I don't know what to do anymore

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PeacockRage
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Prepare yourself, this'll be a long one. Will include TD;LR

I'm studying computer science, in my second year and just got back from a week Christmas break with the family and friends. 1st year I mostly did okay, with a 2:2, but I struggled a lot with time management and motivation, and for a few months I think I was depressed and constantly considered dropping out.

This year started well, lots of motivation and aspirations, but after just a month of attending lectures and workshops I fell behind, getting confused often and just couldn't understand the concepts being taught. I've handed in two assignment so far, both group projects, only have the first one graded at 42%, despite my contribution getting 65%, but that's group work for you.

I have become depressed again I think, and can spend hours attempting assignment work without actually doing anything, just staring at the screen and trying to figure it out. For Object-Orientated Programming Assignment worth 100%, I submitted nothing... So I'll have to redo it in summer, as long as I don't fail anything else this year.

I really don't know what to do, another assignment is due in databases, and as I'm reading all the lecture slides and assignment brief, I do not think I can do it.

I'm really hoping anyone out there has had this experience and can advise on what to do. Because dropping out seems like the best thing to do, but I fear for my career. My parents say that even having a degree in anything is enough to help get a job in any industry, even if it's not the one I studied for.

I also don't know what I can do for my depression, because I hate talking about it and if I ignore it, it usually goes away for a few months, but always returns, is that even depression (I know about seasonal affective disorder, but I felt like this last year during summer too.)

TL;DR: Failing modules, bouts of depression that lasts a few months at a time, complete lack of motivation and feel like I can't physically do the work. Any advice regarding mental health and whether dropping out would be the right thing to do.. Thanks for reading.
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hallamstudents
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Hey PeacockRage

First and foremost, I'm sorry to hear you're having a tough time at university. There's nothing worse - mental health can really suck sometimes. The main advice I give to people with mental health issues like depression is just trying to change something in their life: start exercising, eat better, do things that improve your body health which in turn, aids your mind. They're not instant cures, they may not always benefit some people, but they're definitely worth thinking about. They can't hurt, at the very least.

University isn't for everyone, so there's absolutely no shame in dropping out. In the same vein, I wouldn't recommend it. Reaching out to your student officers and course leaders for help and motivation may help you pull the trigger on getting some of your work done.

I wish you the absolute best
Josh
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winterscoming
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Sorry to hear that you're struggling. I agree with a lot of the other poster's advice about trying to work on your overall health - a lot of depression symptoms can manifest themselves if you're eating all of the wrong foods, not getting enough sleep, and not getting enough exercise.

Personally speaking I've been through a period of my life where general life pressures and stress resulted in my diet completely falling apart, eventually leading to severe depression as a consequence, but knowing that diet was the main factor in my particular case, I also managed to "fix" the problem by turning that around (easier said than done of course - it's a slow journey). I can't promise that the same would be true for you or anyone else, but it can't hurt to try.

On the note about falling behind on your course, can you get any assistance from lecturers in pointing you to other resources or answering questions about the coursework?

If you find yourself struggling with any specific topics on databases then it could be worth visiting sites like DBA.StackExchange or StackOverflow to ask some specific questions - I'm guessing your assignment involves topics such as normalisation, relational modelling and needing to write SQL? The internet is filled with loads of examples and information about those topics, so if the lecture notes are unhelpful, you might have better luck with Google than the lecture notes. (e.g. https://eu.udacity.com/course/databa...-design--ud150 )


Lastly, I also agree that with the above post that dropping out is not the end of the world - but it should be a last resort.

What are your career aspirations? A lot of IT careers are all about the skills you can bring to the table - there are other ways to learn those skills aside from a degree; however, the fact that you're on a degree right now means that your best opportunity to learn these is the one right in front of you.

Other options to break into an IT career aren't any easier in terms of the amount of work since employers will want you to have a solid understanding of a lot of the same topics; it's entirely possible to put in the same amount of work/effort by yourself to be self-taught and successfully compete against compsci graduates. There are also options such as higher apprenticeships for many specific IT career paths.
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