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Scared I'm not good enough

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    So this September Im going to start studying German and Spanish at Heriot Watt and I'm so nervous!I'm worried I won't be good enough in comparison to the other students and that I am below the level that the lecturers would expect from a first year student.I've done my advanced higher in German but there's still flaws in my knowledge and a lot of things I still don't know!It's making me feel sick thinking about not being good enough

    You have to be confident, don't deny that you will make mistakes or suddenly forget how to say a few words in that language. Otherwise you'll find yourself being unable to speak the language even more (and defeating the whole point of you entering this course)


    I wouldn't worry about that. The idea of the first year is to get everyone to the same level. As long as you put in the effort you will be fine!

    Hi Sbrunton

    My name is Steff and I work in your School at Heriot-Watt. My main role is in recruitment.

    Most of our students who are starting in September are in the same place as you - worried about how they will cope. It's perfectly natural - but actually what i've found is that the students who worry the most beforehand are the ones who tend to do the best once they get here. What you have to keep in mind is - when you applied for your place we would have scrutinized your application form along with many many others. The very last thing we want to do is to recruit students who will struggle to pass. We all have a lot of experience in spotting who will do well.

    You mention there are flaws in your knowledge. Of course there are flaws in your knowledge - if there were none then there would be no point to coming to study at University!!!! Our lecturers expect there to be huge gaps and they design their courses with this in mind. You will find parts of your course easy and you will find parts more challenging.

    Please don't worry yourself sick over this - honestly we really wouldn't have offered you a place at our University if we didn't think you would cope. :-)

    Best wishes


    Sbrunton, I'm not going to say don't be nervous. However try and look at it as exciting too!!!

    Calm down the uni wouldn't have accepted you if they believed you to be inadequate at the course!

    There have been some great answers already, but I want to give you my advice too if that's okay.

    I felt exactly the same as you when I first came to university to study languages. I knew I was lacking in some areas compared to others. However, every year I have received good marks and strong grades. I've now just finished my year abroad and am doing fine.

    I'm telling you this to let you know that it is okay to feel nervous and completely normal. The thing about language degrees that you need to know is that it requires consistent effort and study- you can't just cram at the end of the semester as speaking. listening, reading and writing skills need to be developed over time.

    From my own experience, I want to give you this advice, and it applies to any degree subject really:
    1. It's normal to have weaker areas, but the important thing is that you work on these areas consistently. both in and out of term time. If you struggle with reading, read an article or book in the target language. If you struggle with listening, listen to podcasts or the news everyday in your target language.
    2. Never be afraid to ask your teachers for clarification or help with things you do'nt fully understand. They will never think any less of you for it
    3. The great thing about language study is that you can do it whenever and wherever. You don't really need any specific books to improve weaker areas in language, so you can start right now if you want. It may seem intimidating at first, but keep at it and make sure you understand what you're reading/listening/saying/writing. It will really help to build you confidence for when you start uni.

    Hope this helps and good luck
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