My Brain Can’t Handle the Future

When I actually post this, I’ll be in the middle of wandering round stalls that different universities are at – over 150 of them – with one of my teaching assistants, not socialising with other people because of it, panicking at the sheer amount of unis and, as usual, having a minature crisis about what the hell I’m going to do. Really, I should have at least an idea by now…

For context, I’m in year 12, studying my AS levels – they’re History, English Literature and Psychology so after having dropped French around two weeks ago, I’m doing 3 which is much better for my mental health. I’m also blind, which heaps a bunch of stress onto me: not only tomorrow – today technically but I’m writing this the night before – will I have to think about universities, but I’ll also have to think about whether they can meet my needs. Wooo, sometimes being disabled is a tad inconvenient at times.

There are some things which I know. After I finish Year 13, I want to take a year out to increase my independence at what I nickname “blind college”; I’m already making preparations to start that process, having planned over a month ago to go and visit there in the Easter holidays. In my mind, it’s set in stone as I have to consider how I’d actually survive studying, plus looking after my health: even if I feel worried about being ‘left behind’, there are more important things for me.

The next few years are kind of blurry. I know I want to do a three year ‘undergraduate course – if I get into uni – and that I want to be on a campus rather than having Lectures and things like that spread across a huge area like a city. Where and what course is still a mystery to me; I was searching things up earlier today and stressing so much because there were too many options, to which I got a headache and couldn’t do much.

English is my passion, and always has been; I love both reading and writing: creating ideas but also seeing how others create theirs. That’s the thing: I don’t think I could do either exclusively because I’m indecisive and need a variety. However, anything not related to English might bore me: I could do History but that might make me despise it; if I do journalism or media, I’d most likely realise that wasn’t the career path I wanted. At my heart, I don’t think journalism is for me, although I’d love to work in publishing. I’m keeping my options open.

So, English it is, but what? English Literature would be great but I don’t know if I love it enough to do it on its own. I want to combine the two things I love – reading and writing – to do a degree that I want to do; I think that’s one of the most important things. I’m either going with English Lit and Lang, or English Lit and Creative Writing. I have no idea if I should do a combined course but what I do know is that only doing one thing can leave me feeling stifled.

With the former, I know that it would get me good employment and it’s got high qualifications, ordinarily, that you’d need to meet to start the course – I think I can do that. I’m just worried I’d bail halfway through or realise that language was dull, despite me being fascinated with how language has transformed, both spoken and in the written text. With the latter, I adore creative writing but I’m not sure if I’m good enough; I haven’t been writing much recently except on here and the occasional poems but that’s certainly not dedication to it. As well as that, I don’t know if it’s as prestigious as Lit and Lang; I know that I’d love it but I have to balance with getting a new job because employment figures for disabled people worry me and I want to have a good job – is that shallow? I don’t know.

Not only that, but there’s the issue of where to go. If I manage to select the course I want to do, there’s also balancing which unis are good for it – the qualification is a BA Honours for most courses and I’m just terrified that I’d pick the wrong uni. I think that I’m overthinking as usual but it’s so important that I get good results and balance that with my mental health and happiness because if I’m miserable, what will I achieve? I kind of feel overwhelmed.

I know that there are a thousand people I can talk to, both blind and sighted, who can help me with every aspect of it. Going to open days is a big priority, along with getting advice from people at school, people at the universities itself and friends. How will I know which advice to take? How will I know what’s right, what’s good for me and how do I connect with my emotions and worries enough to do that?

Tomorrow, I’m going to be okay but I may be even more tense than usual. I just want to sort out my life but I also have to deal with A-Levels, the history coursework I’ve barely started and unpleasant feelings of stupid guilt to keep my health in check.

If you’re thinking along the same lines as me then do let me know; if you also know of any good unis for English especially, as well as open days, then drop me a message. We can go through this together because this is a huge step for the majority of people around my age.

From Elm πŸ™‚

50 thoughts on “My Brain Can’t Handle the Future

    • Hey, of course! πŸ™‚ I saw that you followed my blog but you didn’t have any content – that was a few days ago. I’lh a look now; I’m so glad you like my stuff! πŸ™‚

  1. Hey Elm! I’m a year below you, so I haven’t reached that stage yet πŸ™‚ A levels must be stressful-but I wouldn’t overly worry about uni. That being said, I swear the Gov website has information on different places? X

  2. But obviously things are very hard and you feel lost in life. But my stepbrother is doing Astrophysics at uni, has no idea what he wants to do afterwards, but has followed his heart. English is clearly the one for you-and it’s one that open up so many doors. It’s not as “specific” career-wise as some others are so you can change your mind x

  3. I went to a university thing yesterday as well! Maybe it was the same one? There was so many stalls and I ended up coming home with so many prospectuses and I still have no idea what I want to do or where I want to go πŸ˜„ I 100% understand the whole ‘I don’t want to chose the wrong sebject/uni struggle. Even just thinking about university stresses me out πŸ˜‚

    • YES!! I went to visit that one and it sounded reaally good πŸ™‚ I’m hopefully going to an open day there because I liked the sound of the course. How do things work for you in college?

  4. ahh thinking about university can be so stressful – I know I find it that way anyway. I’m currently in year 13 and have applied for university for that exact course: English Lit and Creative Writing! So if you have any questions, I can definitely help out with that πŸ™‚ I’ll be going to East Anglia in September and I know they have an amazing English course with so many variations of modules (and it’s also the first uni to actually teach creative writing in the UK). But there are so many other great unis I looked at too, so feel free to hound me with questions if you need any advice XD

  5. I personally think being disabled is one of the hardest things to deal with. I can’t speak for being blind but I do have Cerebral Palsey, which is basically where you don’t have full control of all of your limbs. Fortunately for me, I’m only affected in my left calf, which means I’m only left with a slight limp in my walk, but I might still have to have surgury performed on that leg if I can’t get it’s abilities to the level of my other leg.
    Good luck with uni,
    Indy xx

    • Same with you, when it comes to that. I hope that any operation you have will go well! How severe is your CP in your calf? I’m so glad you understand about the disability thing πŸ™‚

      • The CP is quite mild. I only have a slight limp, and I can do everything on my own. Although, I have to do stretches everyday and wear a brace on my leg as often as possible, its not that big of a problem. I only wear the brace 4 times a week, when I walk to the beach and back early in the morning. When I was younger I had to go to school wearing it, and I hated all the questions and staring. But as much as I think about it being so much easier if I wasn’t born with CP, it has definitely given me a stronger character and has made me a very determined and independent person.

      • Thank you! I don’t belive you should let your set backs determine who you are.

  6. Good luck with deciding on unis..there’s so many options isn’t there? For that and courses!! But you’ll get there and make a decision in time! ☺ I’m also in the process of deciding colleges and courses. At the moment i’d really like to do Law and English, hoping I’ll stick with that!

    • I think that’s a great combination; they will go really well together! Good luck with everything πŸ™‚ Let’s hope we can do this; I KNOW we can! Thanks for your encouragement xx

  7. Hey, I really understand what you’re going through. Even thought I’m two years away from going to university, I already have to start thinking about majors and minors, about what AP classes (I think they are the same thing as your AS levels) I should take to get credits for college. Honestly, sometimes I just get really excited about it, you know, independent life and all that… But then I realize that it’s going to be much harder than at the ordinary high school. And then I get all those qualms about what I want to do, even thought sometimes I feel like I know the right answer to that…

    • OHHH YESSS I understand that!! πŸ™‚ I think AP classes can be similar to A-Levels in difficulty πŸ™‚ We’ll be okay. I know we aren’t in the same country but I understand your stress and if you ever need someone to talk to, I’m here!

  8. You’re going to make a lot of bad choices throughout your life. We all do. But that’s how we learn. Choose, try, decide. & if it fails, try something else.

  9. I understand how much of a stress it is on deciding the course and the university you want to go….And if your country universities don’t offer bachelor courses for the subject you are interested in then it is even more stressful..But wishing you all the best for your future…

  10. Ahh I can relate – there are so many options and things to consider when it comes to uni that I’m terrified I’ll make the wrong decision. I don’t want to limit myself to one subject either as I feel like I’d lose interest so have been looking into combined degrees in geography and history and they sound really good! A lot of unis are really flexible with their combined degrees so you can make your degree yours. Haven’t got any specific advice for English, but if your thinking about doing a combined degree, I can highly recommend Exeter uni as they have a ‘flexible combined honours’ programme where you can do up to three different subjects and have a wide variety of modules so you can structure the degree how you want. It can seem a daunting process thinking about uni – there are so many thoughts going through my head about it, but at the end of the day I think picking a few universities that do English and are in a region you’d like to study in and going to their open days will really help! Hopefully getting a feel for the uni will help you make decisions 😊

    • Yeah EXACTLY! It’s just about going to a uni that’s both good and friendly to be in; if you hate your uni then you won’t enjoy studying there. Combined geography and history sounds amazing!! πŸ™‚ Yes, I’ve heard a lot of good things about Exeter πŸ™‚ Thanks again for everything you’ve encouraged me with!

      • Same! Facing a dilemma of whether to apply to Oxbridge or not at the moment, bc at school my teachers were sort of pressuring me to consider Oxbridge which kinda put me off but now at college I kept trying to avoid the idea of Oxbridge bc I didn’t think that was what I wanted and just what other people wanted for me and now I’m like VERY confused. I keep convincing myself that there are plenty of other amazing universities I could go to but then the thought of going to Oxbridge is always at the back of my mind but Idk if I want it enough to work extremely hard with a levels and applying early and everything just CONFUSION AHH. But hopefully I’ll figure it out before it’s too late.

      • I’m sure that you will! Do you think you’d be able to manage the application process and A-Levels? I think x’re very much capable but it’s up to YOU as to whether you want to or not. Message me if you ever need advice or anything πŸ™‚ I’m here to listen!

      • I honestly don’t know! It does sound like a lot of extra stress with the interviews and entrance exams and early applications, which is the thing that’s putting me off a bit. That’s true, I know I need to make a decision soon but I’m incredibly indecisive and I haven’t told my parents I’m considering Oxbridge as well because I feel like they would discourage me from putting myself through all the extra stress, so then I didn’t go to the early applicant meeting at college last week which was a bit stupid in hindsight. I’m just not sure if I’d regret it if I didn’t try, but then don’t want to compromise my well being by stressing myself out too much trying to get in. Thank you though and same to you, message me anytime! x Thinking about university is so confusing though, I feel like it’s all been thrust upon as all of a sudden! We’re going to a UCAS convention in a few weeks though so that might help I guess? Anyway thanks again for listening I’m very grateful πŸ™‚

      • Ohhh we went to the UCAS thing and it was great but also very stressful! Do what YOU think is good for YOUR health πŸ™‚ If Oxbridge will stress you immensely, work out if it’s worth it in terms of you feeling rubbish compared- to getting a high qualification course xx

      • Ahh that’s good, yeah my friend went last year and said it was quite hectic and crowded but hopefully it will be manageable. That’s a good point, there’s more to life than getting into Oxbridge and many other unis that are great, I think I’m gradually being swayed away from the idea, considering how stressful a levels are already I don’t think I could cope with the extra pressure of applying however much I want to. But thank you for all your advice Elm xx

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