University and the Slow Attrition of Souls

I am 7 months into university, and as of this moment currently: £12,452.97 in debt, plucking up the courage to break up with the only girl who has ever loved me in my life, not to mention for the third time. Yet, I sit here heartbroken over rejection from the only girl I’ve ever truly been in love with. But all is good, I’m on course for a 2:1.

In a recent NUS survey, it was said that 1 in 5 students suffer from mental health issues at university, out of those suffering, 26% will go untreated. ‘University is an experience and a test’ they say; I am one in that 5. But, this post is not an arm out for sympathy, instead, an insight into the life beyond the veneer of composure.

We all go to university for a multitude of reasons, some go to take one step closer to achieving their childhood dream, some go because they feel they have to. But, no matter who or what we are, we all share the lows, some more than others.

Especially in a multi-formed university environment of: international students and domestic students, it is hard to draw the line between what is normal and abnormal. For some, they are solely here to work (if you have not gauged already, by the size of my debt, I am not amongst these folks), and work alone. University puts so much stress on the individual; they want us to show ‘courage in adversity’, but when like Greyhounds, we are bred for a purpose, it becomes a duty to perform and succeed, and if you can’t you are lame.

If it is not the lack of Love, it’s the excess, if it’s not the excess, it’s work, if it’s not work it’s money. The reasons behind why students feel this way, are numerous, but the way these are linked are not by way of their cause, but in the way of their effect .

I am able to say that i am surrounded by amazing people at university, some of whom I doubt I’d ever have met in my lifetime. But, still the effects can get to anyone, from 9pm to 3am every night, a cycle of thoughts and memories festered and decayed in my head and this is not just the case with me, but with many others. This feeling is not a natural, which leads people to think that it’ll go, like a flu, but when it doesn’t, people bottle it up and close themselves off, to which I’m guilty. It took a panic attack in the smokers area of a sub-average club, for me to realise, what was going on, could really fuck me up. So here is my unbottling.

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”- Murakami