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Mature Student, 22, Anxiety sufferer - Course Advice (General) Watch

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    Hello, I am Jon and I am 22 years of age. I suffer with quite severe anxiety but everyday I am trying to combat it as best as I can. One thing I have always regretted was not getting the qualifications to go to university and not pursuing passions. Now four years down the line, I feel I am ready. I have a couple of questions I'd like help with and I hope some people on here may be in the same boat as me, or can offer a bit of constructive advice...

    Firstly, 'What do I want to study?' - Ideally, I would like to study Journalism. I love to write and am very interested in a variation of topics but mainly environmental issues, politics, mental health, advice and the media. However, whilst I would like to do this, the simple fact is that I would most probably not be fit to compete in this world of work, let alone get a career within it. The job sector for journalism is insanely competitive and by not being outspoken/extroverted, I feel I would fall behind my competitors.

    My friends and family tell me to stop being silly and do what makes me happy. The thing is, I have plenty of things that make me happy. None of which I seem to have any talent within. It's all good and well to do things you enjoy, as long as you actually have some skills to accompany your passion.

    So I am stuck on what to even choose and where to even begin. I'll make a list of things I enjoy/am good at, perhaps you guys could pick and match something? (I am asking a lot I know, however I am stumped myself)

    Mental health - Suffering with anxiety and depression myself, having friends on all ends of the emotional spectrum and also having a brother with severe mental health issues, all of these give me understanding, knowledge and the means to support people when they're experiencing a rough time.

    Writing - I enjoy writing posts on Medium.com about 'hot topics', things that interest me or perhaps even things that annoy me. I have gotten fifty pages into writing a book but have run out of self-motivation to carry on before someone I know, reads it and potentially enjoys it.

    Video, cinema, etc. - Ever since a young age I have been a movie fanatic. I love film, well-done television and things alike. However, I am not sure I really possess any skills, apart from the fact I watch A LOT of video, and can really appreciate everything about the craft.

    Animals - This one is just a love that most people have. Animals are great and they're especially fantastic for those with mental health issues. Having a non-judgmental companion that simply offers you comfort, is the best thing you can ask for. My knowledge of biology, animal species and science is pretty low to say the least though.

    I'd really enjoy going into a workplace where I love the work I do, but also doesn't trigger my anxiety. I can deal with human interaction to a degree, I can mumble my words sometimes though. The situations I struggle to deal with is when there is more than one or two people. I am pretty good in one-to-one scenarios and can give the person my full attention without anxiety striking.

    Whilst I possess no qualifications to aid me onto a first year of university study. I am aware of multiple options available, ones such as: Foundation year at university. HE diploma. Functional Skills, etc. If you have any advice or perhaps an idea of a course I would maybe like, I'd be so grateful for your help and would be sure to add it to my list of things to investigate

    Thank-you for reading,

    Jon.
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    The main thing that strikes me about your post is that you are interested in many different things, which is great. But the issue you have will be to convince whoever it is that reads your personal statement that you really do have a true passion for your chosen subject. If you come a cross as confused or uninterested then they will sense that, and be more likely to reject your application.

    Now to the anxiety. Lots of people at university have anxiety, I do as well. I study Bioscience and every time I have to go to a tutorial or a lab I just feel so nervous, but I just look at it like it's something that has to be done and I have no control over it. Also in my first year I had quite a lot of problems with drinking, I would go to lectures hungover, go into labs hungover to get over the anxiety. My sister has it too (maybe it's a family thing) and she is on SSRI - maybe that is something we could consider as she says it has made a big improvement - she managed to do a presentation infront of 100 people!

    Take home message - just do what you think is right and that interests you. If you think you have made a mistake with your subject, don't worry! You can change within the first year of your course (or 1st and 2nd in Scotland) to another degree programme.

    All the best!
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    Thank-you for your response. Yes, I understand it can be both good and bad to have interests in so many things, but is there a method to decide what to study?

    I am currently in the process of being assigned to a therapist (after a long wait of me thinking that I am fine, and that I can fight it myself) so perhaps they can give some insight on this whole situation and guide me down a path on a more personal level.

    I guess so, the thing is one of my problems is my need to do everything right and to perfection. It can be good but most the time it can be terrible. So deciding on a university course alone is a huge step for me and one I am finding difficult because there is a chance I could make a wrong choice, which scares me for some reason haha.

    Thank-you once again for your reply though!

    (Original post by .A_C.)
    The main thing that strikes me about your post is that you are interested in many different things, which is great. But the issue you have will be to convince whoever it is that reads your personal statement that you really do have a true passion for your chosen subject. If you come a cross as confused or uninterested then they will sense that, and be more likely to reject your application.

    Now to the anxiety. Lots of people at university have anxiety, I do as well. I study Bioscience and every time I have to go to a tutorial or a lab I just feel so nervous, but I just look at it like it's something that has to be done and I have no control over it. Also in my first year I had quite a lot of problems with drinking, I would go to lectures hungover, go into labs hungover to get over the anxiety. My sister has it too (maybe it's a family thing) and she is on SSRI - maybe that is something we could consider as she says it has made a big improvement - she managed to do a presentation infront of 100 people!

    Take home message - just do what you think is right and that interests you. If you think you have made a mistake with your subject, don't worry! You can change within the first year of your course (or 1st and 2nd in Scotland) to another degree programme.

    All the best!
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    (Original post by Jon_Gidwon)
    Hello, I am Jon and I am 22 years of age. I suffer with quite severe anxiety but everyday I am trying to combat it as best as I can. One thing I have always regretted was not getting the qualifications to go to university and not pursuing passions. Now four years down the line, I feel I am ready. I have a couple of questions I'd like help with and I hope some people on here may be in the same boat as me, or can offer a bit of constructive advice...

    Firstly, 'What do I want to study?' - Ideally, I would like to study Journalism. I love to write and am very interested in a variation of topics but mainly environmental issues, politics, mental health, advice and the media. However, whilst I would like to do this, the simple fact is that I would most probably not be fit to compete in this world of work, let alone get a career within it. The job sector for journalism is insanely competitive and by not being outspoken/extroverted, I feel I would fall behind my competitors.

    My friends and family tell me to stop being silly and do what makes me happy. The thing is, I have plenty of things that make me happy. None of which I seem to have any talent within. It's all good and well to do things you enjoy, as long as you actually have some skills to accompany your passion.

    So I am stuck on what to even choose and where to even begin. I'll make a list of things I enjoy/am good at, perhaps you guys could pick and match something? (I am asking a lot I know, however I am stumped myself)

    Mental health - Suffering with anxiety and depression myself, having friends on all ends of the emotional spectrum and also having a brother with severe mental health issues, all of these give me understanding, knowledge and the means to support people when they're experiencing a rough time.

    Writing - I enjoy writing posts on Medium.com about 'hot topics', things that interest me or perhaps even things that annoy me. I have gotten fifty pages into writing a book but have run out of self-motivation to carry on before someone I know, reads it and potentially enjoys it.

    Video, cinema, etc. - Ever since a young age I have been a movie fanatic. I love film, well-done television and things alike. However, I am not sure I really possess any skills, apart from the fact I watch A LOT of video, and can really appreciate everything about the craft.

    Animals - This one is just a love that most people have. Animals are great and they're especially fantastic for those with mental health issues. Having a non-judgmental companion that simply offers you comfort, is the best thing you can ask for. My knowledge of biology, animal species and science is pretty low to say the least though.

    I'd really enjoy going into a workplace where I love the work I do, but also doesn't trigger my anxiety. I can deal with human interaction to a degree, I can mumble my words sometimes though. The situations I struggle to deal with is when there is more than one or two people. I am pretty good in one-to-one scenarios and can give the person my full attention without anxiety striking.

    Whilst I possess no qualifications to aid me onto a first year of university study. I am aware of multiple options available, ones such as: Foundation year at university. HE diploma. Functional Skills, etc. If you have any advice or perhaps an idea of a course I would maybe like, I'd be so grateful for your help and would be sure to add it to my list of things to investigate

    Thank-you for reading,

    Jon.
    The Access to Higher Education course is the main one for students 19+- it lasts a year, you can get a tuition fee loan (but not living costs loan) and that is written off if you get a degree.

    Tbh most graduate jobs are competitive so I wouldn't be put off journalism as a career just because of that. Usually though the recommended way to get into journalism is do a degree in something else then do a postgraduate journalism couse.
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    Thank-you for your reply. I didn't mean to say that other jobs are not competitive. I just meant that with my anxiety, perhaps going into a highly stressful and competitive job with high expectations, lots of human interactions and low job security, might not be the best thing.

    I was thinking of doing a subject other than journalism as an interest, but people have such different opinions on that. People say that is the best way and others say it is crap and you should do an NCTJ approved course, or else you just wont get work no matter what.

    (Original post by jelly1000)
    The Access to Higher Education course is the main one for students 19+- it lasts a year, you can get a tuition fee loan (but not living costs loan) and that is written off if you get a degree.

    Tbh most graduate jobs are competitive so I wouldn't be put off journalism as a career just because of that. Usually though the recommended way to get into journalism is do a degree in something else then do a postgraduate journalism couse.
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    (Original post by Jon_Gidwon)
    Thank-you for your reply. I didn't mean to say that other jobs are not competitive. I just meant that with my anxiety, perhaps going into a highly stressful and competitive job with high expectations, lots of human interactions and low job security, might not be the best thing.

    I was thinking of doing a subject other than journalism as an interest, but people have such different opinions on that. People say that is the best way and others say it is crap and you should do an NCTJ approved course, or else you just wont get work no matter what.
    It sounds like you'd be best off doing a subject other than journalism that you are interested in, getting some journalism work experience and then if you enjoy the work experience going onto do an NCTJ approved postgraduate course- as I said that is usually the reccomended route anyway. If not you have a degree and can pursue other options.
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    As a mental health professional my advice is get into exercise sonething you can easily do when things get hard and mindfulness
    Choose a courses that you think makes your paddionate and is worth a THE stress
    My son does film production. It has writing and documentary making and technical skills
    No everyone wants to be centre stage

    Whatever you choose anxiety can learn over time



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