Thursday, 18 April 2013

When the past comes back to bite you on the bum...

Hope you don't mind, but needed somewhere to have a bit of a vent. Sorry fashion peeps, this has sod all to do with clothes, but a lot to do with Mental health, so if that isn't what your here for, consider yourself excused!

So as you might recall I've been in the process of applying to study a degree course at my local uni. Sadly the course I wanted to do was cancelled, but in a happy turn of fate, the alternative I've been offered seems like so much more of a better fit for what I want to do. So YEY! YEY?....

Well it was all amazing yesterday when I met with the lecturer and I was given an unconditional offer, but then in the afternoon when I started to try and figure out the whole student finance thing I came back down to earth with a huge bump.

Let me take you back to 2002 *steps into DeLorean and dons 80's shades* I was just about to start my 2nd year at uni when my beloved grandad passes away, with a great sadness I went back to uni. I was working a 30 hour week to support my studies, I was a long way from home and suffering terribly with my depression. I was in the grips of an eating disorder (yes fat folks suffer with them too) and really was not a happy bunny. I managed to stick it out until the December, but after countless sob filled conversations with my mum, missed lectures, sessions with the counsellor I decided to give up my studies and come home. Subsequently I had to declare myself bankrupt because of the debt I'd amounted at uni. It truly was a bloody awful time for me, and something I'm not sure I've really dealt with. The massive sense of failure on my part, the memories of the pain.

So there I was today all jolly, excited about my second chance, a new start, applying for my student finance, when I find out I'm not eligible for my first years funding. Despite the fact the debt was wiped as part of my bankruptcy, and that it was over 10 years ago... It all came rushing back. I felt that I was being punished for being ill, that this painful, all consuming illness had put the kibosh on yet another aspect of my life. (Yes my depression tends to make me overdramatise things too) so after several frantic phone calls I've established there is a very small chance I might be able to appeal and get the first years funding reinstated if I can prove my departure was for "personal compelling reasons". But those of you who suffer with depression will know that proving it medically, with a doctors note for example, isn't always easy, because at the time, I just shut myself away and didn't seek any medical attention. I am hoping I can get some proof from the uni that I visited the counsellor and maybe go from there. Who knows. Needless to say I'm a bit bummed, and down.... Who am I kidding, I'm a sobbing wreck.

9 comments:

  1. This is such a good post! It seems a lot of people are under the impression being a student is "easy" and having a student loan is simply "free money", I'm currently struggling a lot with the work load and I'm genuinely not enjoying my course, let alone having to worry about paying my rent on top of that, which my student loan does not cover entirely. Being a student is not always easy!!!! Especially mixed with personal problems too!! xx

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  2. I'm so sorry to hear this hon. I hope you have the strength to appeal and that you can get the funding you need. It's horrid when the past comes to bite you on the bum, especially when you did your best all those years ago. x x

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  3. Oh no, I really hope it all comes together for you. Student finance can be such a nightmare sometimes but try and stay positive. Mental health is such an elephant in a room, no one will ever understand unless they've experienced it too. Stay strong, it'll be worth it in the end.xx

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  4. This sucks major balls and is so fucking unfair. I really, really hope you manage to overturn this totally nonsensical decision. You would be a huge asset to the university and the things you have been through mean you have wisdom and life skills, all essential for a writer. Sending a big hug xx

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  5. Oh lovely, this is so unfair and I genuinely want to cry for you. I understand this all more than I want to and I know how difficult it is to be able to find the strength not to just shut yourself off and hope it'll work itself out magically.
    It makes me so angry that they would be willing to lose out on someone as intelligent and creative as you but some wasteful 18 year old with no idea what they want to do gets it all.
    I really, really hope you can find the evidence and get it sorted. If you need help with anything or just an ear to vent to (or a bosom to snuggle...that's right) I'm always here. xxx

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  6. Oh gosh, student finance people so often act without any compassion I hope it all turns out ok for you. Going through something similar at the moment, in my first year of university both my beloved grandparents died within months of eachother, I stayed in uni, but it only made my depression worse. I spent another year getting so much worse until I just had to leave or I'd do something drastic. Now I'm on a course I love, but the foundation I was joining last year has been cancelled due to funding cuts! There is nothing like it unless I go back to proper uni, but I'm scared I'll end up in a very dark place again, plus I can only get one year out of student finance because I've already had 2 years. It frustrates me that there are all these blockades to education, which should be available to everyone.

    I'm trying to be positive and I will say that these setbacks might just be so we can find what we're truly good at and love. So don't lose hope, sunshine. :) xxx

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  7. I am so sorry, don't give up hope. Appeals are with real people and not a scoring system. Get the support of your tutor and they should be able to help you. Good luck xxx

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  8. I saw your tweet and just had to write back.

    I'm so sorry for all you're going through. One thing I've learned though, is that the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Talk to real people about the school situation and let them get to know you as a person. I've done plenty of begging in my life. I have no pride in getting what I want and is worthwhile.

    Yesterday, I was in bed all day as I felt my mind slipping into that depression hole. I live with the fear that it will become a clinical depression which has happened, and I was so happy to get up today. No, I don't feel great today, but I got up, washed up and wrote a post. For me, that is a good day. Remember.....baby steps and I'm not trying to diminish your depression. I've suffered with it almost all my life and I just keep fighting and fighting.

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  9. Thank you so much everyone for all your support and kind words, I'm slowly trying to gather my evidence for appeal and get things sorted out x x

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Thank you for your comment, I love reading what everyone has to say! B x