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delirium happy

Just keep on trying till you run out of cake

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delirium leaving
Was going to make this friends only, but decided not to, since there are people not on my friends list whose input I would welcome. Please don't make me regret this decision.

As you may or may not be aware, I've not been in a particularly happy place just recently when it comes to my mental health. In fact, I've missed pretty much all of the second half of this term just gone due to being too messed up in the head to get to classes. This is somewhat sub-optimal.

In the past two or three days, I've sent out a few emails, to my director of studies, and to one of my lecturers, asking about what sorts of things I would need to do in order to catch up. Both of them mentioned the possibility of intercalation (taking this year off, and then going back and having another try at the year come next October:

"keep in mind intercalation as a possibility if you find that you're too far behind."

"May I suggest to you to consider, as an option, to take an intercalation year, so that you can get all the necessary medical help, solve your health problems and come back in full strength to realize in full your academic potential. You have shown very impressive academic qualities in the year 2, so that it would be pity if you would not be able to get as much as you can from your degree course."

I am genuinely considering this as an option. On the one hand, I have missed enough that it would be seriously difficult to try to catch up on it all, especially since I'm really not feeling very much enthusiasm for academic study right at the moment. On the other hand, there's a risk that a year out could turn into a year spent never leaving my flat, moping, and spiraling into depression, which would leave me further back than I am now. I'm also somewhat worried about leaving behind my friends from my year, and ending up in a class where I don't know anyone.

I also wonder how much enthusiasm I'm likely to have in ten months time. I could definitely see me possibly missing the whole physics thing by then, and being eager to go back, but I could also see that possibly I'd still have no enthusiasm then, at which point there's the danger of me having wasted two year of study.

I guess that there are two big questions that I have to ask myself. The first is, will I be able to catch up sufficiently to successfully complete the year, should I choose to do so? If the answer to this is "no", then I really don't have a whole lot of choice in the matter. Fortunately, I don't have to make any sort of immediate decision here, and can maybe attempt to get caught up on some stuff over Christmas and see how that goes.

The second question is that of what I would do with this year if I wasn't spending it at university. Like I mentioned, there's the risk of spending a full year just moping, which would be disastrous. I do, however, feel that I'm in a much better place emotionally than I was when I was in Canterbury, and I do stand a better chance of doing something vaguely useful with my life. Ideally, I'd like to try to get my life in order, deal somewhat with the depression, start tackling the gender stuff again, get and keep my flat tidy, develop good eating and sleeping patterns, get into good habits like getting dressed every morning, and so on. If I could manage to get all that sort of thing done, then it would definitely be a worthwhile way to spend the year.

And not having to focus on anything other than getting my life in order does potentially make it more likely that I will succeed. But not having any structure around my life is potentially dangerous. On the other hand, I presume I would still have access to the university counseling service, and would be able to stay involved with the LGBT, which would hopefully be sufficient to ensure that I not become a complete hermit.

Ultimately, I'm just not sure that I really trust myself to be able to make the proper use of the year, and to discipline myself enough to set proper concrete goals, and to try to achieve them, and so on. If I do end up taking this route, I will be relying on many of you good people to give me a thorough kick in the bottom, should I be requiring one.

Thoughts, advice, support, personal experience, etc. would all be very welcome.

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I don't think you have it in you to mope around the house for a year.

After the first three months, if you hadn't gotten yourself out, you'd be climbing the walls. I see that as a good thing. And I speak from the perspective of someone who was given a nine-month sick note.

The fact that you have plans for what you want to do with the time is a positive indicator too. The thing to be ready for is that you probably will spend a significant period moping around the house, in order to recharge your batteries. Let yourself do it, for up to two months - you're run down and one of the things I suspect you're not particularly good at is resting. Resting for a while does not mean that you'll never get up on your feet again. (I found that lesson very hard to learn - can you tell?)

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