Personality Cafe banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,473 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was just wondering how many of you university or college students (current or already graduated) had a tough time during your first year at university or college?

I was just discussing with my best friend the health symptoms and struggles I've been having during the past month. She assured me that she went through something similar, although she didn't have any previous health concerns. I thought that this was somewhat reassuring because I had been blaming myself for adapting poorly to university and doing something wrong to cause my health problems.

One thing that I thought was interesting was when she said that although she had a tough first year, she didn't have the same problems during the following years. Was this similar to your experience? What kinds of strategies did you use to cope with this slump and how did you push past your difficulties and persevere?

I struggle with persevering through tough times and tend to give up at the slightest sign of difficulty, so any advice would be helpful. Maybe this will help someone else out who is going through something similar.

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
450 Posts
hmm...what symptoms are you specifically experiencing, if you care to share?

I just graduated from college and I realize that change is just tough. It may just take some time adjusting to. Are you with any close friends or did you relocate completely? Surround yourself with friends. My freshmen year I was worried about classes and someone told me to make sure you sign up for things that are interesting to you, along with the crap you have to take to get out of the way. I felt that was good advice, I had better grades and enjoyed class.

Don't give up yet, it's still early in the semester--and your friend is right, it does get easier. Do something you enjoy each day.

Yeah, this is a cliche post, sorry...but let me know if ya have more questions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,473 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
hmm...what symptoms are you specifically experiencing, if you care to share?
I get horrible brain fog where I can't concentrate on or absorb anything. I also get extremely tired (there are days where I can't stay awake for more than a few hours at a time) and my appetite sucks. I've been to the doctor probably about a dozen times this year and seen various specialists, yet no one can figure out what's wrong. It may just be due to stress. Kids straight out of high school seem to focus without too much difficulty, yet this is my third try at university and can't seem to. Every time I make an attempt at university my health problems get worse.

My friend told me that the tiredness, irritability, and inability to focus are quite normal. She went through the same thing during her first year, but the problems went away on their own. But I don't know whether the lack of appetite and brain fog can be considered normal.

Thanks for your advice. I did try to sign up for classes that I was interested in. I see no point in focusing my studies on something that I hate.

Are you with any close friends or did you relocate completely? Surround yourself with friends.
Regarding where I am, I am studying in the city that I grew up in. I tried living out of province and it was just too difficult on me stress-wise and I was incredibly lonely. I am still lonely here because all of my friends are always busy. But I'm hoping that I'll be able to make some new friends here. It's just difficult for me as I usually try to distance myself from other people, to a certain degree.

I was more interested in how people get back up when they feel discouraged and strategies they use to stay focused on goals. I am way too hard on myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
i can (unfortunately) relate. i've been through college, but this is my first semester in uni. i'll only be here for two semesters before i graduate though, because i've transferred credits from my college. it's particularly difficult for me, because i didn't only move states - i relocated to a different country 5 timezones away. so life's been a lil lonely and i may have been getting so lost in my slightly destructive thoughts that i have difficulty concentrating in studies.

i don't know why it is that you're experiencing brain fog, but i think my brain fog may be coming from the fact that i've been thinking "well, what's the point of doing well? i just need to pass anyway - grade don't make a difference". umm granted, i've worked my ass off in college and may be experiencing a burn-out now, amongst all other factors. although, come to think of it, it may be the "what's the point" outlook that may be holding you back as well, seeing how you've attempted this uni ordeal more than once now.

what courses are you taking up? you'll just need to find the inner motivation to get things done. you did mention that you only signed up for classes that interest you - why are you finding it difficult to focus on them?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,987 Posts
My first year in school was pretty horrible, I'll be honest. I'm in my second year now, but in my first year I had some serious bouts of apathy about nearly everything and, well, I wouldn't quite say depression, but something similarly bad. I once had depression of sorts before college for awhile, but in college it was different. I kind of ended blaming myself a lot for the loneliness and the universal lack of interest I had in being there.

I get horrible brain fog where I can't concentrate on or absorb anything.
I totally can relate to this -- I felt that way intensely during my first year. I just had no interest, wasn't absorbing anything. I got up and left sometimes halfway through classes, I just didn't feel like I was there for any good reason.

Luckily, second year is much better. :happy:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
401 Posts
My time as a freshman in college was the worst so far. I had no idea how college worked despite being the youngest in my family. I dropped classes and almost failed due to not getting along with other students and being in too many classes at once. First year slump is a good way to put it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
I had an awful first year. Everyone says college is supposed to be the best time of your life, so I felt like this huge failure for being so miserable, and when I actually sought people out to talk about it a lot of them said the same thing. It's like it's a big secret that many people have a hard time with it. Most people I talked to got over it and started enjoying college after the first year. Personally I never liked college and I always wanted out, but I was never as miserable as I was the first year again.

I really wish more people would talk about their unhappiness during college. It's like the cultural myth that the first couple years of college are supposed to be a huge party makes people ashamed to admit that they aren't having a great time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
It sounds like it may be anxiety. The past few semesters of high school (Im a senior now and headed to college soon :/ ), I felt unlike myself for the first month in the beginning of the semester. I felt dazed and had dizzy spells, random pains...I felt like I was outside my body. Never feel hungry...and have little energy.
Suppressed anxiety and stress can have a serious toll on your body. Even if it's a thought in the back of your mind, it can make your body do crazy things...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,473 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I'm sorry that it has taken me so long to reply.

flatwhite: Sometimes I also think things like, "What's the point of doing well?" I have periods of hopelessness and I have a hard time believing that I can really make something of myself. But even when my confidence is a bit better, I still have the brain fog and lack of concentration. So, I don't think it's purely attitude related.

As for courses, I'm not taking anything extremely difficult. The most difficult one for me is Intro Psych because there are so many definitions and things to remember (not my strong point). I'm not really science-minded, so I find it difficult to stay focused on the textbook. Other than that, I'm taking Intro to Conflict Resolution and University Writing.

Staying focused is difficult because I tend to be a perfectionist and the notes I take take me forever to write. I feel like if I manage to stay focused on them for a long time that I will never have any time for myself. I guess that's my immaturity speaking... I also tend to daydream a lot and get preoccupied with everything else that's going on in my life.

I kind of ended blaming myself a lot for the loneliness
xezene: I do that too. I don't really have any friends at university and that's no one's fault but mine. I can talk to people in the context of the classroom, but outside that it's a different story. I think my loneliness puts me in a bad mood and that affects my ability to concentrate. But I'm glad that your second year was better. That gives me a bit of hope.

Mutatio Nomenis: I thought you were older. :crazy:

thestrangewarrior: I hope things got better for you. It's easy to think that college/university is like high school and that you can take five classes. But the workload isn't even comparable. If you're decently intelligent, you can probably get away with not reading some material in high school. But college/university is completely different. This is what killed me during my first run at school. :sad:

KateAusten: I'm glad that things got a bit better for you after your first year. It's funny that you say that everyone you knew was telling you that college was supposed to be the best time of your life. Everyone I know tells me that they're exhausted from reading and studying and that they can't wait to leave school/couldn't wait to leave because they are/were miserable.

fenryrr: Thanks for mentioning anxiety. It's a real possibility, along with depression. I've struggled with both in the past and I was diagnosed with socialized anxiety disorder when I was 12. I thought I moved past that, but with all of the stress I've been having, I may have to reconsider. Sometimes it's purely the physical symptoms (eg. dizziness, brain fog) and other times it is psychological. I feel like a huge hormonal mess sometimes, which doesn't make me want to stop being a hermit. I don't want to take my stress out on someone else.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
322 Posts
I can't give you any help on eventual health problems, but I can tell you about my experience.

I definitely experienced it during my first year on technology college. I remember a specific subject in math that I just couldn't grasp when I first started - and it really hit me hard, because I had gotten used to be great without any effort. I never really had to study when I was younger, and I think that was the actual problem - reality struck me and I had to do an actual effort to succeed. At this point it wasn't possible to understand everything in an instant.

The first year wasn't interesting at all, but I soon got used to it, became way more focused on the 2nd year and finally excelled on the 3rd year. Even if I did have it in me, I couldn't take advantage of it, because I experienced challenges I hadn't faced before.

You asked how we get back up and how we manage to stay focused. Hmm, I don't actually know how I got back up from the discouragement - it must've come naturally as I got more focused. One thing that probably helped me was to remember what subjects I was going to finish soon and which ones I was going to continue with for another year or two. The subjects finishing soon would require more attention, but I wouldn't get so stressed if I didn't grasp something in a long-term subject - because I'd have plenty of time to catch up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
233 Posts
With college, you need to learn how to learn first. This is very important; I can't stress enough on this single point!!!!!!

You need to learn how to effectively read your books and take good notes. See your professors during office hours to get help and ask them the big question, "how should I study for your class?" Most professors will help you out if you show them that you are trying hard by seeing them during their office hours.

Most importantly, take a lighter load to give you a chance to figure out your learning style. This will give you a smoother transition.

Best wishes.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BlissfulDreams
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top