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Can't leave for uni. Too Scared.(105 Posts)
I currently hold a place to study at the University of Bath for English. I turned 19 in May. I took a year out because I wanted to have a year to work and grow up a bit/gain some more experience in the English Department. I was so scared about going to uni last year that weeks before I was crying and having panic attacks every two seconds. I couldn't cope at all, was an absolute mess. It made me PSYCHICALLY ill. I would literally puke when I thought about leaving and just couldn't handle it at all. However, I've had a wonderful year off. I've worked really hard and gained so many contacts in London (where I live) I've worked for the BBC and The Telegraph. I have honestly had the best year. Then suddenly all my friends came back from uni for summer and I had to get back into that mindset again. I was so happy and now suddenly I am back to being scared, anxious and constantly just having my thoughts consumed by uni and that's it, I have work to hand in at my internship and I can't even do any of it because my thoughts are too consumed by uni. I've grown so much this year and I was offered a big job and was set to do that instead of go to uni, however the job sadly fell through so now my only option is to go uni. My issue is - I KNOW I won't be able to cope. Whenever I go away from home I panic and end up coming back. I went to America for a week with friends and had panic attacks every day and had to just lie in bed in the hotel room because I couldn't face being so far from home, the same when I went to Amsterdam and Prague! Essentially, I'm a homebird. I also have a 7 year old sister who I love so dearly. We are so close and I don't know what I would do without her. She is the best thing that ever happened to me and it would kill me to be away from her. I don't want to miss her growing up.
However, having said alllllll of this, I STILL long for the uni experience - not so much the drinking and clubbing because I hate that but the growing up, becoming an individual, LEARNING!
I loved bath when I went to visit. It is beautiful and the accommodation I would be living in is so historic and beautiful! The department for English was also really good and I looked at societies that really excited me too. All of those things make we want to go and I KNOW I should go, I know. However, even writing this right now is making me cry. So pathetic.
However, my other option is that if I'm lucky to get my place back at UCL which is currently my insurance I can live in London and still be with my family. I would move out into halls so that I still get some of the student experience but still only be a tube ride away from my parents, which makes me feel so much better. I'm about to sound really arrogant, but I almost wish I didn't get really good grades (A* A* A*) because then I could just pick a uni that was closer to home and have the best of both worlds. However I have academic pressure on me which I don't mind because I love academia! I'm just worried that if I do get a place at UCL I will hate it and be miserable because I've grown up in London and know it so well. Although haven't grown up in central London but the suburbs! I don't know. Sorry I'm rambling. I have read other threads and people have always commented like you need to go and you will settle in etc etc and even though I know this is a possibility, I think I have some serious mental issues when it comes to leaving home. Honestly I feel like I'm drowning. I can't stop crying until I am HOME. I can't explain it enough, I cannot be away from home without having a complete mental breakdown - it's not just how most students feel like missing home a little bit and maybe visiting some weekends etc, for me it's like panic attack all day everyday and I KNOW I will just get on the train or in my car and drive straight back home if I feel that way and then I will be a complete failure. It's occurring to me now that perhaps I should see psychologist, but it's a little late for that with uni only a few weeks away. Oh god. What do I do.
You will be able to leave home one day, but perhaps now isn't the right time.
If you accept this, it might be better to take the place at UCL and (if you do then have any regrets) accept that there will be a chance to make a much bigger move after you have finished your degree. There will also be lots of opportunities to travel and test your ability to do this during the holidays. If you still feel anxious about leaving home, you can always seek help in overcoming this.
I feel that this would be a better choice than forcing yourself to go to Bath, becoming anxious and upset and then dropping out.
I was also 19 once and set off for university and admittedly it's a bit scary before you've settled in. Search on YouTube for "Stop worrying and start living", the book will give you some tools you can use. Take one week at a time. It's not further away than you could go home any day if you like. I went home every weekend the first term (ages ago now). Going to the US is quite different it's on another continent, flights can't be booked on a whim etc.
If I were you I’d do what makes you happy, which sounds like staying in London. Honestly, the uni lifestyle is horrendously overrated and I’m afraid you’ll only discover this after you go. Don’t torture yourself by moving away just because you think that’s “the thing to do”. I’ve seen many people drop out because of this (my flatmate left after staying one night!!) and it’s not worth it! UCL is a good uni, it would make a good first step in leaving the nest since you have severe anxiety surrounding leaving home. Trust me, there will be plenty of intellectually stimulating material.
Maybe once you have made the first transition you can move further away for postgraduate study? Perhaps try Bath again once you have gained confidence and security in yourself.
Don’t be too hard on yourself and please do contact your GP regarding your anxiety issues- you could do with some Cognitive Behvaioural Therapy to tackle your MH issues. Also, if you do go to uni please make yourself aware of the menatal health support available.
Good luck, I’m sure whatever you decide you’ll be great at it!
I also had good grades A*A*A*...
Oh and another mistake I made was not learning beforehand how to use the washing machine and get a cookery book.
Bring your teddy bear and some personal pictures of your family that you can put on display. You don't have to show that you didn't come alone (the bear) and indeed it might make you feel a bit like Mr Bean but who else cares, really??
I have the opposite opinion, take the chance and decide to get a grip on that anxiety. Promise me you'll search for that book!
Uni was way easier than full time work for me, maybe apply for some other jobs? Or an apprenticeship? I know the Telegraph do a good one starting in Jan
I'm a lecturer and there are loads of first years who struggle who I see absolutely blossom by the time they graduate. I also see some that are overwhelmed and drop out.
There's lots of options here. Firstly is Bath near home? If not, if you recall don't want to leave home it's not too late to grab a place at a local uni. You'd then be able to live at home and attend.. All very common these days.
Secondly, can you work out what is scaring yiu? Have you had anxiety issues before... You mention panic attacks on holiday? Can you get some help with this from gp or counselling? Cog behavioural therapy might be useful.
Thirdly, can you go to uni and see student support before you start? If you're set on Bath, then it may be possible to go early. Plan for visits home at end of week 1,3, 5 or whatever.
Please talk to your parents too
University is not the only route to a satisfying career. Do not feel obliged to pursue this route as it is clearly not right for you at this time. Traineeships and apprenticeships would sound to be more your style, as you have thrived as an intern.
Talk to a careers advisor.
I don't think you have any serious mental issues when it comes to leaving home. Not more than I had at that age. It was 35 years ago I left for university but I still remember it clearly.
Go and see how you enjoy it. Don't let the anxiety hold you back. I know all about it. If you have to lie on your new bed and panic - do it. It'll take a wee while to be your new home and then it will be. Counselling would be good but in the short term try some hypnotherapy to get you through and set something up for when you're at Uni. If you tell yourself you can go home if you want but you won't then it's not as if you are trapped there.
Couldn't your mum or dad come with you the first two-three weeks? Stay at a hotel? There is no shame in that.
Given what you’ve said I think you do need to see someone to the address these issues as it’s very clearly impacting greatly on your life. Uni isn’t for everyone and you don’t have to go. Do you have an idea of what you want to do? There could be other ways to get there. I was miserable at university. I came out with a good degree but I found the experience too much.
I was in your position 20 years ago. I didn't go to uni and I have regretted every single day. Please go and give it a try. Big hugs to you x
Having panic attacks whilst on holiday with friends isn't a normal healthy response so focus on trying to get better before doing something major like heading to University. You clearly aren't well enough to cope at the moment but if you put your energies into trying to get better, there's no reason why you won't do so, with the right support.
Have you tried a good hypnotherapist to see if you can get to the root cause of your panic attacks? Avoiding doing stuff that causes anxiety will cause your world to contract.
Good luck OP. You deserve to have a happy and fulfilled life.
Go to a university near your home and stop worrying about it.
Get some help for your anxiety- you sound so worked up, it's a shame you are not enjoying this time of your life.
You'll do fine at UCL.
Sorry op. I was interrupted and realise I didn't finish reading your post. Definitely ring UCL. X
You don't have to go to Bath. Go somewhere you are happy to go.
Also, I love that you are psychically ill. Can you foresee when you will get better? 😀
UCL is great. You can live at home. That sounds a better option to me.
DD2 has anxiety. In London you get very little timely help. Everyone has bigger problems than you! Grenfell etc. There’s a huge wait and they gatekeep lots of services. UCL tops Bath anyway so try them! Do they have spaces?
I used to be a sabbatical officer for welfare, the sabbatical officers are elected by the student union and help students with everything from sports to housing and welfare issues directing students into the right places. I used to work with students who were similar.
There will be a student support services either from the union or university, they have counselling services to help you. It's worth contacting them in advance to see what they can offer in terms of support and settling in. They are still all there working.
If your still not comfortable with the idea after speaking to them then it's possible to transfer/late application for a uni closer to home.
Listen to what your gut's telling you. If you don't feel ready to move away from home and go to Bath, then don't do it. My son is 19 like you and he's opted to live from home and commute into Uni everyday. He just doesn't feel ready to move out. There's no shame in that whatsoever. You can always move out next year if you feel happier about it then. Don't make yourself ill worrying about it.
I can’t really begin to understand why you’re so anxious. It sounds like an irrational phobia. But ffs London is FULL of universities - just go to one in London. Live at home in first year then take each year as it comes. If you end up wanting to go away to study you can find an exchange program or something, or even go away for a post grad.
No point making yourself ill with the thought of bath.
I had a good place on a sought after course , but set up my own business instead , it worked out well but in hindsight wish I had gone to uni
Why don't you check out (online) what's happening in Bath and whether there are eg Facebook groups for students or IRL groups?