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Forums / Young people / Is it normal to be feeling this way?

Topic: Is it normal to be feeling this way?

4 posts, 0 answered
  1. EmJane
    EmJane avatar
    1 posts
    1 May 2020

    Hi :)

    I've never really posted online about this but I've been feeling considerably worse recently and feel the need to reach out to others who have perhaps experienced/are experiencing similar things.

    I finished Year 12 last year and moved out of my small country town in early February to a city 2 and a half hours away to attend uni. No one I know from my hometown moved to this city or is attending uni. I moved into a share house about 5 minutes from my uni campus with some really lovely housemates that I simply cannot fault. Initially I was very excited to move - my family (who I am very close to) and friends back home really hyped up my 1st year of uni as being a time to party at first and then make some amazing new friends and meet people.

    For the month of February due to not having friends in the city and not being able to afford to travel home, I spent a lot of time in the share house alone as my housemates worked full time. During this time I began to feel quite isolated and alone despite regularly calling friends and family in my hometown. I thought it would pick up once uni started. But due to COVID-19 my uni decided to go entirely online. At first this was okay and I studied hard. But I didn't get to meet anyone or make any friends in the city. I began to quickly feel more isolated, lonely and anxious despite still being close to family and friends in my hometown. I could not and still cannot shake the feeling that this year has been a disappointment.

    I struggled with being alone in the city sharehouse a lot through March. Felt very sad constantly and cried a lot. Felt very alone despite talking to friends and my parents. This past month (April) I have been spending a majority of my time in my hometown with my parents, staying with them 5 days a week and spending the other 2 in the city when I have to work. But despite being home I am still feeling extremely down but can't pinpoint exactly why. I feel stressed about uni work and it is affecting my motivation - I am beginning to not attend some online classes. Then I feel bad about it and think I should go next week, but then because I feel bad I don't go - it is a cycle. I feel like I may be beginning to fall behind. I feel anxious in public and sometimes panicky. I cry a lot when I'm alone and feel very down. I feel very alone although I have very supportive friends and family who check up on me regularly.

    I'm not sure how to get my motivation back for uni and how to feel less alone and down.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    6156 posts
    1 May 2020 in reply to EmJane
    Welcome to the forums, EmJane

    We're so glad that you have reached out to our community tonight, we know that it is not an easy thing to do and you have shown a lot of strength in sharing your story. We're also really sorry to hear of the difficult past few months that you have been through. We can hear how disappointing it must be to have the start of this year turn out very unexpected to what you'd hoped. But please know that you've come to a safe, non-judgemental space to talk about your thoughts and feelings, and our wonderful community is here to provide you with as much support, advice and conversation as you need.

    If you think it might be helpful, we'd also recommend reaching out to our Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service. The website will be regularly updated with information, advice and strategies to help you manage your wellbeing and mental health during this time. We also have a dedicated support line, staffed by friendly mental health professionals, available 24/7 at the Beyond Blue Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service on 1800 512 348.

    We hope that you keep checking in with us here on your thread to let us know how you're going, whenever you feel ready.
    1 person found this helpful
  3. uncut_gems
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
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    uncut_gems avatar
    351 posts
    7 May 2020 in reply to Sophie_M

    Hi EmJane,

    I want to echo Sophie_M in welcoming you to the forums and in encouraging you to reach out to Beyond Blue's Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service. Most of all, what I have to say is just that yes, what you are feeling is completely normal.

    Everything you're describing: trouble with classes, isolation, difficulty moving away from home are all totally normal parts of your first year of uni, and that's *without* a global pandemic! I think in hyping up uni your family probably remember their own time there fondly, but may have forgotten that especially at first, it can be a hard, stressful experience.

    I totally relate to that sense of loneliness despite having plenty of loved ones, and that lack of motivation. It's really, really hard to do my academic work from home.

    Now for the practical stuff: most unis have great resources for students who are struggling with classes for any reason, and I would imagine you're far from the only person having a hard time finding that same drive now that everything is online and your world has been turned upside-down. Exercise, limiting news intake, and planning nice and absorbing activities for yourself are all great. But above all, be kind to yourself.

    No one has had a uni experience quite like this in a hundred years; nothing is "normal." So the odds are however you feel is as close to "normal" as anyone.


  4. Jesicca
    Jesicca avatar
    47 posts
    26 May 2020 in reply to EmJane

    Hi EmJane,

    What you are experiencing is completely normal and you are not alone in what you are feeling. I remember when I first started uni a few years ago I felt really stressed about the social side of things, as well as the academic. I had all these expectations, hoping that I would have a bit of a new start and all these opportunities that I needed to access straight away. I think stressing so hard to make these things happen in the first year made me feel so much more "behind" and alone than I was. My best advice to you (especially going through this experience in the middle of pandemic) is to acknowledge how far you have already come before stressing about the things that are yet to come. I know this is easier said than done but something that I practice is writing a gratitude journal each night before bed. I write down 3 things that I am grateful for that day, no matter how small they are. When some days are harder than others my gratitude journal could have something as simple as being grateful to have had a delicious breakfast of oats that morning (my favourite breakfast meal) or a Facebook video that made me smile that day.

    As for being back home and still feeling down, it is important to remember that what we are experiencing as a society is totally new to us all and it is scary to not know what the future holds for us. Although social media and FaceTime etc is a great opportunity to interact with friends, I understand it isn't the same as seeing our loved ones in person. Something that has gotten me through this is being open to my friends about how much I miss them because it reminds me that they will be there for me as soon as we get the opportunity to hang out in person. I've also started listening to the same podcasts as my friends (which that in itself feels a little like a new friend since I'm listening to the same girls each week) and so we discuss this when we call each other each week instead of just talking about how much it sucks that we can't see each other in person (something I found we were doing to begin with).

    Also, when I was lacking motivation for uni what I found helped was scheduling 'movie time' or something I liked doing in every single day so that I didn't feel like I wanted to procrastinate with them as much because I was already doing them.

    I hope these suggestions are something you can think about doing or put your own little spin on,

    1 person found this helpful

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