Debating whether to drop out of University or stay? Watch
When I went to college I wanted to drop out because I didn't see myself making any friends, until I met my boyfriend when he joined late on the course. I'm now having the same problem with university, except obviously much worse seeing as it's such a huge step. I'm at university with my boyfriend and some people we know from college and without him I think I definitely would have dropped out by now. We've both been helping each other with our issues whilst I've been sad and anxious and he's been anxious and this has brought us so close. At the start I was even having scary panic attacks which I haven't had before and I don't think I could've done it without him
I do love my flat mates and am close to one girls, however, she makes friends even easier and her and a boy in my flat have made a group in another flat with people I don't see myself to be that similar to. I find myself comparing my experience and my friendships to everyone else and it seems they've all made their own groups whereas I'm struggling a bit more down to these mental health issues. I think I expect friendships to just happen and when they don't I am unhappy but my social anxiety stops me from developing these friendships. Comparing makes it even harder and more stressful and makes me want to drop out more but I can't help it. I do like the nights out with some people in my flat when I'm drunk and can speak to anyone but the day time isn't my favourite time.
To add to this, I also changed courses after a month into uni which means I've had to try and meet people even though they've basically already got their groups and know each other. Standing outside lecture halls and sitting on my own I find to be so overwhelming and really ruins my self esteem even though I know its no big deal, but I can't bring myself to force my way into other people's groups. I was deciding where to sit a few days ago and ended up trying to sit next to this girl when she said to me, not even in a nasty way, 'oh sorry my friend's sitting there' and although that was such a small and unimportant thing, I found myself sitting in the lecture so embarrassed and hating myself and wanting to drop out.
I do like my course now though and love being around my boyfriend for comfort when I need it. Despite this, I am now thinking about whether or not to go home and work for a year before moving to a uni a bit closer to me next year. This would possibly make me more self-dependent and I would work on my self esteem and social anxiety in the mean time while I'm at home so that next year I might be able to have a better time and focus on what should be a priority which is my work. However, leaving my boyfriend (who has now become the person I'm closest to and the only person I trust since these issues at uni) really scares me and I'm afraid to go home alone and have to try again by myself next year. What if I get panic attacks again at a new uni and my boyfriend isn't there to comfort me? I'm really worried about this as the panic attacks were the worst things I've ever experienced.
I can't see myself staying at this uni for 3 years for some reason and don't really like the town at all. I think I've convinced myself that I'm moving in a few months and it's making me very negative as I have been from the start. Being closer to home and going to a smaller uni might make me feel better as I can go back whenever I want and may feel more at ease, but I'm worried about whether or not it will end up being the wrong or right decision in the long run so can't decide what to do.
I don't know if I'm mentally strong enough to carry on but I'm also scared of how I'll be mentally if I go home without my boyfriend and when everyone else has moved on with their lives.
Do I work on myself for a year and try again or do I stay and keep struggling in my head?
Student life, in partnership with UEA
You are really smart and bold for being able to voice your thoughts so clearly. I'm glad you haven't kept it all to yourself and trust me, you are very lucky to have loving and caring people around you to support you.
I suffer from depression and only recently found that depression and anxiety are linked.
As I am no professional, I won't be able to give you advice but I recommend going to see your GP/Counsellor and talk about the issues you are facing.
Here is some real-life advice.
1. Life is all about prioritising.
Prioritise your happiness, your success and your health.
2. I know in this day and age it's becoming increasingly rare to have a genuine heart-to-heart with people.
However, nothing is permanent, and to be honest, you got to save yourself dear, because everyone else has their own issues whilst working to get the best possible grade.
I would strongly recommend, putting on some instrumental background music, getting your notes out and putting your head down and studying for the remaining part of the year. You will be surprised at how quickly things can turn around when you give it the right attention (I'm talking about your grades here).
I personally, had taken a year off while having anxiety and depression and to be honest, from my perspective, if you keep fighting through it you will gain more confidence and ownership over your own life instead of letting your mind take over.
3. Plan your studies and make time to catch up. Its only November, you have Christmas break and Easter break to catch up on all that you have missed. Take baby steps but as you develop the habit, I'm sure you will succeed.
4. Give your relationship with your boyfriend, university a fair chance by altering your attitude towards it.
5. If all of the above doesn't work and makes your decision (as opposed to an excuse for wanting to run away from it all) stronger, then I would say go ahead and move universities.
6. It's not a great situation to be in, but make the most of it and build your resilience. Because today you are young and can rely on going back home. However, as you grow older and will find and make a home for yourself, you won't always be able to run away from things in life. Am I making sense?
Sorry for the uber long post and if I sound like a mother hen. lol. Let me know what you think (as in am I making sense?) and I would love to hear your opinion (have I understood you?)