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Should I stay or should I go? watch

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    Well, I have been lurking here for a while and have observed that many of you give very good advice, so am looking for peoples opinions on the very sticky dilemna that I am in at the moment.

    So far, I have completed the first two years (neither of which count towards my degree classification) of my Natural Sciences degree at Cambridge. I got a 3rd in my first year and would probably have been heading for something similar in my second year, had I not had to go into hospital with a chest infection and missed my exams (no retakes at Cam!). I really shouldn't be getting a 3rd. My Director of Studies thinks that my work in supervisions (tutorials) is of a 1st/2.1 standard.

    The problem I have is that I feel deep within myself that I don't deserve to be there and that I'm not as good as anyone else, I am fed up of the city and its thousands of tourists looking round my college, I haven't made many friends there and I find it very hard to keep up with the intense workload as I'm feeling so down all the time. I have absolutely no confidence in my ability to do well in Cambridge exams and the next set of exams that I would sit would be my finals!

    I am considering leaving and starting again at Sheffield Uni on a Microbiology course (they have places for 2005) and am not sure whether or not this is a good idea. Should I go to Sheffield for my mental-wellbeing (I am convinced that Cambridge is quite literally driving me insane), a new start and the chance to get a better class degree? Or should I stay at Cambridge for its reputation, the chance that I might get the class of degree that I know I would be capable of if I weren't so depressed there, the nice room I would have next year and the fact that I might feel like a failure if I dropped out?

    What do you think? Please be kind...

    Thanks very much,

    Corinne.
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    Hey Corinne...from what you have said about Cambridge, you're obviously not happy there and i think you'd feel a great weight lifted if you left and went to Sheffield. This is just my opinion though....you just have to do what makes you happy - sod all that about the reputation....
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    Are you sure its just the place or being at uni at all?
    Sheffield isn't cambridge but it isn't a slacker uni either you've still got to pull off the workload and manage yourself. If you are depressed at cambridge might you get depressed anywhere. Have you thought about just having a year out of uni altogether to decide what you're doing with your life and why you feel so unworthy of it all.
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    (Original post by viviki)
    Are you sure its just the place or being at uni at all?
    Sheffield isn't cambridge but it isn't a slacker uni either you've still got to pull off the workload and manage yourself. If you are depressed at cambridge might you get depressed anywhere. Have you thought about just having a year out of uni altogether to decide what you're doing with your life and why you feel so unworthy of it all.
    When I was considering dropping out of uni my disappointment with the social side was the biggest factor. It sounds like she's more than capable of the workload but would probably benefit from a fresh start somewhere with new people.
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    Hey Corinne,

    Sorry you're having such a bad time! It's great that your Director of Studies thinks you're capable of a 1st/2.1 standard, and he is no doubt very experienced and knows what he's talking about. I realise often the hardest person to convince about your abilities is yourself though.

    Do you find you stress over exams or get intimidated by them? That's something that happens to a lot of bright people. If you do, perhaps you should look for a course (I don't know about the Sheffield course specifically) where there's lots of coursework, or continuous assessment where you're not suddenly under massive pressure at the end of the year.

    Is there a doctor or nurse at college you could talk to about feeling down? They may prescribe you something and/or then find someone to talk through your worries with.That seems to be your problem as you could otherwise easily deal with the work, and could well enjoy it.

    My suggestion would be to take a year out while you sort out the reasons behind feeling so down, then come back next year, when you're hopefully feeling better, and get your 1st.

    *hugs*

    Sarah
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    Yes I have thought about the fact that I might get depressed anywhere, but as I had never been depressed in my life before I went to uni, I just don't know whether this would be the case or not...I'm not sure if its just the situation or whether it might carry on even if I went somewhere else. I would take a year out were it not for top up fees.

    I certainly wouldn't want to go to a slacker uni and the department I would am considering at Sheffield is very good (or I wouldn't want to go there). I coped with the workload of 5 A levels and 6 ASs (getting grade A in all of them) alright so I ought to be able to manage it in theory!

    I honestly don't know why I feel like I'm not as good as anyone at Cam.
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    maybe you are not feeling down because of Cambridge but because of you! If you are at Cambridge and your tutour tells you that you are capable of at list an upper second... then you must a very GOOD student!!!
    Try to think clearly and do not do take quick decisions as important as this one! You are obviously not happy right now... I've always wanted to go to Cambridge but hey! I've realised (after been rejected) that I might not be very happy there... as you live in a college... the city itself is the uni! and I love big cities! Maybe you are bored of the routine!
    How many years is your degree? How many years are left? If they are 1 or 2 I'd say continue at Cambridge and do a master somewhere else! You are at Cambridge because you once wished to go there! Wasnt it as you expected? You might talk about this with a doctor and see what do they think... but it's you own decision after all... just think it carefully!
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    I didn't mean that shes not intelligent enough for the work, I meant that maybe she'd have trouble with it emotionally. Theres a difference between being unhappy somewhere and being depressed. often if you are depressed it won't go away with an easy fix you need to examine precisely why you are so unhappy in Camb.

    When I was at uni the first time I was terribly homesick for my first year but if you are still feeling like that at the end of second year I would wonder why it is. As I said its not whether you could cope with the workload its whether you could cope emotionally with the whole experience. You clearly are intelligent enough for the workload at Camb or you wouldn't have got in but the fact is that you feel in some way deficient and thats something you need to sort out internally I don't think moving you out of that environment would necessarily fix it. In fact maybe one day you would regret feeling inferior and missing out on a Cambridge degree.

    If you feel lacking on the friendship side have you ventured into our Oxbridge subforums there are a ton of friendly cam students in there that might be able to help you sort out your thoughts a bit.

    Anyway if you do come to Sheffield you are in good company there are a few of us around the forum if you want some ready made occassional pub buddies.
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    You say you'd never been depressed in your life before going to uni, not specifically Cambridge, so maybe it's something more than that. I think you should talk to a counsellor or another professional before you drop out because obviously it would be great to complete your degree and get a first or 2.1 if you could, and the problems you're having might be easily solved once you talk to someone about them. If after that you still feel depressed and you really don't want to stay at Cambridge, leave and go to Sheffield or somewhere else. A first from Sheffield would look much better than a third from Cambridge.
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    . . . I posted it twice! Dont know how to delete :P
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    I just think maybe I have too many negative associations already with Cambridge to go back? Yes I think speaking to a counsellor would do me good and I probably should have gone earlier...I think some the inadequacy business might stem back to me being bullied at school for 'being a 'swot' '. Financially though it would make sense for me, if I'm going to start again, to start this year rather than next and I have only a few days to make up my mind if I'm going to do that!

    Vivicki, do you know anything about where, accomodation-wise people who get into Sheffield through clearing might end up? You say 'when you were at uni for the first time'? Did you leave or are you now doing a postgrad course? Because I was considering leaving last summer but decided to give it another go-this is no rash decision!

    Madprof-yes I stress loads about exams, always have! I think Shef would suit me in a way cause its modular so I can see how I'm doing as I go along rather than end of year exams only.



    Also...I don't feel depressed during the holidays just while I'm at Cam...does this mean anything in terms of whether I might be OK at Sheffield or not?
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    We cannot answer these questions... just for sympathy... I've also been bullied at school when I was small but as years passed by (and I changed 3 schools... BUT NOT FOR THE FACT OF BEING BULLIED) people respect me A LOT! Although they will have talk **** about me at my back! But I dont care... I go there to study! If I made friends GREAT! But if not... there are many ways of making friends!
    You cannot run away from problems but to go against them! FIGHT THEM! Be stronger! You may regret leaving Cambridge... you dont know how other unis will be like!
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    A 3rd isn't worth anything, even from Cambridge.

    A 2:1 or 1st from Sheffield would be far better.
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    Mark_KK- I know that, that's why its so hard to know what to do. In theory I ought to be able to get a 2.1 at Cam, in practice I may well not...
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    I'm a postgrad but I did my undergrad at a different uni I don't really know re accom because I dont know much about the undergrad hall situation just postgrad, but with your grades perhaps if you rang up the department before clearing you might be able to get a place quickly and get in quick with accommodation could be worth giving them a ring asap just to introduce yourself and clear the way but I really would advise speaking to your supervisor at cam first also speak to him nicely and you might be able to get a good reference for your new uni if you do decide to change. Its never too late and if its just a sense of inferiority holding you back you might be able to do something about it.
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    Hey! Hugs! It's still summer!
    I have to admit that being in Cambridge even for my interviews, which lasted only a few days, did give me the feel that it could well be a very isolating city, with it's many secrets and scholastic coolness.
    Is it not possible to talk to your accademic counsellor at Cambs? Out of interest, what college are you at?
    Sheffield is obviously a very different environment, both socially and accademically. But if you find it difficult being "a loner" and studying without many friends it will be difficult at any Uni. Personally a change of environment will only Temporarily solve your dilema as I think you thrive on personal contact, but hide away because of the pressure of your exams.
    Stick at it... Go somewhere sunny for a few days (if you can as that is very important). And kick ass girl! You know you can!
 
 
 
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