Real Men, Real Stories. Meet Josh.

Hi, my name is Joshua. I'm 19 and currently work as a Production Operative. For fun.. I'm an adrenaline junkie, I like to adventure everywhere, hike mountaintops and push my body to it's limits.

My mental health fluctuates. I have never been diagnosed with anything, but this is mainly because I've strayed away from the idea, as it scares me. I have extreme highs and lows and tend to bounce back and forth between the two, I’m never stable.

The biggest time and moment when I hit rock bottom is after dropping out of university. I passed my first year and decided not to go back. It wasn't my own opinion on it that actually affected me that much. My family gave up on me and my academic achievements, as well as supporting me in my passion. At the same time I lost a lot of respect from people that I thought where friends because I decided university wasn't a path I was going to take.

To overcome this, it started off short and simple. I began to try different things. If I liked what I did then I wouldn't give it up. It didn't matter how much it cost me, what mattered was if it lit a spark of passion. Over 3 months there were guitar lessons, visiting car shows, travelling crazy distances for fun, photography and hiking. I eventually settled down into the photography and am continually growing with something I'm passionate about, not something others forced upon me.

The main change all started off with myself however, as I started to ask myself, "Am I doing the right thing?"

I reached out to people who have been in the same situation through social media e.g Instagram and close friends through hiking groups. Knowing other people have been in the same situation and understanding I was doing the right thing by chasing my passion allowed me to strive forward.

My advice to others in a similar situation would be to find your passion and follow it like you're chasing food after a week of keto. Grow as much as can. Never ever let anyone set you off your path, don't live someone else's dream.

How was your experience of university? Did it effect your mental health?