Jobless and Lazy

I don’t work. I did, many months ago before stopping. I am however a full time student for the seven or so months of the year that uni occurs. For me, that’s plenty enough to deal with. Compared to the people I know and have talked to though, it’s slack.

One of the drawbacks of appearing to cope as well as everyone else and keeping your struggles hidden is that you’re expected to function as well as everyone else too. Most of the people I know who are studying also have a part time job. As well as that, they also find time for extracurricular activities and socialising. How do they do that?!

I met up with a high school friend for lunch yesterday. I told her that I don’t do anything much during the break and answered “Not really,” when she asked me whether I was looking forward to returning to uni. “So lazy, WFH!” she jokingly teased me.

Prior to that, my OT supervisors at fieldwork asked me whether I had a job or not. I told them yes, I work in a pharmacy when in reality I ceased there early last year. I lied, embarrassed at how lazy I must seem if I told them the truth.

I feel like I should be doing more. Everybody else is. But then thinking about the amount of study I need to do, the amount of effort I need to put in to pass my units at uni already starts to send me into panic. And that’s without a job on the side or even much of a social life. Not to mention, both semesters last year left me playing catch up as a result of my two hospital admissions. Keeping a job at the same time would not have been manageable at all. Being able to pass uni is a big enough achievement for me. When I juxtapose that with what my friends are able to achieve though, it feels like nothing at all.

10 thoughts on “Jobless and Lazy

  1. You’re doing so well to be studying full time. It might seem like others “mangage more”, but they don’t really. They just manage more that’s less taboo to talk about. I’d say coping with ones mental illness (well enough to be studying full time) is a lot “more” and a lot more difficult that working part time. Unfortunately in this society it doesn’t seem to count. But that isn’t your fault or your responsibility.

  2. Hi Willfindhope – well done on your recent fieldwork, you did really well 🙂 I’m quite new to your blog but it sounds like you’ve had a lot to deal with and we all have finite reserves of mental and physical energy, so it sounds wise not to be piling extra work on top of all that. Anyway courses like yours can be a lot more emotionally demanding than those of many other students!

    I’ve been beating myself up a bit for not making more efforts to get part-time work (I’m a ‘mature’ 1st year mental health student.) After a long period of having a limited social life I’ve felt it’s important for me to make time for that over work for the time being, at least until my current placement finishes. (And by social I’m talking meals round a fire with friends rather than splashing non-existent cash on nights out in town!)

  3. I don’t think you’re making a fair or equal comparison here. You shouldn’t underestimate the amount of time and energy that is consumed by living with a mental health condition. What if you had a hidden physical health condition? Arthritis or Lupus spring to mind. Those illnesses need to be managed according to what you are able to do on a day to day or even hour to hour basis. So, why should living with anxiety, depression and an eating disorder be any different?

    Celebrate your successes! But please don’t be so hard on yourself.

  4. I agree with pensandpotions, holding down a uni course and managing a mental health issue is a massive chore anyway, I would not worry about not working, concentrate on uni and your health!

  5. I feel the same way. I struggle with studying full time and I don’t have a job . However I think it is important to remember that your health is far more important than being able to say I study full time and have a part time job. Struggling with a mental illness is hard enough let alone studying and working as well. Be kind to yourself. You are so much more important than study or employment.

  6. I’m also in the same boat. I’m doing a nursing degree which is nearly 40 hours a week on it’s own. The majority of the other students seem to have a part time job on top. I always get asked why I don’t work part time. But I simply cannot do it, I need to protect my health. Fortunately I have a phsycial health condition I can blame it on, though in reality it’s my mental healther that prevents me from working. As the others have said don’t underestimate how much time and energy having a mental illness consumes, you are not lazy by not “managing more” you’re simply protecting yourself.

  7. It’s very hard when you don’t fit the ‘expected profile’, isn’t it? I work part-time thanks to my own mental health issues and people assume I must be doing loads of things in my ‘spare time’. No, actually, I don’t. I just… exist. Because that’s quite hard enough! much empathy, and kudos on keeping up despite your admissions.

  8. Try not to measure yourself against others – you are doing fantastically, and not having a job alongside your studies doesn’t make you lazy, it means you know your limits, and what you need to do to keep yourself well – that’s the most important thing, your health… Keep going, you’re doing great! xx

  9. you’re doing amazingly well – as others have also agreed. it’s hard when we compare ourselves with others, but they have no idea what you are going thru in order to manage uni and studying and life.
    I’ve felt the same, I feel the same – on placement now and expected to study in the evenings too, but I can’t find the time or energy to do so.
    Managing mental ill-health is a full-time job in itself, so well done on doing anything else on top of that! Keep going.

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