Callthemidwife
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Ever since I've started uni, handing in essays and getting feedback petrifies me. Supervisions are my worst nightmare and this is really affecting my progress. I loved writing essays during A-level, and I am very passionate about my course Im just really scared about my supervisors reading a piece of my work and thinking "how the hell did we accept this person". I recently handed in an essay for the person who interviewed me and I can't bring myself to open the email attachment and see the page covered in red, as according to the brief message, it 'needs a lot of work'.

I know that I will never move forward if I don't acknowledge my mistakes and take the advice on board, but I've got such an inferiority complex being here that I think I'm subconsciously messing things up for myself (i.e doing essays the night before with no plan and telling myself 'oh well I'm clearly not clever enough to be here' when I get discouraging feedback)

What to do? :'(

*p.s using a friends account if anyone wondered*
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Aniaa
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if you got into Cambridge then I guess at school you were among the best students. But in cambridge, everyone are the best so you must work harder than you did to still be 'on top'.

In my opinion, just get over it that its not school anymore, thats it is not so easy and that they will not throw you out because you do mistakes. After all, your tutors and supervisors are there to help you.
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Plantagenet Crown
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If this escalates or is a seriously persistent problem you should consider whether Cambridge is the right place for you and whether you want to spend the entirety of your degree there.
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2007PSanHa
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Don't worry, you'll get there in the end. I was getting 4/20 in essays in my AS but got a C in the exam when everyone else got a U! Good luck!
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RowleyP
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maybe you could talk to your supervisor about how you are feeling? or if not, you could talk to your director of studies or a tutor in your college? they want to teach you in a way you can respond to so it is important to communicated with them to help them do that?

also, this WILL get easier with time, so don't feel bad.
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Helenia
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(Original post by Callthemidwife)
Ever since I've started uni, handing in essays and getting feedback petrifies me. Supervisions are my worst nightmare and this is really affecting my progress. I loved writing essays during A-level, and I am very passionate about my course Im just really scared about my supervisors reading a piece of my work and thinking "how the hell did we accept this person". I recently handed in an essay for the person who interviewed me and I can't bring myself to open the email attachment and see the page covered in red, as according to the brief message, it 'needs a lot of work'.

I know that I will never move forward if I don't acknowledge my mistakes and take the advice on board, but I've got such an inferiority complex being here that I think I'm subconsciously messing things up for myself (i.e doing essays the night before with no plan and telling myself 'oh well I'm clearly not clever enough to be here' when I get discouraging feedback)

What to do? :'(

*p.s using a friends account if anyone wondered*
Talk to your supervisors and your DoS. You are not alone and you are not the first person who has felt like this.

When I was an undergrad there were essay-writing/study skills classes run by CUSU's academic welfare people (I think). These probably still exist in some form somewhere - have a look here for starters. Your college's academic welfare rep should also be able to point you in the right direction. Don't be afraid to ask for help, it doesn't mean you're too stupid to be here! I know at least one of my friends who went to those classes and ended up with a first.
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CamLSP
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Seriously you'll get through it! It's horrible going from sixth form and getting practically full marks on coursework essays, to your essays getting brutally honest feedback, but it gets easier, honestly.

I'm assuming you're a first year - the supervision system and the volume of feedback you get seems really, really hard at first, but by the end of the year you'll genuinely be able to look back at the essays you write in Michaelmas and see the amount of progress you've made. I struggled at first, because I'd always thought my writing style was great at school and then suddenly I was getting all this feedback about how I wrote. It was hard at first, but it really really helped - once I'd got to grips with what they wanted from me it made everything a lot easier and I could see that actually, this was a much better way of writing and it made my arguments a lot stronger.

It really takes some time to get used to writing multiple essays and going into supervision after supervision where there is always something wrong with what you've written, or something you can improve on - you just have to remind yourself that it is not anything personal. It's not an attack on you, it's just supervisors trying to get the best work out of you and lay down those foundational writing skills, which will become instinctive by the end of second year.

As someone's already said, colleges usually have a writing skills/academic help Fellow who you can go and see for free. I'm not sure if this is for all colleges but I know mine certainly did - worth checking with your dos or tutor.

Mainly, stop being so hard on yourself! You'll be fine - it's just getting used to the system. And remember - it's not anything personal, or an indictment on you. I didn't really feel like I deserved to be at Cambridge until I got my first year exam results - at some point you'll click that you're supposed to be there!
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