My university experience

Standstill is a pretty good word to describe how I’ve felt the last three and a half years of my life.

I’m at the point in my life where I’ve moved out from my parents’ place, and I’m supposed to be either working or getting an education. But I’ve found it’s not as easy as I thought it would be. And the plans I had for myself aren’t coming together as I imagined.

Sometimes I feel like I’ve lost the person I used to be. There was a time when I was in the top part of my class, I pretty much had my life together and I felt like I was going somewhere.

But something changed. Moving out gave me freedom which I wasn’t used to, and along came new responsibilities. I enrolled in university, but it wasn’t how I imagined. I didn’t find friends, I didn’t like going at all, I ended up becoming scared of it all – and starting skipping without telling my friends or family. I told myself I would skip the classes and just learn from home on my own, but it didn’t work out. By that point I was lying to myself, I was hiding how bad university made me feel and I didn’t even know what was going on. I was so lost in how it was meant to be that I lied to myself to keep up the act.

I told myself everything was okay, I just had to keep fighting. Now looking back I know that I weren’t fighting at all, I had given up already but just hadn’t realised. A year after starting, I switched to a different education to give myself a new start – perhaps the subjects just weren’t right for me and this would make it all better.

I didn’t even attend my first day of the new classes. I got straight into the same routines. Trying to learn from home – attended one class through the fall, took notes – but was actually just copying the slides from the professor. Pretending I was learning, pretending it was going well and kept telling myself it was just the beginning, “everyone has a tough time at first…”

Late in the spring of the second year, I contacted a student counsellor, admitting that it wasn’t going as well as I thought. And that’s when the ball started rolling. Every thought and feeling I had pushed aside the last almost two years came crashing back at me – and it hit me hard. It’s hard to explain but from that time it became almost physically impossible for me to attend university. I would start crying and shivering all over and my feet would stop moving.

This is how it all started. Later I got diagnosed with social anxiety and depression. I still struggle a lot with those, and with getting an education. At first I was still enrolled, but not taking classes cause I was classed as sick – and three years since starting, I quit entirely and is now classed as sick by my doctor, to stay at home.

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