When uni gets you down

I feel like all I write on here is rambling, negative posts about university and I’m sorry, I’m trying to be more positive and I want to get back into blogging properly but it’s hard when you’re not feeling yourself. In all honestly, I’m not coping with university very well. I mean, anyone looking in from the outside would disagree – academically I am doing well, I turn up to all my classes, I do the work, I have made friends and I am managing to cook for myself but on the inside I do not feel happy, or as happy as I could be.

One of the hardest things I’ve found about being at university is that you are the only person that knows who you are. It’s taken me a while to put my finger on it, but I think this is been something I’ve been struggling with ever since I got here. Sure, starting at a university where you know nobody would be hard, I knew that, but I it’s not hard in the way that I thought it was. Making friends has been fairly easy as everyone wants to make new friends as much as you do, but it’s really, really hard feeling like even the friends you have made don’t really know who you are and that they all have different perceptions of you, none of which reflect your true self.

As someone who has never had a strong sense of identity (hence my various crises over sexuality) and has never been very self-confident, being somewhere where I don’t have my friends and family to remind me of who I am is very difficult. I just feel lost, to be honest, like I’m not living my life anymore and I’m just doing things because that’s what I’m expected to do or that’s what other people think I should be doing. I don’t feel like the life I’m living reflects my inner values and self and I don’t know what I can do to fix it.

I make it sound like I don’t like university at all, which is not true because generally I like living away from home and being independent, I am enjoying my course even though I’m still a bit shaken up and uncertain if this is the right path for me after changing my degree in first term, I do have some friends and sometimes do fun stuff with them, but there’s this recurring feeling of being lost and not feeling like I fit in here or that being at uni is the right thing for me at all. Quite honestly, all this thinking and questioning is exhausting.

I do spend a lot of time by myself at uni as I don’t have many contact hours and I haven’t really clicked with my flatmates, which is fine when I’m having a good day as I don’t mind my own company and I sometimes find socialising tiring after a while anyway, but when I’m tired or stressed or something happens which triggers a negative spiral of thoughts, I really struggle being by myself as I spend too much time in my head.

It’s frustrating because I want to enjoy myself at university and I don’t want to be held back by this mess of thoughts, but I just seem to be stuck in a never-ending cycle of feeling down and lost at the moment.

I try not to talk about how I’m feeling with my friends and family back home as I feel like it’s hard to understand unless you’ve been through the same thing. As far as they’re concerned, I’m having a great time at university and my parents couldn’t be happier that I’ve settled in ‘so well’. Even with my friends at uni, I feel like I can’t open up to them because if anything I feel like they’re having a much better time than me and I don’t want to feel like a burden.

I’m not sure what this post is meant to be, I just have a lot of thoughts and I need to get them out.

I hope you’re all doing well and I really hope I can find the energy to write some positive posts about uni life sometime soon. For now I’m just going to try to work on taking care of myself because I want this term to go better than the last!

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17 thoughts on “When uni gets you down

  1. I’m so sorry you’re struggling slightly with uni right now. At the start and even sometimes now I get myself sooo down about uni. How I could have gone to a better uni. That I shouldn’t be at the uni I’m at now. That I feel almost ashamed I’m at this uni and not at a better one. That I’m never going to reach where I want to be because I’ve chosen this uni. I did for a while feel like I couldn’t tell my parents all of this because I’d be letting them down but even when I did they just brushed it off. So I just stopped mentioning it. I still sometimes feel that way now but I know the feeling passes and I just have to focus on the positives. Like the friends I’ve made that do understand me or when I do something I’m really interested in on the course. I just remind myself to appreciate the little moments when I feel like I’m going through a hard time because I know eventually it’ll pass. Also if you ever need to rant, like I just did with this comment, feel free to message me x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally understand where you’re coming from, I often wonder if I’d be struggling so much if I had picked a different uni or had done a gap year. I think we’ll always have these “what if” thoughts floating round our heads, but we chose to go to our respective unis for a reason and sometimes we just need to remind ourselves of what that reason is. I definitely need to start appreciating the little moments more and remind myself that everything passes in time, no matter how difficult it seems at first. Thank you, and you’re always welcome to message me too x

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  2. A lot of the time you think you’re the only one struggling at uni, but I guarantee you there are so many others who feel the same but are just as good at hiding it! I totally understand what you’re saying and sometimes I feel a bit lost too, but spending time doing the things you love in your alone time really helps bring yourself back as a person.

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    1. That’s a good point! It’s a shame people find it so difficult to open up to eachother about how they’re feeling and I think the whole stereotype of uni being your ‘vest years’ doesn’t help as it makes you feel like you’re failing if your not living the typical student life. I’m sorry you feel the same way sometimes and yes I should definitely start doing the things I enjoy again 🙂

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      1. Yeah everyone seems to want to pretend which doesn’t help! I have a friend who also goes to uni (but a different one) and we share our struggles and that really helps me sometimes because I know it’s not just me. Even sharing your thoughts with one other person makes a difference and I’m doing a lot better since I’ve reached out to people, so I recommend trying (if it’s someone you know super well, maybe from back home?)

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        1. I’m glad you and your friend support eachother! I have been trying to reach out to my friends form home more and it does help, I just need to not be embarassed about it! I’m also going to see the wellbeing advisors at uni to talk things through so hopefully that’ll help 🙂

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          1. Yeah I think it’s the initial step that is the hardest but after that it’s so much easier! And yes that is a good idea – I did a similar thing because I was struggling with anxiety and it helped a lot. I hope things go well for you too!

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  3. I think there’s this pressure to find yourself and be your best, freest self in Uni, and that’s not always the case or a good thing to strive for too much. My advice is to just enjoy the good parts and know that Uni is not a be all and end all when it comes to your education or yourself.

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    1. I totally agree, I feel like a lot of unis as well when they’re advertising to prospective students exaggerate the idea of ‘finding yourself’ which isn’t helpful as a lot of people come to uni with high expectations of what it will be like. Thank you so much – that is definitely a good way to approach it, as with life in general, just focusing on the good parts.

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  4. I totally relate to this post! As someone who isn’t your ‘typical’ student I’ve found it hard to fit in at times and feel like I’m putting on a front. I just find it hard to be completely myself even when I’m with my friends. I’m so much more confident when I’m with my family at home but at uni this just gets lost.

    It’s common not to get on with flatmates. It’s definitely pot luck. Universities are big places though and there will be people there who will be your sort of people. I didn’t feel completely settled until the end of first year and then had to go home for the summer! Here if you need to talk x

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    1. I’m glad someone understand how I’m feeling! It’s so frustrating knowing you can be your authentic self around your family but for some reason you can’t be that way around other people. I always feel like I’m putting up a front here and just saying stuff to please people or I just go completely silent which doesn’t help either as people just think I’m boring and unapproachable! I’m hoping I’ll be more settled by the end of the year, thank you so much x

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s okay to feel like you don’t know who you are.
    Although I’ve never been to university I’ve understood that pressure of not knowing where you belong. So trust me I know what you’re feeling. Have you considered talking to someone? As cliche it sounds I promise speaking to someone will help.

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    1. Thank you 🙂 it is hard not knowing where you fit in. I spoke to the uni counsellor a few weeks ago and things have been going a bit better since then. I think it’ll just take time for me to properly settle in.

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