I've always had self confidence issues, but I was able to mostly get over them a few years ago in my late teens. However I think my university experiences made them come up again. I studied in Brazil (I'm from the Caribbean but I got a scholarship to study there) and frankly the city where I lived was dirty and dangerous. I got robbed at gunpoint twice and never felt safe there - I was always looking over my shoulder. I lived near the university, and students were always targeted for assaults and muggings. My social life also took a dip there as because of some cultural differences, I didn't make many friends. The university was poorly disorganized and I ended up having to teach myself mostly. The only reason I stuck it out was because I wanted to still get the degree at the end of the course, to show that I survived and that my hardships were rewarded.
However I think I lost some of the self confidence I had built up before going there. I speak Portuguese fluently but I found most locals always spoke over me and never let me talk because I was a foreigner and therefore 'didn't know anything'. I eventually just stopped talking and became a bit more introverted.
I also lost weight and my hair became very damaged from the polluted water there, so my confidence in my looks took a hit. I don't even like to take selfies anymore.
Basically I feel like a mess, and I think that is visible to others. While I was able to get my degree and graduate, I think it's had a mental impact on me. I'm now back home and on the job hunt. However I haven't found much in the four months that I've been home. I get odd jobs as a waitress or working in product promotions, but it doesn't pay very well, and they're always part-time.
I just feel negative all the time and easily irritated and upset. I also just want to sleep all the time and I procrastinate a lot more than I used to.
How can I help myself feel better?
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