Uni went back two weeks ago and I am actually enjoying it. After my dreadful uni year last year, I struggled with making the decision whether to continue with my degree.
I am studying a bachelor of speech pathology and am in my third year. I can't speak for everyone in my course, but speech pathology is seriously hard. I do not want to discourage from pursuing this degree but I am giving a bit of advice when I say: be so damn prepared.
I'm gonna take it back in time a bit...
I struggled with uni a fair bit from the start, especially with my health issues I experienced in 2020.
Over the course of 2021, I had several meltdowns after receiving my results for each assignment. My emotions would almost get the best of me and cause me to spiral for a good hour and jump straight to "I'm leaving speech" "I hate this course" but I learnt over time to stop, take some time, and after I would calm down to take the time to find a solution to the problem, and that might even be leaving the course.
For so long I would lie in bed and suddenly wake up with my heart racing. I honestly thought I could suffer a heart attack at any point during the night.
I had anxiety dreams where I was stuck in a loop, going through the same subjects forever and never getting anywhere. Sleep eluded me for a month and I lost all motivation. At my age, most of my friends are in uni which works its way into conversation easily, whether its an anecdote or simply facts about what's going on in their life "Nothing much, just doing uni, I have so many assignments due and my exams are coming up" ugh.
I also had a fear of being left behind. It may be selfish, but I didn't want see other people progress further in their lives and begin careers without me. I have felt left behind during so many times in my life. I'm not the smartest, I'm unable to drive, and my uni failures is just the icing on the cake. I do not want to be left behind anymore. And yes I realise this is a 'me' problem and it has nothing to do with anyone else and is no one else's fault. I will always be happy for my friends achievements, just as I hope they would be for me.
It's easy to reflect and think "That was so stupid, I wasted so much time being anxious" and "I was worried for nothing" when in actuality it isn't stupid. I hadn't been that scared in years and it was fear of the unknown, one of the scariest fears ever.
I also have this mindset when I think back to my HSC days but I have to acknowledge that I went through similar fears when being accepted into the course I wanted (which I didn't, so I had to do speech instead, which I enjoyed anyway) I would have countless sleepless nights leading up to assignments and exams during year 12.
After finishing the 2021 uni year and sitting a supplemental exam for one of my units, I decided I needed a plan B, a different career. I was so sure that I wasn't going to make it into the next year without repeating a unit.
Before I received my final results, I already talked to a career advisor who gave me several options. I had an idea of what I wanted to pursue but it sounded so dumb and i couldn't even imagine the judgement I would get if I said it out loud. So, with courage, I told my career advisor that I want to start a youtube channel and blog. I explained how to gain income through affiliate marketing and how i believe this would be such a good fit for my personality and I could myself really thriving with this. She was more supportive than I could ever could have imagined and gave me the biggest confidence boost I needed. I have always been an outgoing person and if I could do anything, it might be make a career on youtube, or on reality TV.
I got to work straight away. My first step was to set up my blog which took over a month because i'm a perfectionist and I needed the design to be perfect. I needed to figure out how to navigate my way around the blog and of course, figure out what I wanted to write. What's better than writing as yourself? nothing. Just write about what comes to your mind and experiences you might want to share.
My next step was to start a youtube channel which was terrifying. After purchasing a camera and a microphone, I started making videos (which I will probably never post) Currently, I only have two videos and am hoping to post more, but it's hard to find time to film and edit at the moment with uni and work.
I know my social media presence is a little all-over-the-place, but give it time. I'll eventually find my way.
While I am currently studying and on the path to pursuing a career as a speech therapist, I still am having doubts about this career. Will I enjoy it? What if I enjoy youtube career more? (Not saying i'm going to be uber famous like David dobrik or even remotely close) What if I take this shot and it doesn't work out? What if I spend five years studying and ultimately fail in the long run? These are questions that still burn in my mind and I don't have the answers to them yet. I'm going to try and go with the flow this semester and just try my hardest. What else can you do, right?
If you are experiencing a similar crisis, don't panic and don't jump to conclusions. While completely understandable, I have spent so much time crying and imagining the worst case scenario but you know what always made me feel better? when somebody said "It'll be okay" (hehe, cliche I know, yet true)
If you want to find my youtube it's: sarah coops