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I need a 2.1 degree if I want to pursue my dream watch

    • Thread Starter

    I am a mature undergraduate student (aged 27) back at university after deciding a career change and wanting to go into clinical psychology.

    Despite previously having done a lot of studying I have been finding the degree extremely difficult. I need at least a 2.1 when graduating to make the £30,000 of debt worth it, and to go onto do what I want, post grad study.

    The first year I managed to obtain a 2.2. but I wasn't giving it my 100%. I am now in my second year and I am giving it all that I have but I am now finding I am becoming ill with all the pressure.

    I have had severe insomnia the last week due to not being able to sleep because of worry. I am mostly worrying about essay exams as I am just not finding the time to study the actual lectures during the day. It takes me at least 3x as long to go over each lecture myself and understand it, but at the same time I have lab reports, essays and presentations to do and prepare.

    I am terrified of not getting the grades I need. If I can’t get it when I graduate, I fear slipping into a severe depression as I would have spent £30,000 and a major life decision to go back to university.

    I am finding I am working almost the entire day. I do not understand how students can get by studying just an hour or two, why does it take me so long? What is different about me?

    I am going to see the doctor regarding the insomnia tomorrow (hopefully). But any more advice would be greatly appreciate. The doctor will only offer mindfulness or SSRI’s for the stress/worry which are pointless for me. I have done a 12 week mindfulness course in the past and found no benefic whatsoever. I have also been on SSRI’s many times, and the side effects counter the positive side of the drug for me.

    I really hope someone can offer me some advice, or encouragement, or something. Why does it take me all day to do? I’ve bee up all night, tomorrow is going to be a long difficult day

    Hello there,

    I'm doing a course where it's costing me a truckload of money so sometimes it does make me feel a truckload of misery lol, so I know how it feels.

    Studying at home has been a bit demotivating really (there's a comfy bed next to the table, argh), so normally what I'd do is I'd go to the library and set the hours I'd need to study (just like a normal office hour). So, once I've finished my hours, I can go back home feeling a sense of accomplishment. But that doesn't mean I'd just stop there; at home, I'd think about what I'd studied and reflect back what I'd read, and make plans for tomorrow (studying in an informal sense if you will). Perhaps, it may help by breaking your work by hours? At least with that, you can feel that sense of finishing something, and continue doing them the next day? It may help with managing your anxieties/stress level since during the rest period, you can just relax a bit, and distract you to do something else.

    My main motivation currently is to make sure I can finish my materials, to the best of my abilities (hence dragging myself to the library is a must); and since I'm paying for this bloody education, I might as well just do the things that are helpful to my education, to the best of my knowledge (i.e. going to the library which is an hour away from my house!).

    Personally, I try not to compete myself with anyone; I don't really see the point since everyone's different. Once you've stripped that off from your mind, it becomes a lot clear and you can see your own objectives.

    Hopefully I can tell myself (or remember) this during trying times as well!

    Hi PsychologySurf,

    It really sounds like you're giving it your all and that the hard work is having an impact on your mental health. We can't deny that good grades come more easily to some than to others, but a 2:1 is very much achievable for most people given the right study ethic and study techniques. Clearly work ethic isn't your problem and working harder isn't the solution to your problem; in your instance you need to work smarter not harder.

    I'd look for short cuts wherever possible. For example, if a module is assessed entirely on an essay do you really need to go through every lecture in detail when most won't be relevant to your essay question? And be as efficient as possible, it is well known that working in intense short bursts (with regular breaks in between) is far more effective than sitting at your desk all day. If you're struggling with knowing what material is relevant and what isn't, speak with the module leader. If you're struggling with essay structure then lecturers are very happy to help usually.

    It's important to get on top of this as 3rd year will only up the ante further. But many people achieve 2:1s without causing themselves too much distress, so I've no doubt you can too. Reflect upon what you do and speak with your course mates about their techniques and study patterns. Try and attack the problem from all angles.

    It sounds like your symptoms are very much exacerbated by your course concerns and long study hours, so hopefully getting on top of that will alleviate most of them.

    What sort of 2.2 grades have you being getting? Got any 2.1's so far?
    I agree with Sinatrafan - just focus mainly on assessments rather than course content generally. You can always re-visit this stuff later on if you feel its useful/interesting.
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