The Student Room Group

Gap year for my own sake? - Mental Health and Uni

I've been posting anonymously here over the past week, so maybe a few of you may already recognise my writing style. I have been really struggling with adjusting to my new life in Uni, having horrible homesickness and falling into dangerous habits. There's been a bad day literally almost everyday.

Only problem is, I've been here for just under a week and these feelings haven't gone yet. I know people say it takes time but I really am struggling. I want to learn to live by myself, but it has been such a mixed emotional experience for me and put me off. Excuse any typos through here on out, I'm writing through tears.

I've had anxiety my whole life, but nothing has been this rampant since I was about 13-14. One detrimental way my anxiety manifests is through restrictive eating. Not exactly out of choice, I'm in no way aiming to lose weight, I just cannot bring myself to eat. It's been hell.

The stomach pains, the nausea, the tiredness, the anxiety rapidly manifesting, the tearfulness. God, I hope no one has to go through this.

I love the city, I love my flat (though not close at all to my flatmates, we're all really different people), I love the independence. It's just this mental toil has been absolutely devastating.

In 'saving myself', I would feel like such a disappointment to drop out - all my friends are now at Uni, being independent, struggling but dealing with it in their own ways, just overly being way more mature. I've been talking to them, and they have probably saved me. I owe a lot to them.

I feel so guilty and again, like a massive disappointment. I don't know what to do. Genuinely. I do not know what to do.

What would you do? I don't know how long I can keep this up for. I'm having an appointment later.
Hi there,

Sorry to hear you've been struggling with your mental health. Going to uni can be a massive change for many people (myself included). It's great to hear you have an appointment sorted for yourself- asking for help is so important and can help you adjust to this change. If you've not already, I'd recommend getting in touch with your uni's wellbeing department regarding your eating. They should be able to signpost you to some fantastic resources.

If you do make the decision to drop out later down the line, please know that it is in no way a failure. Staying in a situation that is bad for your mental and physical health is far worse than taking time out to look after yourself, and I'm sure your friends and family would agree. Plenty of people leave university for a large number of reasons, and you wouldn't be the first or the last.

I hope that this is helpful, and that you find the support you need.

All the best,
Graduate Advocate

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