University is destroying my self esteem and I feel like a failure Watch

seeking_prudence
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This might be a bit of a long one, apologies in advance.

I go to one of the London Uni colleges (the most Marxist one-take a guess) and study International Relations. I've got one more year left of uni and frankly, university has been a trainwreck. I think I'm heading for a 2.2 despite working my butt off. For some reason on my course it is unbelievably difficult to get above a 63 for an assignment, most people end up getting 59-61 for their essays, very few people get anything higher than a 65. Because I also have a habit to submitting things late, my final grades for my modules all averaged around 58-59.
I know a few professors from other colleges and got them to mark a few of my works and essays and surprise surprise, I got much higher grades from them than from my teachers at uni and ACTUAL CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK. I was a straight A* student at school and have always been a very decent writer, I haven't just forgotten how to write essays, have I?

I also took a super difficult language course last year (which kind of provided no teaching and every lesson was basically a test). Taking that course was a HUGE mistake, it was designed for people who already knew the language by the sounds of it, I completely failed it, and it will probably drag my grade down massively, but I am still able to graduate with honours.


Forgot to mention, on the non-academic side of things, I have run societies, I speak 3 languages (2 fluently, one quite fluently-needs polishing), had a proper teaching job over the summer ( I am a qualified language teacher),created and ran my own business (which did pretty well and gained a fanbase, its on the backburner atm though haha), and I am currently doing a pretty awesome internship at a pretty awesome organization. Saved up a lot of money. My A-levels/GCSEs were great. Did some volunteering as well. Have some other skills.Constantly teach myself new things. So my CV actually looks quite strong.

BUT At university, I always feel like I'm hitting a brick wall. No matter how hard I try and work, I always get the same results. It's infuriating. The teachers and tutors at my uni are not helpful AT ALL. In fact I sometimes get an impression that they don't even read our assignments. This has even led to severe anxiety and health issues. I've always thought of myself as a very academic person but these past couple of years have knocked down my confidence.

What I'm saying is, despite achieving lots of other things, university makes me feel like a complete failure.:cry2:
I feel that I'm never going to get a job after uni with my degree. I feel like I have no other choice but to be a freelancer or just set up my own business and not work for anyone else.
My university tutors and teachers have no interest in helping any of us. This year is going to be super hard, and I have no idea how to improve my grades. I have read mark schemes and specifications from cover to cover, and they super vague and not helpful.

No mean comments please guys-I already feel like crap. Any valuable advice, experiences and insight would be hugely appreciated.
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Klix88
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Handing work in late without extenuating circumstances has to be the first target for a quick win. Hand in on time and you automatically boost your mark. More quick wins are basics like referencing, formatting, spellchecking etc.

If you consistently hand work in late, this is bound to influence the staff's opinion of you and their willingness to put anything above basic effort into your marking. If you want more specific detail of how to improve, then you need to make appointments to see your markers/lecturers and get more detailed feedback. Being proactive, enthusiastic and keen is likely to have a generally positive outcome.

Harking back to school can mislead you. Uni learning/study and work are a completely different experience. At school, you were taught what you needed to know in order to pass your exams. At uni, learning is much more about independent reading and research around your subject, after you've been given a starting point in lectures. How many hours a week do you put into that? Can you increase it?

Getting staff from other unis to remark your work is a pointless exercise (well done on finding any at all who volunteer for extra marking - especially professors). They have no influence over your course. Also their feedback may not point you in the direction desired by those setting the coursework. It's a red herring and is potentially leading you astray in a couple of ways. Stop wasting your time with this and redirect that effort into handing in on time.
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The Empire Odyssey
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Is there a question in your post?

I say you need to cut down your extracurricular and start thinking of your final year and how much that is weighed. I mean it's really good that you're being adventurous with outside of uni stuff but fat chance that will be any good if you don't have a 2:1 to show for it.

You need to find out why you're not getting above or at least ask what you can do to improve your essay writing skills. Are you performing higher in exams over coursework? Find out your grades and what you should do if possible is to go over your exam essays with your tutor or something to see where you can improve.

If you're getting 59% does your uni round it off? Maybe you'll get a 2:1 if you carry on.

I don't know what else to say to be honest. The poster above has said all the obvious stuff like there should be no reason to submitting your work late unless it's mitigating circumstances.

Good luck! :flutter:
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john2054
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(Original post by Klix88)
Handing work in late without extenuating circumstances has to be the first target for a quick win. Hand in on time and you automatically boost your mark. More quick wins are basics like referencing, formatting, spellchecking etc.


...

Getting staff from other unis to remark your work is a pointless exercise (well done on finding any at all who volunteer for extra marking - especially professors). They have no influence over your course. Also their feedback may not point you in the direction desired by those setting the coursework. It's a red herring and is potentially leading you astray in a couple of ways. Stop wasting your time with this and redirect that effort into handing in on time.
(Original post by The Empire Odyssey)
Is there a question in your post?

I say you need to cut down your extracurricular and start thinking of your final year and how much that is weighed. I mean it's really good that you're being adventurous with outside of uni stuff but fat chance that will be any good if you don't have a 2:1 to show for it.

You need to find out why you're not getting above or at least ask what you can do to improve your essay writing skills. Are you performing higher in exams over coursework? Find out your grades and what you should do if possible is to go over your exam essays with your tutor or something to see where you can improve.

If you're getting 59% does your uni round it off? Maybe you'll get a 2:1 if you carry on.

I don't know what else to say to be honest. The poster above has said all the obvious stuff like there should be no reason to submitting your work late unless it's mitigating circumstances.

Good luck! :flutter:
(Original post by seeking_prudence)
This might be a bit of a long one, apologies in advance.

I go to one of the London Uni colleges (the most Marxist one-take a guess) and study International Relations. I've got one more year left of uni and frankly, university has been a trainwreck. I think I'm heading for a 2.2 despite working my butt off. For some reason on my course it is unbelievably difficult to get above a 63 for an assignment, most people end up getting 59-61 for their essays, very few people get anything higher than a 65. Because I also have a habit to submitting things late, my final grades for my modules all averaged around 58-59.
I know a few professors from other colleges and got them to mark a few of my works and essays and surprise surprise, I got much higher grades from them than from my teachers at uni and ACTUAL CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK. I was a straight A* student at school and have always been a very decent writer, I haven't just forgotten how to write essays, have I?

I also took a super difficult language course last year (which kind of provided no teaching and every lesson was basically a test). Taking that course was a HUGE mistake, it was designed for people who already knew the language by the sounds of it, I completely failed it, and it will probably drag my grade down massively, but I am still able to graduate with honours.


Forgot to mention, on the non-academic side of things, I have run societies, I speak 3 languages (2 fluently, one quite fluently-needs polishing), had a proper teaching job over the summer ( I am a qualified language teacher),created and ran my own business (which did pretty well and gained a fanbase, its on the backburner atm though haha), and I am currently doing a pretty awesome internship at a pretty awesome organization. Saved up a lot of money. My A-levels/GCSEs were great. Did some volunteering as well. Have some other skills.Constantly teach myself new things. So my CV actually looks quite strong.

BUT At university, I always feel like I'm hitting a brick wall. No matter how hard I try and work, I always get the same results. It's infuriating. The teachers and tutors at my uni are not helpful AT ALL. In fact I sometimes get an impression that they don't even read our assignments. This has even led to severe anxiety and health issues. I've always thought of myself as a very academic person but these past couple of years have knocked down my confidence.

What I'm saying is, despite achieving lots of other things, university makes me feel like a complete failure.:cry2:
I feel that I'm never going to get a job after uni with my degree. I feel like I have no other choice but to be a freelancer or just set up my own business and not work for anyone else.
My university tutors and teachers have no interest in helping any of us. This year is going to be super hard, and I have no idea how to improve my grades. I have read mark schemes and specifications from cover to cover, and they super vague and not helpful.

No mean comments please guys-I already feel like crap. Any valuable advice, experiences and insight would be hugely appreciated.
What they said. I was in a similar situation at my uni, and i managed to turn a 3rd round in the second year, to graduate with a 2.1 a couple of weeks ago. Stop the extra curriculars, and don't take extra advice. You should book time with your lecturers to find out where you are going wrong. Also try to build up constructive academic relationships with them. Spend at least an hour every night reading, and impress your lecturers with the originality and competence of your research. Finally choose a dissertation which you are passionate about. There is still time to turn it around!
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seeking_prudence
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(Original post by john2054)
What they said. I was in a similar situation at my uni, and i managed to turn a 3rd round in the second year, to graduate with a 2.1 a couple of weeks ago. Stop the extra curriculars, and don't take extra advice. You should book time with your lecturers to find out where you are going wrong. Also try to build up constructive academic relationships with them. Spend at least an hour every night reading, and impress your lecturers with the originality and competence of your research. Finally choose a dissertation which you are passionate about. There is still time to turn it around!
That's pretty inspiring! I'm gonna do my best Thank you very much for your advice
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Tazzilla1991
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(Original post by seeking_prudence)
That's pretty inspiring! I'm gonna do my best Thank you very much for your advice
Ive been to 3 Universities and the first 2 were a disaster, and i get where your coming from, it can be daunting. At my first university i was averaging nothing higher than a 45% grade for everything but like you i did allot of extra curricular activities and i became so overwhelmed wanting to do them and not missing out it really effected the way i worked and i was often doing 3000 word assignments overnight. When i went to my next uni, im not afraid to say the course was so scientific i had to leave because half the time i had absolutely no idea what they were talking about. When i transferred to my next uni, i refused to undertake anything other than studying, id do the odd sports now and then but if it interfered with my work i would quit it, now im averaging 80% for everything. Unfortunately getting a good balance between social and academic can be difficult.

Having your college lecturers mark work will not be any good, as many university lecturers have different grading standards (My current uni, each individual lecturer has a certain way of marking our references, and half the time we dont know whos going to be marking our work). Every student feels like a 2:2 is the end of the world but it really isn't i have a friend who got a 1st only to be told in her job interview shes overqualified!, its easy to pull up a grade to a 2:1 last minute (especially with you dissertation), might be worth having a 1-1 with each lecturer, get them to overlook old work and point out your flaws and strengths (i did this and it helped me realise how bad my spelling and grammar is and how to write more scientifically).

Dont even think your a failure, your at university so you must have done something right. Lots of uni students struggle, they cry, lock themselves away and worry about what family members might think, worry about there future. Its pointless to worry. marks around the 50-60% mark are really good and you shouldn't be ashamed of them, if everyone in the class cant get any higher then that proves its the lecturers marking...NOT YOU! if you feel as grade is unfair you can have the work re-marked and ask for a second opinion which is often done by another lecturer.

It does not matter how slowly you go....as long as you do not stop - Confucius
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