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Forums / Young people / Studying struggles

Topic: Studying struggles

4 posts, 0 answered
  1. Mina trying to study
    Mina trying to study avatar
    1 posts
    16 August 2021

    Hi I’m Mina and I just wanted to use this space to rant/vent/express thoughts and get some empathy, support, or advice.

    My main issue today is that I missed the deadline for a weekly online test that I have for one of my courses. Negative self talk like “I’m an idiot, why did I leave it to the last minute?” kinda comes up as I write this now.

    I studied for 4 hours on this unit but because I’m already behind, I spent most of those hours on a topic that wasn’t related to the quiz.

    Now there *is* a safety net embedded into the assessment of weekly quizzes, you can safely miss three and still get full marks if you do well on all the others. This was the third one I missed so rationally it shouldn’t be much to worry about. The combined scores only weigh up to 3% of my grade too.

    But I can’t help but feel disappointed. Like I failed. I was completing it right up until the deadline but unfortunately finished the last question just after the minute the deadline ended. This triggered panic like how am I ever going to catch up.

    I feel like, despite the fact that I procrastinate as a way to cope with anxiety and overwhelm, when I do study, I study “hard”. I exert so much effort and put so much pressure on myself (not the best thing to do, I know) but will it be enough? Will my effort be worth it? When will I reap the reward?

    I’ve struggled with starting uni a few times. I’ve deferred those times, after finding it was too much. My goal this semester is to just pass. So again rationally, I shouldn’t be putting this much pressure. But I do. I’m a perfectionist.

    I also know, it’s not about studying hard, but studying efficiently so how do I get myself out of my current perfectionist studying pattern?

    Anyway, that’s it for now.

  2. jtjt_4862
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    16 August 2021 in reply to Mina trying to study

    Hi Mina,

    Warm welcome to the forums. I'm glad to have you here with us, and that you're able to post the bottled up thoughts that you have on your mind.

    It can certainly be tough and scary when we venture out from high school into uni life without knowing what we want to do in life. I feel there's no shame in starting uni a few times, and deferring a few times. That's because we're still young and trying to figure out what we actually want to do; What interests us, what will benefit us, what's going to help society, what are my goals etc. As we go along with our lives and learn/experience new things, we'll start to realize things that really matter to us, and things that we're actually not interested in. But perhaps there's external pressure and stress from society that's forcing us on a path that we do not want to take. It could be our parents, relatives, friends etc. Other external factors could be limited money, available options basing on your geographical location, etc. Life is fairly complex, and it will take time and effort to figure out what we want to do.

    I can totally understand the perfectionist trait, as I used to be like that, and even till today, while I still am, I'm slowly working through it. It's not a bad thing to be a perfectionist, but it will make things harder for us to achieve what we want. I learned that life is a constant progression, rather than trying to meet an end destination. Rather than "I must deliver the best", I'm learning to instead "do my best with my current abilities, and do better next time". I try to cut myself some slack, to know that it's okay to fail, so long as I learn to identify the problem, and do better next time.

    When we expect perfection, we have this very harsh and cruel expectation from the efforts we put in. If we don't meet that expectation, we feel utterly defeated because that expectation was not met, and we beat ourselves up about it. But if we change our mindset to treat ourselves more kindly and gently, and embrace failures as a way to learn and better ourselves, I feel that's a much better way of living life. It's not easy to swap mindsets immediately (I figured I had a troubled past that caused me to have the perfectionist trait). but constant practice of it and recognizing what needs changing will help you be better at it. Don't be the best, be better than your previous self.

    I hope that helps Mina. Happy to chat with you more, or if you'd like to vent further, I'm happy to listen to you.


    1 person found this helpful
  3. Miz
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    Miz avatar
    56 posts
    16 August 2021 in reply to Mina trying to study

    Hi Mina,

    Welcome to the forums and thanks for posting. I completely understand this negative studying pattern that comes about due to university. I think it's very easy to get caught up in the cycle of perfectionism, especially when transferring from High School to university. I think there's a few core things to remember that may be able to help you.

    Firstly, uni is a very different environment to school and we can't put the same pressure on ourselves at uni that we did in school. It's very normal not to get full marks at uni and the tests are normally set up in a way to push people to the boundaries and a lot of people really struggle to get the same results they did in school. Since we're dealing with a different learning environment it's important to take a different approach and set new standards for yourself. A good way to think of it is in terms of how much effort you've put in. If you study hard and have put in the work, you shouldn't be too hard on yourself, even if the results aren't great. You did the best you could in that situation and shouldn't feel too dismayed at one or two poor outcomes. We always learn from our mistakes so when you maybe don't do so well on a test it's okay just to say ah well, at least I studied and now I know what kind of questions they ask for next time! You sound like you're very hardworking and it's important that you remember that you are working hard and doing your best. Be kind to yourself and think of the bigger picture! Think of your life in 5 years time and whether that quiz mark will matter to you then.

    Hope this helps, happy to chat more if you like!


  4. jaz28
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    jaz28 avatar
    519 posts
    16 August 2021 in reply to Mina trying to study

    Hi Mina,

    I can start by saying - I am the same. I strive to achieve the best I can in my uni work, and when I get a bad result, I get thoroughly disappointed. It sucks.

    Then, I pick myself up and say - how can improve this for next time? Then I make a note and try harder next time. Nobody is perfect, and we all mistakes. We all have bad days or days where we feel like we aren't doing good enough. But as long as you improve on your mistakes and failures, it isn't so bad.

    If we didn't have failure - we would never learn. Remember that.

    Uni will get easier as you adjust - give it time and remember to always strive to improve, and don't dwell on past assignments/tests unless you are making notes to improve it!

    Keep studying,


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