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Should I drop out of Cambridge?

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Got a question about Student Finance? Ask the experts this week on TSR! 14-09-2014
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    I thoroughly do not deserve to be there - I'm not that clever (I have no idea why they even gave me an offer) and I don't do nearly enough work. I haven't started any vacation work yet and I go back in 11 days. I could try and blame this on depression/eating disorder but everyone has problems. I don't know why I haven't done it, I plan to and then inadvertently avoid it until I forget about it, then panic and decide I can't do it, then give up. Repeat.
    It's completely my own fault that I'm in this situation. I don't think I am mentally or emotionally capable of coping at Cambridge. It's intense, everyone is super intelligent (apart from me) and I don't fit in anywhere. I was too scared to join anything so I don't do anything fun either. Before going back last term I was practically suicidal, and I'm scared I'm going to be like that again in a few days.
    I need to sort myself out, and I tried the counselling service but it hasn't helped, its done the opposite.

    I feel awful that someone who could have had my place didn't get in because of me, and here I am completely wasting the opportunity. but it's actually too late now to probably even pass. I don't know what to do... if I drop out I don't know what I'll do either. But at least then I won't be wasting anyone's time/money anymore.

    Sorry for such a long post.
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    in b4 ISA.

    If you got an offer, then obviously you are Cambridge material.

    Do not doubt yourself, even though you may be having some problems.

    I am sure you can talk to pastoral staff regarding your situation.

    You are not wasting anyone's time/space/money, and you have no taken away someone else's place just because you have self-doubt.

    Also, it will be intense, but I am sure everyone else thinks the same - "but he/she is so much cleverer than me", so that's a moot point.

    Good luck.

    I really do not understand the negs, considering this is good advice.
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    You might just be criticising yourself unduly? Wait until you go back, and then see how things are. If you're not, is it possible to defer a year or something like that?
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    first of all if you got an offer then you ARE clever enough to be there so don't ever doubt that for a second.

    Maybe ask a few of your friends how they're coping with the work load, take a few tips from them.

    If you really hate it that much and its making you feel suicidal then do what you think will benefit you the most

    Think positive
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    If you had the 'I don't deserve' approach to everything in life, then sign on. Honestly, you're there, make the most of it. Get a 2:1 and go earn mega bucks. Find a nice guy doing law, who's going to go on to MC firms and will make hundreds of thousands in 10 years, and live a happy life. Don't worry about others, worry about yourself. Cambridge saw something in you, you can't second guess them. It's a gruelling process to get offers from Oxbridge, so don't think you're not good enough, because that's just hiding something else; perhaps you're a bit lazy?
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    Cheer up, realise that if you continue to define yourself by what you perceive to be everybody elses standards, you will never be happy. I know people who are way cleverer than me who have got into, and more importantly failed to get into Oxford. It is nerve wracking to consider that if they didn't get in, that you just got in by fluke and that its going to be hell when you get there. But it simply isn't true, its a delusion you are allowing yourself to succumb to.
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    (Original post by -jessica)
    I thoroughly do not deserve to be there - I'm not that clever (I have no idea why they even gave me an offer) and I don't do nearly enough work. I haven't started any vacation work yet and I go back in 11 days. I could try and blame this on depression/eating disorder but everyone has problems. I don't know why I haven't done it, I plan to and then inadvertently avoid it until I forget about it, then panic and decide I can't do it, then give up. Repeat.
    It's completely my own fault that I'm in this situation. I don't think I am mentally or emotionally capable of coping at Cambridge. It's intense, everyone is super intelligent (apart from me) and I don't fit in anywhere. I was too scared to join anything so I don't do anything fun either. Before going back last term I was practically suicidal, and I'm scared I'm going to be like that again in a few days.
    I need to sort myself out, and I tried the counselling service but it hasn't helped, its done the opposite.

    I feel awful that someone who could have had my place didn't get in because of me, and here I am completely wasting the opportunity. but it's actually too late now to probably even pass. I don't know what to do... if I drop out I don't know what I'll do either. But at least then I won't be wasting anyone's time/money anymore.

    Sorry for such a long post.
    Hey,

    You've jumped over plenty of hurdles and must have demonstrated significant aptitude to make it this far. Before I came to Oxford I felt worried I would not be up to the academic standard, but thankfully it was resolved for me. I can't say much, just that Cambridge spends many, many millions of pounds a year trying to pick the right people, and I would be surprised if they had got it hopelessly wrong in you.

    There is nothing worse in this situation than moping. Unfortunately if you do that, you will not work your best and truly perform badly. The only thing you can do is put it behind you and work your ass off. Good grades follow hard work, and happiness usually follows that.

    I can't say it will turn out O.K, but I am confident that it is within your power, and you have the raw aptitude, to make it right.

    Hope you turn it around
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    I've never quite understood why people worry about themselves vs others with regards to academic ability.

    Don't worry about what anyone else is doing, concentrate on yourself.

    You're obviously Cambridge material, otherwise they wouldn't have given you an offer.

    Only you can step up and turn this around.
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    If they thought that you were incapable of achieving anything, then they would have not even accepted you. Obviously you're able. Don't doubt yourself. I think you just need to write down all the things that you need to do, and start on it. Believe me when you start, you'll think 'this wasn't so bad after all' - I think maybe you're just overly depressed and a bit out of your comfort zone, but heeeyy make the best of the situation. Although you got 11 days left - is no biggiee, catch up...I doubt anybody in your class have finished everything.

    BTW what are you studying? x
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    If we gave up at the smallest of obstacles, what kind of life would we lead?

    Your obviously clever enough to be at Cambridge. Enjoy the experience, not everybody gets such a chance in life!
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    Clear sign of depression. You're blaming yourself too much, and you're wrong about your depression not being part of it because a lot of people break down because of it. It is a big deal.

    You're really fortunate to have been given a place at Cambridge and I wouldn't drop out if I was you, stop thinking negatively and start thinking positively - It's always easy to think about things negatively but hard to do the opposite. If you believe that you are going to fail, you will unconsciously sabotage every opportunity to succeed, ever heard of The Law of Attraction? If you haven't I would search it up because it cleary states that any negative thinking towards a goal or purpose will sabotage it or help stear you away from it.

    Sort yourself out quickly and get on with it, you're not wasting anyone's time or money and it's your life so start living it like it.
    Spoiler:
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    - Each time you catch yourself thinking a negative thought, reject the thought, and think a positive one instead.

    - If you catch yourself visualizing failure, visualize success instead.

    - If you hear yourself uttering negative words, change to positive words instead.

    - When you say, "I cannot", say, "I can".

    - Do you repeat negative words and phrases in your mind? Change them to positive ones.

    - Open your mind to positive attitude and expect positive results.

    - Decide that from today, from this very moment, you are leaving negative thinking behind, and starting on the way toward positive thinking and behavior.

    It is never too late to change your attitude and your life.


    Dont apologise, it wasn't a long post.
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    (Original post by onlyyouknowbest)
    If they thought that you were incapable of achieving anything, then they would have not even accepted you. Obviously you're able. Don't doubt yourself. I think you just need to write down all the things that you need to do, and start on it. Believe me when you start, you'll think 'this wasn't so bad after all' - I think maybe you're just overly depressed and a bit out of your comfort zone, but heeeyy make the best of the situation. Although you got 11 days left - is no biggiee, catch up...I doubt anybody in your class have finished everything.

    BTW what are you studying? x
    You're being really nice.. I shouldn't be getting kind comments though, I've essentially been lazy the past few weeks.

    It doesn't matter if they think I'm capable, I'm not. My director of studies honestly felt sorry for me because of my background so gave me a shot. You probably won't believe that but its true.

    I wrote them down a while ago.. I don't even want to look at the list. Its very long.

    I know. I've thought that every single time I've started working, and usually I actually enjoy it and curse myself for not giving myself enough time to do it properly. I forget that though. I've had 3 weeks to work and I'm only starting now I've literally done one essay, thats it. And it was terrible..

    I might make a new list and do the most important things.. I just dont see the point though- theres so much material to cover that I'm already going to fail.

    It kinda is a biggie.. most have finished most things.

    I'm doing phys natsci.
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    Oh gosh, this isn't good... this sounds like something I might write in a year or so...
    I think a lot of people are probably thinking that everyone else is cleverer than them, I know that's what I'm going to be thinking if I meet my offer and go there... I feel guilty about getting an offer when loads of people from my school didn't even though I think they're smarter and more hard working than me.
    What I'm trying to say is that it's normal... and there's probably lots of other people in your situation.
    I thought I didn't deserve an offer, but then I thought... actually, that's a bit of a paradox, as it seems to be assuming that you know more than the admissions people do about who should and shouldn't get in, and so, in a way, you're more clever than them... if that makes sense.
    Doesn't cambridge have any pastoral support? there must be someone you can talk to!
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    I'm not sure why people are saying that if you've got an offer,etc it makes you 'Cambridge material'. This means that you have the potential to succeed at Cambridge, but some will thrive instantly, some will gradually began to impress, and some will be out of their depth. Every year a sizeable chunk of students will get 2:2s and maybe even 3rds which would surely indicate that Cambridge probably wasn't the right move for them.
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    Oh, and stop being so self hating! You're just as important as everyone else, you should learn to be a bit more selfish. Why didn't the counselling help? Maybe you could ask to see a different counsellor if it was something specific about the counsellor that you saw?
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    (Original post by -jessica)
    I thoroughly do not deserve to be there - I'm not that clever (I have no idea why they even gave me an offer) and I don't do nearly enough work. I haven't started any vacation work yet and I go back in 11 days. I could try and blame this on depression/eating disorder but everyone has problems. I don't know why I haven't done it, I plan to and then inadvertently avoid it until I forget about it, then panic and decide I can't do it, then give up. Repeat.
    It's completely my own fault that I'm in this situation. I don't think I am mentally or emotionally capable of coping at Cambridge. It's intense, everyone is super intelligent (apart from me) and I don't fit in anywhere. I was too scared to join anything so I don't do anything fun either. Before going back last term I was practically suicidal, and I'm scared I'm going to be like that again in a few days.
    I need to sort myself out, and I tried the counselling service but it hasn't helped, its done the opposite.

    I feel awful that someone who could have had my place didn't get in because of me, and here I am completely wasting the opportunity. but it's actually too late now to probably even pass. I don't know what to do... if I drop out I don't know what I'll do either. But at least then I won't be wasting anyone's time/money anymore.

    Sorry for such a long post.
    The Chaplain serves the best coffee in your college. Go and see him.
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    (Original post by XxelliexX)
    Oh, and stop being so self hating! You're just as important as everyone else, you should learn to be a bit more selfish. Why didn't the counselling help? Maybe you could ask to see a different counsellor if it was something specific about the counsellor that you saw?
    I can't just 'stop being so self hating', it's not that easy. I've had a deep self-loathing for almost as long as I can remember and its gotten progressively worse, much more so since starting at Cambridge.
    I don't know, I find it hard to talk about problems and we weren't making any progress. She was latching on to the fact that I did x small amount of work and congratulating me for it. And there are a lot of silences that I really can't cope with.

    I'm going to set an early alarm and try and work all of tomorrow and finish a chunk of work. If I can just concentrate it will be okay (relatively speaking.. for the situation I'm in) but I know I'm gonna end up in a bad place. The closer it gets to going back time the worse I'm gonna get and I'm worried about what I'm going to do I don't expect anyone to understand it (I don't) but when I get in that state i just do stupid stuff.
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    (Original post by -jessica)
    I thoroughly do not deserve to be there - I'm not that clever (I have no idea why they even gave me an offer) and I don't do nearly enough work. I haven't started any vacation work yet and I go back in 11 days. I could try and blame this on depression/eating disorder but everyone has problems. I don't know why I haven't done it, I plan to and then inadvertently avoid it until I forget about it, then panic and decide I can't do it, then give up. Repeat.
    It's completely my own fault that I'm in this situation. I don't think I am mentally or emotionally capable of coping at Cambridge. It's intense, everyone is super intelligent (apart from me) and I don't fit in anywhere. I was too scared to join anything so I don't do anything fun either. Before going back last term I was practically suicidal, and I'm scared I'm going to be like that again in a few days.
    I need to sort myself out, and I tried the counselling service but it hasn't helped, its done the opposite.

    I feel awful that someone who could have had my place didn't get in because of me, and here I am completely wasting the opportunity. but it's actually too late now to probably even pass. I don't know what to do... if I drop out I don't know what I'll do either. But at least then I won't be wasting anyone's time/money anymore.

    Sorry for such a long post.
    I'm really sorry to hear what you're going through, and especially that the counselling service made it worse. Does your DoS know about your problems? What about your Senior Tutor? (Not sure if they're called the same thing in Cambridge: basically the person in college who has responsibility for the academic welfare of all students in college.) Are you receiving any help for your ED and depression?

    The way you're talking is pretty much classic depression. Are you actually objectively doing badly? Have you failed any (mock) exams or anything?

    Do feel free to PM me, if that would help you at all. I had undiagnosed schizoaffective disorder as well as severe depression whilst at Oxford, so I can empathise a fair bit :console: Especially with the **** counselling bit. My counselling experience made things far worse too.

    Anyway, whatever you do and whatever you decide: don't suffer in silence. Keep reaching out to people :jumphug:
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    Do you like the couse you're doing? I mean, do you find it interesting? Do you derive any enjoyment from it? Maybe you need to consider if you're pursuing the right course?

    Have you tried Mindfulness meditation?

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