- Tazmin Pye
A couple of mornings ago, I woke up for work and got ready. Whilst sat in the car, about to be on my way, I noticed a Facebook notification pop up saying ‘you have memories’, so I had a look and realised that three years ago I started university.
Now, having finished, I have really been missing university and the lifestyle it offers, especially after entering the adult world. I wasn’t quite ready to leave, but I don’t think many of us were.
It caused me to feel incredibly nostalgic about who I was at the time, what I’ve been through, and the ups and downs I experienced at university.
I found it so interesting that someone who misses university greatly, who speaks so highly of their experience there, was absolutely determined to leave while there. My depression and anxiety really took their toll on me, to the point where the only thing I thought was going to help would be dropping out. How glad I am that I didn’t.
Why did I want to leave?
I felt depressed. I felt low. I felt vulnerable and lonely. I struggled with social situations. I thought it wasn’t for me.
Why didn’t I leave? What stopped me from going?
I found a letter that I wrote to myself when I was starting therapy back home in Birmingham. I remembered how much worse off I was emotionally. I remembered how I decided to use my anxiety and depression to motivate me, rather than cause me to hide away. In that letter, I told myself that I would get through the pain I was in at the time, I would get into a university of my choosing to study film production, and that I would be great at it.
I sat back and realised ‘Wait, I’m here right now. I’ve achieved everything I wanted to at the time of writing that letter. Now let’s create new achievements. New goals. New aspirations. Write myself a new letter, a new promise to myself’.
- Try and enjoy the course I worked so hard to get onto. Enjoy it first, worry about it second.
- Don’t fear people, but understand that your lifelong friends are out there somewhere and you need to go find them.
- Have love for yourself. Go and find yourself and enjoy how different every day can be. Enjoy your growth, change and evolution as a person.
- Do not fear happiness, for it is your birthright.
And so I didn’t drop out. I took the wisdom I wrote to myself when I was in a lot more pain, and I powered through. I got a First in my degree. I met some incredible people who have impacted my life wonderfully. I did it!
It is so important to not listen to the bad things your mental illness may tell you, and to listen to your heart. Nothing should ever stop you from being what you want to be. In my case, all I wanted to be at university was happy.
Perhaps if you have just started university, sit down and write a letter to yourself. Set a date to open it, or put it away and wait for it to come back and find you. You can be your biggest inspiration. See how much you grow.
Remember – happiness is our birthright.
Hey guys, it’s Tazmin. My journey suffering with severe depression and anxiety has been a difficult one; but I would not be who I am today had I not accepted my illness and worked to get better. I have just graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a First in Film and Media Production, something which I thought I'd never do. I’ve had my blog Awareness for two years and it has been so rewarding for me; I want my writing to help, inspire and touch people. I now wish to support and encourage anyone who is suffering through university with this blog. Happy reading!