College & Mental Health Update

September 28, 2016
So we’re a few weeks into the college term, and I’ve survived the horrible meet and greets, form filling, filing and a massive workload. I’ve gone through getting lost in college, making new friends, getting up at 6:30 am every day, and I’m still here to tell the tale.
Okay, so college isn’t that bad. (Kinda). On the first day of college I was crapping myself, everyone seemed so confident and I was poor little Hope with no friends and also older than everyone else. It wasn’t the greatest day, I admit, but I soon felt at ease and began to get to know people in my class. It also helped that to my surprise; there were people on my course that I already knew from high school (life saver!).

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

So if you didn’t know already, I’m doing Health and Social Care Level 3. The workload is going to be pretty heavy and Infection Control first thing on a Monday morning isn’t very pleasant, and Sociology will never make sense, but I’m getting through it. As a mental health sufferer, college is so much more relaxed than high school or sixth form of any kind; my tutors understand my situation more, and if you feel terrible you can go home, it’s just down to you to catch up. My learning programme is being made to suit my needs which are extremely helpful, and my timetable is pretty decent, I have Thursday and Friday afternoons off so I can sit here and chat with you guys.

I can now see how high school made me ill. The constant attendance issues, long days plus homework and exams, petty fallouts, THE PRESSURE. If any of your family members say that high school are the best days of your life, and you should make the most of them, then I’m sorry, but they’re lying! It was so much easier for them when they were younger so just take it with a pinch of salt as there are better days to come.

How am I coping? 

Now I’m not saying “Wow guys, my anxiety has disappeared, college is amazing, and I’m doing fantastic.” because that wouldn’t be true. I’m still facing my daily challenges such as panic attacks, getting stressed if I’m behind on work which can result in feeling on edge, and hating sudden changes of plans within the course. Certain things that are normal to everyone else will be a massive step for me without everyone even noticing. 
I’ll be sat with my class of 17 all day, and some of them won’t know that I’m feeling sudden panic, shaking and heart pounding. They won’t realise that sitting in a particular place in a canteen may result in me having a panic attack but that’s OK. 

“Most of the things you worry about, never happen.”

If you said to me a few months ago that positive thoughts work and pushing past barriers makes you better, then I wouldn’t have believed you. To be honest with you, I’m in awe with myself because I can’t believe I’m doing it.
To anyone out there who is suffering from mental health of any kind, take time out and get help. Recovery will take a while, but you’ll get there, I promise. Let go of the past; tomorrow is a new day. Focus on something, set goals and stay productive. No matter what you think, counselling/CBT does help for nearly everyone. Just do it, get on with it and try. DO NOT worry about setbacks because you will not get anywhere. If you have a setback, that’s okay, but you will never hit your lowest point again.
You will get stronger with every day, push those barriers and kick its ass.
Hope x

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