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College is too much... - March 14th 2018, 09:11 PM

This thread has been labeled as triggering by the original poster or by a Moderator. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

I don't even know where to fit this because it covers so many different topics.

I'm a senior in college, supposed to have one semester left after this one because I had to withdraw from some classes because of disability-related hospitalization and surgery. I have chronic fatigue as a symptom of my disability, so getting through classes is normally a struggle. I have depression. I have recently developed test anxiety, but I'm starting to learn to manage it. I have problems with addiction because unhealthy behaviors and substances is how I cope when life is so unmanageable (I'm finally getting help for this).

I'm losing my mind this semester. I've pushed myself so hard the past 3.5 years that I'm just exhausted physically and mentally, and I keep falling behind because of the fatigue, which ultimately makes me more fatigued. My courses are high stress because they're all just a few difficult tests that determine your entire grade, but that's normal (think 4 finals weeks per semester, every semester). I'm having multiple life crises all in the same semester, and it's destroying me. I thought it couldn't get any worse, so then I lost my cat, who was very close to me for almost 18 years. And I've forced myself to keep pushing through it and pull things off like I always do. Everyone's leaning on me (friends, group members in classes), but I can't support myself anymore, but I have to hold everyone else's weight too. And so I finally crumbled and fucked up a major exam for one of my classes, and I highly doubt I'll be able to turn my grade around. But I have an A in the lab, which is nearly done and I don't want to lose all that hard work. I can't drop just the lecture because I will be required to drop the lab I have the A in. I can't drop the lecture (and lab) without losing financial aid, which I need. I'd need to get a job to make up for no financial aid, but I'm too much of a wreck to try to balance school AND a job right now. Withdraw date is next week, and next semester will already be hell without adding this required hell course to it.

I'm seeing an addiction counselor at school (only counselor I can tolerate and school is only option for counseling because its free with tuition) once about every three weeks and regularly attending AA meetings and other recovery meetings (multiple times per week). I'm losing my mind though. There's so much left of the semester, and I'm just done. I'm at a loss for what to do.

Mostly need to rant and figure out what the fuck to do. Advice is okay, but please don't say anything like it'll get better or at least it's not worse. Thanks..


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Re: College is too much... - March 15th 2018, 02:46 PM

I don't know what advice to give, but I'm glad that you ranted a bit. And don't worry, we aren't going to say that at least it's not worse...you are already going through so much, dealing with chronic fatigue, depression, substance use, and trying to get through college. That sounds quite exhausting!

It's really good that you are seeing a counsellor and attending AA meetings. You are so strong for supporting your friends too...I'm wondering if perhaps they can try and support you too? You don't have to deal with everything by yourself, even if friends are going through a difficult time, they can try to be there for you a bit too.

I admire your strength in carrying on with college even if you feel you are failing, because I know from my own experiences that it's not easy. Definitely don't want to add more stress though. Hope you figure things out and do what's best for you


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Re: College is too much... - March 18th 2018, 06:45 PM

No one will judge or say that at least it not worse. I understand how hard it must be with having a disability which casuses chronic fatigue as one of the symptom. When I was in sixth form college (year 12) , I was diagnosed with a chronic condition called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which made me extremely fatigue all the time. Are you allowed to use a laptop in your classes , if you are, I would suggest for you to type your class notes instead of handwriting them as that might reduce some of your fatigue. Does your college know about your disability, if not I would recommend you speak to someone from the student support department about your needs as they could give you extra support.

As for the exams, again I would suggest you speak to the student support department to see if you can get some sort of support in the exams due to your disability such as, extra time , a scribe ( someone who can write your answers which you tell them ) and being able to type your answers instead of handwriting your exam.

It is great that you see a counsellor and that you attend the AA meetings. You should not have to deal with both your friends and your own problems . If you have a close friend in class, maybe you could explain to them that you are unable to deal with your friends problems as that is putting more pressure on you as you not only having to help yourself but you are also having to help your friends. Are your friends aware that have a disability? It might be helpful for them to know , so they understand not to put pressure on you. Remember , you also deserve support just as much as you support your friends , your friends should support you.



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Re: College is too much... - March 19th 2018, 08:19 PM

I am glad you ranted. I don't have a ton of advice to offer but I hope that ranting helped.

Something to consider is that some of these things might be exacerbated by the fact that you are so close to being done and you just ... want to be done but have to drag through the semester. My boyfriend has struggled a lot through trying to get his Degree in Computer Information Technology. He is in his last semester and he seems to be struggling a lot more. I know some of it is directly correlated to his mental health issues and lack of sleep but he's admitted that some of it is directly related to being so close to being done but ... also having so much longer because he has pushed himself so hard and he needs a break. I know he has spring break next week and breaks usually help him get refreshed. So, do you think Spring Break might help you as well? I know it won't fix it cause it's likely the best thing to 'fix' this will be getting done with school but sometimes a break can help to a degree but I am not sure when/if you will get a break?

I am not sure if it will help but when I was in my last semester of getting my AA ... it took me years because of my own struggles with disabilities...I would try and reward myself for every week I went to school because for me...attendance was difficult because I knew I didn't need to attend to pass but a lot of the teachers had attendance 'rules'. I also know that once I stopped attending even if I could pass I would end up skipping important days due to depression. So, the reward system kind of helped keep me going a bit. The rewards would be really simple such as a night out with friends or a coffee (starbucks or one of the the better local places). I know that might not help you and most semesters that didn't work for me but it did that last semester for some reason so I thought I'd mention it.

As for your issues with the class and financial aid, my boyfriend has had to balance that and is currently doing so but more in regards to the GI Bill. He has had to take a full course load and summer classes for the past 2 years or so because he lives off the GI Bill. It isn't ideal but he cannot work and go to school and school is more important for his long term success. It has been a constant battle and I know it adds more stress especially if you are actually struggling in a class and have to consider dropping it. My only real suggestion is to try and talk to the teacher and see if there might be a way to turn it around. There are some teachers who are amazing when they find out a student is struggling with an illness (you wouldn't have to specify) and that it is making the semester complicated. A lot of teachers will work with the student to try and help them succeed because they care. Maybe this professor is one of the good ones who might be willing to talk with you and help you figure out what the best course of action would be and if there is a way to turn it around?

I am glad you were able to vent because I understand that all this stuff is leading to more and more stress. You have school which is stressful, plus you have your disabilities, financial stress and you mentioned feeling like you have to take others weight. That is so much and you should be proud of yourself for trying to work through it. I know it's not easy and I know I can't really offer any advice that will be super helpful because the issue is so complex.

One thing, you mention that you feel you have to take on others weight. I don't know what you mean by that but I have started to learn that having people who depend on me has led to me feeling like I have to take on their issues and their weight. I have never had people depend on me until I started a relationship with my boyfriend and so it's been a new and complex thing because I am usually able to disengage when a person's life/weight gets to be too much. I haven't been able to do that with my boyfriend and am hoping to work on it in therapy. My dad has dealt with people depending on him for year (37+) and he has been working on that in therapy and I have noticed a change. He still takes on too many peoples issues/weight but he has been able to step back a bit. I am not sure if that is what you meant when you said you were taking on others weight but it might be something you can address in counseling?

You mentioned you are seeing a school counselor once every three weeks and I am wondering if you could increase the times you see her? I know colleges have different rules pertaining to counseling. My city college only allows 8 sessions and then they refer out. However, I know the state college had a better program. That being said, increasing how often you see the counselor (if possible) might help as well simply because you'd have a place to vent?

I know my advice is probably stuff you've considered and I hope that nothing I said came across as invalidating because that wasn't my intention. The advice is mostly just stuff that popped into my mind.

Lastly, I guess I'll just add that you are an amazing person. I've seen you around off and on and I've always thought you were pretty cool. I know we have never really interacted but if you need a safe place to vent my pm box is open. If you just want to vent but you don't want a response you can say so. I know sometimes I need to vent about things but don't want to post on the site so I PM a friend. If you need something like that you can do so with me or maybe find another person to try it with?

Best regards and please keep hanging in there. I hope that you are able to figure all this out.


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Re: College is too much... - March 23rd 2018, 09:38 PM

I didn't withdraw from the class, so it's going to be hell to try to bring up my grade/not make it worse because I actually need it for my major.

Spring break wasn't a break... more like hell week because I spent all my time studying for major exams and writing papers, and that was before I posted this. I don't get a break ever. I want school to be over, but I don't know when it will be. I can't graduate on time (this semester), and I'm so close to being done, but I can't hold myself together through this much longer. If I fail this class, I'll have to retake it this summer, when I desperately need this summer as a break because my body and mind can't take this anymore. It's too late to take a semester off because at this point if I do, I won't come back to finish even just one last semester (after this one) and I'm in too much debt to not get a degree. All of college has been like this. I've thought about dropping out daily since first semester freshmen year and that's only increased to multiple times per day, every day.

I already have disability accommodations but they don't help enough, and I had to fight disability services to get what I have. Also my counselor can't meet with me more frequently because it's a large school, so there isn't time. She's already doing more than she should by being available to students outside of work hours, and I feel bad for reaching out when she's not at work, although I've done so a few times when needed.

And this grief is just taking over. If I couldn't handle school before, now it's even worse.


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