Oh fuck. I’m really really sorry that they’re putting you through all this. I just can’t believe it; I’m sure that they love you and want you to have the best things in life, but they’re not doing the right thing at all by pushing you into a situation you’re not ready for. I mean, my parents are kind of the opposite extreme; I was super-ready for uni but they kept reminding me over and over that I could drop out and come home at any time, which is kind of not a morale-booster tbh. Where is Rae going? Brock isn’t super far away is it? I visited it once with Jeff Mahoney and we drove for a little over an hour—and he had been teaching weekly classes there. Will you be able to visit with her often? I really hope so, because the connection you have is special.
Keep trying to persuade them to give you more time, but if they don’t listen, here are some survival tips:
1. D for Diploma; D for Diploma. Engineers on my campus mutter this as they walk around in a haze of stress. Art students (and most majors for that matter) don’t do this, but it does help just to hear it. University is not like high school, and when you graduate, no employer ever sees what percentage you attained. Don’t throw yourself into it at the expense of your mental wellbeing, because all you need to do is survive. Once you realize that high school isn’t uni, you feel a lot better. I’ve actually been much healthier here, just because I’m not upset anymore by getting marks below A+!
2. I know you stay up late, and in high school it’s a bad idea, but in university, you can do it and still flourish. I nap frequently throughout the day in intervals, and then work until 4:00am with plenty of breaks in which to marathon television shows, eat, read, and go on Tumblr. It’s just—wow. It’s great. So either get a good night’s sleep or take naps, and you don’t have to do the whole “sleep-deprived anxious student thing.” It really works.
3. Eat whatever you want, as long as you throw in some fruits and get your protein! Curly fries are not going to destroy you and if they make you happy, go for them! The Freshman Fifteen is both fatphobic and misleading; most people of university age are not at their adult weight yet, and frequently should be gaining 10 or so pounds as their bodies achieve maturity. It’s just what happens, and it’s nothing to do with being “lazy” or “greedy” or whatever bullshit people say. Oh, but don’t eat pasta or any other carb-rich foods during all-nighters; yogurt is a good wake-me-up when combined with coffee! Stick with lighter foods to keep awake and alert!
4. Join fun clubs and volunteer in positions that fascinate and excite you. Also, when they bring the cuddle-puppies for stress relief (it’s a legit program), go, because wow. Fun. University should be a place where everything is about what interests you, and no course should be irrelevant to your goals and aspirations!
5. Utilize disability services; they can provide academic accommodations for anxiety; they can get you a counsellor; they can intervene if a professor is being unfair (as can the academic grievances office). There are systems in place to genuinely help you. Find them and use the fuck out of them because you fucking deserve it.
6. Fuck, I have to get going for my professional headshots (which are apparently the new resume?? They’re free so whatever). Okay, so basically, if the worst happens and you’re forced to go, just try to create a safe and positive space for yourself, okay? Get a roommate if you think the company will help. Get a single room if that sounds like the worst fucking thing ever. Get a meal-plan if the cafeteria is tolerable. Go to parties if that’s your thing; they come in all shapes and sizes, and some are small and cozy, and others are big and wild, and you can probably find at least some that are enjoyable. (Hint, queer student society members will usually invite everyone else who isn’t cishet, and the parties are usually very respectful and nice). Don’t think you have to go to parties in order to be accepted.
Okay, seriously running late, but I love and support you, and I really hope that everything works out alright!
EDIT: Aw fuck fuck fuck I just clicked “Publish” instead of “Answer Privately” and now I’m not sure how to reverse, so here, read it and then tell me whether you want it deleted or not. Sorry. >.<
Thank you for this, Eva. This is my private side blog and I’d like to keep this. Honestly, this is actually reassuring as fuck. Thank you for taking the time to send this.