Turn on thread page Beta

Completely failing at university, what do I do? watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    I'm a second year English student at a university in Scotland. I've hated it since I started, and I'm terrible at it. The best grade I've had was a scraped B. I've failed everything I've been assessed on this year. I've tried asking teachers for help and going to office hours, I've been recording all the lectures to go over them in my own time, looking at extra books to maybe help me with understanding, but nothing is making my grades go up. Even for things like presentations that I'm normally quite good at, I'm failing. I've always asked people to check over my work but they never come back saying anything terrible about my stuff. It just always fails.

    If I don't get an overall B over this semester and next, I won't qualify for honours anymore.

    I'm starting to get really depressed over it. Resits will only do the job for so long, and I don't do very well in those either. I just feel completely overwhelmed and I can't work out what I'm doing wrong. I hate feeling so stupid. I would be so ashamed if I didn't get the grades and they kicked me out.

    Does anyone have any advice?
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by The Milk Thief)
    I'm a second year English student at a university in Scotland. I've hated it since I started, and I'm terrible at it. The best grade I've had was a scraped B. I've failed everything I've been assessed on this year. I've tried asking teachers for help and going to office hours, I've been recording all the lectures to go over them in my own time, looking at extra books to maybe help me with understanding, but nothing is making my grades go up. Even for things like presentations that I'm normally quite good at, I'm failing. I've always asked people to check over my work but they never come back saying anything terrible about my stuff. It just always fails.

    If I don't get an overall B over this semester and next, I won't qualify for honours anymore.

    I'm starting to get really depressed over it. Resits will only do the job for so long, and I don't do very well in those either. I just feel completely overwhelmed and I can't work out what I'm doing wrong. I hate feeling so stupid. I would be so ashamed if I didn't get the grades and they kicked me out.

    Does anyone have any advice?
    I don't know if spending time listening to lecture recordings is particularly valuable. Have you considered changing course if you really hate it that much - I don't know if it'd be a bit late in the day for that or not.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    Do you have a personal tutor? Or a lecturer who seems quite approachable? Can you explain to them directly that you keep failing despite putting a lot of work in and ask for advice/help?

    also, what feedback are you getting on these assignments?
    • Very Important Poster
    Offline

    19
    Very Important Poster
    Sorry to hear you are having a tough time.
    Are you English or your subject is English? I cant help but wonder if you hated it so early on why you just didnt leave and find somewhere else and maybe a different subject?
    You should be getting help from your tutor. Are there any student support services? Failing that can you afford a tutor or are there any books showing you how to do an English degree.

    I know for some subjects I have seen degree guide books on how to write essays etc . Honours matter way less than your grades. The thing to be aware of is if you take exams, then any resits are likely to be capped at 40. That would make me think whether I should consider joining another English course if you can find a transfer for next year or even finding a different degree, although that presents a funding challenge.

    Its really important your degree is a good grade. So my concern is whether to carry on with a potential fail of everything for you or take a step back and maybe leave with a view to coming back to a degree later on. Alternatively knuckle down and quickly master the style and approach for degree level essays in your subject. You have to atckle it now. Go and talk with student support.
    • Very Important Poster
    Offline

    19
    Very Important Poster
    Ok had a look on Amazon for you.
    English isnt my degree subject, so maybe you can get guidance form those actually studying it.

    All these books have something to offer including how to write essays. You would need to get your skates on and practice though, but at least you would have some guidance and something to build on.



    How to get a great English Degree: A guide for undergraduates
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/How-great-E...der_1492282189

    Studying English Literature: A Practical Guide
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...JNSFM5AFKFY3AW

    An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...XBKACNAQ9PFRPM
    Offline

    7
    ReputationRep:
    I'm in my first year of uni (English student) and I'm also feeling quite out of my depth. I haven't had a mark back but it seems like everyone "gets it" and I don't 100%. It doesn't help that I go to an Russell Group university, so the imposter syndrome is real :/
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by KatieRoss)
    I'm in my first year of uni (English student) and I'm also feeling quite out of my depth. I haven't had a mark back but it seems like everyone "gets it" and I don't 100%. It doesn't help that I go to an Russell Group university, so the imposter syndrome is real :/
    Don't worry. The rest of the class likely feels that same way as you but hide it well. RG students are the elite and can't admit they don't know something.

    They'll fake knowing everything until nobody's looking, then they'll hunt for the real ace student to explain it to them.

    Nobody gets a new course 100%. It takes time. Don't beat yourself up about it and talk to your fellow students or your tutor.
    • TSR Support Team
    • Peer Support Volunteers
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    TSR Support Team
    Peer Support Volunteers
    Clearing and Applications Advisor
    OP, are you on a Scottish MA course? If so, are you doing the type of degree that allows you to choose other electives in first and second year, before progressing onto honours in third and fourth year?

    edit: brief check at your post history and you mention Glasgow as your uni. I would assume that you do other elective modules. Are you enjoying any of those? Perhaps look into changing your degree before the specialism years.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    Sorry to hear about that, I'm going through something similar and just wanted to show you some support even if I can't advise anything in particular. Stay strong love x
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by The Milk Thief)
    I've been recording all the lectures to go over them in my own time, looking at extra books to maybe help me with understanding, but nothing is making my grades go up.
    If you're sticking to lecture content and only occasionally using material from independent reading, this may be the key. You won't get good marks by just repeating what the lecturers tell you. Everything you write in coursework should be taken from good academic sources and should be referenced. Just repeatedly going over lectures won't really help - they're only supposed to be an introduction to a topic. You are then expected to go away and read around the subject to develop your own understanding.

    Apart from that, I find it difficult to believe that your coursework feedback has consistently failed to tell you how to improve - that's the whole point of feedback and it's a waste of time otherwise. "Not saying anything terrible" isn't the same as "OK feedback". The devil's in the detail quite a lot of the time and basic issues such as incorrect/insufficient referencing can easily knock 25% off a mark before you start. Is it possible that you're misunderstanding the feedback in some way? Could you give us an example of comments made on a bit of work which particularly disappointed you?

    General pointers are to read more widely and introduce material you haven't seen in lectures. Reference everything you write and make sure you follow your uni's stated referencing guidelines without exception. Pay attention to details of presentation - spellcheck before submission, make sure the layout looks neat, caption any pictures/figures and make sure you refer to them in the text, use page numbers etc. When you've finished a piece of work, make sure that your conclusion actually answers the question you were set. It's too easy to go off at a tangent.
 
 
 
Reply
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: November 2, 2016
Poll
How are you feeling about GCSE results day?

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