University Diaries, Episode 4: When The Going Gets Tough…..

Sigh…I know this feeling! I know at times we all had that urge to quit….Just because we want to and WE CAN….at that moment, no motivational message or word of encouragement makes sense…it’s not like we don’t know..we know but pssstt….

I remember at the beginning of my Foundation year, I was kinda excited because I was like I am ready for this…I will smash this first assignment….after all is it not me? (not being over confident but I knew myself…). Then the results of this particular assignment came and what???? I was very devastated, pissed, angry, annoyed…..(let’s stop here because I might not finish!) I was angry at myself, God and everyone. Like, I dedicated lots of time to nailing this assignment and this…I could not take it!…I even remember crying on my way home…on the bus…I met this lady who encouraged me that it’s fine…and that I had other assignments to prove myself worthy…she even gave an instance whereby she wanted to graduate with a 2:1 but ended up with a 2:2. I thought to myself hmmm….My situation is NOT too bad after all….But….the 2nd and 3rd assignments did not go too well either that at a point I was thinking if I was going to pass the programme at all. My MINDSET changed and I did exceed pass rate in the end…

This and many other experiences do students face in university….especially thinking of how demanding courseworks and exams are…seminars and all that….having to balance with your personal life. Then I conclude that…NOT everyone can survive in university…which is fine because as humans we all have limits to what we can take and what not. I remember in my 1st year, a girl in my course quit because she could not stand the pressure and moreover she was not enjoying the course anymore (Economics is TOUGH!)…Fast forward to my 2nd year when I was literally drowning in assignments, exams, and all sorts…I was like it was a good idea that this girl quit earlier other than staying to experience all these! I also thought oh well maybe she could have stayed and fought harder…who knows she could have been victorious in the end.

But you see…sometimes in tough scenarios when for example you failed an exam, coursework, not enjoying your course, falling behind in class etc… you have a CHOICE which will determine what your next phase will be. Someone in this girl’s position would have stayed and fought and still quit in the second year or may not have made it to their second year…and probably fall into a major depression in the process (wasting too much time!). So for her, quitting may have been the best choice and who knows she might find her passion somewhere else maybe not necessarily in university!

I am not in anyway encouraging quitting as an escape route when faced with tough times especially whilst in university but just be sure of whatever decision you make. Another example was a very tough time in my second year in university. Trust me when I say I almost quit…I did not really care about what my parents or other people were going to say after all…my LIFE, my CHOICE…but because of the resilience I had built from past disappointments and able to conquer I knew I could do this too…which I DID. After graduation, I did a self-evaluation and thought to myself, I would have lost all I achieved especially in my final year if I had thrown in the towel way too early!

Talking to someone too is very essential. For people like me, I find it very difficult to open up to people…especially when you don’t know how they will receive the information and process it hence…and more importantly spilling! But at least we all have one or two people we could open up to. Moreover, in universities, there are student counseling centers where students could go to for confidential sessions….talking to your personal tutor too could be another option (I happened to have a very lovely personal tutor who I could open up to). Whichever person you are I am sure you could fit into one of these categories.

Sometimes there is help but we do not know because we do not ask…ASK AND YOU WILL RECEIVE. If you are struggling with a course and you know any of your mates who are very good in it…befriend them so they can help you…go and see your lecturer during office hours, there was a Nightline service for people who are going through tough times to just call and talk and talk and talk…. (very confidential)…if you have it, USE IT!

REMEMBER: Don’t beat yourself up for hitting a rough patch,,, we all do, and we mostly don’t feel like getting back up or making the situation any better…but the question is….IF YOU DONT HELP YOURSELF FIRST, WHO WILL?

 

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