May 23, 2013 at 9:19 pm #36057
My name is Victoria and I live in South America 🙂 I’m 22 years old and currently on my 5th year of university as an undergrad. My major (at the moment) is Linguistics. I have 3 years left until graduation. Why am I taking so long? Well, I first didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, then I fell down the eating disorder/depression/mental illness hole, took a gap year in 2010, switched to Sociology in 2011 and switched majors again to Linguistics, which I quite enjoy.
I feel I now know what I want to do. I want to leave the city I live in and move to Europe, preferably England. During my gap year, I had the amazing chance to be there for 6 weeks and I fell in love. I either want to pursue my masters in Translation/Interpreting in London or any other MA in the Humanities field that will allow me to stay there for as long as possible, if not forever. I’m in love with the architecture, the anonymity (in London), all the huge green spaces (the parks, the forests…), the tea, so many things. I wouldn’t mind living in other parts of Europe, either, working as an interpreter.
You see, my problem isn’t that I don’t know what to do or how to get where I want to. I know that I have to keep my grades up so I can apply for my MA in England and then go. The problem is I’m tired of waiting. I don’t want to be here any more. I’m very comfortable in my house, yes, but the moment I step outside I feel sad. I feel… disappointed? So I stay indoors. I barely get out of the house, let alone my room. I’m emotionally overeating when I have the chance, because school is stressful and every day I get on campus I sigh and think to myself: “I can’t believe I have 3 more years of this”. I want to fast forward until I finish my bachelor’s degree and get the eff out.
I know I won’t be entirely happy once I leave this place. I’ll miss my cats and “the comfort of my mother and the weight of the world” (I’m quoting MGMT, my apologies). But I need to travel. It’s one of the things that keeps me alive. I don’t want to get to know my city, I know it quite well. I wish I had the power to stop thinking about leaving and just focus on my studies. But I can’t. I’m so depressed by having to wait that I oversleep. I even failed two classes last semester, something unimaginable if you’ve known me before I took my gap year. I’ve stopped doing some things I like, like dancing or yoga or eating veggies (I’m the only one in my family who does, so it takes some extra effort to eat them. I can’t make an effort now).
Help? Does anyone know what I can do? How can I resist the “urge” and feel okay with living here for 3 more years? It seems like forever, after 5 years at my uni already.
Thank you, person that replies to this angsty post of a deluded girl in her twenties. Thank YOU. <3May 23, 2013 at 9:33 pm #36058
About slacking at university: I wasn’t like this until after my gap year (which I took to focus on my ED recovery). Before that, I was an excellent student. I got top grades and teachers loved me, even though I didn’t have a clear vision of my future. I feel that losing my perfectionist tendencies has dumbed me down. I’ve become irresponsible. Seriously.
Practising compassion and letting go has helped me do better in terms of my eating disorder (I don’t have that many compulsive eating episodes). However, when it comes to uni and achieving the grades I want, I’m not doing good at all. Heck, I failed classes last semester! It’s also related with being tired of studying. 8 years of undergrad is a LONG time…
May 24, 2013 at 1:03 pm #36083
- This reply was modified 6 years, 9 months ago by Victoria.
I think you sound depressed, judging by the oversleeping, being late, over eating etc. Maybe get into counseling and possibly an anti-depressant?May 24, 2013 at 3:33 pm #36086
Hi GreatWhiteGoddess :D. Thank you for replying. I’m currently on antidepressants and see my psychiatrist monthly. I actually had to wean myself off my SSRI so I could focus better. Well, not entirely: I went from 100 mg down to 50 mg
I’ve thought about going back to counselling, but I’m saving for a trip at the end of the year and I don’t want to put more financial pressure on my mother. Money is tight (as it is for everyone), so I might go back at the start of 2014.May 26, 2013 at 6:56 pm #36141
I feel like I can relate to you in so many ways. I’m also in my early twenties, and although our stories are quite different, our feelings/approach sound similar. To be honest, I think the idea that everything will be better once you get to the other side is a trap that we really need to stop allowing ourselves to fall into. I am on the other side of that trap right now, living as an expat in a country I thought I would love living in, pursuing a graduate degree I thought was right for me. Turns out, it’s not right–none of it. This is not to say that yours won’t be right, I’m just saying, be careful with your imagination.
I spent so much time building up my idea of how great my future life would be, that the realities of how life really was when I got here completely shook my foundation. In some ways, fantasizing about the life I was going to have felt empowering in the moment. It gave me some strength, something to look forward to. And I think that’s a good thing. I believed I could have anything, and felt confident that things would work. But I’ve learned I have to find a way to see that confidence and feel that strength, but pull it into my present situation, because now is all we have. I built up this life in my head that didn’t take into account how difficult it would be to start life in a new country. Moving somewhere is different than travelling there. Life as an expat is rough and can be isolating at times, so I recommend reading up on expat experiences. It might help prepare you. It’s worth it, to take the risk and move across the world on your own, and I commend you for being so brave. But just remember that there will still be challenges. When things didn’t end up going the way I thought they would, I became completely anxious and depressed. I cried every day, not because I was homesick, but because I was disappointed. It wasn’t what I thought it would be. It wasn’t actually right. I could feel it in my gut. I needed to NOT be here. I could not handle the difficult situations, the issues with school, not making the amazing friends I imagined I would, a relationship breakup, family issues back home, all these things compounded on my time here and I was not prepared for any of it.
I’m now leaving my graduate program in a month (it wasn’t right for me) and moving back across the world to my home country. But even now, I fall into that same trap. I’m here, where I thought everything would become magically better, and I’m focusing so much of my thoughts into my future life, that I am having a hard time enjoying my time in this city I thought I would LOVE living in. But I’m trying, and I’m finding that if I focus on the realities, that life back home may not be perfect, and then I think of how it might not be perfect, but I still know I want to go there, it helps me be HERE…now.
I have learned so much, and I know I needed to experience this to learn the things I did. And I believe you have to experience it to learn the things you have and will, but my best advice is to TRY your hardest to recognize that, yes, it will be liberating and exciting to move and start anew. But also recognize that it will be a struggle, there will be challenges, and if you’re not prepared for those, it can completely ruin the experience. So when you’re thinking of your life there, try to be as realisitic as possible, without being a pessimist. When you start to realize that everything in your world won’t be magically fixed, you might be able to focus, little by little, more on the present moment. If you’re in the present, time will go much more quickly. Also, I completely relate to you with the veggie, yoga, wellness routine stuff. My advice there, make yourself do it, don’t think about it, just DO it. Behaviors, in times like these, are our best friends. Healthy habits, don’t think too much, just do them.
Hope this helps!!
With PeaceMay 27, 2013 at 6:55 pm #36164
Thank you SO much for this reply. I’m sorry your experience was so difficult and that you have to go back to your home country now. What graduate program were you on?
I’ll try my best to follow a wellness routine. I know it’s very necessary and I have to rebuild some good habits I lost due to my ED recovery and such. Thing is, when I was abroad for 6 weeks I also suffered. I’ve been away on my own twice. The first time was disastrous and the second, not so much. I was completely alone, but I was so happy at times. I had these emotional highs I’ve seldom experienced in my life. And I went there when I was amidst my depression, having left uni because my eating disorder was out of control… I’m doing much better now. If I do leave this city, I’ll go with my long-term partner, whom I love very much, so hopefully I won’t feel as lonely as I would if I went by myself.
I have thought about the things I’ll miss from here. My cats. My comfy bed. The spaciousness of my home. The fact that I know everyone at my supermarket, as well as the neighbours who recognize me every now and then. But I think I’m ready to take the leap. I’ve been an undergrad for so, so long that I’ve grown tired of living here. I try to not daydream about going abroad and be realistic, just like you say I should, and even when I don’t daydream I think it’ll be a 10 times better there than it is here. I don’t know if I’ll be able to endure a break up, though! Not even if I stay here 😛
Again, thank you so much for replying. It was a well thought answer. I hope we can keep in touch! <3May 28, 2013 at 10:47 pm #36217
I understand where you are coming from. I have learned that if you want something go after it guns a blazing. It sounds like staying where you are is bumming you out so much that if it gets worse your studies could suffer and you may actually end up staying there much longer. I would suggest maybe completing your linguistics degree overseas? Could you possibly take a summer class in London? You would be able to get a taste of London without the commitment because I agree with Ahlive that it might not be all it was hyped up to be. I also have dreams of moving to London or moving abroad. Can’t wait to get out of this two bit town! I hope that helps my dear.