Debating with myself.

I have this internal struggle going on right now, I’m having an internal debate with myself and I’m really unsure what to do.

As many of you know I started college a month ago, I do like going to college and having stuff to learn and things to work towards and I’ve met some really nice people, but I am struggling. My pain has taken a hit, the past three weekends, practically since I started college I’ve been in severe pain practically all weekend having to recover from the 4 days a week at college and the evenings after college are not much better. My mood has also started to decline as you may have read in my last two posts, so all in all I’m not doing so well.

I have the option to go part time with college, so doing the course over 2 years, which will be 2 days at college a week and doing 2 subjects this year and 2 next year. I’ve always had this option but I really wanted to be able to manage to do the course in a year. But with things the way they are I’m debating with myself about dropping to part time instead of full time like I am attempting to do now. There are so many pros and cons to consider though and I’m really unsure what to do.
If I went to part time, I would hopefully not be in quite as much pain during my days off college because I would be doing less, I would have more time to focus on each subject, more time to do the homework and assignments and therefore hopefully better grades, and if I had a bad day (or a few because that’s what usually happens) it wouldn’t be quite as detrimental to my college work if I wasn’t able to do any work on a particular day because I would have more days off to get the work done. I would be doing half the work this year and half next so maybe that would be better.
But on the other hand I don’t want to feel like I have failed myself for not being able to do the course in a year like I wanted, or I don’t want it to cause me to feel more miserable because I have less distraction time, not that it’s particularly helping at the minute anyway though.
I know at the minute I’m struggling and my gut says just to make the decision and drop to part time but then in my head I have all these thoughts going around about being a failure again, but I suppose I would feel even more like a failure if I pushed myself to do it in a year and didn’t get good enough grades to get into uni because I was struggling so much. But I’m just so hesitant to make the decision.

I really need to discuss this with someone who I know will give me some good advice about what to do but the two people I always get good advice from haven’t replied to my email yet. So if any of you lovely people have any advice about what you think I should do I would love to hear it!

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24 thoughts on “Debating with myself.

  1. You are not a failure but a wise young woman who is serious about the future and your success. Not everyone is on the same schedule–illness or not. There are many reasons why people attend college part time. You are putting too much pressure on yourself and the anxiety and stress are exacerbating your pain. Take a deep breath. Make this fun. Enjoy the new friends and develop and foster your new friendships and social life. Life is about balance. You have a warm and loving family support system. Nobody is telling you that you have to do this in any type of timeline. You will not be out on the streets because you have a loving home and parents. Part time should be a no brainer and definitely is not a reflection on your integrity or determination. Big hug.

    • Thank you Debra, I have made the decision to go part time, I feel it will (hopefully) be better for me just to takes things a bit slower give myself more time for college work and hopefully less pain as I won’t need to recover quite so much from a busy week.

  2. The key part of your struggle that is sticking out to me is your fear of being a failure if you end up going to school part time. If you do this, I 100% think that does not make you a failure. Making a good decision for your health is wise and brave, not failing. I don’t say that to push you in that direction, but just as something to add to the equation. You will still reach the same end goal, even if it will take you a little longer. Not failing if you end up in the same place.

    I had to make a similar decision earlier this year – continuing to work full time or dropping down to part time. It was the hardest decision EVER, and I agonized over it for months. I think in the back of my head I knew dropping hours would be the best decision, but like you, I felt like it would make me a failure. When I finally quit, I didn’t feel like a failure at all, I felt at peace. I am still doing what I love, and I have more energy and strength to do a better job. I have more to give to friends, family, and things I enjoy. It is putting me in perspective of how I will likely have to live my whole life more slowly than others. When I live a bit slower, I have a better quality of life. It sucks, but for me that is the reality if I don’t want to be in constant agony.

    I do not know you well to suggest you should go the same way, but just wanted to share my own experience! πŸ™‚ Sorry you have to make such a tricky decision ❀

    • Thank you.
      It was a really hard decision but I’ve decided to go part time, in my rational mind I know it’s not failing and I think if I did continue with part time I would just make myself worse and worse health wise and it’s not good at the moment anyway, and then there’s a good chance I could fail the course because of it which would really make me a failure. I know in my heart I’ve made the right decision for me.
      That sounds like a really hard decision to make too, but I’m glad you were able to make the right one for you.
      Thank you for your advice, everyone’s comments on this post really helped me make up my mind and I really appreciate having such lovely readers and people commenting with advice, so thank you πŸ™‚ x

  3. Hi Sian, I’ve recently found myself in the same situation. I decided to take 6 classes this semester and have had to drop one just to keep going. I want to say it was a good choice but I still feel conflicted about it. I feel like I should have been able to do all 6 classes and failed for having to drop. BUT, I am so grateful I decided to go through it and withdraw from that class. It’s incredible the difference just one makes. In previous semesters, I went to school three days out of the week, and saved two days to recover/study and it worked perfectly. Part time is still better than not going at all. It’s not the end of the world if you decide to do part time instead of full time. I’m sorry you’re in a similar situation, it’s not an easy choice.
    Emily

    • I just commented on your post, sorry you had to make a hard decision like I have had to, but I’m sure it will be good for us to take things a bit slower, unfortunately we are not ‘normal’ and have health issues which makes everything that bit harder for us. x

  4. Sian you are a wonderful young woman. Ten years ago when I reached the age of 40 I lost a close friend. I went into melt down. I reavaluated my life and realised I was putting pressure on myself to be everything to everyone. I learnt to look at life differently. I stopped setting goals and took time to enjoy life. If you finish the course in two years rather than one you will be under less stress and pressure and perhaps enjoy the course more. Take the part time option. It’s not a failure but a positive move as it will give you the time to care more for yourself and still complete the course. If a friend was in a similar situation what advice would you give them. Take care of yourself.

    • Hi Patti, thank you!
      Sorry you lost a close friend but I’m glad you were able to take the steps towards enjoying life more. Thank you for the advice, I really appreciate it and it all really helped me make up my mind to drop to part time. Seeing my course tutor tomorrow to talk to her about it!

  5. As you know, I still advocate you going down to part-time. I know it’s hard, but I think you already know all the arguments for it, so I won’t say them again πŸ˜‰ I just wanted to add though, that if you did decide to do this and you found that you were managing well, there’s nothing to stop you from taking up an extra-curricular activity or something new to add to your ‘distraction time’ – perhaps another sport? I know you do tae kwondo (spelling?!) – if you needed to, because that’s something you can do more or less of depending on how you’re doing. I have found a couple of free online courses that I’m going to try in November, which only take 3 or 4 hours a week, so that is also an option if you find you are able to fill the extra time with something else. Just something to consider if you’re worried about that πŸ™‚
    And I won’t see you as a failure if you do drop down to part-time. It might take longer but ultimately your health is the most important thing. Don’t sacrifice that. And your education is obviously important too, but I think that by going part-time you can accommodate both. Sorry for sending all these long messages to you but I hope they help πŸ™‚ xxxx

    • Hi Joanna, thank you, your advice has really helped me make up my mind and I really appreciate it!
      I’ve decided to go part time, talking to my course tutor tomorrow about it and hopefully she will approve it but it shouldn’t be a problem.
      Well done for getting the spelling of Tae Kwon-Do right πŸ™‚
      I’m really hoping going part time will help a bit, and you are right my health is the most important thing!
      Don’t worry about all the long messages, I really appreciate them! πŸ™‚ xxxx

      • Hi Sian, well done on making a decision, I know it was really hard for you. Glad to have helped a bit too. Fingers crossed that your health will improve a bit after this!
        Also, I think that you’re very strong and brave for making this decision to take care of yourself even though you were so torn about it. Well done πŸ™‚ xxxx

  6. Sian, l have commented once before, mainly on my daughter Ashley. Ashley is going through the same as what you are going through and trying to finish her PHD (thesis) Ashley wasn’t sure if she could finish in November due to her symptoms but decided to give it ago knowing she could possibly only get a few hours in a day, Ashley thought about part time but also knew this dreadful thing she had could last for ages and decided to give it ago. She gave a hand in date in November and does struggle to get hours in a day to do what she wants to achieve. No one will ever know the pain you go through unless they suffer same. People may say, you are brave, or deal with it! You arr strong! Etc etc but its not like that and that’s not want you want to hear! Knowing your condition, you will be the only one to know if you can do it. Reading what you have written so far, only you know if you can do it! Ashley is giving it ago, and l hope that your head let’s you give it ago. If it doesn’t work! So what! You have tried to give it a go, l tell Ashley, you can try, give it a go, if you can’t! So what! You tried. I say the same to you Sian, only you know what you can achieve, try! You have the capabilities, there is only one horrible thing trying to stop you. I tell my daughter, don’t push it, do only what you can! Good luck Sian, my thoughts are with you and my daughter Ashley.

    • Hi Mea, sorry your daughter is suffering too.
      But yes you are right I can only but try, I tried full time and as it turns out it’s probably best to go part time. So I’m talking to my course tutor tomorrow about it and hopefully she will be fine with it but it shouldn’t be a problem.
      Thank you and I hope your daughter manages to finish it despite the pain!

  7. I always say, go with your gut. If your gut says to slow down, that’s what I would do. You’re body knows best. This in no way will make you a failure. You’re not quitting, you’re just slowing down, so you don’t have to quit. You’re young, you’ve got so much life ahead of you. What’s one more year? The degree will be the same and like you said, you’ll probably be able to do your best because you’ll have more time to get your work done and to the best of your ability. I think you’re a very strong young woman, for being able to make this decision. I live in pain every day, so I know exactly what you mean. Keep swimming, my friend. You’ve got this. You’ll graduate and everything will work out! I hope this what, at least, a little helpful. I wish you the best on your journey. Have a great day.. πŸ™‚

    • My gut does say to slow down so that is what I’m going to do, I think it will be best after having a few weeks debating, but your comment and everyone else’s have really helped me make up my mind so thank you! Talking to my course tutor tomorrow and hopefully it will be fine.
      Thank you, it was helpful πŸ™‚

  8. I often wonder why the people I meet who have chronic pain and or chronic diseases of some form or another are also the people I know who tend to be the hardest on themselves. I read blogs about people with chronic health issues and I write one too and the themes are all so similar. No one wants to fail or feel like a failure. If we set the bar too high, we will fail. Having a chronic illness means that we need to learn to be realistic and we need to learn to be okay with that. If there is one thing I am learning about myself since getting sick it is that I can’t overachieve my way out of it like I used to do with so many other challenges in my life. Adjusting your schedule to meet your physical limits while still striving to achieve your goals is actually nothing short of brilliant. You are NOT a failure if you chose to do this. Living with chronic health issues is all about finding balance and letting the rest go. Do what is really and truly right for you as a whole.

    • Thank you, I think going part time is what is best for me so that is what I’m going to do. But you are right I think I am my own worst enemy (other than the pain!) and am too hard on myself.

  9. There’s no good that will come of pushing yourself to or beyond your physical limits. I’m not sure if you’ve read much of my blog but if so you know how much I can relate. Accomplishing college will be the same in one or two years.

    • (Whoops, hit post accidentally!)

      You have to work around and with your pain or it will take over your life. Slowing down a touch is no failure, but pretty smart planning in my opinion. If you burn through everything you have for this one year, how will you go on to University?

      Do what is best for your body and your soul. Get those classes done but do it at a pace that doesn’t hurt your chances of moving forward. πŸ™‚

      • Thanks Grainne, yeah I think it is best for me to slow down a little and realise I have limitations because of my pain, and can’t do everything/as much as ‘normal’ people without chronic pain. Hopefully this is the right move for me! πŸ™‚

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