Fear of failing is stopping me from doing work Watch
Does anyone have any advice on how to get over this?
I think you worry that you expect to write a really good essay immediately on first try. Do not expect that to happen. If your writing is bad initially - you can tweak and edit it 100s of times to improve on it. Don't anticipate failing if you haven't atleast made the effort of trying.
Trying means so, so, so much more than nothing. So, stop thinking and get to it!
Another option is to talk to someone on your course. You don't need to look at/copy their work, just use them to clarify the things you are worried about and make sure you're not doing anything completely wrong, e.g how much did you write? did you include this point? which readings did you use? how many citations did you include?
If this doesn't help I would recommend speaking to your professor directly. As you are in your first year I am sure that they will not be suprised that you lack experience of writing essays. Explain that you are anxious about starting it and ask if they could provide any more information about the kind of structure and content they are expecting. The more detail you have about what is expected, the more likely it is that you will get it right!