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    I know this sounds drastic but I seriously cannot cope with the course anymore. I am currently in my first year studying biology and am about to start my final term - at the end of which I will be having my prelim exams. I am currently trying to revise for a collection but I honestly don't see the point. I'm very, very behind on going over my lecture notes and it takes me so long to go through them. The stress of it is keeping me up at night and I feel constantly physically sick and every time I think about it I burst into tears. I've lost my love for the subject entirely and my motivation is at zero. I know I won't be able to cope next term as we have a huge practical, 8 weeks of essays and tutorials to do in 5 weeks plus a field course on top of all this revision. I really don't know what to do and I am at my wits end. Can anyone give me any advice cause I honestly feel like it is not worth it anymore.
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    (Original post by Parrotperson)
    ...

    OUSU Student Advice Service: guidance on the many different support services available to you. Call 01865 288466

    have you tried this number yet ?
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    Not to sure if this still implies to present day universities but what i know is that your first year at uni doesn't count toward your degree so not too much to worry about.
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    Depends on two things:

    1. If you have lost the interest in the course because of the stress, than you just need to do things at your speed. I can understand that you are behind and there is a lot of stuff going on, but still, I think that if you have a bit of interest in the course, you can do it. Don't revise all day long, take rests. For example, Do 2 hours of revising, making notes, etc, and 1 hour of rest, relax and a bit of entertainment. Also, during the study session, every 30 minutes get up and drink water or grab a snack, to calm for 5 minutes.

    2. if you have completely lost interest, than it's not late to change to something else. You can always start a new course, but it all depends on you. I would say, look at what you are passionate about and just go for it.

    I hope it helped you!
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    (Original post by Sinsonte)
    Depends on two things:

    1. If you have lost the interest in the course because of the stress, than you just need to do things at your speed. I can understand that you are behind and there is a lot of stuff going on, but still, I think that if you have a bit of interest in the course, you can do it. Don't revise all day long, take rests. For example, Do 2 hours of revising, making notes, etc, and 1 hour of rest, relax and a bit of entertainment. Also, during the study session, every 30 minutes get up and drink water or grab a snack, to calm for 5 minutes.

    2. if you have completely lost interest, than it's not late to change to something else. You can always start a new course, but it all depends on you. I would say, look at what you are passionate about and just go for it.

    I hope it helped you!
    I think it is because initially I was enjoying it, but now I can't bear to think about working without crying (I know this sounds stupid) I want to work but this always stops me. I'll try that but I don't think it will be enough time to go over it all. I can't bear to think of doing anything other than working as when I try to I feel physically sick cause I know how much I've still got to do. I don't want to give up but with how I feel now I probably won't even make it to the exam. I know you can switch course and go through clearing if I fail this year but I can't see the point in stressing myself out to the point of illness to get there. I'm still passionate about science but with how fragile I feel at the moment it seems pointless. Sorry for being so pessimistic but I really don't know what to do.
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    (Original post by the bear)
    OUSU Student Advice Service: guidance on the many different support services available to you. Call 01865 288466

    have you tried this number yet ?
    I'll give it a try. I've no idea where to start though 🙁
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    (Original post by JuSt_Do_It_)
    Not to sure if this still implies to present day universities but what i know is that your first year at uni doesn't count toward your degree so not too much to worry about.
    It doesn't but you still need to pass all three papers to progress to second year plus these results will be used when applying for internships 😞
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    Hey, sorry to read of how you are feeling. Have you talked to your college tutor about how things are atm and how overwhelmed you are feeling? That has to be the first thing - seeking help from within the university and your college.

    Since you've got this far through the first year, it is probably worth giving your prelims a shot, though again this is something your college tutor can advise you about. That way with your first year results, if you wanted to you could try transferring into the second year of a biology course at another uni. Just try and revise as best as you can and see how your collections go.

    Huge hugs to you! It sounds like you're very unhappy atm but it's important to separate out whether this is pre-prelims stress or whether it's something more pervasive that is likely to affect you in future years. First year at Oxford can be rough for many, since the step up from school is enormous and can feel insurmountable :sadnod:

    :hugs:
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    (Original post by Parrotperson)
    I know this sounds drastic but I seriously cannot cope with the course anymore. I am currently in my first year studying biology and am about to start my final term - at the end of which I will be having my prelim exams. I am currently trying to revise for a collection but I honestly don't see the point. I'm very, very behind on going over my lecture notes and it takes me so long to go through them. The stress of it is keeping me up at night and I feel constantly physically sick and every time I think about it I burst into tears. I've lost my love for the subject entirely and my motivation is at zero. I know I won't be able to cope next term as we have a huge practical, 8 weeks of essays and tutorials to do in 5 weeks plus a field course on top of all this revision. I really don't know what to do and I am at my wits end. Can anyone give me any advice cause I honestly feel like it is not worth it anymore.
    I would speak to your lecturer/s about this. They may be able to provide some support. Contact the Student Advice Service as someone said earlier on as well. Are you considering dropping out of University, or transferring to another University and hoping that the workload would be easier there? Either way, I would look into the financial implications. You may have to pay some fees etc.

    Is it possible to speak to some people on your course, and ask for their help? I'm sure that some of them would be more than happy to help - perhaps at a price. Perhaps the main issue is that your method of revision doesn't work for you. Note-taking is not for everyone, and people find other methods are a lot more useful to them. http://learning-styles-online.com/overview/ is a great website that provides a lot of information on the different learning styles, as well as revision methods for each one. You can always try experimenting with different techniques and see what works for you.

    You may be pushing yourself too hard in the sense that you're trying to revise for hours without much break. This can be really useful for some people, but others need regular breaks. Have you heard of the Pomodoro technique? You may find this really useful when revising. "The process is simple. For every project throughout the day, you budget your time into short increments and take breaks periodically. You work for 25 minutes, then take break for five minutes. After four “pomodoros” have passed, (100 minutes of work time with 15 minutes of break time) you then take a 15-20 minute break." - http://www.lifehack.org/articles/pro...t-for-you.html

    If you are really struggling mentally, then I would reach out to your doctors. Your doctor may be able to refer you for therapy, or perhaps work with you to find medication that helps (if you want to go down the route of taking medication). You could always try reaching out to the Samaritans as well. They are 24 / 7, completely free, and it doesn't show up on your phone bill. There is also the option of being able to talk to Samaritans over email as well - http://samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you/contact-us
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    Hey, sorry to read of how you are feeling. Have you talked to your college tutor about how things are atm and how overwhelmed you are feeling? That has to be the first thing - seeking help from within the university and your college.

    Since you've got this far through the first year, it is probably worth giving your prelims a shot, though again this is something your college tutor can advise you about. That way with your first year results, if you wanted to you could try transferring into the second year of a biology course at another uni. Just try and revise as best as you can and see how your collections go.

    Huge hugs to you! It sounds like you're very unhappy atm but it's important to separate out whether this is pre-prelims stress or whether it's something more pervasive that is likely to affect you in future years. First year at Oxford can be rough for many, since the step up from school is enormous and can feel insurmountable :sadnod:

    :hugs:
    I'm really scared to talk to them cause they just think I'm doing fine because I completed all of the essays and I did well on my first collection (although that was because we were only examined on our tutorial stuff).

    I know I'm going to fail this year so I really don't see the point. Every time I think about the collections or working I start to panic and end up crying for at least an hour (it sounds so childish to me as I've never been an emotional person but now even the mere mention of it is enough to set me off) I wouldn't know where to start with other university course though 😫

    I just can't cope; I feel miserable all the time and I'm so unmotivated. I know first year is hard but I know second year will be a lot tougher 😣
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    Helloo PP,

    I guess the first thing is to try and lessen your feelings of panic. It sounds as if the thought that you have too much revision to do for your Prelims is setting off a chain of escalating panic thoughts. Maybe something like -"That pile of lecture notes is too much for me to get through - I will not be able to answer the question in the exam - I will fail the exam - I will get chucked out of Oxford - my family will be devastated - I hate the subject I loved since I was a child - I have to put in for Clearing - I have failed at life- [continues to imagine the rest of life culminating in dying, impoverished, alone and unloved in a ditch] "

    At least, this is what I felt revising for my Zoology Prelims many years ago. I also know this is what my daughter felt revising for Biology Prelims much more recently.

    Some things that might help right now are:

    1. Recognise that these are normal feelings. It is extremely unlikely that you are really behind everyone else in your year. The volume of material covered in the organisms course alone is impossible for a normal human to memorise - everyone who enters the Exam Schools building does so with massive gaps in their revision. Your problem is almost certainly that you are simply finding it a bit more difficult to live with those gaps than some others!

    2. Try to find ways to interrupt the chain of negative thinking. For example, when you notice that thought, "There is too much to do...", practice replying to it with a thought like, "Yes, but that doesn't stop me from doing it anyway". If you think, "I am going to fail my Prelims", practice a thought like, "maybe I will, but that is no reason not to try" etc etc. Likewise when you feel nauseous from anxiety, notice the feeling and tell it that you are doing what you can, so go away, thanks.

    3. Speak with your tutor(s) - email them now if you are at home - and ask to meet to explain your situation and ask for help to rationalise your revision. They might help you to narrow things down for you.

    4. Speak with student welfare services. They are very used to helping students develop coping strategies.

    5. Remember that you are at Oxford because you wanted to develop your love for Biology. You are not there to be bossed about by exam timetables and whatnot. Have a revision timetable, but include time to rest and relax. If anxiety feelings crowd into that recovery time, try to remind those feelings who is in charge here!

    OK, I have written too much. Feel free to PM me if you like.
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    (Original post by Parrotperson)
    I know this sounds drastic but I seriously cannot cope with the course anymore. I am currently in my first year studying biology and am about to start my final term - at the end of which I will be having my prelim exams. I am currently trying to revise for a collection but I honestly don't see the point. I'm very, very behind on going over my lecture notes and it takes me so long to go through them. The stress of it is keeping me up at night and I feel constantly physically sick and every time I think about it I burst into tears. I've lost my love for the subject entirely and my motivation is at zero. I know I won't be able to cope next term as we have a huge practical, 8 weeks of essays and tutorials to do in 5 weeks plus a field course on top of all this revision. I really don't know what to do and I am at my wits end. Can anyone give me any advice cause I honestly feel like it is not worth it anymore.
    I was in your shoes 4 (!!) years ago. The volume of content in first year IS a lot, and it's normal to feel overwhelmed. I don't a single person I knew went over everything, it's just not possible to know everything in that much detail! Trinity term feels daunting, but it's doable, otherwise it wouldn't be organised that way - I remember one tutor saying that Orielton (assuming the field course is still there) is when it is to take people's minds off prelims, and it does to an extent (though it's still not ideal really). I also remember people that didn't really start revising until after Orielton, and they all did fine.

    A practical tip for revising lectures (that got me through finals too) fit all your notes for each lecture on a single patch of A4, it really helps you just focus on the important points. Read over your tutorial essays, old collections, because despite how big each paper is they do tend to ask similar sorts of things, and if a question comes up similar to what you wrote for a tute it makes life so much easier!

    If you're getting so stressed, do talk to people - your tutors, college parents, welfare reps, even other people on your course. Don't suffer in silence! At least a few of your tutorials are likely to be revision tutorials, (if not, definitely ask that they are!).

    After first year things are a lot more flexible, you can choose your own modules and your own tutorials and labs, and generally take things at more of your own pace.
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    (Original post by Parrotperson)
    I'm really scared to talk to them cause they just think I'm doing fine because I completed all of the essays and I did well on my first collection (although that was because we were only examined on our tutorial stuff).

    I know I'm going to fail this year so I really don't see the point. Every time I think about the collections or working I start to panic and end up crying for at least an hour (it sounds so childish to me as I've never been an emotional person but now even the mere mention of it is enough to set me off) I wouldn't know where to start with other university course though 😫

    I just can't cope; I feel miserable all the time and I'm so unmotivated. I know first year is hard but I know second year will be a lot tougher 😣
    It can be a really scary prospect, telling your tutors how you're really finding things, but it's really important for you to do so. You won't be the first tutee they've come across who is experiencing this (or the last!). You're not being childish and there's nothing to be ashamed of at all. If you have good college tutors, they will want to help you in whatever way they can, even if that's helping you to leave Oxford altogether.

    It sounds like you're having a really rough time Do you mind me asking if you've ever experienced mental health difficulties in the past, pre-Oxford? Or have all these feelings and experiences only arisen post-starting Oxford?

    I think you've been given some really good advice on this thread. I'm a bit ignorant about how the science degrees work but it sounds like (from a post above) like you'll have a lot more choice in modules and flexibility in later years, should you choose to stay.

    Can you pinpoint at the moment what you'd ideally want to do? Do you want to leave Oxford altogether? Leave for a bit and come back when you're ready (rusticate)? Give it a go and see how things go with regards to prelims?
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    It can be a really scary prospect, telling your tutors how you're really finding things, but it's really important for you to do so. You won't be the first tutee they've come across who is experiencing this (or the last!). You're not being childish and there's nothing to be ashamed of at all. If you have good college tutors, they will want to help you in whatever way they can, even if that's helping you to leave Oxford altogether.

    It sounds like you're having a really rough time Do you mind me asking if you've ever experienced mental health difficulties in the past, pre-Oxford? Or have all these feelings and experiences only arisen post-starting Oxford?

    I think you've been given some really good advice on this thread. I'm a bit ignorant about how the science degrees work but it sounds like (from a post above) like you'll have a lot more choice in modules and flexibility in later years, should you choose to stay.

    Can you pinpoint at the moment what you'd ideally want to do? Do you want to leave Oxford altogether? Leave for a bit and come back when you're ready (rusticate)? Give it a go and see how things go with regards to prelims?
    I just feel like they'll think I'm lying or being lazy as from the outside I have being doing ok. I know, but I'm so scared of disappointing them and embarrassing myself. Plus, I wouldn't know what to say (and I'm not the most confident person at the best of times)

    I hate the thought of self diagnosing but since my GCSE exams I have always felt anxious and horribly nauseous (initially it was in all school/ exam situations) but since coming to university it's mainly in situations where I cannot leave e.g. talks, dinners (particularly so as my worrying increases if I've eaten anything) I've never been to the doctor or anything as I've just dealt with it (albeit badly) and because I've never had a full on, can't breath type, panic attack I always assumed everyone got like this. However through this terms vacation it has gotten worse and I have a constant state of nausea, lump in throat feeling, coupled with the tearful episodes. Although I think this is also because I am dreading the field course for various reasons (too many to go into).

    You do have more choice in second year although I have to get there first 😞

    I don't know what I want to do in reality. The problem is I can't tell if I don't want to go back because of how I feel or because I genuinely hate it there. I don't want to regret my decision but at the same time I'm so scared that if I go back I will wish I hadn't. I want to try but at the same time I feel I can't.
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    (Original post by Parrotperson)
    I know this sounds drastic but I seriously cannot cope with the course anymore. I am currently in my first year studying biology and am about to start my final term - at the end of which I will be having my prelim exams. I am currently trying to revise for a collection but I honestly don't see the point. I'm very, very behind on going over my lecture notes and it takes me so long to go through them. The stress of it is keeping me up at night and I feel constantly physically sick and every time I think about it I burst into tears. I've lost my love for the subject entirely and my motivation is at zero. I know I won't be able to cope next term as we have a huge practical, 8 weeks of essays and tutorials to do in 5 weeks plus a field course on top of all this revision. I really don't know what to do and I am at my wits end. Can anyone give me any advice cause I honestly feel like it is not worth it anymore.
    you can do it! try to catch up as much as possible, when this sort of thing happens i usually just go over the topics im weakest in and that will be assessed.
    make a timetable, assign topics to a day rather than to a specific time which makes things so much more tense.
    when you look at all that you have to do it IS gonna be overwhelming-which is why you have to cut it all up into days )

    also try and get up in the morning-early morning, talking 5,5:30 and get a big healthy breakfast. as you will be more efficient.
    give yourself regular breaksafter every halfhour to 45 mins also take water and snacks. glucose. . brain function

    try and cut back n nights out(i know how tempting that can be)
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    Sorry, PP, I posted this on your more recent thread about rustication, but realise it is better placed here.

    As I have mentioned before, I did Zoology at SPC many years ago. I hated it but, like you, I didn't want anyone to be disappointed in me, was intimidated at the idea of admitting to my tutors that I was struggling etc etc. So I "coped" by isolating myself, keeping my head down academically and scraping through my tutes and exams. But my love for the subject was wrecked. It came back after a couple of years back in the real world, but it was a long time before I could think about Oxford without bitterness, and even now I feel I missed out on what could have been a great experience.

    So your feelings sound very familiar to me. A bit of distance is very helpful, and now I can see that scraping by and suffering in silence is the worst tactic.

    Nowadays, I would have no hesitation in going to my tutor and explaining that I was having a miserable time and what can they do to help me? Instead of viewing the place as a jealous god that must be appeased by not making trouble, I should have seen it as their responsibility to make it work for me. Oxford talks a lot about the unique value of having weekly tutorials - this is not a one-way process whereby the tutor more efficiently transmits information to you. It is also a chance for you to enlist their help, and it is also true that making a more "human" connection with them will make you more confident and them more sensitive and responsive to your needs, both personally and academically. You will benefit both ways.

    I'm not trying to persuade you not to rusticate or whatever. Maybe that is a good option. But I am trying to persuade you to try and shake off the feeling of guilt and shame that you are carrying around. You are easily good enough for this place; its just not working for you right now. It is the job of the tutors and welfare services to change that, but they can only do so if you enlist their help.

    Courage! X
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    (Original post by Parrotperson)
    I just feel like they'll think I'm lying or being lazy as from the outside I have being doing ok. I know, but I'm so scared of disappointing them and embarrassing myself. Plus, I wouldn't know what to say (and I'm not the most confident person at the best of times)

    I hate the thought of self diagnosing but since my GCSE exams I have always felt anxious and horribly nauseous (initially it was in all school/ exam situations) but since coming to university it's mainly in situations where I cannot leave e.g. talks, dinners (particularly so as my worrying increases if I've eaten anything) I've never been to the doctor or anything as I've just dealt with it (albeit badly) and because I've never had a full on, can't breath type, panic attack I always assumed everyone got like this. However through this terms vacation it has gotten worse and I have a constant state of nausea, lump in throat feeling, coupled with the tearful episodes. Although I think this is also because I am dreading the field course for various reasons (too many to go into).

    You do have more choice in second year although I have to get there first 😞

    I don't know what I want to do in reality. The problem is I can't tell if I don't want to go back because of how I feel or because I genuinely hate it there. I don't want to regret my decision but at the same time I'm so scared that if I go back I will wish I hadn't. I want to try but at the same time I feel I can't.
    Granted I'm no doctor but it sounds like there's a lot of anxiety within you at the moment and that this needs addressing. I think the best thing for you to do at this point is to go to your GP and tell them honestly how you've been feeling, telling them everything you've told us here. See what your GP says/recommends, and then approach your college tutors. (You can approach your college tutors first but they are likely to ask if you have seen a doctor, so you may as well try that first!)

    No half-decent college tutor would think you're lazy or lying. I appreciate it can be very hard to shake off feelings that you may be disappointing them but as I think I said before, you won't be the first or last student to come to them in this state - they will have seen it all before and should want to help you!

    You are not an embarrassment nor would you be embarrassing yourself by trying to reach out for help. Reaching out for help is a sign of wisdom and strength, actually :yep:

    I see some of my first-year self in you. I had a rough first year (not as rough as yours, and rough in different ways) and was struggling with feelings of inferiority. The workload felt very tough and I suffered in silence for a long time because I felt I needed to "prove" to my tutors that I was intelligent and that they had made the right choice in choosing me. Eventually I snapped and told my tutor everything and he was really shocked and sad that I'd been feeling like that - he'd had no idea and had he known, he would have nipped it in the bud much earlier.

    If you are dreading the field course, that is also something you need to speak to your tutors about. Maybe they can help you overcome the barriers that you feel are holding you back at the moment.

    I would strongly recommend you see your Oxford-based GP ASAP when you get back, and that you try and reach out for help from your college tutors and other appropriate welfare staff. Feeling like how you are feeling sounds awful, but it doesn't need to be like this or go on forever :nah:

    :hugs:
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    Granted I'm no doctor but it sounds like there's a lot of anxiety within you at the moment and that this needs addressing. I think the best thing for you to do at this point is to go to your GP and tell them honestly how you've been feeling, telling them everything you've told us here. See what your GP says/recommends, and then approach your college tutors. (You can approach your college tutors first but they are likely to ask if you have seen a doctor, so you may as well try that first!)

    No half-decent college tutor would think you're lazy or lying. I appreciate it can be very hard to shake off feelings that you may be disappointing them but as I think I said before, you won't be the first or last student to come to them in this state - they will have seen it all before and should want to help you!

    You are not an embarrassment nor would you be embarrassing yourself by trying to reach out for help. Reaching out for help is a sign of wisdom and strength, actually :yep:

    I see some of my first-year self in you. I had a rough first year (not as rough as yours, and rough in different ways) and was struggling with feelings of inferiority. The workload felt very tough and I suffered in silence for a long time because I felt I needed to "prove" to my tutors that I was intelligent and that they had made the right choice in choosing me. Eventually I snapped and told my tutor everything and he was really shocked and sad that I'd been feeling like that - he'd had no idea and had he known, he would have nipped it in the bud much earlier.

    If you are dreading the field course, that is also something you need to speak to your tutors about. Maybe they can help you overcome the barriers that you feel are holding you back at the moment.

    I would strongly recommend you see your Oxford-based GP ASAP when you get back, and that you try and reach out for help from your college tutors and other appropriate welfare staff. Feeling like how you are feeling sounds awful, but it doesn't need to be like this or go on forever :nah:

    :hugs:
    I am going to my home doctor (hopefully) to see what he says. My sister experienced this when she was doing her GCSE's and she was given medication however they take a few days to work. My mum has recommended that I go back a few days later in order to let me get used to them (that would mean missing my collection although to be honest I will definitely fail it anyway) After going to the doctor I will contact my tutors although I don't know whether to approach my college tutor or the senior one with my situation.

    I know, I guess I feel like because it appeared I was doing well last term that they will just think I'm using it as an excuse for not revising (I am trying but it's impossible when you burst into tears when you try)

    I have felt like that 😩 I just hope he understands.

    The problem is it's not the field course itself that I'm worrying about it's just how I'm feeling now and the general nervousness I feel (particularly regarding eating) that will make it hell.

    I'll try, I think the problem is I have let it go on too long and now it has gotten to a point where I can't cope with it.
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    (Original post by Parrotperson)
    I am going to my home doctor (hopefully) to see what he says. My sister experienced this when she was doing her GCSE's and she was given medication however they take a few days to work. My mum has recommended that I go back a few days later in order to let me get used to them (that would mean missing my collection although to be honest I will definitely fail it anyway) After going to the doctor I will contact my tutors although I don't know whether to approach my college tutor or the senior one with my situation.

    I know, I guess I feel like because it appeared I was doing well last term that they will just think I'm using it as an excuse for not revising (I am trying but it's impossible when you burst into tears when you try)

    I have felt like that 😩 I just hope he understands.

    The problem is it's not the field course itself that I'm worrying about it's just how I'm feeling now and the general nervousness I feel (particularly regarding eating) that will make it hell.

    I'll try, I think the problem is I have let it go on too long and now it has gotten to a point where I can't cope with it.
    See what home GP says and whether medication is offered. It's probs best to contact both tutors but I guess the main port of call would be your college tutor to start with, especially with regards to potentially missing your collections.

    I doubt anyone would think it's an excuse to not revise. They should see it's a genuine problem that is affecting you very badly. It does sound like this has been building up and could have been nipped in the bud earlier, but better late than never! The main thing is you're now recognising that this is not normal and that you're willing to get help for it. (Though honestly, please don't leave it much longer - without wanting to scare you and without minimising anything you're going through atm, things can get a lot worse than this if not dealt with soon.)
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    (Original post by Parrotperson)
    ...
    As a hopefully useful aside, I left Oxford after two years, in the grip of a breakdown. I wanted to leave after my first year but was talked out of it. I completely recognise the feelings and reactions you describe. Just know that there is a life for you beyond those walls if that's the decision you ultimately make. It isn't a failure to recognise when a situation isn't right for you. It doesn't mean that it will never be right for you either. I know it doesn't feel like it at the moment, but I've had a great life without a degree from Oxford. In fact - having sworn off academia for lifeafter that first bruising experience - I went back to uni in my 40s and loved it.

    Good luck.
 
 
 
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If you won £30,000, which of these would you spend it on?

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

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