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Question First year of university. Troubled past NEED TIPS!!!!! - September 2nd 2014, 04:57 AM

Ok so I have my first day and first classes of university coming on Wednesday and I am getting real nervous and starting to freak out a bit.
I have awful anxiety and learning disability and lately depression which has made past school extremely difficult and changeling. Also because of my anxiety and learning disability I have had smaller classes with 20 kids at the most. Usually a teacher and EA. Had Extra time on tests and assignments. Usually had audio for tests.
Now I know I can get extra time and audio for tests and stuff in university. The thing is they want to have me do some testing to see where I am to the last time I got this testing done in grade nine to prove I had an learning disability. And it's this all day thing of doing test after test. I know for a fact that it will be to much. But no one will listen. They like to think they know me better then I do. And I have just terrible test anxiety to the point where the week. Before I barely eat or sleep and that's just with one test in a day. I have gotten in better but this testing they want done is scaring the hell out of me. I have no clue how I will handle university and the classes. And now I have this stupid testing thing hanging over my head too. I won't let these tests mess up my grades. I am paying 600$ per course and won't let these tests mess anything up.
And my mom did almost everything for me cause I got just so anxious when I had to do things on my own and in a way that has been a blessing and curse. Cause I never really had to do anything by myself or for my self my mom did for me. Also cause of mostly my awful anxiety I was often not made up to my full potential and people kinda of just wrote me off and thought I wouldn't be able to do anything big with my life. Everyone just told me I couldn't handle main stream classes or pretty much anything else for that matter. And that has stuck with me through my whole schooling experience. I was basically treated differently and looked down upon because I am not a normal teen.
My mom stopped doing thing for me when I turned 18 and had to upgrade my marks to try and get in to the program I wanted but because I took way to much on at the beginning of last school year and a bunch of family crap happened at the same time. Plus I felt very alone at the time. I was thrown in to being a completely independent adult almost over night when for the last 17 years I really didn't have to do anything for myself my mom did it all for me. I felt like I had no one to go to where I could get help and advice and support and thought now that I was 18 that I shouldn't need help anymore and should be able to handle everything by my self. I believe this was one of the main factors in me totally screwing last year up and was left feeling like a complete failure. I guess it kinda worked out in the long run. I got in to open studies at the university that holds my program that I couldn't get in too.
I quickly burnt myself out and that cost me hugely not only did I not get the marks I wanted but I screwed up and wasted a whole year only hearing that I wasn't good enough or I would never make make it. And no one really believed I could do anything. Which has had a real negative effect on me. I have no self confidence and often think I am not good enough or smart enough to do different things like university or having a job or living on my own.
This year is so important. It's my final chance to prove everyone wrong. And finally stop feeling like such a failure and so worthless and like I will never be good enough. This was all suppose to happen last year and look what happened I had way to much going on at the start and it ruined the rest of the year. I just can't let that happen again or for the rest of my life I will be treated differently
Look down upon told over and over I can't do it or I wasn't good enough. It just can't happen again I can't handle it if it happens again not only will I feel like a failure and a waste of space and energy and oxygen I will have wasted over $2000 for me just fall apart. I REALLY CANT AFFORD FOR A REPEAT.
Anyway I really really need tips for how to handle university with having issues and knowing no one really believes I can do it???? ANY ADVICE would REALLY REALLY REALLY HELP.
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Re: First year of university. Troubled past NEED TIPS!!!!! - September 2nd 2014, 07:12 AM

Hey there,

I'd reach out to the disability resources, or those who are making you take the test, and bring up your concerns. They cannot help if they do not know what's going on. If you have a diagnosed mental disability or illness, this may be taken into account. Also, remember that the test is not graded. All it does is help them help you find the resources that you need, so you have no reason to be nervous. It's basically a "pre-test" to see your current needs,and is not something that needs to be studied for or worried about.

Last, you're not a waste of space. If university is not right for you at this time, consider taking some time off to work and seek treatment for these feelings. There is NOTHING wrong with that. I may take some time between undergraduate and graduate school for similar reasons, it's a very typical thing to do. Obviously, you made it through secondary school, so I know you're ABLE to get through university. But if the anxiety is going to make you miserable, take some time to figure that out before you harm yourself.

Stay strong.

I said to the sun, "Tell me about the big bang"
& the sun said “it hurts to become."
Andrea Gibson, "I Sing The Body Electric; Especially When My Power Is Out"
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Re: First year of university. Troubled past NEED TIPS!!!!! - September 2nd 2014, 10:55 AM

Hi there,

Sorry to hear that you are feeling so stressed out and anxious over this.

I have suffered from symptoms of both anxiety and depression, and managed to get through university life so thought I'd share my own experience

I don't know what universities are like where you live, but my university experience was split into lectures and seminars. Lectures took place in a hall with all the other students. You don't have to worry about answering questions because the lecturer is busy lecturing and you're busy taking notes/listening. The seminars were split into smaller groups (about 20 students) where you generally do activities based on what you are studying. My friend who goes to a different university had tutorials instead of seminars, and this is the same kind of thing but with an even smaller group. You may also have a personal tutor, who you can arrange to meet with and discuss any worries you may have. I found university to be a lot more supportive and easier access to services compared to high school, so they should believe you needing more help.

I definitely agree with Ignite, that if you find the all-day testing to be overwhelming then to bring that up to the disability services, and see if you can find another way to do the tests. Perhaps split the tests up?

As for test anxiety, this is relatively common. If you look online, you can find breathing exercises which, done regularly, can help to calm you down. It will also help you to eat as it relaxes the muscles, whereas when we are anxious are muscles are tensed so we don't feel like eating. Have you had any help managing anxiety and depression? During my last year of university, I had counselling (another service your university should provide) for anxiety and I wish I had done it sooner, because it helped a lot.

My mum also did (and still does) everything for me, which is definitely a blessing and a curse, as you say. A blessing because things get done, and a curse because the longer your mum does things for you, the harder it gets to do things on your own. However, I definitely believe that you will succeed in life!

You should feel proud of yourself for how far you have come! I also felt like you when I was 18. That this is the adult world and I should be independent and doing things on my own. But that's not always true. People 'mature' at different rates so you shouldn't compare yourself to others in that respect. Besides, there is nothing wrong asking for help either.

It's wrong that people have treated you that way, especially in the education system. But I know so many people who have been in similar situations and they did prove everyone wrong! It is understandable that the way everyone has treated you has knocked your confidence. I'm still working on my confidence, but I have found that writing little notes about your positive traits (e.g. your strength and determination to carry on) and reading them everyday can help. Also, challenging negative thoughts helps e.g. write down negative thoughts and try to see them in a more realistic way.

I also do agree with Ignites comment that if you feel that university is not the right choice for you at this time, to think about it a bit more.

Whatever happens, I wish you the best of luck with university, I definitely know that you are not a waste of space and you will do well, whatever you choose.

Stay strong! And P.M me anytime
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