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Could use some advice!


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Hey guys! So, I attended my first semester of grad school at University of Kentucky and I did not have the best experience there. I primarily moved there (from Seattle) b/c I had hopes of getting back together with my ex or at least restarting our friendship b/c he used to be one of my best friends. He ended up disappearing on me for the 2nd time and I was crushed. I really hoped he would at least be a better friend to me, and help me adjust to the new surroundings (introduce me to ppl, show me around, etc.). He invited me to go visit him at work but I chose not to, and he blew me off twice when we were supposed to hangout. He later told me he had too much going on with work and never meant to ignore me and wasn't blowing me off intentionally but it was too little too late. My first few months there the girl that was going to be my roommate committed suicide. It was terrible and really sad. She was my only other friend there aside from my ex. I told him what happened and I never got a response, let alone, an 'are you ok', which I would have easily been there for him had the tables been reversed. I felt like I was doing okay out there until she died, but it really struck a cord with me b/c I lost my younger brother to suicide 10 years ago and did not want to go through that kind of pain again. I also had a very unfocused advisor and was getting no work experience and not a great financial aid package (loans yes but paying out of state tuition and no graduate assistantship). I told myself that it wasn't worth it if I graduated with no experience. I came home to Seattle to visit and was sad I didn't get to see a lot of my friends. I expected to be okay with things and told myself that I could get through it since I'd been through this before, but it all hit me like a bus. I went and talked to one of my teachers (not my advisor) and he was sweet and understanding to me basically in tears in his office. My advisor told me he wanted me to stay, but they never offered much incentive for me to stay. My other teacher was wonderful and emailed other departments and tried so hard to get more financial aid for me, but he never got responses from the other teachers (even though he is very respected at UK). I came back to UK in June and was miserable, no car, no roommates, hard to make friends...and it got too lonely and I wanted to just come home for summer. My dad told me that since I already moved back that it wouldn't be worth it, and that I couldn't just hang on to my apartment for the summer. I was really disappointed and didn't know what to do. I basically got really mad at everything and sad and just left without saying goodbye.

I still miss it sometimes and have been questioning my decision lately. For now, I am attending WSU online but I do miss being in a classroom (not enough to live in Pullman) but I miss my peers/friends at UK too. I moved back home with my Dad and it's been miserable. My big sister was having a baby and getting married and I wanted to be here for that so I did, but now I find myself regretting the decision. WSU has been fine and my advisor rocks compared to UK (actually answers phone calls and return emails and gives good advice versus not being present or particularly helpful). Initially I moved because all my friends here are married and I barely see them. I wanted a new experience and there's not a lot keeping me here right now. My Dad and I get along okay, but he is so high stress and short tempered that living at home is so hard. That was a big part of why I moved too b/c I am not fan sometimes of the way I am treated or talked to. I have talked to him about it several times but it never changes. I don't have a full-time job so I can't move out again yet unless I move away for school again. I would rather be in Lexington than in Pullman, personally. Although culturally (Seattle and Lexington) are so vastly different its like two separate worlds. It was a rough transition and I hated how lonely I felt after my friend died and I didn't hear anything from my ex (who used to be one of my best friends). After I moved back home I fell into a pretty bad depression (I think I had been fighting it for awhile before everything happened). I am usually pretty optimistic and happy, and never really had a big problem with depression. I came home and saw a doctor and they diagnosed me with having a major depressive episode. Most people only have one in a lifetime then fully recover in 6 months to a year and are completely fine. My doctor and therapist are very optimistic for me and say that my prognosis is excellent and that I've been working really hard at doing a good job. My depression is in remission (yay!) and I will be tapering off anti-depressants after my sixth month on them (in December). I've never been on them before this year and have never been through anything like this before, but I am so glad to be getting better and getting on the other side of things. I guess the main thing is I just would like some advice and thank you for reading :)

I mainly don't know if I should stay in Seattle (at WSU) or give UK another shot, so anything helps!

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I moved after college for a teaching program, and my boyfriend and I broke up (long distance) after my first full week of teaching. I was ill-prepared (and not cut out) for my job, super stressed, clinically depressed, the whole deal. (I did become good friends with my roommate, who was very supportive in spite of being stressed herself as a first-year teacher.) With the blessing of my principal, I resigned early in the second semester, and began feeling a lot better instantly. Now (many years later) I'm in grad school which is of course stressful, but not anti-depressant requiring stressful. All that is to say that yes, you have good reason to be optimistic that depression is not going to haunt you forever.

Regarding the move: While I was able to become friends with my roommate pretty quickly, I felt it took me a full two years to have a real sense of community here in St Louis. I think if I were to move back home, it would take nearly as long again, because so many people have left and/or have their own routine down. I'm guessing it will just take time for you wherever you are. Staying closer to home (even if not living at home) will be cheaper since you won't have to travel so much, and that could help you to save up for a bigger move later on, if you really needed to. Can you do somethings to treat your current location as if it was new? Maybe join a meet-up group or a "Young Friends of [Your Favorite Cultural Institution]". Being a volunteer ESL tutor allowed me to meet a family that's become my surrogate family here, though that wasn't the intent when I started.

If you were to move, is there a reason you would want to move back to UK? I don't think friendly acquaintances from before will offer you enough of a support system to make this move very different from before, and since you didn't have a particular affinity for your advisor, there's less of a need to go back to the same school.

Hm. I'm sure you can be successful either way. Hopefully others will chime in with their thoughts.

Good luck!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you so much I appreciate the feedback! I've been so stuck, and of course I would be back in the same situation as before (living in the same city as my ex and hating life pretty much). I can see what you mean about acquaintances and the lack of support system. I have been considering going back because UK (Kentucky) is well-known in athletics, and I worry about what I could miss out on by not graduating from there. There's not much I can do to treat my home (Seattle) like it's new but I do play and coach volleyball so it helps. It just gets old sometimes because I am back living at home again at my Dad's and honestly kind of miserable here. I would move out again, but I don't have a job and at least UK would get me out of the house again. I don't really have the desire to live in Pullman either, so I can continue the program (WSU) online but then I would still have to live at my Dad's. I can't really afford to go back to UK, but I had a great talk with my advisor the other day and they said they'd love to have me back. I got a 4.0 at UK and did TERRIBLE at WSU this semester, the coursework was so much easier at UK. Thoughts?

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I stayed in the town I had moved to after college (St. Louis), even after I quit my job, in part because I had mentally committed to the city, and in part because Michigan's economy was tanking with the US auto industry, so there wasn't a lot to go home to.  (I was without a job about 3.5 months.)

Glad to hear you're doing volleyball; I think having extra curricular is really important to keeping perspective on things.
Being in the same town as your ex isn't a big deal as long as you mentally write him off and ignore the fact that he's there.  I would evaluate moving back to Kentucky as if you were moving some place for the first time, where you didn't know anyone other than the advisor. It may still be the best move, but you want to negate the "grass is always greener" factor as much as possible.
Good luck and happy holidays!

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