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    I’m in my first year studying Politics at a top London uni.

    At school, I was always the clever one - I got into a really good grammar school and had a reputation for studying ridiculously hard and getting top grades. But then, at some point, I think around year 9 or year 10, I began to completely lose my motivation. I realised I could still get good grades without working hard, and so the amount of revision I did gradually declined each year.

    I never told anyone that I’d stopped enjoying school work, and I kept on thinking that I’d mess up my next set of exams and I would be found out. But somehow, despite doing only a little revision for my GCSEs, I came out with 10A*s.

    During sixth form, I did maths, chemistry, English lit and history. I started the year with plans for doing so much extra reading, but soon I was doing the bare minimum to maintain my facade that I was this excellent student. For example, when I was younger I always thought that I’d do 4 A-levels for the academic challenge. But when I actually got to year 13 I dropped chemistry instantly, because I just couldn’t be bothered to have extra lessons that I didn’t have to go to.


    I started finding it really hard to write essays - soon the only thing that could motivate me was having less than 24 hours before it was due in. In Year 13 I finished every single essay on the day it was due in, sometimes minutes before. Yet I still got top marks, even though I generally thought what I had submitted was rubbish. I finished my history coursework in a free period 10 minutes before the deadline, confident that it was dreadful (I hadn’t read half the books I was supposed to), and that it would make it impossible for me to get an A at History A-level, yet I discovered on results day that it was marked 59/60.

    I’m not exaggerating when I say that I didn’t revise for my History or English A-level exams. Over study leave, I did on average one maths past paper a day, and would spend the rest of my time watching TV. For my history A-level exams, my revision consisted of reading through the textbook until 4am the night before the exam. I spent the summer holidays quietly certain that there was no way I had got the grades I needed (AAA) to get into my firm uni. I thought that the best case scenario was I’d got A* in English, A in maths and B in history.

    On results day, I watched my friends who had worked infinitely harder than me missing their grades and not getting into their first choice uni. So when I looked down at the piece of paper in my hand saying A*A*A* I just felt empty. All my friends and teachers and relatives were telling me how much I deserved it and how hard I’d worked, and I just felt like screaming at them. I was relieved that I hadn’t messed up my life through my own laziness, of course, but I just wished they knew that I wasn’t the perfect, hard working, motivated genius they all thought I was.

    Fast forward a few months, and I’m now over half way through my first term at uni. Unsurprisingly, my engrained study habits haven’t changed. My halls are a 20 minute walk from campus, and now that it’s getting colder, I’m finding it impossible to get out of bed and walk there for lectures that are recorded. I just tell myself I’ll watch them later but I never do. I’m still hating essay writing - a history essay that I should have given myself weeks to read for and write is due in on Friday yet all I’ve managed to do today is read about 10 pages of a history book. I have no ability to concentrate or motivate myself. The two essays that I have submitted so far were only completed through all-nighters, which just make me feel so ill and drained.

    I feel completely out of my depth, surrounded by so many people who know how to motivate themselves to study. At school, I basically learnt how to pass school exams without doing any work, so now that I’m at uni, I’m completely unprepared. I hate myself - I’m terrified of failure yet I’m unable to make myself do the work to prevent myself from failing. I just don’t know what to do.
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    (Original post by JessGDavies)
    I’m in my first year studying Politics at a top London uni.

    At school, I was always the clever one - I got into a really good grammar school and had a reputation for studying ridiculously hard and getting top grades. But then, at some point, I think around year 9 or year 10, I began to completely lose my motivation. I realised I could still get good grades without working hard, and so the amount of revision I did gradually declined each year.

    I never told anyone that I’d stopped enjoying school work, and I kept on thinking that I’d mess up my next set of exams and I would be found out. But somehow, despite doing only a little revision for my GCSEs, I came out with 10A*s.

    During sixth form, I did maths, chemistry, English lit and history. I started the year with plans for doing so much extra reading, but soon I was doing the bare minimum to maintain my facade that I was this excellent student. For example, when I was younger I always thought that I’d do 4 A-levels for the academic challenge. But when I actually got to year 13 I dropped chemistry instantly, because I just couldn’t be bothered to have extra lessons that I didn’t have to go to.


    I started finding it really hard to write essays - soon the only thing that could motivate me was having less than 24 hours before it was due in. In Year 13 I finished every single essay on the day it was due in, sometimes minutes before. Yet I still got top marks, even though I generally thought what I had submitted was rubbish. I finished my history coursework in a free period 10 minutes before the deadline, confident that it was dreadful (I hadn’t read half the books I was supposed to), and that it would make it impossible for me to get an A at History A-level, yet I discovered on results day that it was marked 59/60.

    I’m not exaggerating when I say that I didn’t revise for my History or English A-level exams. Over study leave, I did on average one maths past paper a day, and would spend the rest of my time watching TV. For my history A-level exams, my revision consisted of reading through the textbook until 4am the night before the exam. I spent the summer holidays quietly certain that there was no way I had got the grades I needed (AAA) to get into my firm uni. I thought that the best case scenario was I’d got A* in English, A in maths and B in history.

    On results day, I watched my friends who had worked infinitely harder than me missing their grades and not getting into their first choice uni. So when I looked down at the piece of paper in my hand saying A*A*A* I just felt empty. All my friends and teachers and relatives were telling me how much I deserved it and how hard I’d worked, and I just felt like screaming at them. I was relieved that I hadn’t messed up my life through my own laziness, of course, but I just wished they knew that I wasn’t the perfect, hard working, motivated genius they all thought I was.

    Fast forward a few months, and I’m now over half way through my first term at uni. Unsurprisingly, my engrained study habits haven’t changed. My halls are a 20 minute walk from campus, and now that it’s getting colder, I’m finding it impossible to get out of bed and walk there for lectures that are recorded. I just tell myself I’ll watch them later but I never do. I’m still hating essay writing - a history essay that I should have given myself weeks to read for and write is due in on Friday yet all I’ve managed to do today is read about 10 pages of a history book. I have no ability to concentrate or motivate myself. The two essays that I have submitted so far were only completed through all-nighters, which just make me feel so ill and drained.

    I feel completely out of my depth, surrounded by so many people who know how to motivate themselves to study. At school, I basically learnt how to pass school exams without doing any work, so now that I’m at uni, I’m completely unprepared. I hate myself - I’m terrified of failure yet I’m unable to make myself do the work to prevent myself from failing. I just don’t know what to do.
    I don't really know what to advise :-( What university are you studying at, if you don't mind me asking?
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    I can't believe how close to home this hit. I am in exactly the same situation at the moment (though didn't achieve as high grades) and have no idea how to motivate myself. The only thing I've found so far that actually motivates me is going to the library or going somewhere separate from my dorm that I associate with studying so I'm more productive. I'm really bad at the moment but I'm starting to actually timetable my days as well, like in school, because I think it will help if I can see that I can spend 4 hours in the library and then have the evening to relax. I hope this kind of helps.
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    Are you enjoying what you are studying? Do you like it, because if you dont then that will affect how much you want todo the work.
    Also, motivation will always fade. It is discipline you need. You have to be stern with yourself and get yourself up for lectures, studying and reading.
    That being said, it is first year so don't worry too much about fitting everything in. But there will become a point where you have to actively push yourself or you will risk getting low marks and a **** degree grade.
 
 
 
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