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Is it still depression if it's only at uni? watch

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    When I'm at home, I'm my usual self. Bubbly, enthusiatic, always keen to get out and do everything. I'm calm (in an energetic way) and happy and feel positive about life.

    But when I come back to uni it's like something switches. I feel withdrawn, quiet, permanently with a headache and on the brink of tears. I hate my course and it's getting me down to the point where I'm not even enjoying my hobbies. All I want to do is sleep, eat and count down to the holidays. I'm constantly searching for the exit and a reasonable excuse to leave.

    I think it seems like I'm depressed, but these feelings seem to dissipate as soon as I leave uni and go home or go elsewhere. I don't want to be a quitter and a failure, and leaving uni doesn't mean I'll get rid of these feelings because they could just come back when I have a job or if I do a different degree.

    I don't know what to do.
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    Well you could try to identify what really depresses you at uni like is it people, assignments or just proximity of people. What helped me in the beginning of uni was talking to a professional like a counsellor or it could even be someone you trust.
    Don't hold your emotions in, talk to someone. Trust me they fester and may get worse.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    When I'm at home, I'm my usual self. Bubbly, enthusiatic, always keen to get out and do everything. I'm calm (in an energetic way) and happy and feel positive about life.

    But when I come back to uni it's like something switches. I feel withdrawn, quiet, permanently with a headache and on the brink of tears. I hate my course and it's getting me down to the point where I'm not even enjoying my hobbies. All I want to do is sleep, eat and count down to the holidays. I'm constantly searching for the exit and a reasonable excuse to leave.

    I think it seems like I'm depressed, but these feelings seem to dissipate as soon as I leave uni and go home or go elsewhere. I don't want to be a quitter and a failure, and leaving uni doesn't mean I'll get rid of these feelings because they could just come back when I have a job or if I do a different degree.

    I don't know what to do.
    Those sound like typical reactions when anyone is put in a situation where they feel socially isolated and no longer in control of life. Uni is a place where that often happens, and as you say, starting in a new job or moving to a new place are similar.

    I think you're right not to go down the route of medicalising what are normal reactions. I like the 5 Ways to Well Being framework as a guide to building resilience. But of course, there's a limit to how helpful personal skill development is when you are in an environment that doesn't fit you well. So my suggestion would be to work on the 5 Ways stuff, and at the same time take a look at your uni life to see which bits can be changed. For all of this, probably the single most helpful thing you could do will be to gather an ally or two to will support you. Friends and tutors are obvious starting points, but you might want to use a counselling service too - social connection is often the key to making changes
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    (Original post by Sliding)
    Well you could try to identify what really depresses you at uni like is it people, assignments or just proximity of people. What helped me in the beginning of uni was talking to a professional like a counsellor or it could even be someone you trust.
    Don't hold your emotions in, talk to someone. Trust me they fester and may get worse.
    I completely agree that you should really try and think about what you are unhappy about at university. It isn't easy to acknowledge these negative feelings, and i completely understand that it's tempting to ignore them and try and distract yourself. However, if you want to resolve your feelings the important thing is to understand them so you can work on them. I agree that you should talk to a friend, a personal tutor, a mental health nurse, a counsellor or someone like that because another person can give a good perspective.

    Some questions to think about with regard to university: Do you have a balance between studying and free time? Do you like the subject you are studying? Do you feel the university is a good fit for you? Why are you attending university - was it your choice or did you feel pressured to go at all?

    Good luck and I hope you feel better soon.
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    (Original post by stephlmx)
    I completely agree that you should really try and think about what you are unhappy about at university. It isn't easy to acknowledge these negative feelings, and i completely understand that it's tempting to ignore them and try and distract yourself. However, if you want to resolve your feelings the important thing is to understand them so you can work on them. I agree that you should talk to a friend, a personal tutor, a mental health nurse, a counsellor or someone like that because another person can give a good perspective.

    Some questions to think about with regard to university: Do you have a balance between studying and free time? Do you like the subject you are studying? Do you feel the university is a good fit for you? Why are you attending university - was it your choice or did you feel pressured to go at all?

    Good luck and I hope you feel better soon.
    Thanks for your reply

    In the last week I have been to speak with my personal tutor who is being very supportive. Whilst obviously she can't do much besides offer her support whatever I decide, it feels good to know that she's now informed (it feels less like I have to keep up a front of being a happy student) and that things aren't as bad as they seemed- it's okay to have to ask for an extended deadline on an assignment, for example.

    I also registered with the on campus counselling service so I can get my thoughts in order before I make any proper decisions about what to do.

    As for your questions....

    1) No I don't have a good balance. I tend to panic when I try and study to the point where the words are swimming on the page and I feel like crying (one of the reasons I signed up for counselling because I've heard people say that 'nothings going in' but this is like I'm so stressed I can't read!). Because of that I've been avoiding studying in favour of distracting activities like going to the gym or cooking or drawing.

    2) I hate the subject I'm studying. I took it because I thought a science would be a good, general degree that wasn't too specialised and is well respected (after all just because my degree is in Biology doesn't mean I have to do a job even slightly related to Bio).

    3) Erm....yes and no. I don't think any university would be a great fit for me as I don't enjoy the university structure and am not academic. That being said I thought this uni was a good match for me because it's in a quiet location, away from cities and relatively close to the countryside.

    4) I'm attending uni because I had absolutely no clue what I was doing and I had to make a decision about what to do when I left sixth form. I was top of my year in Bio (and at school where you're basically spoon fed and don't have to much independent work, Bio was a piece of cake) so I thought why not do that as it gives me a few more years to think about what I want to do. However 2 years later I'm still in pretty much the same position except I now know for sure that science isn't for me and I enjoy more practical things. I did feel pressured to go as I've always been the 'brains' but I feel even more pressured to stay now I'm here. Before I came to uni, my family would have supported me regardless of what I chose (even though they did think I should go to uni) but know it's a case of leaving isn't an option in their opinion
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    When I'm at home, I'm my usual self. Bubbly, enthusiatic, always keen to get out and do everything. I'm calm (in an energetic way) and happy and feel positive about life.

    But when I come back to uni it's like something switches. I feel withdrawn, quiet, permanently with a headache and on the brink of tears. I hate my course and it's getting me down to the point where I'm not even enjoying my hobbies. All I want to do is sleep, eat and count down to the holidays. I'm constantly searching for the exit and a reasonable excuse to leave.

    I think it seems like I'm depressed, but these feelings seem to dissipate as soon as I leave uni and go home or go elsewhere. I don't want to be a quitter and a failure, and leaving uni doesn't mean I'll get rid of these feelings because they could just come back when I have a job or if I do a different degree.

    I don't know what to do.
    No it's not.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thanks for your reply

    In the last week I have been to speak with my personal tutor who is being very supportive. Whilst obviously she can't do much besides offer her support whatever I decide, it feels good to know that she's now informed (it feels less like I have to keep up a front of being a happy student) and that things aren't as bad as they seemed- it's okay to have to ask for an extended deadline on an assignment, for example.

    I also registered with the on campus counselling service so I can get my thoughts in order before I make any proper decisions about what to do.

    As for your questions....

    1) No I don't have a good balance. I tend to panic when I try and study to the point where the words are swimming on the page and I feel like crying (one of the reasons I signed up for counselling because I've heard people say that 'nothings going in' but this is like I'm so stressed I can't read!). Because of that I've been avoiding studying in favour of distracting activities like going to the gym or cooking or drawing.

    2) I hate the subject I'm studying. I took it because I thought a science would be a good, general degree that wasn't too specialised and is well respected (after all just because my degree is in Biology doesn't mean I have to do a job even slightly related to Bio).

    3) Erm....yes and no. I don't think any university would be a great fit for me as I don't enjoy the university structure and am not academic. That being said I thought this uni was a good match for me because it's in a quiet location, away from cities and relatively close to the countryside.

    4) I'm attending uni because I had absolutely no clue what I was doing and I had to make a decision about what to do when I left sixth form. I was top of my year in Bio (and at school where you're basically spoon fed and don't have to much independent work, Bio was a piece of cake) so I thought why not do that as it gives me a few more years to think about what I want to do. However 2 years later I'm still in pretty much the same position except I now know for sure that science isn't for me and I enjoy more practical things. I did feel pressured to go as I've always been the 'brains' but I feel even more pressured to stay now I'm here. Before I came to uni, my family would have supported me regardless of what I chose (even though they did think I should go to uni) but know it's a case of leaving isn't an option in their opinion
    I'm really glad that you have seeked support and your personal tutor has been helpful! From your answers it sounds like university is not really where you enjoy being. However, i can understand that when you don't know what you want to do and have the abilities, university is a great way to go. I would highly recommend to keep going with your science degree because it will really benefit your future, even if you don't want to go into a career related to science. To enjoy your course more, if you are able to take outside/extra courses you could take some that do interest you so that you have a subject to look forward to. A lot of people don't enjoy university but your degree will be worth it, i'm sure. I think the best thing to do is to do what you can to enjoy your time at university. You don't enjoy your degree subject, or really university in itself but are you involved in anything else? You should consider looking for a part time job/volunteering work to do alongside your studies. This would look great on your CV, you would spend a little less time studying (and it's healthy to take a break!) and would allow you to focus completely on something else other than university. It would be good if you were involved in something non-university related, or a club/society, that can help you grow as a person and discover more of who you are. You know that you aren't interested in science, but it would increase your confidence to try some new things and discover more of who you are and what you do like! I wish i had better advice, but the smartest idea is to continue with university but to make some adjustments where you can to enjoy it more and to make it suit you better. I hope this has helped!
 
 
 
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