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MyVisionIsDying Offline
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Name: Shane
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Advice Needed. - May 18th 2016, 12:27 AM

Hey guys, this is just a brief return asking for some advice on a whim. I've seen a couple of posts on socia media recently from people I used to go to school with about how they're excited or nervous about leaving college and/or going to university this September. Obviously, it's good for them but I cannot help but resent many people who are achieving something (I even resent a cousin of mine and somewhat my best friend).

And it got me thinking how I'm wasting my life away wanting to study something but unable to because my anxiety makes it very hard for me to leave my house. It probably doesn't help that it makes me feel like such crap thinking about it, about how I hear and see all these things to help other people my age succeed but I'm the one who's stuck. Of all people, I'm the one to be the dropout. I'm the one who fails the hurdle early. I'm getting sick of doing nothing but dreaming about all of these things I want to do but can't.

So I'm asking for advice, I want to study but my anxiety prevents me from doing so (as in I would become very anxious travelling on my own and even suffer a panic attack). I'm tired of it all to be honest. Tired of being one of the smartest in my old friend group yet the failure.
I know there are many online courses and such but they cost a lot of money and I don't know how they would go towards me going to university or something. I'm desperate to keep my mind occupied, I'm going to spiral out of control if I keep doing nothing but sleep all day and browse the internet mindlessly all night.

There was a news story once where a teacher put his A-Level course online for a student of his who had to move to a different country for personal reasons so he could finish. But would my old school's Sixth Form do something similar for me? Probably not because I know what they're like, and despite my mum offering the option of her ringing them up and explaining the situation I'm still doubtful. Same goes for the college I applied for in Year 11 and only went for one day because I was too anxious to go again.
I mean, I am starting out on Youtube as a hobby because it's fun (I have tried it before but lost interest). But I need something else. Something to help my mind, I've always been interested in media, games production, film studies and writing and things like that, I'm a person interested in entertainment and technology, and I wish there were more options for that (especially at the Sixth Form, they're less personal or something). I'm sorry I rambled for a bit but my mind is out of control with thoughts.

I just need a suggestion, any suggestion. Should I take up to offer and let my mum ring my old school's Sixth Form and hope they understand and arrange something? Do I search high and low for an online course which really piques my interest? I just can't waste anymore of my pathetic life. I need to do something. I'm sorry if this doesn't make much sense, I'm so sorry.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
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Celyn Offline
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Re: Advice Needed. - May 18th 2016, 11:43 AM

Hey Shane,

Your post sounds a lot like my situation at the moment too! You arenít alone in this, rest assured. Also, no need to apologise for the length. The more detail you provide, the more we can try to help you.

I totally understand that seeing other people achieve, do things with their life or even live their dreams, can make you feel worse about your life and your situation. Instead of beating yourself up, it can be helpful to remind yourself that even if you arenít where you want to be in life, you want to change that. Your chance to do what you want to do, will come, donít worry about how quickly everyone seems to be achieving things.

I also find it difficult leaving the house. Iím wondering if you are having any counselling, or professional support at the moment? It might be worth working with a counsellor to overcome your anxiety issues, so you (or your mum) could arrange an appointment with your GP for a referral for counselling. Otherwise, there are online directories that you can check out for counsellors that offer online counselling, if that might be an easier option (though they will charge). Perhaps you can take small steps, such as sitting outside in your garden, or by your doorstep for a bit. You donít have to go anywhere or do anything, but just be outside. Start off small like a few minutes, and then work it up to say 10 or 20 minutes. Try to stay calm too, perhaps do some deep breathing or go on your phone to distract you (though remember to look up from your phone, instead of using the phone to avoid things). When you feel more comfortable simply being outside, then you can try going for short walks, and each time you feel comfortable increase the time that you are outside. Go from quiet places to perhaps busier places, but do so at your own pace. Donít rush things as this may increase your anxiety.

You arenít a failure. You are just dealing with anxiety at the moment, so you canít compare yourself to others because they might not have faced the same challenges as you.

Distance learning has its advantages and disadvantages. A lot of the courses that cost a lot of money, actually wonít help to get you into university. If you want to do something other than general browsing the internet, you can look at free courses, such as those offered on FutureLearn, Coursera, Canvas, ALISON etc. They wonít help you to get into university either, but they are free and can help to keep you busy as well as learn more about the things you are interested in (I have seen some courses on media and entertainment on those sites listed above). If you want to pay for online courses, itís probably best to go with the Open University. You could also take up online/virtual volunteering (yes, thatís a thing). A lot of charities and organisations look for people who can help to manage social media sites, or for people who are creative and like writing, filming and designing things for their websites. I think itís really good that you have got back into YouTube too as that can definitely be a good creative outlet!

You could take up your mumís offer, as schools may want to help former students out. While they may not be able to provide you with the example you gave that you saw in the news, they may be able to help find you a suitable college and also pass on your concerns about anxiety so that the college counsellor will be able to help you, rather than trying to deal with everything on your own. Alternatively, you could also apply for the college that you went to for September 2016 entry, and work on your anxiety in the meantime, so that you may feel better equipped to deal with your anxiety issues going into college.

At the same time, the best help for anxiety is gradual exposure. Online courses and virtual volunteering can be helpful to give you a sense of purpose, to keep you busy and boost your self-esteem a bit. But working on your anxiety issues, will allow you to take up other things that can add more to your life, such as joining in clubs, going to library classes/groups, doing volunteering in person and going to college. Start off small, like I said above, and slowly challenge yourself. It will be worth it.

Hope this helps a bit!

HelpLINK and Live Help Officer
Feel free to PM me! Even if I canít help, Iím always going to listen <3

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