The Student Room Group

Feeling worthless

I actually feel like the worlds fattest failure today. I know 45% is a pass but how was it so easy for people to get such high grades. I was so excited about my essay and it wasn’t even good. It’s fragmentary, it’s vague, sentences are unfinished, it’s unstructured, it’s repetitive, no coherent sequences, terminology is inaccurate, grammatical errors oh and there is an overall lack of analysis. Honestly when people used to say university isn’t designed for everyone I never really listened until now. I don’t actually know why I’m here. It’s not like I’m actually good at anything I feel like that’s been proven constantly. I honestly am thinking about dropping out not because I hate it but because I don’t think I was cut out for university I think my hopes were high and I was naïve about it. I hate hate hate my lack of self confidence and my lack of self worth but I feel so useless, I feel like a burden and the majority of the time I feel like I’m taking up space by living because there is not one useful thing I can actually do, like what is the actual point in me being here?

i just needed a space to vent.
Original post by Anonymous
I actually feel like the worlds fattest failure today. I know 45% is a pass but how was it so easy for people to get such high grades. I was so excited about my essay and it wasn’t even good. It’s fragmentary, it’s vague, sentences are unfinished, it’s unstructured, it’s repetitive, no coherent sequences, terminology is inaccurate, grammatical errors oh and there is an overall lack of analysis. Honestly when people used to say university isn’t designed for everyone I never really listened until now. I don’t actually know why I’m here. It’s not like I’m actually good at anything I feel like that’s been proven constantly. I honestly am thinking about dropping out not because I hate it but because I don’t think I was cut out for university I think my hopes were high and I was naïve about it. I hate hate hate my lack of self confidence and my lack of self worth but I feel so useless, I feel like a burden and the majority of the time I feel like I’m taking up space by living because there is not one useful thing I can actually do, like what is the actual point in me being here?

i just needed a space to vent.

Take it as a learning experience and view it not as a reflection of your identity as opposed to your performance. You can always improve on performance - that's never set in stone (even when you're doing well, you can do poorly). Pick yourself up and do significantly better the next time, provided that you have learned all the right lessons this time round so we don't get a repeat result.

It would also really help if you specify the subject that you're doing. I specialise in social sciences (and possibly sciences at junior levels), so I can help with you there. Otherwise, it's probably better if you ask someone who scored higher to give you further feedback.

The key thing that I would do is to always get further feedback from the person who marked your paper (this is not always the lecturer). As tedious as this sounds (and you can see yourself getting a second bashing to your ego), the idea is to get clarity on where you went wrong and what you should focus on in your next assignment.

The general rules for getting certain grades in academia are:
1st class: correct answer + critical thinking
2:1: correct answer + analysis
2:2: generally correct answer with some mistakes
Pass: minimal effort and mostly incorrect

I would strongly recommend reading "How to Write Great Essays" by Peter Levin (it's a short book that you can read over the weekend) if you have problems writing in academia (the feedback partially suggests this). There are usually writing workshops and clinics on campus where they can help you with such problems, but I personally find the book of a better help.
Use Grammarly to help with the grammar, unless you want to learn advanced grammar before you submit your next assignment (I recommend Oxford Practice Grammar Advanced by George Yule or Advanced Grammar in Use with Answer by Martin Hewings).

Do note, an academic essay at university is not the same as the sort of essays you write at A Level. This is where a lot of people trip up.
If you solely focus on the material and ignore the writing style, your grades can drop.

For terminology and analysis, it would generally depend on the specific subject. It's very difficult to advise based on limited information.
For terminology, I would use the Oxford Reference dictionaries for key definitions, especially in the introductory paragraph. What I would never use or reference with are random definitions that I find on websites (something a lot of people do). I would also use more material from the university library, especially the relevant journal articles highlighted in your unit outline and relevant lecture notes (ignore these at your peril).

If you give me more specific information, I can at least point you in the right direction.
Original post by Anonymous
Take it as a learning experience and view it not as a reflection of your identity as opposed to your performance. You can always improve on performance - that's never set in stone (even when you're doing well, you can do poorly). Pick yourself up and do significantly better the next time, provided that you have learned all the right lessons this time round so we don't get a repeat result.

It would also really help if you specify the subject that you're doing. I specialise in social sciences (and possibly sciences at junior levels), so I can help with you there. Otherwise, it's probably better if you ask someone who scored higher to give you further feedback.

The key thing that I would do is to always get further feedback from the person who marked your paper (this is not always the lecturer). As tedious as this sounds (and you can see yourself getting a second bashing to your ego), the idea is to get clarity on where you went wrong and what you should focus on in your next assignment.

The general rules for getting certain grades in academia are:
1st class: correct answer + critical thinking
2:1: correct answer + analysis
2:2: generally correct answer with some mistakes
Pass: minimal effort and mostly incorrect

I would strongly recommend reading "How to Write Great Essays" by Peter Levin (it's a short book that you can read over the weekend) if you have problems writing in academia (the feedback partially suggests this). There are usually writing workshops and clinics on campus where they can help you with such problems, but I personally find the book of a better help.
Use Grammarly to help with the grammar, unless you want to learn advanced grammar before you submit your next assignment (I recommend Oxford Practice Grammar Advanced by George Yule or Advanced Grammar in Use with Answer by Martin Hewings).

Do note, an academic essay at university is not the same as the sort of essays you write at A Level. This is where a lot of people trip up.
If you solely focus on the material and ignore the writing style, your grades can drop.

For terminology and analysis, it would generally depend on the specific subject. It's very difficult to advise based on limited information.
For terminology, I would use the Oxford Reference dictionaries for key definitions, especially in the introductory paragraph. What I would never use or reference with are random definitions that I find on websites (something a lot of people do). I would also use more material from the university library, especially the relevant journal articles highlighted in your unit outline and relevant lecture notes (ignore these at your peril).

If you give me more specific information, I can at least point you in the right direction.

Thank you so much for your comment.

I’m studying English Literature. I think imposter syndrome is often a huge factor when i am feeling this way. The feeling almost that i’m a fraud and people are going to ridicule me when they find out how bad i actually am.
What grades did u get in A level/BTec?
I attended quite a few classes run by the English department at university in things like structure of arguments, extra clssses on top of my law degree.

Also read lots of books like “how to write a great essay in x (law in my case)”
Original post by Anonymous
Thank you so much for your comment.

I’m studying English Literature. I think imposter syndrome is often a huge factor when i am feeling this way. The feeling almost that i’m a fraud and people are going to ridicule me when they find out how bad i actually am.


Yeah, it's not surprising imposter syndrome often comes up, especially in subjects like English Literature. I should be able to point out a number of famous writers who have experienced the same symptoms, but later ended up producing famous works.

Unfortunately, lit degrees are outside of my scope of competence. The pointers that I have made in my previous reply still hold.

Consider the following videos to assist you in your studies:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjBayHkXuVc (not that I encourage lit students to not read; kind of the point of a lit degree)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sh-T9Geu8YQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_ZXvNPzzf0

You would also be better off speaking to someone who scored either higher marks than you in literature (or are doing the same course as you are), or someone who did a literature degree.
Original post by Anonymous
I actually feel like the worlds fattest failure today. I know 45% is a pass but how was it so easy for people to get such high grades. I was so excited about my essay and it wasn’t even good. It’s fragmentary, it’s vague, sentences are unfinished, it’s unstructured, it’s repetitive, no coherent sequences, terminology is inaccurate, grammatical errors oh and there is an overall lack of analysis. Honestly when people used to say university isn’t designed for everyone I never really listened until now. I don’t actually know why I’m here. It’s not like I’m actually good at anything I feel like that’s been proven constantly. I honestly am thinking about dropping out not because I hate it but because I don’t think I was cut out for university I think my hopes were high and I was naïve about it. I hate hate hate my lack of self confidence and my lack of self worth but I feel so useless, I feel like a burden and the majority of the time I feel like I’m taking up space by living because there is not one useful thing I can actually do, like what is the actual point in me being here?

i just needed a space to vent.


Hi there.

Sorry you are going through this. I can see you are getting brilliant advice from the TSR community so hopefully you can see you are not alone :hugs:

Please do have a look here at some useful resources from Mind on how to deal with depression
You can also speak to someone at Mind here

The NHS have urgent mental health helplines are for people of all ages in England. To find a helpline suitable for you, please visit here. You can call for 24-hour advice and support for you, your child, your parent or someone you care for, help speaking to a mental health professional and an assessment to find the right care for you

The Samaritans are available 24/7 and can be contacted by calling 116 123 or emailing [email protected]. There are also apps that can help, like Smiling Minds and Headspace.

If you are in crisis and at risk of hurting yourself, or have already, please call 999 for an ambulance or go to your nearest A&E. If you’re reluctant to go to A&E, you can always call NHS 111 for their advice and guidance.

Take care and please look after yourself,

Best wishes,
TSR Support
Original post by Anonymous
I actually feel like the worlds fattest failure today. I know 45% is a pass but how was it so easy for people to get such high grades. I was so excited about my essay and it wasn’t even good. It’s fragmentary, it’s vague, sentences are unfinished, it’s unstructured, it’s repetitive, no coherent sequences, terminology is inaccurate, grammatical errors oh and there is an overall lack of analysis. Honestly when people used to say university isn’t designed for everyone I never really listened until now. I don’t actually know why I’m here. It’s not like I’m actually good at anything I feel like that’s been proven constantly. I honestly am thinking about dropping out not because I hate it but because I don’t think I was cut out for university I think my hopes were high and I was naïve about it. I hate hate hate my lack of self confidence and my lack of self worth but I feel so useless, I feel like a burden and the majority of the time I feel like I’m taking up space by living because there is not one useful thing I can actually do, like what is the actual point in me being here?

i just needed a space to vent.


Wow I never knew I could relate to something more than what you just said. This describes exactly how I've felt throughout my degree (and ended up sticking through it for 3 years due to family pressure). Something I wish I had known earlier is the growth mindset. I recommend researching about it because it essentially changed my outlook on University from having such self-limiting beliefs that Higher Education wasn't for me and huge imposter syndrome/ low self-confidence to realising most students have potential and belong in University for the skills that you learn throughout it.

As we are close to the holidays, I recommend you getting to the root of why you feel worthless. Rationally, identify what you are good and bad at and work at it over the Summer e.g. practice essay writing etc. You should definitely speak to your tutors/ academic skills team if your University has one and ensure English Lit is the degree for you as you can still change if you're in first year. I have many regrets throughout my time at Uni, one of them being not seeking help earlier than I should have. The uni has a responsibility to support you and I encourage you to make use of them.
Reply 8
You could do a degree at the open university

Learn from these failures

You can get support and there is a lot of support out there such as:

-The Samaritans, you can call 116 123, which is available 24 hours a day

-Mind, 0300 123 3393

-Saneline, 0300 304 7000, from 4.30pm-10.30pm

-The mix, 0800 808 4994, 11am-11pm

-SHOUT, text 852258, 24 hour text service

-Crises, 741741, text service

-Papyrus, 0800 068 4141, if you have thoughts of suicide or in emotional distress

-Rethink mental health, 0300 5000 927

-No Panic, 0800 138 8889

-relate, they have a chat advisor

There is the mind forum

Also Facebook groups

You can join support groups

You can contact a crises team if things get very bad

Plenty of resources online, information regarding well being

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