I have been facing the following problem, it’s causing me much stress and sometimes I am angry with myself whenever I think about it. This is sadly a daily affair because it concerned my parents and I cared for them alot. The situation is so bad that I have many sleepless nights thinking about it.
Now for the problems I have been facing:-
1) Have nobody to talk to about my problems and worries, thus I keep everything to myself causing me to be depressed, stressed, sad and even starting to have anxiety. As I can’t talk with my parents about it, my mum is the type that thinks too much easily and it will affect her health, my dad is a strong man I don’t want to affect is pride and worry him more with his already mountain load of worries. My brother is out of the question, can’t even call him (wife checks his calls) and he rarely comes/calls home, so we became no as close as before his marriage. My parents also don’t want to let my relatives and cousins know about my brother’s problem, so I can’t tell them too. I have don’t have much close friends and telling them this will be weird and embarrassing even to let them know about my brother’s situation. What will their reaction be? Will they change their image of me after knowing my problems? As I believe I usually portray a strong image and someone who is carefree.
2) Money problem: When my dad retires, how am I going to pay for all the bills (house, medical, and their daily expenses)? Though I think my dad has some savings, but I think it’s not much to last long as for the past 4/5 years I would say at least about 70-80K have been used up already. How much saving he has left I don’t know and is awkward to ask also. For now as a diploma holder I can only get like a starting pay of below 1.8K/mth and after like 10 years I think I can’t even hit the 3K/mth mark without a degree. With my private degree, I will be 25 years old when I graduate, with a starting pay of only about 2 to 2.3K.
3) Should I change my full-time studies to part-time to earn some extra income? With this extra income I can save for future rainy days which will come eventually and maybe even contributed a little to my mum’s bills. Problem is that I am currently already struggling in my 1st semester with full-time, there is so many things on my mind, I know it’s sounds like an excuse but it makes me can’t seem to concentrate in class and on my studies. Those sleepless nights spent thinking and worrying and cause me to be tired in e morning or afternoon when I am in school for long hours of lectures. Will getting a job and part-time study be worst? I think of getting a job also because I feel like immerse my time in it so I won’t think too much.
Gilbert: My gut feeling is that you wont be able to complete your degree programme with so many issues on your mind chief of which is financial. It will be a waste to drop out mid way through the programme. Is it possible to ask for part time studies citing the problems that you have? I am sure that the institution is sympathetic to your reasoning if it is valid.
4) How to stop worrying and thinking about the future and concentrate on the present (my studies)? As I am a person who tends to analyze and think too much when facing a problem. How to cope with my stress and problem?
Gilbert: Your fear is normal but it is best to manage them. All of us live in a society that has stressors but the better ones manage them with some easy steps.
For example, do you have a destressing programme? Some people exercise to destress – I exercise thrice a week as I find that this is my best destressing method plus it helps me stays slim and active. I am 50 already this year and still run the half marathon yearly. Some people read or blog away their blues to destress. Others talk to their friends or engage in something that they like.
Do what is best for you as this personal. The important thing is to do it regularly over time so that you benefit from the programme.
Moreover, always change your thought patterns deliberately. Psychologists call this “cognitive behavourial theory” or CBT in short. It can be done easily by anyone with some practice.
For example, if you are out of work, think of the things that you can do on your own during this period. You can go out with your parents during the day time, catch a movie mid day or even go to the library to do some study. When you start to work, your time will be constrained and your activities restricted.
In every situation, there is the up and down side but most of us are trained to think of the down side especially if we are the negative type.
I used to think negatively until I was introduced to CBT. Nowadays, I train my mind to think glass half full in every situation. It is not always successfully done but at least I try!
Do also set aside time to worry about your stuff as they deserve your attention. For example, set aside ten minutes every day to think through your problem. One way is to write them out like what you have done now. Once you have done that, go through your day without thinking through them again. Again, this is easier say than done and need some practice before it can be perfected.
5) Where can I get further free counseling or consultation or advice on my problems? I can’t afford those that have very high fees as I am a student with no income and don’t want to waste my parent’s money too.
Gilbert: I can see you some time next week if you are available. Its free of charge. Take care.
Any helpful financial advice or past experience will be appreciated also, thanks a lot.