I feel guilty whenever I’m not studying aka living

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Anonymousamie
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I never used to be like this. I’m now in Year 12, going into Year 13, but last year I didn’t do so well in Drama (grade 6) and decided to take it as an A level anyway because most of my new teachers and my peers recommended picking subjects that I enjoy.

Anyway, determined to prove to myself and my family that I’m capable of achieving the highest grades (I don’t know why I feel this way, they don’t put any pressure on me and would prefer that I have a social life), since September I’ve been studying every single day, even on my birthday and during the Christmas holiday, except Christmas Day itself, in the hope of doing well. We haven’t been informed of our most recent grades yet but, based on autumn results, I’m targeted an A, A, B for History, Sociology and Drama (in that order).

The strange thing is, I’m aiming for straight As, but as long as I get 3 Cs, then I’ll be overjoyed because I lack complete faith in myself and truthfully struggle to see myself succeeding.

Back to the title, whenever I watch a movie after revising for, say, 4-5 hours, I can’t focus on it because my mind starts racing over the revision I’m missing out on, so I always make cue cards at the same time to ensure that I’m still being somewhat productive. I also have no plans at all this summer, partly because my mum is ill and we can’t risk her catching the virus, but also because I let my social anxiety win and distances myself from everyone at school within my first month of joining, so I now have no friends...literally zero.

So, I’ve decided to take a leap of faith and contacted a counselling service to see if I can be taught some tactics for dealing with anxiety and what I think may be depression (not self-diagnosing). I’m very fortunate in that I have my first session over the phone this Thursday, but my social anxiety also means that I hate making phone calls and would rather see the counsellor’s reactions, so I know when/when not to speak. Subsequently, I replied to their request regarding sessions in person instead, but I’m not sure when they’ll start. And once again, because an hour long session means an hour which I could have used for studying, my guilt strengthens.

Any tips?
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SportScience98
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I would obviously get the therapy, because you'll be taught how to switch yourself off and on when necessary to avoid becoming overwhelmed. You'll also learn to become better socially adjusted, which is essential. Its a lot more important to make sure the time you spend studying is effective, and if you are not well adjusted enough mentally - then that extra time could be wasted in net hours over the year.
Last edited by SportScience98; 1 month ago
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maddiethorp
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I'm sorry I can't give you advice on this, but I want to let you know that you're not alone, this is an issue that I've never heard anyone talk about so I thought I was crazy, I'm in a very similar situation but I've just finished year 11 and I know it's going to be even worse in year 12, really sorry I can't help you though
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Anonymousamie
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(Original post by maddiethorp)
I'm sorry I can't give you advice on this, but I want to let you know that you're not alone, this is an issue that I've never heard anyone talk about so I thought I was crazy, I'm in a very similar situation but I've just finished year 11 and I know it's going to be even worse in year 12, really sorry I can't help you though
Hey, I’m sorry if this isn’t helpful after reading my rant, but I don’t want you to go into Year 12 feeling anxious. As much as I’ve been stressed over studying, that’s pressure I’ve placed on myself and if you truly choose the subjects that you feel passionate about, it will be a blast! In Year 11, we sortaaa had the worst History teacher I’ve ever met and the course wasn’t the most interesting so, if honest, I didn’t put as much effort in as I now know I’m capable of, but our teacher rn is the best and the course is just as brilliant! That’s just one example, but my point is that if you go in with an open mind and pursue the subjects that really intrigue you, then every lesson will be a breeze . As much as I wish neither of us had to experience this, I’m glad to hear I’m not alone too and I guess having survived Year 12, my best advice to you would be to ENJOY it, as I joined a few clubs I never thought I’d be a part of, had crazy and enlightening conversations with people who were pretty much strangers to me, I now finally feel confident enough to put my hand up multiple times each lesson to answer a question (I know that comes naturally to most people, so may seem like a minor achievement, but it’s big to me) and, as long as I’m trying my best, then it’s all worth it. So, good luck, and if you ever need any support, give me a shout!
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Anonymousamie
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(Original post by conorellis42)
I would obviously get the therapy, because you'll be taught how to switch yourself off and on when necessary to avoid becoming overwhelmed. You'll also learn to become better socially adjusted, which is essential. Its a lot more important to make sure the time you spend studying is effective, and if you are not well adjusted enough mentally - then that extra time could be wasted in net hours over the year.
Thank you. I’ve definitely decided to get therapy because it’s one of the few things I’m hopeful about and believe it will help me to move forward. However, it’s just the first phone call and ensuring that I’m completely honest about how I’ve been feeling that I’m apprehensive about. Sorry, I’m not quite sure what you mean in the last part about net hours? You’re right. I’m focusing on coursework this and next week, as it’s 20% of our final grade, but once that’s complete then we’ve almost finished the entire History course and I can concentrate on effective revision. I’ve also almost finished my Year 12 cue cards, so can finally actually cover them!
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SportScience98
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(Original post by Anonymousamie)
Thank you. I’ve definitely decided to get therapy because it’s one of the few things I’m hopeful about and believe it will help me to move forward. However, it’s just the first phone call and ensuring that I’m completely honest about how I’ve been feeling that I’m apprehensive about. Sorry, I’m not quite sure what you mean in the last part about net hours? You’re right. I’m focusing on coursework this and next week, as it’s 20% of our final grade, but once that’s complete then we’ve almost finished the entire History course and I can concentrate on effective revision. I’ve also almost finished my Year 12 cue cards, so can finally actually cover them!
I meant that the therapy could help clear your brain fog (which might let you study more productively and waste less time)
Good luck, go and smash your exams
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maddiethorp
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(Original post by Anonymousamie)
Hey, I’m sorry if this isn’t helpful after reading my rant, but I don’t want you to go into Year 12 feeling anxious. As much as I’ve been stressed over studying, that’s pressure I’ve placed on myself and if you truly choose the subjects that you feel passionate about, it will be a blast! In Year 11, we sortaaa had the worst History teacher I’ve ever met and the course wasn’t the most interesting so, if honest, I didn’t put as much effort in as I now know I’m capable of, but our teacher rn is the best and the course is just as brilliant! That’s just one example, but my point is that if you go in with an open mind and pursue the subjects that really intrigue you, then every lesson will be a breeze . As much as I wish neither of us had to experience this, I’m glad to hear I’m not alone too and I guess having survived Year 12, my best advice to you would be to ENJOY it, as I joined a few clubs I never thought I’d be a part of, had crazy and enlightening conversations with people who were pretty much strangers to me, I now finally feel confident enough to put my hand up multiple times each lesson to answer a question (I know that comes naturally to most people, so may seem like a minor achievement, but it’s big to me) and, as long as I’m trying my best, then it’s all worth it. So, good luck, and if you ever need any support, give me a shout!
yeah I am excited for A levels which might sound wierd, I think mostly because I absolutely hated my secondary so I'm just glad to be away, but the thing is even though I love revising and learning and stuff (I know I sound like a geek or something lol) I just never feel fulfilled. I've kind of forgotten the feeling and how to explain it because I haven't felt it that much since my GCSEs but I'm sure you already understand without me having to explain it. I just never feel proud of myself or complete no matter what I do and it's so irritating. I used to talk to my friends and family about the exact guilt thing you struggle with and they never understood what I was going on about. And yeah I totally get the thing about putting up your hand, I'm going to do french A level and each week there's a 1hour conversation class so I think that will really boost my confidence over time.thanks for opening up about this, it's rare but I love when I can really relate to people on here
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redmeercat
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Hey! I'm sorry, that's horrible, the first thing to do, is to set a study limit for every day - during the summer, 6 hours per day would be a lot (I'm similar to you about work anxiety, but due to work experience I only did 2 weeks of revision in the summer). A limit means that you know that you've done enough because you plan your revision around that number. The next thing is to teach yourself about the benefits of rest to revision, so that it begins to feel productive to have those necessary breaks.
Thirdly, make sure that you confine studying to a study space. Again, this might move, for example from your bedroom desk to an outdoor table or dining table or something. But work should never be done in the same places as you relax. Even if you have to work on your bed, make a rule that you never to work when you're at the pillow end of the bed, for instance.
I'm sorry, this is very difficult. You're doing so well already. Every day try to write down one thing you're proud of yourself for doing. You deserve amazing results and some rest xx

Remember: the habit of studying produces good grades, not each individual second of studying. If you're in the habit of working hard, that is enough, and you don't need to feel guilty about the time.
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