly advised to identify the roots of your previous problems and solve them once and for all: what is it that you didn't like about your last course? Is there anything you could have done differently?

To help you bounce back from your recent setbacks and think clearly, I'd recommend reading the IQ Matrix's self-help blog entries; you'll come out brand new after that (if you're willing to work on bettering yourself).

Onwards and upwards!
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Anonymous #2
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If interviews scare you but you want something to do you could try volunteering? This can often be very rewarding work and a way to meet new people and make new friends. Also it will give you something to focus on and experience of different jobs and working environments which could help you with career choices?
I really enjoyed volunteering with the RSPCA as all the people there were really friendly and supportive and it was a great atmosphere.

Talking through your fears with your friends who are still at uni at the moment might help as well, as they will know you better so could give you better advice as to how they coped with uni, you might even find that they struggled too.
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Anonymous #3
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Hi, I am very much in the same boat as you although I've done it the other way around.
I got the same A level results as you too...i just took a gap year straight from sixth form and am now just starting first year at uni.
however because of the problems that developed during my gap year I'm finding uni awful...i don't understand anything and its so over whelming to the point where I'm seriously considering dropping out.

I am not in a good position to help as my life is currently a mess...all i can say is please please please learn from my mistakes.
The same thing happened to me in my gap year, i was lonely and got more and more anxious. I had a job for 2 days before i had a panic attack and left. I couldn't bring myself to go to any interviews or anything after that. I did nothing useful with my year and it has ruined my mental health.
Please try to push yourself to do something. Don't sit around alone and let these feelings stew as it will only get worse. Do voluntary work or anything at all to keep yourself busy, you'll gain confidence as you go and can always apply for a paid job later.
Don't make the same mistake i did as I'm now worse than I've ever been. Good luck i hope things get better.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Hi, I am very much in the same boat as you although I've done it the other way around.
I got the same A level results as you too...i just took a gap year straight from sixth form and am now just starting first year at uni.
however because of the problems that developed during my gap year I'm finding uni awful...i don't understand anything and its so over whelming to the point where I'm seriously considering dropping out.

I am not in a good position to help as my life is currently a mess...all i can say is please please please learn from my mistakes.
The same thing happened to me in my gap year, i was lonely and got more and more anxious. I had a job for 2 days before i had a panic attack and left. I couldn't bring myself to go to any interviews or anything after that. I did nothing useful with my year and it has ruined my mental health.
Please try to push yourself to do something. Don't sit around alone and let these feelings stew as it will only get worse. Do voluntary work or anything at all to keep yourself busy, you'll gain confidence as you go and can always apply for a paid job later.
Don't make the same mistake i did as I'm now worse than I've ever been. Good luck i hope things get better.
Wow, i'm so, so, so sorry to hear of this. Honestly I believe it just takes some people longer to find their calling in life, whilst i'm still pretty lost and down, i'm starting to become more optimistic and happier. What course are you doing now and what sort of uni is it? Do you think it's perhaps because you're just rusty on a level content or? Advice i'd give is to have a long hard think about your future, what you really want. I used to walk around the city I was in and just think, sit on benches and think. Perhaps riding out the degree a little longer might help (i know from my experiences you can't just 'ride' a degree, but you could perhaps keep trying until you're literally forced out) because based on your gap year experiences it's perhaps not good to drop out and go back home without a concrete plan.



Finally, thanks all above for the advice i'm taking it all on board.
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undercxver
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Gap years can be scary especially if you're not up to much during it since you have more time to over think about things. Try to get involved in some sort of gap year schemes. Or get experience in the field you're looking to study. Maybe get a paid job, continue doing your hobby? Just do something. Don't let that time go to waste. You'll realise how precious it is once your gap year is over.

I hope the next few years goes by better than you expect. Have a positive outlook on life and I'm sure it would all be for the best. Good luck!
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LittleThinker
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Hey,
I know how you feel. I felt the exact same way. It's really tough especially when you think you've picked something you enjoy. I got an unconditional offer to study law and was so happy that I never realised it was the wrong choice. Before I started I had a strange gut feeling telling me I'd pick the wrong degree and this continued. I ignored it and put it down to just nerves. I stayed in the degree for about 2 months and then hated it so much I left. I'd always been so high achieving that I couldn't understand what had happened. I felt unable to physically get up from bed. I went to uni in the same city that I live in so I still had my part time job. It got to the point where I felt so bad I left my job which I did like. I wasn't thinking logically. In January, I found an internship and started volunteering within the sector I'm going to study next year. I also joined the gym and started going to classes with my sister. I felt so terrible that when I started taking my driving lessons, I couldn't focus at all. Hopefully, I get to travel in a couple of months. Reading about how a gap year is supposed to be the best year of your life will only make you feel worse.

It's been hard to get a job and I regret leaving mine even if it wasn't the best pay or even the best hours. I think there's good days and a few days when things get overwhelming and I wish I had picked the right course. You need to stop blaming yourself which I'm sure you're doing since I still haven't stopped. Talking out your problems will help and a lot of what you feel might be stress. I didn't realise before but losing a degree and education especially when you're under the impression that it's something you're good at can be like losing your identity and can lead to a lot of stress.
It's likely that you're not depressed and are just going through a hard time. I thought I was depressed too!!
Hope this helps.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by LittleThinker)
Hey,
I know how you feel. I felt the exact same way. It's really tough especially when you think you've picked something you enjoy. I got an unconditional offer to study law and was so happy that I never realised it was the wrong choice. Before I started I had a strange gut feeling telling me I'd pick the wrong degree and this continued. I ignored it and put it down to just nerves. I stayed in the degree for about 2 months and then hated it so much I left. I'd always been so high achieving that I couldn't understand what had happened. I felt unable to physically get up from bed. I went to uni in the same city that I live in so I still had my part time job. It got to the point where I felt so bad I left my job which I did like. I wasn't thinking logically. In January, I found an internship and started volunteering within the sector I'm going to study next year. I also joined the gym and started going to classes with my sister. I felt so terrible that when I started taking my driving lessons, I couldn't focus at all. Hopefully, I get to travel in a couple of months. Reading about how a gap year is supposed to be the best year of your life will only make you feel worse.

It's been hard to get a job and I regret leaving mine even if it wasn't the best pay or even the best hours. I think there's good days and a few days when things get overwhelming and I wish I had picked the right course. You need to stop blaming yourself which I'm sure you're doing since I still haven't stopped. Talking out your problems will help and a lot of what you feel might be stress. I didn't realise before but losing a degree and education especially when you're under the impression that it's something you're good at can be like losing your identity and can lead to a lot of stress.
It's likely that you're not depressed and are just going through a hard time. I thought I was depressed too!!
Hope this helps.
X
Hey, thanks for all the great words!

In terms of an update, I've now got a full time job which I can make into a career through the company paying for a part time degree should I wish. Also have places at uni for a new course full time!

My biggest struggles now are to stay and do part time or take the plunge and do full time and then face the job search after! Definitely worse problems to have haha.

If anyone else is in a similar situation: it will get better. I kept reading that things would get better and just passed it off saying i'm a unique case and that it can't get better and it just does. Confidence is higher than ever now and I feel great for it.
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LittleThinker
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That's so great to hear!! I was lucky enough that the University of Birmingham allowed me to just do a transfer before I left so I'll be back for September 2017.
I'm glad it's all worked out for you. I replied today after having a bad day. I used to work weekends and I felt guilty and sad that I know longer had a job because I chose to leave it as I wasn't thinking great.

Do you mind me asking what job you found?

I used to believe that everything happens for a reason and have been told so many times that it does.

Good Luck with the job and Best Wishes.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by LittleThinker)
That's so great to hear!! I was lucky enough that the University of Birmingham allowed me to just do a transfer before I left so I'll be back for September 2017.
I'm glad it's all worked out for you. I replied today after having a bad day. I used to work weekends and I felt guilty and sad that I know longer had a job because I chose to leave it as I wasn't thinking great.

Do you mind me asking what job you found?

I used to believe that everything happens for a reason and have been told so many times that it does.

Good Luck with the job and Best Wishes.
X
Job was in the construction industry - the finances behind construction essentially.
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rosieholdway
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Hi all, I know this thread was a little while ago. But I am in an identical boat as such. I got 2A* and an A at A-Level, got into Exeter University, went for two months until November, however I found the course awful and uni at that time really didn't feel right for me. I feel very similar to everything Anon 1 wrote, in terms of hopelessness and not sure what to do. I've read that some of you have re applied for uni (I have too) to do economics, I was just wondering where this was and if you are going to go?

I've reapplied for a range of politics and economics courses at Birmingham, Warwick, Bath and Bristol (I also still have a place at Exeter, but I feel like it would be bitter to go back to a place where I had such difficult times with mental health etc)

Hope to hear back from you all x
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by rosieholdway)
Hi all, I know this thread was a little while ago. But I am in an identical boat as such. I got 2A* and an A at A-Level, got into Exeter University, went for two months until November, however I found the course awful and uni at that time really didn't feel right for me. I feel very similar to everything Anon 1 wrote, in terms of hopelessness and not sure what to do. I've read that some of you have re applied for uni (I have too) to do economics, I was just wondering where this was and if you are going to go?

I've reapplied for a range of politics and economics courses at Birmingham, Warwick, Bath and Bristol (I also still have a place at Exeter, but I feel like it would be bitter to go back to a place where I had such difficult times with mental health etc)

Hope to hear back from you all x
Econ at Kings Bristol UCL

super undecided if i should go back, still kind of scared from my experiences first time round
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rosieholdway
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Econ at Kings Bristol UCL

super undecided if i should go back, still kind of scared from my experiences first time round
I'm exactly in the same position, like totally worried the same thing will just happen again..

Congrats on those offers though thats amazing in itself!!!
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