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Topic: Balancing mental heath, stress and university

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. Bodey294
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Bodey294 avatar
    7 posts
    28 February 2019
    Hello Beyond Blue online community members,

    I need your advise about balancing mental heath, stress and university.

    I am a student in my final year studying (part - time) a Bachelor of Psychological Science. In the beginning of my course I was eager to become a registered clinical psychologist but then realised the academic standard in regards to marks were very high in oder to achieve this. So last year, I slightly repositioned my career path to the social/community services industry which has wider scope on what I would like to do (clinical case management, counselling, referrals, delivering mental health interventions, needs assessments).

    In reflecting with myself of where I want to be I recently attended a casual catch up with the program coordinator of the Diploma of Community Services (Case Management). After telling her of who I am and where I want to be, she highly recommended completing a Master of Social Work due to a higher employability rate and job prospects.

    This sounds right up my ally HOWEVER…. im 23 with a mental health condition (depression).

    With that in mind lets go through the pro’s and cons of going about this. I complete my bachelors at the end of the year and would start post grad at age 24.

    > Completing the degree:


    can work in a clinical context
    registered with the AASW (regulatory body for social workers)
    high employability rate and job prospects
    will have created the stepping stones for a rewarding and long career
    good income


    larger HEC’S debt (although that doesn’t bother to be honest)
    extended time to finish and get away from uni

    >Part time study:


    Less stressful
    Can manage my time easily
    Can find casual work (according to my flexibility)


    will take four years and will be 28 when completed

    > Full time study:


    will take only two years and will be 26 when completed
    ability to acquire a job earlier in my career


    more stressful (I can’t handle too many branches of responsible otherwise I feel overwhelmed)
    putting myself at risk of failing subjects (due to stress/depression)

    This is my analysis of balancing time, mental health and university. Should I do this course? Should I do part time or full time study? Should I be worried on when I finish university? Please any opinions or feedback would be greatly appreciated from all of you guys. Thank you.

  2. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    romantic_thi3f avatar
    379 posts
    28 February 2019 in reply to Bodey294

    Hi Bodey294,

    Thanks for your post. That's quite a list! I'm happy to see you've thought about this so much and so thoroughly.

    I actually started out in case management and switched to counselling, so it's a nice flip we've got going!

    I wonder if it might be worth having a look at the jobs you'd like to go for, and what they require to get in? While some jobs will specify "we need a social worker", often they'll say BA in Psychological Science, SW or equivalent. So you could be potentially applying for jobs that you like with the Bachelors only without needing your post-grad. You may even end up finding that you can apply for a job that you like and then consider the post grad later on; rather than needing to make a decision right now.

    I think it's also worth knowing that if you do decide to go full-time, you can still do this even with your depression. Sure, things can be overwhelming; but that can be a challenge and not a wall.

    Finally - are you getting Austudy? With Austudy you'd need to be studying a full-time load, or on Newstart you'd need to be working; so this might be something else worth thinking about; not sure by your post how you're being supported financially.

    I know that I haven't answered your questions !! but hopefully this has given you something to think about to help you make your decision. I'm not sure that there's really a right or wrong answer; just finding one that seems to fit you best.

    1 person found this helpful
  3. smallwolf
    Community Champion
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    smallwolf avatar
    101 posts
    28 February 2019 in reply to Bodey294

    Hi Bodey294,

    Welcome to beyond blue.

    Getting tired. But I wanted to respond to your post as well. Here goes...

    I am not sure of what the entry requirements are for Masters, so the only "advice" I can give is to do a load that you are capable to doing. There is nothing worse that pushing yourself and failing and missing out. I did the later without depression, but my marks were still good enough to get into a Masters in Applied Science (Computing) degree.

    Last year I was doing a BTh part time (working full time) and I had cut down from 2 to 1 subject because of the prospect of failing. I spoke with one of the lecturers and they said my decision made sense. So do what you can do...

    So in the '90s I did a Computing degree fulltime, found a job and then did a Masters part time. I could have done it full time, but I had a job, and job prospects them were somewhat grim.

    I think the best bet would be to have a chat with student services or one of the counsellors at Uni or any advice, as they would know the ins and outs in relation to the suggestions from romantic_thi3f, and would help you weigh up the pros and cons of each.

    There are no right or wrong decisions here as long as you are comfortable with that decision.

    Like romantic_thi3f, didn't answer your question, but hope something I said will help,


    1 person found this helpful