My academic life has imploded over the past three years - help! Watch

spiredreamer
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Hello! I'm posting here because I've been very depressed about the trajectory of my cognition, intellect, and academic performance lately.

When I was 8, I was identified gifted. I lived in a very remote area of the Highlands, however, and my family were unwilling to send me to school out of the area, so I stayed in a state comprehensive primary school, and went on to a state comprehensive high school, also in the north of Scotland.

During the first years of my high school career, I became a pupil council member, president of the school's Interact (junior Rotary) Club, on the board of the chess club, founder of a short-lived school newspaper, and played badminton and squash. I was offered the chance to do AH English in third year, but I declined as I feared I'd do badly. I took two Highers in third year and got an A in Computing with 100% on the coursework, but I think that the first sign of my impending decline was my C in Politics. I wrote about a completely wrong thing.

I started to study for Higher Latin and Int 2 Classical Greek at the beginning of fourth year. The school didn't officially offer them, so I did a combination of self-study and after-school classes with the headmaster, who was passionate about classics.

However, in the spring of 2012, I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa and hospitalized. At first, I studied hard in hospital, hoping to be out in time for my Int 2s. However, once I was transferred to residential, things began to fail. I ran into a depressive episode, and rarely left my bed. I saw the hospital teachers on the occasion that I could make myself, but they weren't very good teachers. They were patronizing and didn't explain anything, simply presented it and expected me to memorize it without any understanding. I had to drop Latin and Classical Greek, too, as the hospital school couldn't accommodate them. I was tipped for all As at Int 2, but I scraped through with AAAABBC-fail, the fail being in maths, previously one of my best subjects but which completely escaped me during my depression and due to medication.

I was discharged in the autumn of 2013, and went back to school. I was bullied heavily. I got into Higher Maths despite my Int 2 failure as my teachers recognized that I had been very good at maths before, but I soon dropped out as I was afraid of my teacher. Shortly after this I had a psychotic episode and was sent back to hospital, where I was exempted from school.

After that hospital stay, I moved to my father's house as I didn't want to return to my old school after all I'd done there. I started at school there at the beginning of this school year, but missed two months with depression. It was also around this time that I started to have tonic-clonic seizures. My history of absences and migraine had been ignored, but I couldn't slip under the radar much longer. In January I was diagnosed with epilepsy and put on ever more cognition-stifling medication. My seizures, I feel have also damaged my mind.

I had to drop down to three Highers and a Nat 5 (maths) in order to fit in catch-up time. I sat my prelims this February, and got CDDD, the worst results I've ever had in anything. I cried. I have straight D predicted grades. I had hoped to go to Cambridge for philosophy or medicine, but now I'm looking at Glasgow for pharmacology or philosophy - something which I doubt I'll manage. I've been studying every night for the past three weeks, something which I never had to do before, as my memory used to be so good, and I've been passing NABs - I failed a chemistry NAB at the beginning of the year. I have very little time to sit the rest of my NABs, though. I have a biology one tomorrow, a chemistry one next Wednesday, and will have three maths ones after the Easter holidays, but it'll be a crush.

Has anyone got any advice? I know I won't get any better, and will probably have to go to FE college to resit my Highers, but I'd appreciate simple advice to cope. I feel so hopeless. I cry every night over this.
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German123
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I have not read your whole post but the good thing is that you know about this hence can get help.

Every person at some point in their academic life feels like this so its completely normal.

I hope things work out.
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Killer Bean
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(Original post by spiredreamer)
I know I won't get any better
Woah, where'd you get that idea?

It's hard for me to keep track of where you are academically because I'm not familiar with the Scottish system at all. Looking at WIkipedia, it looks like "Highers" are roughly equivalent to AS levels and Advances Highers A2s, right? So I'm guessing you were hoping to apply to university later this year for 2016 entry?

I think the best thing to do is take the stress off for a while. Conquer, or at lest learn to better cope with your mental health issues without having all this pressure to do so well upon you while dealing with these things. I don't know whether you'll want to take the next year out completely or if you feel capable of getting As in your highers if you took them in the upcoming year. I don't see any whichever institution you're at wouldn't take you back, given evidence if your mental health issues.
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spiredreamer
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(Original post by Killer Bean)
Woah, where'd you get that idea?

It's hard for me to keep track of where you are academically because I'm not familiar with the Scottish system at all. Looking at WIkipedia, it looks like "Highers" are roughly equivalent to AS levels and Advances Highers A2s, right? So I'm guessing you were hoping to apply to university later this year for 2016 entry?

I think the best thing to do is take the stress off for a while. Conquer, or at lest learn to better cope with your mental health issues without having all this pressure to do so well upon you while dealing with these things. I don't know whether you'll want to take the next year out completely or if you feel capable of getting As in your highers if you took them in the upcoming year. I don't see any whichever institution you're at wouldn't take you back, given evidence if your mental health issues.
My school has made it clear I can't go back for a sixth year, not because of any problems but because I'll be 19. I'm looking around other local schools to see if they'd take a 19-year-old. If that falls through, my only chance is this year.
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