// life decisions and choices //

Okay so here goes. I’m not really one to write down my thoughts, or even to share them on the internet. But I think potentially, it could help someone going through what I did.

My first year at university really wasn’t that great, and not at all like what everyone hypes it up to be like. I felt alone. As many people probably do. The summer before I started university, I had a car accident,  it was pretty bad and very traumatic for me. My anxiety was already tough on me, but after this accident it reached new highs, and normal everyday things seemed harder to cope with. I was so excited to start uni at Arts University Bournemouth, it was my top choice and at that point I’d already new I’d got my place since the December (2014) before, so I had a lot of time to think about everything and get things sorted to start my Fashion degree. For me having my accident when I did, really made uni a lot harder and going away to uni happened to soon, but I felt trapped as if I had to stay.

I didn’t get into student halls, its unfortunate, but luckily the guys I moved into a house with seemed nice enough. This was hard for me, a super shy girl, feeling like I had to try and make a big presence in a house full of strangers. It was lonely. I’ve never felt as alone as I did there in that house. I got my way through to christmas, with the help of my boyfriend Jake by my side, pushing me on, telling me that I could do it, he believed in me. I didn’t feel like I’d made any friends from my course at this point, its hard to be known when everyone around you is loud and trying too hard for their presence to be known by others, it is funny to watch, but that’s not who I am. My courses work load was full on with sessions starting at 9.30pm and finishing at 4.30pm, and then I’d be working up until the time I’d fall asleep back at “home”. It was hard work and drained so much energy from me. I wasn’t happy there, I wondered if I’d ever be.

After the christmas holidays (2015) I went back to uni, absolutely dreading it. Already counting down the months until I’d finish in the summer. I think this is where Beth comes into my life. Before christmas, we’d say hi to each other, but both of us were too shy to really start up a conversation. But we kind of just clicked. It was so nice to finally be able to talk to someone who deals with the same kind of things and problems as I do. We stuck together as a team, both struggling to keep our mind frames positive, but we got through the last part of our first year together. I don’t think I could of gotten through the rest of that year without her, a true best friend.

Then there was summer break, I went back to work, as you do, earning money to pay for your rent, for a house that you’re not living in whilst your back home (actual home). The thought of going back to start my second year of uni was constantly on my mind, I was scared. I had thoughts over the summer to not go back to uni, I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I should of been, it didn’t feel right pushing and telling myself to go back that following September.

But then September came, and it was time to move back into another student house, with Jodie who I lived with in my first student house. I really didn’t want to go back. I kept telling myself that I could do it, but I had another part of me telling me that I couldn’t. The first week passed, I managed the first week of lessons. The second week came and by the end of it I completely broke down whilst at uni. I had Beth by my side, telling me everything was going to be okay, but I didn’t believe that, I just wanted to go, I wanted to leave, I’d had enough of feeling the way I did. I spoke to her about the idea of me taking a year out, I felt bad, I didn’t want to leave her, we got through things together, I felt selfish, but it was a decision I needed to make for myself, and I had to believe in that.

Later that evening, I called Jake, to tell him my thoughts and what I had been going through over the summer, and what I was thinking at that moment in time. He understood. It was so nice to hear that he’d be by my side in whatever I chose to do, he’d be there for me. Strangely it was good to hear that me telling him my plans to take a year out, wasn’t a crazy surprise to him, it meant that he’d listened to my struggles and understands my reasons why I would want to do so. It’s hard because to others it may seemed as so I hadn’t thought about it a lot, but the thing is I thought about it so much, I just kept those thoughts to myself, because I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. I didn’t know of anyone who’d taken a year out, so my thoughts over the summer were that it wasn’t the right thing for me to do. It was a huge decision I had to make on my own, and I’m annoyingly an indecisive person which doesn’t help. I just couldn’t cope with the way that I was feeling, and the way my feelings were towards uni.

So I went into uni, to student report where I picked up my letter of “interruption”. The feeling was so surreal. I was actually doing it, making the biggest decision I’ve ever had to make on my own in life ever. It felt good. I needed my course leader to sign it before he gave to the next person in line, he was about to go into a meeting so I caught him just before to quickly explain that I’d left the letter on his desk. It was done. It was strange, I just felt super happy, I actually smiled for once. The walk back “home” was odd, knowing that I wouldn’t have to go back there for a year, it was a relief, I could finally breathe.

Since leaving uni I’ve moved back home, and I’m currently an editorial and operations intern for a company called JewelStreet. I feel like I’m slowly getting my life back on track again. It was hard leaving uni, but I needed to do it for myself. The option is there to go back in September and it’s only been 3 months since I left, so I still don’t need to think about going back, or if I want to go back at all. I’ve also started cognitive behavioural therapy to help with my car accident, so I’m hoping my head will become clearer and my anxiety will decrease. Yes, I don’t know what my future holds with uni, but I know I’ve made the right decision for myself in the long run, and so what it means I’m a year behind my study, it doesn’t matter, I’m only 20, I’m still young, I have my whole life ahead of me.

To anyone that is thinking about taking a year out, or leaving completely, try not to be scared about the future and being behind, or not having a degree if you leave fully. Yes it will set you back, and you’ll have to try and get your life on track, but you can do it. I mean, I still do overthink about life situations and wonder what I will be doing in a month, 3 months or even a years time, but I’m still learning that I’ve got to take this one step at a time. You can’t predict your future, just do what makes you happy. Focus on the good that you have in your life.

xx Alanis

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