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I'm about to turn 24 in exactly a month and I'm totally dreading it. I'm originally from Canada and right now I'm in the UK on a working holiday visa. I've been here 4 months now. I came here thinking I would see if I could take some pre-university courses here and long story short it's just not the best route to take. Even if I get into a UK university it'd be too expensive for me as an international student. It would be smarter to go back to school in Canada as opposed to here since scholarship opportunities are far more plentiful there compared to here here.

For the 2 years I was in university I was very shy, constantly anxious, and had horrible self esteem so much so that I never participated in regular college life despite really wanting to. I feel like I missed out on a lot of things, so I want to go back to school and experience all the things I missed before it's too late! (The older I get the harder it will be to get a "real" college experience.) I know going back to school now, it'll never be an authentic uni experience and this makes me feel really, really sad. I've never been able to let go of this, and as they say "You can't leave a place you haven't been to." Doing the college thing is that place I haven't to been to, for me.

But at the same time I am in EUROPE, and I am only this young once. I am torn between wanting to go back to school to live out my fantasies of college (this time, I'm gonna do it right) but also wondering if I may regret not having used this opportunity to travel lat 23/24 later on in life.

Perhaps I m glamorizing the idea of going back to university. I know I will need to be very focused and feel that "yes, this is where I need to be right now!" I will be miserable if I feel like there is still something missing in my life, something I haven't done. There is one compromise I could make with myself - and that's to save up as much as possible during this and next month and use the last weeks of December to do a bit of traveling and then return to Canada. But it'll be all rushed and I doubt I'll have much fun. My biggest regret right now is not getting started looking for work SOONER so I'd have more choices NOW! But it never occurred to me earlier that within the next months I'd be considering going back to Canada (I'd thought "Nothing can drag me back to that godforsaken place!")

I often feel like I wasted my late teens & early twenties being miserable and then I’ll start feeling frantic and desperate about the possibility of wasting what bit of youth I have left NOT doing what I want. I am now acutely aware of how quickly the days go by and how I must seize the moment and make the very best of the time I've been given. This is why I feel so paralyzed to taking action.

I'd really appreciate some advice please, thanks!
 

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is getting over herself
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travel. I did not do it until I was in my 30s. do it now, you will not regret it later. you will only regret not doing it.
 

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To OP,

Since when is 23/24 old? Since when do you have a "bit of youth" left? You do realize that there are people who are in their forties who are just starting to travel and/or go to school? And guess what? They are enjoying it!

Also, tell me this: What, for you, is THE uni experience? Is it the college experience that is of nothing but alcohol and random hook-ups, or is it one with more substance, like exploring yourself, finding your passions and trying out new things? If it is latter, then do not fear! You are NEVER too old for the latter experience. The one experience that you should have grown out of is drinking to get drunk and screwing around.

That being said, if I were you, I would travel a bit more and then go back to school. I mean what's the rush? You've got your whole life ahead of you. Travel while you still can. School will ALWAYS be there for you.
 

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A Living Woman
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You can do both. You can go back to school and do a study abroad program for a semester so you'll get your travel in. Then when summer comes along you can do even more traveling. If you really want to go back to school and "do it right" go ahead! Universities know that students want to travel and a lot of them actually encourage it. I don't see it as an either/or, black and white thing. I think you could find a happy medium and get everything you want. :)
 

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Travel.

School just leads to work and work leads to slaving your life away for the next 35+ years.

If you've got the money, travel. Live it up!
 

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Well, I'd say travel for a bit then go to college. I haven't yet had the desire to travel myself, but I have had the urge to go to college and experience it, and didn't applly till I was 22-23. Before I started going to college I thought I'd be too old and what not, but college is diverse. One thing I'm trying to incorporate is that life is too short not to do the things you want and age shouldn't be a factor. I say travel then go to college and if it's not what you wanted then move on from there. As far as being too old, your not. Depending on what you want to do in college, most people there are probably 19-20 years of age and are open to meeting new people. Girls love a little bit older guys so that's a good thing! ;) Also, people just like meeting people so it dosen't really matter how old you are.
 
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