Apologies, this thread is quite general, but it does relate to postgraduate study. Furthermore, I'm hesitant to write because this isn't exactly an issue that can be solved by anyone, and it's more psychological in nature. It feels a bit like complaining over nothing.
I gained a First for my BSc and never thought I'd do an MA Res, yet I submitted my extended thesis a few weeks ago. I'll get my grade at some point by the end of 2023. I'll most likely get a med-high merit, but a shift in my thinking has occurred such that I may feel deeply depressed if I don't get a distinction. There's a lot of self-esteem issues at play here. Without going into all the personal details, I feel like this would impact everything else I do after this chapter of my life has officially ended. I can already predict that anything less than a distinction would lead me to want to do less toward my reading and writing goals. This would be the case because I compare myself to others too much, and it already irks me to think that there are some people who may have a first and a distinction who've actually done less work than me overall. The more work I do from now on and after the grade would honestly make me feel as though I should deserve a first, so I might actually self-sabotage in order to feel better about the merit. In other words, being less productive so as not to feel like I really deserved a distinction. Thus, even though I once was ecstatic at the idea of passing at all, now it seems that my happiness lies in gaining a distinction. But it's not likely.
It frustrates me that there are so many factors that go into marking, so many intricate variables. I had to write my thesis during one of the most stressful years of my life. As for the work itself, I well know the flaws of my thesis, but I've tried to do something unique and progressive in multiple ways, such as tackling an obscure author and asking many questions that scholars haven't asked before. This may just end up giving me a lower grade in the end. Also, there's human error and the vagaries of mood to take into account. I have a tendency to think of all the potential reasons why I might not get a distinction instead of just accepting that it's out of my control. I went out of my way to do so much with this thesis, even putting in references to some earlier authors in a footnote because a lecturer, who's neither my primary or secondary supervisor, mentioned them in the feedback for an unconnected essay. I know that this person may in fact be marking my work. I genuinely almost became ill working on this thesis because I cared so much about it, but I won't get a distinction. I'm sure in time I'll just learn to accept it, but I'd love to just be able to be kinder to myself already, somehow.
Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated.