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Articles > School August, 09, 2020

Mental Health, Education and Goals

Matthew Cox
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9.33 / 10

Have you ever felt like you have a constant pressure on you? I have. Ever since I left school I felt like I was not living up to the expectations of my family, even though they said they were proud.

As a student in a state college I always seemed to perform well with the work, but not with my mind. Despite top grades I felt lonelier and more distant from who I truly wanted to be. I loved acting but didn’t choose that path. Instead I had to watch from the shadows; looking at promising young actors who will have chances I may not, due to a decline in my mental health.

I used to be really good at acting and dance in school and was always told this, in school it was different as you would do science for an hour and then something different like English and acting which I enjoyed. With higher education, you do one topic for the whole period. Although I enjoyed this to an extent, I now look back and prefer the school system.

Music and dance has always been a passion of mine. In lockdown, I’ve finally managed to connect to music once again. For a very long time I felt disconnected and without any passionate interest in anything. To get away from education and expectations for a short period has really aided me to gather my thoughts and become a better person.

Moving on to university, I have made it a personal goal to level the field with success both in education and in my own life. I don’t want to be a shadow and underneath the monster of anxiety and the illusion of expectations. I can overcome it, feel free, and get onto that stage and shine like I know I can.

In the battle with mental health, I know I am not alone. I am proud of all who have gone through, going through and have overcome it as it really is difficult. But it’s an experience I hope will make me a better man in the future.

You may read this article and think that it’s another emotional story but I do hope that someone reads this and resonates with my experience. Or can find a spark in their own difficult times to overcome their own battle. At university I will look to actively help those struggling with mental health, by providing support for charities who specialise in this, as I do think it affects a large amount of people.

During the coronavirus situation it has been hard to see many positives but as I said previously, music has helped massively to relax. It’s helped me to intertwine myself back with who I used to be and that makes me happy.

What I take from this story is that I have made steps, baby steps towards happiness. And will continue to battle the demon of anxiety and worry until it’s no longer there.


To those struggling with their mental health, there are a number of resources available online. Some links can be found via Heads Together.

Can you resonate with Matthew’s experience? Has lockdown been an opportunity for you to take a step back and focus on something you enjoy? Let us know your thoughts on this article in the comments 🙂

If you liked this article, you may also like:

The effects of depression, and my personal take on recovery


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