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Masters Discussion Forum

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This Category:   PostgraduateForum.com > Choosing a Masters


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Anxiety_ panic attacks & starting a masters ? Foolish or wise ?


User: imnotsure - 05 July 2017 15:22

Hi
im looking for some advice on doing a masters degree. I am not so sure If I am able or if I will get support like i got at my university for my bachelors.
I am 24, and I completed a year ago a bachelors degree in Industrial Design. I received a 2.1, however I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder during my time at uni while doing my bachelors. To say the least I had a terrible time during my final year due to the stress levels and my anxiety issues going through the roof and it affected my studies quite badly, being late for assignments mainly. My course was studio based and I was a week past my final deadline handing my work in (which still gets me down) however the staff and university was very helpful and understanding of my issues, ofcourse psychologists and doctors where communicating with my university department.

My anxiety issues have somewhat eased, in other ways gotten worse, since I finished uni.

I am worried to start a masters (in the same or similar subject area) knowing I have these anxiety issues and knowing that high stress levels dont go so well in my favour. I worry because if I went to a new university, perhaps they wont treat me as well, and that it would be a waste of money & there time if I cant pass it. However I dont want to go through my life without trying my hardness and letting an illness get in the way and I want to better my ability all the time and it makes sense that a masters is the best way to do that. I am also considering to study abroad (in finland, however ive lived there before).

Do you think its a bad idea for someone like me to even consider doing a masters or is it worth my consideration to look ? anyone else do /currently doing a masters who deals with anxiety or panic attacks ? how are you finding it ?

Thanks for reading.

User: fallenonion - 05 July 2017 22:26

Obviously all cases are different depending on the individual. But I've suffered / suffer with depression and anxiety and actually found doing a masters better in that respect than doing my first degree. Undergrad felt long, slow and punctuated by hateful exams. There was a lot of social anxiety for me. Doing a masters (I did mine part time so I could fit it around work) was a shorter, sharper experience which was purely coursework based. There wasn't time / any point in trying to fit in socially. I felt more in control,of,it basically. Also I found that tutors were more approachable, that they had a bit more respect for you at post-grad, although that might just be me. Guess the only way to know is to give it a go. Depending on how bad your anxiety is, of course, it's up to you. Personally I found a masters so absorbing, it actually eased my anxiety and have found having the masters helped me too, in that I felt more confident professionally and able to put myself forward for roles at work and new jobs I wouldn't have previously. Hope,this helps. onion.

User: Ephiny - 06 July 2017 12:26

You might find that you cope better this time because you can be prepared. I had depression/anxiety during my first attempt at a bachelor's, and it took me a long time to get help because I didn't know what was wrong with me or who to turn to. But now you know this could be a problem for you, you can take steps like registering at the university health centre and counselling service, so you have somewhere to go if you need help; making sure you notify your tutors promptly if you find your studies are starting to be affected (much better to do this early than wait until you fail an exam or miss a deadline); building whatever self-care things work for you into your daily routine (regular exercise, mindfulness, yoga, etc) to try to manage your stress levels.

I don't know much about the academic culture in Finland, but most universities these days are very used to dealing with students with these kinds of issues, and will have procedures in place. You do get the occasional unsympathetic academic supervisor, but most should be understanding.




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