I have many silly fears, but my biggest one right at this moment in time is not getting the funding for my place at uni.
Since my teens I have always known that my career would be working with people. At 22 I started a degree in nursing. I wasn’t crap at it, but it didn’t fit me. I loved certain aspects of it and I could have made it work but it wasn’t to be because of my then husband. He made it impossible to do my placements and work. He was violent and aggressive with me and his use of skunk did little to help things.
In 2009 having been at home for 11 years pretty much as a full time mum I couldn’t do it any more. I love my children and my now husband but I have a brain inside my head and I needed to stimulate it. I needed company with people who were interested in the same things, bounce ideas off each other. Just learn about things again. So I embarked on an access course.
Wow, I felt so alive! I had my family but now I had something which was all mine. I went twice a week for 3 hours in the evening. It was my freedom. It was in social sciences so it would open the door to nursing, counselling, teaching, law, social work etc. Suddenly where doors had been shut I was finding that my options were extensive. I graduated from the course with a distinction! My proudest moment as it was all my hard work! Not only did I do well but it also meant that applying for courses at university wasn’t going to be as hard.
I found that during the course I became very interested in sociology, law and how social work was applied in the real world. I pushed aside the plans to be a counsellor and decided to pursue a career in social work. I could always add counselling skills into my skill set at a later date.
Starting at uni in 2011 was terrifying! I knew a lot but knew so little at the same time. I felt completely in over my head and wondered if I had made a mistake. Academically I did well in my first year but the content of what we were taught and the general standard of lectures was really disappointing. There was no room for being inexperienced or overexperienced. I hadn’t worked in social work so I was in a lot of ways inexperienced, but my life experience was something which would be my downfall. Whilst it’s good to have life experience it’s not necessarily good if it’s unresolved.
I had the breakdown in my second year. I literally fell apart whilst I was on my placement. I tried desperately to get support from the university but found that they really couldn’t have given a shit. I became more unwell using drugs and alcohol to just get through each day. I felt completely overwhelmed and trapped. I didn’t know what to do and as I became more tangled in the issues of uni and placement my head was also becoming more messed up and traumatised by the things from my past. I wanted out, I couldn’t bear to breathe and I felt so alone.
I was suspended because of something I did when I was at my worst and following fitness to work hearings the university allowed me to decide what I wanted to do under mental health conditions. In June this year, they found a loop hole and basically kicked me out. They lied to me and discriminated against me. I was going to leave any way but they told me I had to submit my placement portfolio whether I stayed or left. I wasted my time giving a shit about it. I wish I hadn’t.
My second year was a disaster because of my mental health, but it was made infinitely worse by the lack of support from the uni. From the end of February they knew I was unwell and they didn’t meet with me or discuss what my options were. I could have deferred my year and started over. Instead I have two years of funded university education one of which was a complete waste. I still have two more years that I can have funded but this will only pay for the second and third years.
I have to write a letter to student finance explaining my ‘exceptional circumstances’ in order to basically beg for the funding of an extra year at uni. I’m essentially asking for them to fund my first year and give me back the second year that was wasted. I have to explain the situation as it happened and provide them with evidence. The evidence is not an issue as I have lots. But I have to now rehash over all the crap that happened two years ago and send it to a complete stranger who will then decide whether or not I deserve to have my chance of completing a degree. My dream degree.
My fear is what am I going to do if I can’t get the funding. The degree is in psychology and counselling, I want this more than anything. I don’t want to just be a housewife. I find it triggering to be just be this role. I feel trapped and unhappy. I need to do more and with my kids on school I want that chance. I know I can do it and more importantly I know that i need to do it.
What will I do with my life if i can’t get the funding? I want to help my husband financially and I want to use my brain, my experience and skills to do something good.
I was explaining this to someone the other day and he understood better than I could have hoped for how scared I am of not being able to go. I’m not qualified to do anything and there is nothing else on this world that I want to do. I can’t hold down a job right now but with time and a chance to study and qualify I know that eventually I will get to a point where I can work.
Yes I am a mother and a wife. I wouldn’t change those for anything. But I am also Lib…someone who needs to do something more just for me. My brain feels like it’s dying. I am bored and frustrated. I want to learn. I am curious and want to do something with my life.
I’m trying to keep myself calm and focus on the fact that I won’t know anything until I’ve written this letter and provided the evidence in support. But I’m terrified…I literally don’t know what I will do. It might sound drastic, but I really don’t see where my life will go if I can’t go. It makes me feel suicidal the thought that I won’t be able to go. The fact I fucked up my second year and have been a complete mess ever since.
Not going will make me a bigger failure and loser than I am already am. This fear paralyses me inside. I’m so scared. I don’t know if this makes any sense. I can’t explain any more how much the fear of not going effects me.
It would be so much easier if I could win the lottery and just pay the £9,000 for the first year!