A girl with too many thoughts...

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Decisions, decisions...

To say that I am indecisive is probably an understatement: I hate making decisions. It doesn't matter how big or small that decision may be, this still remains true. However, I now find myself faced with quite a large decision about my health, my education and generally how things are going to pan out over the next year or so of my life - and I really don't know what to decide.

To sum up, my quandary is this:

You may or may not know (depending on if you have read my previous posts or follow me on Twitter) that I have just started my first year at University and am currently living in a brand new city, quite far from home. You may or may not also know that I suffer from mental health conditions (namely OCD, social anxiety and an eating disorder).

Since day one I have been struggling at uni (which you can read about here) and now, two weeks down the line, I'm questioning whether or not I am really ready for this massive change. I don't know whether I'm in the right mind-set to cope with everything right now and whether I'm physically healthy enough (as I'm still underweight and feeling drained with all the walking). I feel as though I should have deferred a year to properly work on my health, as well as gaining some confidence (and weight), before embarking on this new adventure.

However, hindsight is a wonderful thing, and the fact of the matter is: I did not defer a year. And now I'm at University totally overwhelmed and regretting my life choices (what's new).

Having spoken to several people at the University about this, we have come to the conclusion that perhaps 'suspending my studies' until next year would be the best course of action for me. That way, I still have my University place, but I just start next year rather than this year. It's almost like being on sick leave for a year.

This gives me a chance to sort both my mental and physical health out. Not only that, but I can gradually introduce myself to situations that make me uncomfortable during that time too, so that it doesn't all come as a big shock to me this time next year when I attempt to try again. I can visit the University throughout that year, familiarise myself with the campus and also the staff.

I can get to know the city a little better and get used to taking the train on my own. I can get a job (something I've been terrified to do since my last awful job), which may help me to gain my confidence. I can learn to drive so that it's not constantly on my mind as 'something-I-must-do-which-I-haven't-done-and-what-if-I-can't-do-it-and-am-really-worried-about-doing-and-oh my-goodness-when-am-I-going-to-do-it!?!?!?!?!' I can also get more counselling to tackle the social anxiety/low self-esteem/self-doubt issues.

So, that all seems fantastic and you are probably wondering what on earth I'm hesitating for. But then there's the flip side of the coin. I was stuck in a rut at home, I was bored and unmotivated - do I really want to be like that for another twelve months? What if I don't get a job or learn to drive because I'm too scared and end up wasting that year? What if I get jealous of all of my friends who are off to uni this year and wish I'd stayed? What if, what if, what if...

Basically, I just can't decide what to do and I need to (like soon...like by tomorrow). If I don't decide by the 26th of this month (Monday), then I miss the 'grace period' that the University offers, meaning I basically owe thousands of pounds (not great when you don't have a job). So, if I stay on a few weeks, I don't really have the option to leave because of the financial implications, no matter how much I may be struggling by that point.

That turned out to be a very lengthy 'summing up', but I needed to get all of the information out of my brain and write it down. I've been tormented by this decision for days and I need some advice on which option to take:

Do I defer until next year and focus on my health (knowing that my University place will be waiting for me this time next year) or do I stick it out and hope it gets better (knowing full well that if it doesn't, I'm stuck here anyway because of money...)?


Check out my blog post that I wrote for 'Hear2Listen' all about University & mental health. You can view it here!

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