#GUGO – Eliot's Challenge
Two years ago, in 2017 I began to take my final A level exams. I had a place at the University of Bristol; however, the idea of zoology didn’t excite me. As the pressure of exams and the uncertainty of my future began to build, I was struck by an overwhelming feeling of sickness and panic. For the following weeks my anxiety controlled me, I was leaving exam rooms without even being able to finish my papers and I was sure it was the end of my university hopes.
I spent all of my summer plagued with anxiety but when results day arrived, I found out I got into Bristol. I thought that was finally the end of all these nasty feelings. Unfortunately, I was wrong. At university my anxiety persisted resulting in me isolating myself in my room. I became severely lonely and soon enough began my fight with depression. By Christmas time, I was having terrible thoughts, deep sadness surrounded me, I felt lost. However, on January 1st, 2018 I took the decision to drop out of university. I knew forcing myself to continue with a course I had zero interest in was a silly idea and by taking some time out I could step back and finally take some time with zero stress on my shoulders.
Within a month I got myself a small job at a local farm park and began to take up travelling. I began taking small trips to countless locations across Europe and I found this to really help rebuild my confidence. By February I started to feel happy again and by March I finally began to wake up without any feelings of anxiety. Having taken my life back I was ready to restart. In June I made the decision to join the University of Reading to study a course I was truly passionate about and I can now sit back and say it was the best decision I ever made.
Overcoming anything to do with your mental health is a huge challenge and the charities out there that support those struggling on a daily basis deserve lots of recognition and support. Therefore, my friend Tom and I are climbing a 12,000-foot volcano this September to raise money for the Suffolk Mind charity.