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Home life vs Uni Life

CJ55CJ55 Posts: 3 Newbie
Hi, 
Not sure whether I'm looking for advice or just someone to tell me I'm not insane for the way that I feel. 
This is my situation: 

Have grown up in a very nice home, gone to very good schools and always been provided with everything I physically need and a lot of what I wanted too. My relationship with my parents still isn't good though. My dad works long hours and I hardly even saw him growing up. My mum doesn't work but also wasn't ever highly keep on being responsible for me and my brother. This meant that my Nan practically raised me. She lived with us since I was about 5 and was always the shoulder I needed to cry on and would always listen to me and try to offer advice. She would cook a lot of our meals for us and take me to school or any other classes that I had. My mum is not neglectful but I don't think she knew how much of her life would be dedicated to children when she had them (she was quite young). Of a weekend my parents would garden or have social meetings that they needed to attend, meaning me and my brother would either spend a lot of the time indoors or going to extra classes or going out with grandparents. Furthermore my mum was very strict and sometimes a little invasive and we would often argue. I could give many examples as to when I have been disciplined that I don't think is fair (although most kids don't think it is fair when they get punished even looking back on it now I don't understand it any better). 

My Nan died when I was 16, 2 days before my 17th birthday. She was sick for a long time before this and I have never had a space to express how much that effected me as many of my friends don't understand the relationship between me, my mum and my nan. I even had a serious argument with one of my best friends because he didn't understand why losing a grandparent would hurt as much as it did, most people accept that that's a part of life by that age. This really screwed with my A levels as my birthday happens to occur just before the exam period. I wasn't given the predicted grades I needed and had to fight to get into a decent uni. I became very down, I was never clinically diagnosed with depression but I feel as though I may have had a mild case. I was however clinically diagnosed with a panic disorder. When attempting to explain my feelings to my parents they were often dismissive and told me the issue was things like my diet, my sleep, how much time I spent on my phone etc. 

Now, at almost 20, I am in the 2nd year of my physics degree and uni is so refreshing. I feel like I finally have control over my life. I am able to start becoming my own person rather that someone who my parents tell me I should be. I have an amazing and supportive boyfriend who I can talk to about everything. Im really learning how to take care of myself too. I have fallen in love with the gym and really starting to feel better about how my  body looks and the progress that I am making. 

The issue now is that I am once again at home. I am unable to travel back to uni for the foreseeable and unable to visit friends or my boyfriend that have been such turning points in my life, although I do regularly video call them. I attempt to self-care as much as possible and create a healthy environment at home but I am beginning to struggle. I regularly go for runs, I am on top of all of my uni work and I have been doing little things to cheer me up here and there. Despite all this I still feel so low. My parents give me snide comments about how much cleaner I am now that ive been to uni, about going running, about talking to my boyfriend etc. They expect so much of me around the house. I have basically taken over doing all the washing and the cooking for the whole family. I am expected to do things to my parents standard at a time that suits them considering that I am under their roof. For example my entire family eats dinner together every night, at the same time, and we all eat the same thing. Not only am I expected to always participate I am expected to cook too. I don't get a choice of what we cook either (which is especially difficult as I had become vegetarian at uni but my family eat meat on a daily basis). 

I don't know how to pick myself up or how else I can create a better situation for myself when I am already doing a lot. 
Arianna

Comments

  • DandelionDandelion Posts: 1,270 Wise Owl
    Hi,
    Im glad you’re still managing to do some self care, that’s always really important. I honestly totally understand how you feel about moving home. I personally love the independence of living at uni, eating what and when I want and only worrying about myself. I also cook and clean when I’m at home and it can feel like a lot suddenly having to start doing it for your family as well as yourself. Do you think you could talk to your family about maybe making a rota or something similar to spread the work up, so you don’t have to do everything all the time? x
    Today is a great day for a great day. 
  • AriannaArianna Posts: 77 Budding Regular
    Hi CJ :)

    Sounds like you've really grown since moving to uni! Makes me hopeful for the future. Glad good things have come your way even though they took their time.x

    It's definitely super tough adapting back to home life when you've got used to the environment and independence of uni. And you've brought some really healthy things with you - the self care, the work ethic, and (although online), your friends. That's a really positive thing and shows how much you've progressed - not only do you feel better at uni, you know what you need to do to look after yourself and how to bring that with you to a new place.

    I feel sometimes that adapting to being back home is much like adapting to first moving out to uni. Sometimes one feels harder than the other, like as you've described - if home isn't a good space, moving out is hard but liberating. Moving back in feels like moving backwards, and although it's familiar, it's not good. It's easy to get stuck in the monotony of 'meh' feelings. But you're doing the right things - trying to carry on with the good habits you learned at uni to look after yourself. That's a huge step and it's important to remember how far you've come!

    Sometimes it's hard to talk to your parents about things you're doing or struggling with, especially if they're being dismissive. It's not fair of them to be rude to you about progress you've made. But I know it can be hard. And it can be hard too not to get caught doing things, as you said, like cooking and cleaning, at home. If you're cooking, is there any way you could make a vegetarian meal for yourself? There's no reason your parents have to have the same. And with cleaning, could you just do your own dishes/ laundry and no one else's? That way, you've done as much as is clearly your responsibility. Do some things, some days, to be helpful, and then draw a line - tell your parents that you have uni work/ other things to be doing. Work within your own limits and boundaries - you're allowed to do that, if you can.

    Do you usually come home for Christmas/ Summer break? If so, it might be worth thinking about how you handle those times. Remember that you can do this, too - it's the same thing, maybe for a little longer - but not forever. This will pass, so until then, take it a day at a time. And when it's over you'll be able to meet friends for picnics and movies and ice cream. Keep doing what you're doing - good things will come.

    Take care of yourself. With love,
    Ari.x
  • CJ55CJ55 Posts: 3 Newbie
    Dandelion said:
    Hi,
    Im glad you’re still managing to do some self care, that’s always really important. I honestly totally understand how you feel about moving home. I personally love the independence of living at uni, eating what and when I want and only worrying about myself. I also cook and clean when I’m at home and it can feel like a lot suddenly having to start doing it for your family as well as yourself. Do you think you could talk to your family about maybe making a rota or something similar to spread the work up, so you don’t have to do everything all the time? x
    Hi, 
    My family runs very much on the principle of its my parents house and that means everything has to be done their way. So no... I wouldn't feel comfortable talking to them about only doing my stuff because I know it would lead to an argument or a lecture about how I am part of a family and I would be made to feel guilty because of how much they have given me in life and I should be giving something back. I wish I could have a healthy adult conversation with my parents like that but I just don't feel it's possible. 
  • CJ55CJ55 Posts: 3 Newbie
    Arianna said:
    Hi CJ :)

    Sounds like you've really grown since moving to uni! Makes me hopeful for the future. Glad good things have come your way even though they took their time.x

    It's definitely super tough adapting back to home life when you've got used to the environment and independence of uni. And you've brought some really healthy things with you - the self care, the work ethic, and (although online), your friends. That's a really positive thing and shows how much you've progressed - not only do you feel better at uni, you know what you need to do to look after yourself and how to bring that with you to a new place.

    I feel sometimes that adapting to being back home is much like adapting to first moving out to uni. Sometimes one feels harder than the other, like as you've described - if home isn't a good space, moving out is hard but liberating. Moving back in feels like moving backwards, and although it's familiar, it's not good. It's easy to get stuck in the monotony of 'meh' feelings. But you're doing the right things - trying to carry on with the good habits you learned at uni to look after yourself. That's a huge step and it's important to remember how far you've come!

    Sometimes it's hard to talk to your parents about things you're doing or struggling with, especially if they're being dismissive. It's not fair of them to be rude to you about progress you've made. But I know it can be hard. And it can be hard too not to get caught doing things, as you said, like cooking and cleaning, at home. If you're cooking, is there any way you could make a vegetarian meal for yourself? There's no reason your parents have to have the same. And with cleaning, could you just do your own dishes/ laundry and no one else's? That way, you've done as much as is clearly your responsibility. Do some things, some days, to be helpful, and then draw a line - tell your parents that you have uni work/ other things to be doing. Work within your own limits and boundaries - you're allowed to do that, if you can.

    Do you usually come home for Christmas/ Summer break? If so, it might be worth thinking about how you handle those times. Remember that you can do this, too - it's the same thing, maybe for a little longer - but not forever. This will pass, so until then, take it a day at a time. And when it's over you'll be able to meet friends for picnics and movies and ice cream. Keep doing what you're doing - good things will come.

    Take care of yourself. With love,
    Ari.x
    I really appreciate a lot of what you said and knowing how much I've grow up at uni makes me hopeful for my future too, the issue is getting there. 


    Yes I do usually come how at Christmas etc but I feel like one of the main things that gets me through is knowing it all has an end date. Knowing its only a week or two until my boyfriend visits or unitl I go spend some time with his family. Knowing that in a month of so I'll be back at uni and able to control my life again. I have been home for over a month know and thinking that I could quite possibly have that amount of time all over again is making it really hard to dismiss all the little snide comments and try to keep moving forward. 


    As previously said it would be very difficult for me to have a conversation with my parents about only taking responsibility for myself as they are very up on the whole family unit mentality. Furthermore I fell as though doing things like cooking myself a different meal would only make times more stressful currently. It would cause issues such as going shopping to buy foods, cleaning up etc. For example, unless my pots, pans and plates were to be fully washed, dried, put away within an hour or so of me cooking then that would only worsen the criticism I receive from my parents and, although its fully possible for me to do that it doesn't give me any room to just relax and make sure I get everything done at my own pace (that's not to say I would leave things for days or anywhere near close it just means my parents like stuff being done almost as soon as everyone is done eating etc). 

    I really am trying to get by day to day but everything just feels really difficult to process and work through at the moment 
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