Turn on thread page Beta

Nervous breakdown over essay watch

    • #1
    • Thread Starter

    I've been dealing with anxiety for about three years now but somehow managed to get into a top ten uni. I'm in my first year and have an a final essay for a philosophy module I'm taking due next Monday. I'm absolutely freaking out about it. The essay is only 2000 words but it's worth 100% of my grade. I swapped questions twice now and I simply don't have time to change again and I think they're all equally hard. In my feedback for my formative essay my lecturer said I needed to use more sources and be more original (I basically rephrased what we'd learned in lectures) in order to get a first but those are two things I just cannot do. The sources he's recommended include two whole books! The papers go into so much depth that I can't get my head around them. I try to be original but my arguments end up either not making sense or I end up reading them in another paper. I've been trying to draw up just a rough plan all day and I haven't even managed that. I'm seriously considering dropping out at this point. I just can't cope with this, I spent half an hour crying on the phone with my mum trying to calm down.

    Any advice would be appreciated but I just really needed to get this off my chest.

    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I'm in my first year and have an a final essay for a philosophy module I'm taking due next Monday.
    Six days? That's plenty of time for a 1st year 2,000 word essay.

    You need to do the plan first.

    • Tuesday - what are the main themes in the text that need discussion? Make notes about those themes. Write down the references at the same time as you make the notes.
    • Wednesday - write an essay plan that gives the structure for the essay using the notes and themes. Put the notes into that structure.
    • Thursday - hangover
    • Friday - Turn the notes into proper sentences and paragraphs.
    • Saturday - write the conclusion. Then write the introduction.
    • Sunday - review it to see if it still makes sense. Spell check it. Done.

    One 2,000 essay. Not perfect, but it will save you dropping out. You don't need to do that.

    Unlikely as it feels right now, first year essays are merely practice essays.

    The fact that the lecturer gave you tips on how to get a first means they know you are capable of it. You dont have to get a first on every first year course, they don't usually count much towards final grade. If the lecturer thinks you are capable enough that you could get a 1st then i'm sure you are easily capable of getting a pass, or a 2:2 or 2:1.

    Don't drop out about this essay. Stop putting pressure on yourself to get a first and read all the books etc, because it's clearly affecting your mental health and ability to write anything at all.

    1. Pick a question and stick to it. They're all equally hard so either pick the one you can think of most references/material related to it, or one that you will find most interesting to read/write about.

    2. Do some brainstorming and planning.

    3. Write a draft, do what simes said about making notes then turning into paragraphs etc. Doesn't matter if it's rubbish, just write something. Handing in an essay that you tried and got a poor mark on is much better than letting the anxiety beat you and not handing anything in and dropping out.

    4. Calm down, now you've got the skeleton of your essay you can start fixing it up and notching up the grades. Don't put so much pressure on yourself aiming for the first that it all gets on top of you. What do you have to get in it to get a 2:2, or a 2:1? Focus on that level of work first. If you can do better then great, but the pressure won't help. Just do what you realistically can in the time that you have.

    5. Go and chill out, have some time away from the essay. Fresh eyes and a clear mind work wonders.

    6. Come back to it with a fresh brain and check it over.
Submit reply
Turn on thread page Beta
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: January 4, 2015
Do you think parents should charge rent?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.