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so miserable and i don't know what to do.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:51 am
by heartshapedbox
I'm 18 and in my first year of University, which is a good 5 hours away from home. I love my new city, friends and general lifestyle, except my course. I'm a creative person, not academic at all and I'm finding that a) the word "design" in my course is v misleading, we are not asked to do anything creative and I hate it, b) I am becomming so shy due to being told off by lecturers, simply for asking for help, and c) this is changing my whole perspective of myself. I'm really behind with work, its so technical and I'm just scared to talk to anyone, including my classmates. My tutors make me feel stupid, I've already got quite a low self esteem so I just can't be myself around everyone, which I want to be. My attendance has gotten really bad, I have handed in all of my important assignments, but its just other work, that is meaningless to me, that is getting me down. I've always known that I won't put total effort into work unless I am really passionate about what I'm doing, but I know theres no way in hell I'd ever be enthusiastic about some of the stuff on my course. My campus is far away from my friends in halls' campuses, and I'm finding that every single member of staff I have talked to on my campus is rude and patronising, and I really don't feel I can get any help from anyone. I cry all the time because this isn't what I want, I thought the course looked so good and I don't want to let my family down by dropping out, plus I really really don't want to leave this city. I wish I could change my course but its too late now, I know I should just knuckle down and get on with it, finish the first year and then decide what to do, but its making me so miserable all the time, plus I don't want to waste the year when I could be getting an education. Is it normal to not know what exact career you want at 18?
I've told a few close friends about my worries but not about how extreme they are, I'm always so upset when I'm by myself, I feel ill all the time and I'm not sleeping properly due to stress. I don't want to tell my parents, they are supportive but as far as they know i am loving it, and I don't want them to worry or become disapointed with their failure daughter. Does anyone have any ideas? Sorry its so long, and thanks for reading x

Re: so miserable and i don't know what to do.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:14 am
by RagDoll
Heartshapedbox - are you sure it's too late to swap courses? Have you asked anyone?

I know how you feel regarding lecturers to some extent - I've done a degree and am currently doing my MSc. and have found that a lot of lecturers are quite patronising and sometimes intimidating. To be honest, because they know a lot about their subject, I think they're a little bit up their own backsides. Not all of them are like that, however, so perhaps you just need to find someone that is a bit more approachable. I would encourage you to continue to ask questions, even if the lecturers' responses aren't always that helpful. I'm afraid you might just have to grow a thicker skin and realise that perhaps they don't always realise the way they're coming across. Don't take it personally. Alternatively, do you have any friends on your course that you could ask questions when you're a bit stuck?

Also, do you do a lot of reading around your subject? Degrees etc. are supposed to be self-taught to some extent (which is why people sometimes refer to themselves as 'Reading English' or whatever) and doing some reading should help you gain a better understanding.

I think it's perfectly normal to not know what career you want to persue at 18 - sometimes I question what I want to do now and I'm nearly 25 (and working). I think people who know what they want to do at 18 are few and far between, and the ones who do are lucky.

Finally, if you can't swap your course to do something that's more suitable for you, I don't think your parents would think you're a failure if you took a year out and went back to study something you would actually enjoy. I am sure they wouldn't want you to be this upset and stressed all the time. Taking a year out is not the end of the world - you could go travelling or get a job so you have some valuable working experience (which would really help you in the future). I would advise you to start being honest with your parents about the course and enquire if it would be possible to swap degrees.

Re: so miserable and i don't know what to do.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 11:06 am
by ILoveChristmas
Hey there,

Well this is a very familiar story to me, you see when I went to university I started off studying Mechanical Design Engineering, the emphasis in the prospectus being on the design element. As in your case though, it turned out to be far from that, with the first 2 years of the course being almost constant mathematics, something that's really not up my alley. Like you I began to fall behind, I would miss assignments being handed out because I didn't attend lectures etc.

In the end I moved university and changed my course and I never looked back! At 18 you're still very young, far too young to nail down what you want to do with your life. Remember that old Baz Luhrmann song, Everybody's Free?

"The real worries in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind. Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don't."

Being happy and accepting that you need to make changes is far better than being miserable and scraping through. Your parents aren't going to think you're dropping out and you're an awful long way from being a failure. In my experience all parents ever want is their child's happiness, regardless of what that means.

Whatever you do, don't bottle it up! Tell your friends exactly what the situation is, or how about going home for the weekend and having a talk with your mum and dad. You'll feel so much better once things are out in the open.

Best of luck, ILC.

Re: so miserable and i don't know what to do.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 12:17 pm
by Sebastian
Im sorry to hear your situation. And it is very frustrating. I dont have much advice, but Ill try as best as I can :D
When my daughter was in university, she had EXACTLY the same problem, and from what I have researched, its no uncommon.
You say you dont want to drop out? talk to your family, they will understand, as im sure lots of them went to uni? Its a tough enviroment, and thats what all schools/educational buildings, are like! You always feel in compotition with other students. You also say you dont want to waste a year? Sometimes it happens like that, and you cant help it. If you start again, you start again. Its not a problem. :) Why dont you also arrange to speak to who is in charge of the uni, and try to arrange that you could move campus, or at least change course? Im sure they will help, if you go staright to the man/woman at the top! :D
Anyway I know this isnt very helpfull, but I hope your situation sorts out and you finish your course!

Re: so miserable and i don't know what to do.

PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 12:55 pm
by Bel Bel
The fact it is effedting your self esteem tells you this is not worth it
It's not what you thought, you were effecitvely mis sold your course and you aren't enjoying it either plus there is obviosuly no support
Talk to your parents and write down all the options, Write down the pros and cons to each option then amke a decision you can live with that won't jeoprodise your helath or well being any further, no course is worth that
Life is just too short to be miserable like this
As someone else pointed out so what if you have to start again you're still so young you have time to satrt again on something new even if you leave for a while and go back to a different course next year
If you can;t get a job in the gap time perhaps volunteering will help you get some self esteem back