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parents ashamed of me for not enjoying uni

My mum rings me up on the phone and wants me to entertain her with funny anecdotes of impressive and interesting things I've done, but the truth is I'm depressed and have no energy to do anything except work and survive

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That's quite some way from your parents being ashamed of you.
Reply 2
Original post by Trinculo
That's quite some way from your parents being ashamed of you.

But she sounded so disappointed and incredulous when I flippantly said that nothing much was going on and things were kinda boring
Original post by Anonymous
But she sounded so disappointed and incredulous when I flippantly said that nothing much was going on and things were kinda boring

You could consider telling them that you're depressed so they can help you. Otherwise, you could nicely ask what they want to know - it's not going to be punting down the Cam or having books signed by Germaine Greer.
(edited 2 years ago)
Reply 4
Original post by Trinculo
You could consider telling them that you're depressed so they can help you. Otherwise, you could nicely what they want to know - it's not going to be punting down the Cam or having books signed by Germaine Greer.

what was this supposed to say btw?
Original post by Anonymous
what was this supposed to say btw?

Apologies - "you could nicely ask what they want to know"
Reply 6
Original post by Trinculo
Apologies - "you could nicely ask what they want to know"

what do u mean they won'd want to know if I go punting on the Cam?
GG isn't gonna be coming back to cambridge soon anyway cos she thinks girls are girls
Original post by Anonymous
what do u mean they won'd want to know if I go punting on the Cam?
GG isn't gonna be coming back to cambridge soon anyway cos she thinks girls are girls

Ok. Sorry. Start again.

What I'm saying is that you *could* consider asking what it is they want to know from you when they call. Let them know (nicely) that uni isn't always as interesting as they might think - not for you anyway. If they are expecting you to do cool and exciting things every day, then that's just not realistic.

It's much more likely that they miss you and want to know what you're up to so that they have something to speak to you about. They probably want to know that you're having a good time. If you're not enjoying yourself, you should really talk to them. They are your parents, after all.
Original post by Anonymous
My mum rings me up on the phone and wants me to entertain her with funny anecdotes of impressive and interesting things I've done, but the truth is I'm depressed and have no energy to do anything except work and survive

i don't think she's ashamed (i interpret this as embarassed of you - which doesn't sound like it), she probably just wants you to do other things other than work or maintain a good balance so ur mental health doesn't suffer. you can always remind her uni is hard work and there isn't always time to go skydiving or do something crazy or u can tell her about what ur studying which she might find interesting
Reply 9
Original post by Trinculo
Ok. Sorry. Start again.

What I'm saying is that you *could* consider asking what it is they want to know from you when they call. Let them know (nicely) that uni isn't always as interesting as they might think - not for you anyway. If they are expecting you to do cool and exciting things every day, then that's just not realistic.

It's much more likely that they miss you and want to know what you're up to so that they have something to speak to you about. They probably want to know that you're having a good time. If you're not enjoying yourself, you should really talk to them. They are your parents, after all.

but my brother went to the same uni and always has interesting stories which my mum eats up and I feel like she's comparing us. Sorry for being pathetic and whiny, I should really try to actively enjoy life more.
Original post by Anonymous
but my brother went to the same uni and always has interesting stories which my mum eats up and I feel like she's comparing us. Sorry for being pathetic and whiny, I should really try to actively enjoy life more.

Don't be sorry. If you're not happy, then you're not happy. It's always good to try and enjoy life - especially university. Which subject are you reading? Do you do any activities and do you have many friends?
Original post by Trinculo
Don't be sorry. If you're not happy, then you're not happy. It's always good to try and enjoy life - especially university. Which subject are you reading? Do you do any activities and do you have many friends?

I'm studying classics and I do cross country and rowing. I have a small group of friends but I'm starting to realise we don't have a ton in common although we all like each other
Original post by Anonymous
I'm studying classics and I do cross country and rowing. I have a small group of friends but I'm starting to realise we don't have a ton in common although we all like each other

Ok, that actually sounds lovely. I would have loved to have read Classics and sometimes wish i had. You've got your sports socs and some friends. There's no reason for you to be clones of one another. If you're doing well, maybe you're overworking yourself. Are you actually at Cambridge (I made that up earlier - it was being flippant) If you're not and you don't have supervisions, possibly you are putting too much on yourself.
Original post by Trinculo
Ok, that actually sounds lovely. I would have loved to have read Classics and sometimes wish i had. You've got your sports socs and some friends. There's no reason for you to be clones of one another. If you're doing well, maybe you're overworking yourself. Are you actually at Cambridge (I made that up earlier - it was being flippant) If you're not and you don't have supervisions, possibly you are putting too much on yourself.

yes coincidentally I really am at cambridge.
I think part of my problem is one ******** language teacher I have to see 4 times a week. He's a bit of a piece of work and always encourages ppl to debate points of interpretation of the set texts with him but them belittles and mocks anyone who disagrees with him. grrr.

What did you study if u don't mind me asking?
Original post by Anonymous
yes coincidentally I really am at cambridge.
I think part of my problem is one ******** language teacher I have to see 4 times a week. He's a bit of a piece of work and always encourages ppl to debate points of interpretation of the set texts with him but them belittles and mocks anyone who disagrees with him. grrr.

What did you study if u don't mind me asking?

Unfortunately, this is the thing with Cambridge. You're getting the world's greatest brand name and possibly life-changing signalling, in exchange for a lot of super hard work. These supervisions are going to suck but it's because you're often getting the people who wrote the text books.

I'd suggest two things:

1. With your parents, they probably do miss you, but also think that you are literally riding around on a bicycle with a long scarf and punting down the river. If you let them know that you are really doing a lot of work and spend most of it reading Greek, then maybe they'll understand. Are they Cambridge people themselves?

2. For yourself - look after yourself first and foremost. If something can't be done, don't try and do the impossible. You have to take enough time. If your supervisor is going to get all silly, let them. They've dealt with undergrads before. They may have been your old things from school (I have no idea) but cross-country and rowing are hardly the most social things ever. Maybe you could consider switching one or both to new things that you might engage more with people over. Maybe only one sport and then some other kind of soc that you've never considered before. I'm afraid you're just at one of these places where a lot of work is a reality of life and how you manage that is one of the hardest bits. Perhaps you could take advantage of the things that you do have there - go and sit in on Evensong to relax. I'm not religious, but I used to go to the chapel to unwind.

Personally, I read law and then Political Science, at Kings and UCL.
Original post by Trinculo
Unfortunately, this is the thing with Cambridge. You're getting the world's greatest brand name and possibly life-changing signalling, in exchange for a lot of super hard work. These supervisions are going to suck but it's because you're often getting the people who wrote the text books.

I'd suggest two things:

1. With your parents, they probably do miss you, but also think that you are literally riding around on a bicycle with a long scarf and punting down the river. If you let them know that you are really doing a lot of work and spend most of it reading Greek, then maybe they'll understand. Are they Cambridge people themselves?

2. For yourself - look after yourself first and foremost. If something can't be done, don't try and do the impossible. You have to take enough time. If your supervisor is going to get all silly, let them. They've dealt with undergrads before. They may have been your old things from school (I have no idea) but cross-country and rowing are hardly the most social things ever. Maybe you could consider switching one or both to new things that you might engage more with people over. Maybe only one sport and then some other kind of soc that you've never considered before. I'm afraid you're just at one of these places where a lot of work is a reality of life and how you manage that is one of the hardest bits. Perhaps you could take advantage of the things that you do have there - go and sit in on Evensong to relax. I'm not religious, but I used to go to the chapel to unwind.

Personally, I read law and then Political Science, at Kings and UCL.

Thanks for the tips, I'm gonna try spending more time at the union cos I used to like debating a lot, but don't want to embarrass myself now by not being good enough (the standard seems pretty high and there's kind of a catty culture, but it's a good opportunity so what the hell).

I guess I just hate that my brother went to Cambridge too and always boasts about how he was popular, good at music and sport, and still did well academically...

Sometimes I don't see the point of my degree if I'm not enjoying it, and it makes me feel like I'm wasting my life sitting in my room learning Greek grammar...
Original post by Anonymous
Thanks for the tips, I'm gonna try spending more time at the union cos I used to like debating a lot, but don't want to embarrass myself now by not being good enough (the standard seems pretty high and there's kind of a catty culture, but it's a good opportunity so what the hell).

I guess I just hate that my brother went to Cambridge too and always boasts about how he was popular, good at music and sport, and still did well academically...

Sometimes I don't see the point of my degree if I'm not enjoying it, and it makes me feel like I'm wasting my life sitting in my room learning Greek grammar...

Nobody reads Classics for the actual application (other than Bettany Hughes and Mary Beard). The whole point is to prove you're cleverer and better than everyone else *because* you can afford to learn something really hard with no practical application - just look at the Prime Minister. There must be something that made you want to read Classics in the first place - see if you can recapture that, but I guarantee you most people are feeling the same thing. Those doing Natural Sciences are just staring at huge diagrams of metabolic pathways. The people reading Law are reading case after case of absolute nonsense regarding the people that unload ships at the docks breaking someone's goods, or some guy 100 years ago arguing over buying a ticket for a pastime that no longer exists -and how that is relevant today.

Try to recapture the sense of your being at a great seat of learning and that you are learning for its own sake and about the foundations of our civilisation and the stories that make us great as humans. Try to learn to love being there. So many people would give their right arm for it.
Original post by Trinculo
Nobody reads Classics for the actual application (other than Bettany Hughes and Mary Beard). The whole point is to prove you're cleverer and better than everyone else *because* you can afford to learn something really hard with no practical application - just look at the Prime Minister. There must be something that made you want to read Classics in the first place - see if you can recapture that, but I guarantee you most people are feeling the same thing. Those doing Natural Sciences are just staring at huge diagrams of metabolic pathways. The people reading Law are reading case after case of absolute nonsense regarding the people that unload ships at the docks breaking someone's goods, or some guy 100 years ago arguing over buying a ticket for a pastime that no longer exists -and how that is relevant today.

Try to recapture the sense of your being at a great seat of learning and that you are learning for its own sake and about the foundations of our civilisation and the stories that make us great as humans. Try to learn to love being there. So many people would give their right arm for it.

I applied for Classics cos it was that or physics, but I knew I'd never be the absolute best at physics while I could go to Cambridge for classics. Terrible and vain decision at the end of the day. Maybe I should drop out and start physics at Bristol or somewhere lol.
Original post by Anonymous
but my brother went to the same uni and always has interesting stories which my mum eats up and I feel like she's comparing us. Sorry for being pathetic and whiny, I should really try to actively enjoy life more.


I’m a parent. I can see myself doing exactly what your parents are doing, desperately missing you and trying to say the right thing to connect. We parents spend a lifetime getting it wrong while trying to do the right thing! Tell them how your questions make you feel- they may initially be baffled, cross, unable to understand, but keep talking to them. They love you, and telling them what you need (and it may change day by day) will help them and you. And it’s incredibly unlikely they are embarrassed- we parents are far more proud of our offspring than we can articulate!
Original post by Anonymous
I’m a parent. I can see myself doing exactly what your parents are doing, desperately missing you and trying to say the right thing to connect. We parents spend a lifetime getting it wrong while trying to do the right thing! Tell them how your questions make you feel- they may initially be baffled, cross, unable to understand, but keep talking to them. They love you, and telling them what you need (and it may change day by day) will help them and you. And it’s incredibly unlikely they are embarrassed- we parents are far more proud of our offspring than we can articulate!

Thank u this is a very kind message
I'm not sure I could ever tell my parents I feel like they think I'm less than my brother, because I'm too worried it's true. But I'll bear in mind they probably aren't ashamed of me either ((:

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