Getting really down about an essay

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Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 11 months ago
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I've got to write a 2,000 word essay for the 25th, but the question is quite vague and is stressing me out a lot. I always get really down during the winter months, but this year I've had a lot of family issues weighing me down a lot as well, so I'm struggling to stay positive. At the start of the year I really was positive and thought I could handle things, but as it's getting darker earlier in the day I just lose that positivity.

I want to go and see me tutor about it, but I've got a couple of issues. The first is that my attendance hasn't been so great in this module, but I've seen my academic advisor about it and explained that it's due to my issues at home and that I am listening to the lectures online so it's not like I'm missing out. I'm just worried my lecturer will bring this up when I see her and claim that's why I'm stressed about this essay, but having listened to the lectures I know that the essay question hasn't really been covered at all so it's definitely not to do with that, the question is just very ambiguous. The second issue I have is that I'm worried she'll think I'm a complete idiot because I have some ideas on how to answer the question, but I feel like they are completely the wrong way to go.

The essay isn't even worth that much, and I'm sure I can at least get a 2.2 in this one essay, and I've already got a first in the first essay we did. These are very different types of essays though, so I'm feeling a lot less confident with this one. Even though I know if I don't do so well in this one it's not going to be a big deal in the grand scheme of things, I'm then worried that I'm going to do poorly in my other pieces of work.

I keep having panic attacks and getting so stressed out that I'm finding it hard to actually focus on the work, which obviously then doesn't help.

All I'm looking for here really is just some general advice and reassurance, I'm just very stressed out.
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St George's, University of London
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#2
Report 11 months ago
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I've got to write a 2,000 word essay for the 25th, but the question is quite vague and is stressing me out a lot. I always get really down during the winter months, but this year I've had a lot of family issues weighing me down a lot as well, so I'm struggling to stay positive. At the start of the year I really was positive and thought I could handle things, but as it's getting darker earlier in the day I just lose that positivity.

I want to go and see me tutor about it, but I've got a couple of issues. The first is that my attendance hasn't been so great in this module, but I've seen my academic advisor about it and explained that it's due to my issues at home and that I am listening to the lectures online so it's not like I'm missing out. I'm just worried my lecturer will bring this up when I see her and claim that's why I'm stressed about this essay, but having listened to the lectures I know that the essay question hasn't really been covered at all so it's definitely not to do with that, the question is just very ambiguous. The second issue I have is that I'm worried she'll think I'm a complete idiot because I have some ideas on how to answer the question, but I feel like they are completely the wrong way to go.

The essay isn't even worth that much, and I'm sure I can at least get a 2.2 in this one essay, and I've already got a first in the first essay we did. These are very different types of essays though, so I'm feeling a lot less confident with this one. Even though I know if I don't do so well in this one it's not going to be a big deal in the grand scheme of things, I'm then worried that I'm going to do poorly in my other pieces of work.

I keep having panic attacks and getting so stressed out that I'm finding it hard to actually focus on the work, which obviously then doesn't help.

All I'm looking for here really is just some general advice and reassurance, I'm just very stressed out.
Hey,

I can understand how you are feeling. I was in the same boat a few weeks ago. We have an essay assessment worth 20% of our module and its 2000 words. Its based on a completely specialised topic that I had no clue about. Genuinely it is ok to feel stressed about these things. The reason why you are feeling stressed is because your brain hasn't come across a topic like this before. What worked for me was just to read about the topic, regardless if I didn't understand it or not. It just meant my brain got used to the words and concept of the topic. This makes it more familiar for your brain and it might be a bit easier to understand the next time you read it.

Stress happens because you feel you don't have the resources to cope with something. So by reading around the topic, you are building these resources. Independent study in itself is stressful because you don't know if you are doing the right thing, so I understand. What you could do is ask your lecturer about the essay, see if he/she can clarify a few things.

I would say start off early or if a lot of time has passed already, don't put it off. Just crack on with it, even if you do like an hour a day on it. It will make you feel a lot better about it.

Regarding attendance and personal issues, it's great you are speaking to your personal tutor about it. Maybe see them again and express your concerns about the essay and how you are feeling in general? They are there to help and reassure you.

I hope this helps somewhat and good luck with your essay. Remember, you are doing this degree because you have what it takes. It will just take some time for your brain to get around the difficult concepts - you will only develop with the tough times, but it will be so fruitful in the end!

Best Wishes,
MJ
4th Year MBBS
St. George's
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Anonymous #1
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Report Thread starter 11 months ago
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(Original post by St George's University of London)
Hey,

I can understand how you are feeling. I was in the same boat a few weeks ago. We have an essay assessment worth 20% of our module and its 2000 words. Its based on a completely specialised topic that I had no clue about. Genuinely it is ok to feel stressed about these things. The reason why you are feeling stressed is because your brain hasn't come across a topic like this before. What worked for me was just to read about the topic, regardless if I didn't understand it or not. It just meant my brain got used to the words and concept of the topic. This makes it more familiar for your brain and it might be a bit easier to understand the next time you read it.

Stress happens because you feel you don't have the resources to cope with something. So by reading around the topic, you are building these resources. Independent study in itself is stressful because you don't know if you are doing the right thing, so I understand. What you could do is ask your lecturer about the essay, see if he/she can clarify a few things.

I would say start off early or if a lot of time has passed already, don't put it off. Just crack on with it, even if you do like an hour a day on it. It will make you feel a lot better about it.

Regarding attendance and personal issues, it's great you are speaking to your personal tutor about it. Maybe see them again and express your concerns about the essay and how you are feeling in general? They are there to help and reassure you.

I hope this helps somewhat and good luck with your essay. Remember, you are doing this degree because you have what it takes. It will just take some time for your brain to get around the difficult concepts - you will only develop with the tough times, but it will be so fruitful in the end!

Best Wishes,
MJ
4th Year MBBS
St. George's
Thanks so much for your kind response!

Yeah, usually I'm like that and I can just read on the topic and there's enough to blag my way through this sort of thing. I've thought it through tonight and I've decided I'm just going to have to go to another question, simply because I think it would just take me too long to figure out the one I'd chosen originally and I don't want to still be stressing about this the night before it's due. Originally, I'd chosen to do it simply because I thought I can do better in the exam so it won't matter and I won't have to answer a similar question to that one, but I'll have more time to prepare for the exam so I'd rather do that - that's a problem for future me now!

Thanks a lot, I keep trying to remind myself I am actually a competent student, but then when stuff like this comes along it makes me feel like I've simply been blagging my way through.
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