2015 was simultaneously the best and the most difficult year I have ever experienced. I moved out of home, from a small town to a big city that was six hours away from my family. Six hours away from the streets I knew and six hours away from my safety net. Yet despite me approaching my new found independence with unbridled confidence and enthusiasm, my brand new wide world suddenly turned into a bed I was no longer able to get out of.
I took to my college lifestyle like a duck to water, and quickly burned up my money, I burned up the youthfulness of my liver and most of all, I burned up the opportunity I had been given by going to university.
In my last post I spoke about how my first course, psychological science, didn’t make me happy. How it wasn’t something I was passionate about, and as a result, I suddenly fell behind, by like, a lot.
Just how far you ask? I failed to hand in one of my major assignments, and barely scraped a second one together. This combined with the stress of zero money (something all uni students will face at one stage or another) and the ever present monster that is exams lurking around the corner just really got to me. It broke me.
I suddenly found myself going from an enthusiastic, positive and easy-going bloke into a stressed out, sleep deprived zombie. The weight was too much to bear.
I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning, because I knew the day would be filled with nothing but a pile of study too big to climb over, I didn’t even know where to start when it came to preparing for exams.
When exams were finally over I went home for the holidays, putting on a brave face in front of my family. I didn’t want to show any weakness. I didn’t want to show that the home I was so hell-bent on leaving was actually the one place I wanted to stay.
So when the holidays were over and I had to return to uni, I knew I had to be better. I knew I had to do something to get rid of the enormous weight I had been trying to carry on my own, which in hindsight was stupid. So I started to change my perspective.
If you’re moving house and your couch is too heavy to lift on your own the first thing you do is turn to somebody to help, and if only I had seen it that way when it started.
La Trobe University have, what is in my opinion, one of the greatest and best resources in the world that is 100% free to students and staff. They have a counselling service on Parabolas East.
It was in no time at all that Jason was welcoming me into his office, making me feel comfortable and open, and after a number of visits Jason and I had me back to my self.
Along with regular exercise, a disciplined sleep routine and healthy diet.
Of course, not everyone will experience the same as me, but if you’re struggling please don’t tackle it alone.
University is great, it’s an amazing experience that will leave you with new friends, and a whole bunch of knowledge and experience, but university can also be really challenging, life can be really challenging.
The La Trobe Counselling service team are more than happy to help you if you need it, if you’re in deep or just having trouble balancing life, work and study or just anything at all. Don’t try to tackle it on your own.
If you want to know more, or even book yourself into a session, you can check out their website: http://www.latrobe.edu.au/students/wellbeing/counselling/individual-counselling
Or if you need help outside office hours, they have a completely free after-hours phone service on 1300 687 327.
Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636
Kids helpline: 1800 55 1800
Headspace: 1800 650 890, or check their website for online chat.
By Tyler Trevaskis