Things University has Taught Me

I wish this post could be a serious one. It won’t be. 

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1. You will literally have no idea what is going on the majority of the time. 

Strange, I know. However, I am being serious. I am nearing the end of second year and I honestly do not have any idea what has happened over the past 2 years. You would think by now I would have some sort of understanding about my degree, where I am going in life. The purpose of spending all this money and getting into all this debt but the reality is, I have less of an idea of what I want to do with my life than I did when I was back in college.
I go to lectures to be told that 1 in 10 psychology graduates get a job in the field. The rest work in bars after graduation. BARS. I am being deadly serious, this was an actual lecture I had to attend.

50d02ff2a1e2dcb9c40f735531e07008_projectile-blog-vomiting-all-memes-uni_706-470.jpeg2. Your assignments will make no sense.

Again, sounds odd but something I have learnt is, no matter how many lectures you go to, When you get given an assignment title, it will make no sense. You will spend the first 2 weeks after being given it trying to work out what you’re meant to be writing about. When it clicks, you will begin writing, get a few hundred words in and realise you still don’t know what the question is asking you but in true student style, you continue to bullshit until you hit the word count.
No one knows how to reference.

This is particularly important in first year. My university spent a solid 2/3 months explaining how to reference correctly. This is the most important thing you will learn, they said. BULLSHIT. Refme.com will be your lifeline. It will be everybody’s lifeline. I don’t actually know of a single student who creates a reference list without the help of the internet. It’s just not the done thing. Honestly, If you can’t get your head around it, do not panic. It isn’t important. There is a reason the internet was created.

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3. “The lecture slides will be uploaded online” Is the worst thing a lecturer can ever say.

Sounds useful, doesn’t it?
“Amazing, If I’m sick one day I won’t fall behind!”
What they don’t tell you is, the lecture slides often contain nothing more than a picture, or a cartoon. WHAT USE IS THAT TO ANYONE??? I once had a lecture slide that just said “The inbetweeners”

Not only that, though, it’s also a slippery slope. Hungover? Oh, it’s fine the lecture will be online! Tired? Don’t worry, you can catch up online. Do not fall into the trap. You cannot catch up using the lecture slides online. 

4. College students do not understand the term binge watching a show. 

Something I learnt at university is, the term binge watching a tv show has a whole new meaning at university. I mean right now, it’s 03:30 and I’ve just switched my TV off after a night of watching The Big Bang theory.

Honestly, I think my biggest achievement of university so far is watching every single episode of all series of Fresh Meat, Brooklyn Nine-nine, The OA, The Big Bang theory.. the list goes on…


5.When in a lecture. Do not steal someone else’s seat. 

I mean this is basically the unwritten rule of university. Everyone finds their own seat. I mean obviously, lecture halls are fairly large, there’s a lot of seats but no matter how many empty seats there are, it is never okay for you to sit in another person’s seat. Just don’t do it okay? It ruins the whole thing. If you sit in someone’s seat, they’re forced to sit in someone else’s seat and this just continues. Everyone is sat in the wrong seats and it just destroys everything. Don’t be that idiot that steals a seat.


6. This image or an image of the same kind isn’t what university is. 

You have more chance of turning up to every single class for the whole degree than you do of sitting outside with your multicultural group of friends. It just does not happen.
I mean sure, you are likely to make friends with people from different faiths and different backgrounds, but you are very unlikely to actually sit outside on some grass and study with them. It just isn’t something that happens.

7. Having to attend a 9 AM lecture hungover is one of the worst things ever. 
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You’ll do it once and swear you will never do it again… until the next day….

8. The fire alarm in halls is basically satan. 

You’ll crawl into bed at 5 AM, check the clock and realise you have 3 hours to sleep before your lecture.. Then boom, an ear piercing screech will ruin your whole plan. It is the most inconsiderate thing ever.

9. Being a serial outfit repeater is acceptable when you reach university. 

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Honestly, don’t sweat it. You will turn up on the first day in halls with every item of clothing you own, you will start with the intention of wearing a new outfit every day. Then one day you’ll realise you need to do that washing. You’ll grab all your clothes off the floor and walk to the laundry room to find the only way you’re going to be able to afford to wash all this is if you remortgage your parent’s house.
Deodorant the armpits and you’re ready to go.

10. On at least one occasion, usually more, you will regret every single life decision you made and question why you didn’t just get a job.

Assignments, no money, hungry. What made this seem like a good idea?

Mental health fuck up

Trigger warning. Talk of suicidal thoughts and a past plan in some detail. Also mention of self harm. 

My mental health has gone to shit but I’m hiding it so well that everyone thinks I’m fine and that’s scary. 

I’ve lived for years with this constant battle going on inside my head, for years I told no one. Eventually I started to open up to a few people and decided to reach out and get help from my doctor. 

Things seemed to be going okay. I mean, I still felt like shit day in day out but I was on medication. I was functioning. Everything seemed okay despite me feeling as though I was falling apart and as though I was at rock bottom. Little did I know I wasn’t. 

This past week or so I’ve felt so bad. 

I’ve carried on with my life as normal, ive gone to uni quite a bit. I’ve tried to be social. I’ve smiled around people and I’ve held it together. Yes, I’ve had a few blips here and there where I have self harmed and my eating has been shit to say the least (living off one chocolate bar a day most days) 

Until yesterday. 

I don’t know what happened. I was fine and then I wasn’t. 

Yesterday feels like a bit of a blur to me, so much happened in such a short space of time. I was at my dads, I went back to uni, I went out with some friends and then I fell apart.

It was about 1AM this morning and I don’t know what happened. All I remember is feeling low. Really really low. I just couldn’t cope. I didn’t know how to cope. I didn’t want to carry on. I wanted to die. 

For me, the idea of dying has never really scared me. I’ve welcomed the idea with open arms. I’ve always said I would never actively kill myself, but if a car was to drive at me at high speed, I don’t think I would step out the way. Death doesn’t scare me. The thing I’m scared of is how it would affect my family and in my eyes, that’s the reason I would never actually do anything to end my own life. I love my family too much to hurt them in that way. 

Until last night. I lay in bed and I realised there was 3 bottles of bleech downstairs. I began imagining myself drinking it. Holding my nose to try and mask the taste a little and just downing it. 

It scared me. I hadn’t had thoughts like that for nearly 5 years. I’d forgotten what it felt like to have real, genuine suicidal thoughts. I mean in the past 5 years I thought I was suicidal a few times but looking back I wasn’t. Not compared to last night. 

I knew I couldn’t do it though. I had to fight the thoughts. The urges. The inner voice telling me to do it. That the world didn’t need me. That my family would be better off without me. 

I was scared. So scared I actively reached out for help. I went online and googled as fast as I could. What to do if you want to kill yourself?

A list of websites appeared before my eyes, every time I clicked on them the opening hours read 9AM-10PM. What use was that? It was 1AM. I kept searching frantically, page after page after page. They all said the same. Closed now. Come back tomorrow. 

I accepted defeat. It was time to speak to the Samaritans. 

Now I don’t do phone calls, it isn’t something I posses the ability to do. So I decided to email. 

I began the email with “I don’t really know what to say or what to do. I just need help”

For me that was scary. I was asking for help. Me, the person who never asks for help. I knew in that moment it was serious but I also knew that by seeking out help, it meant I didn’t really want to die. I just wanted an escape

So I typed and I typed for what felt like forever. I typed everything I could. All the thoughts I was thinking went into this email and I sat there for about 10 minutes hovering over the send button. 

I closed my eyes and pressed send. 

I’d done it. I’d asked for help. I’d reached the lowest point I’ve felt for years and I did it. I didn’t hurt myself. I didn’t kill myself. I helped myself. 

I don’t know what happened last night. Nor do I know how I managed to build up the courage to ask for help in that situation but I did and I’m so proud of myself for doing that. I don’t know how or why I did but what’s important is I did.

This morning I woke up and I went to uni, I attended my lectures and all my classes and I even stayed late to meet a friend after her class finished. I acted as though nothing had happened the night before. 

No one knows I hadn’t slept. No one knows I was ready to take my own life just a few hours earlier. No one knows the battle I had just overcome. 

Tonight I’m back in bed. I feel like shit again but no where near as bad as it was 24 hours ago. If I made it through last night. I can make it through tonight. 

Something convinced me to stay last night. I don’t know what but there was something. 

It’s made me realise I need to get my life back on track and I’m going to do everything I can to try and make this better. 

Social media 

I wish I lived in a world where social media didn’t exist. 

Social media has become a part of my everyday life. There’s no discussion there. I’ve had facebook since I can remember, Instagram and snapchat since they came out. Tumblr for years. 

I live in a world where we are programmed to wake up, check social media and then start our day. Where a few hours without social media and you feel as though you have missed out on something. Where no matter what you’re doing or who you are with there is this constant need to post about it online. 

Likes have become a value of your worth. 

Id love to just delete all social media and just live a life without it for a while but it isn’t something I can do. It’s too much of my every day life for it not to be there anymore. It’s like a drug. It’s an addiction. We crave likes on facebook or Instagram. We feel like we need to post about everything online. 

When we’re bored, when we have nothing to do, when we are waiting, when we are with friends, social media is something that’s just a part of everything and it’s annoying. I wish it had never been invented. I wish as a society we hadn’t become so dependant on it. 

I miss the times I used to ring my friends for hours on end to catch up. When I met up with them and we could talk for the full day about what we have been up to. Now it’s a case of “oh yeah I saw that on snapchat” conversation over. 

Social media is making us less and less social. You go for a meal and people have to snapchat it, you go to a concert and people spend the whole time on their phones recording it so they can “enjoy it later” why not enjoy it now? Why not live in the moment and embrace the experience? Why do people feel the need to post about it online… is it a need to show off? To prove something? 

I’m fed up of it all. I want my life back and I want to enjoy the experiences I have and I don’t want to be so dependant on my phone. 

So as of tonight, I’m deleting the facebook app on my phone. Then as time goes on I’ll delete each app slowly but surely. I’m tired of being a robot to social media. I want my life back. 

Anxiety 

Living a life with anxiety is like constantly being followed around by a voice. A voice that knows all of your insecurities, often insecurities you weren’t even aware you had and it uses them against you. It feels like it’s the loudest voice in the room, no matter how much you try and drown it out it’s always there.

Being out of control of your own mind, worries and thoughts are terrifying. It’s one of the scariest feelings in the world. Even more so when everything could be going perfectly fine, yet your mind tricks you into thinking everything is going wrong.

It makes you think “is something wrong with me?” You apologise for being crazy, irrational and a mess. It’s tiring, frustrating and the worst part is, it’s something you can not control. No matter how many times you try and tell yourself to calm down and everything is fine there’s always that feeling of “what if” in the back of your mind.

Your mind will convince itself that things are worse than they really are.

The worst part for me is the fact that not only do you not understand why you’re this way, but those that love you don’t understand either. No matter how many times you try and explain what’s wrong, nothing comes out.

I have one of those minds. I know what’s it like to not be able to explain what’s wrong, especially if nothing is really actually wrong.

I’ve always been hard on myself. I’ve always thought about the worst in every situation but never to this extent. 

People don’t understand the extent of what anxiety really is. They often jump to the conclusion that people who overthink everything or make up scenarios in their head are crazy. What they don’t understand is people with anxiety can not control it. 

Having anxiety doesn’t make us crazy and we certainly don’t need people telling us we are crazy.

Loving someone with anxiety can be difficult, that said, the worst thing you can do is give them a reason to worry. Remember that it is you vs. anxiety vs. them. The best thing you can do is just listen – or be there if someone can’t explain why they feel how they do.

You need to understand that sometimes, unfortunately, you may be the reason for an attack, despite not giving us a reason to have one. Don’t take it personally. Try and just be careful wit your words and the way in which you word things. Don’t accuse us of overreacting, don’t tell us to just calm down or to stop worrying, it isn’t that simple. Do you not think that if we could calm down or we could stop worrying, we would?

People attempt to understand what’s going on in my head, the reasons I worry about things that haven’t happened or why I let my thoughts make me so unhappy. The truth is, I don’t know.  I wish I had an answer, and someday, I hopefully I will.

One thing I have learnt is: do not lose yourself in your fear.

I try and remind myself every day, despite all the thoughts and worries running through my head, that I cannot let it control me. I try not to loose myself in my worries about things that may or may not happen because if I allowed it to, it would eat me alive and ruin my life.
It’s hard, no one says it’s going to be easy but you’ve made it so far on this long and tiresome journey. You have the strength within yourself to keep going and to succeed in beating this.