More threads by Gwen67


Hey there!

The last few times I posted here I was dealing with (what I think were) some major anxiety issues. Over the last few months though, I've been feeling great. In September I moved back to my university city (out of my parents' house from the summer), moved in with new roommates, and stopped taking the birth control pill. I have no idea what did it, but all of a sudden I was feeling a million times happier. No anxiety and better than I'd felt in several years. I had my old self confidence back and was being social again.

Things have slowed down since then; I'm still feeling relatively good, but it seems like I'm settling back into somewhat of a slump again. I just can't seem to ever keep my life moving. I don't know..

Anyway, my biggest issue right now is with school because I'm starting to scare myself. I really can't get it together. Basically, I can't seem to make myself put in any effort at all. It's really quite ridiculous. I've never been a really motivated student, but somehow I guess I've been smart enough to get through with decent grades and very little effort. However, it seems that the little effort I was previously putting in is quickly diminishing into NO effort... Every exam I've written in university has been a product of cramming and memorization right before the exam. I'm in my 5th year now, so that's quite a few exams.

I don't quite know how to explain my situation, but where before I could sit down and force myself to study under pressure, I can't even do that anymore. This semester it's like I just can't force myself to do anything. Literally. All-nighters have become routine for exams for me now. Before I could actually cram, now I pretty much go into my exams having not studied at all. For example, this past weekend we had an online exam worth 12%. We had since Thursday evening to write it and I did my first try at 7:30am this morning. Did I study all weekend for it? No. I stayed up all night attempting to study for it... How many chapters did I read? 2 out of 11. Got 44%. We got a second try...did that at 11:30am. Got 47%. Last week I had a midterm for another class. Didn't study for that, stayed up all night, wrote the exam having studied hardly anything. I'm sure I failed it horribly.

The problem is not that I don't have the time. The problem is possibly that I don't care about the material, but I don't know why I was able to work it all these years before now... It's not that I don't care if I pass or fail...I definitely don't want to fail my courses, but somehow that isn't enough motivation for me. I don't know... something's just not working. Something is not right. This is an important school year for me and I'm COMPLETELY ****************ing it up. If I decide to go to grad school, these are the marks they'll look at. If I fail any of these courses I can't graduate in April.

I just can't understand why I do this to myself!! I don't know what to do. Especially since the fact that I'm ****************ing up in school is having a big impact on other aspects of my life... I feel very down on myself because of it. So very disappointed. I'm just wasting all the potential and gifts that I have. I'm losing self-confidence and motivation to do improve other ares of my life. Even worse, anxiety is making it's way back to me.

Ugh, sorry this is so long, but if anyone read it and has any input I would very much like to hear it!! Thanks :)
That school stuff sounds exactly like what's been happening with me this year (though mine was final year of high school). I found it impossibly difficult to explain to anyone, so well done on that one. :)

What I gradually noticed with my work is that I was actually interested in the material, and that if I could somehow temporarily forget that I had to try to memorise it, I'd actually get some work done. I'm not sure how to explain that, but I suppose the source of the anxiety for me was the fact that I "needed to know everything at that moment," despite my protestations to the contrary.

For example, I had an essay that I needed to write and memorise. This should have been easy, considering my previously demonstrated ability to write and cram essay material. However, I couldn't even think about writing the darn thing for ages, until I managed to view the novel as I had when I first read it - an interesting, insightful, relevant novel; not a "core text for Module C: Section A". This helped me achieve the focus I needed to write the essay.

I don't know how possible it would be for you to put aside the thought that it's necessary to learn it, and I'm not quite sure how I managed to do that either, but perhaps that's something you could try. (Or attempt to try, as I so often put it.)
Good luck.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Two thoughts:

1. Most universities offer counselling students through the student health center. Why not make an appointment and get some input into what's happening for you or to you? What you describe could be a mild depression.

2. It's also important for you to let your professors know what's happening before you fall irrevocably behind. When I was teaching, sometimes I wouldn't know that a student was struggling until they failed the final exam or something close - by that point, my options were limited, but if a student had come to me earlier in the term I would have had a number of options for alternate evaluation, extended deadlines, etc. This also ties in with point #1 above - a doctor or counsellor could complete whatever documentation the professor or the university requires on your behalf.


Gooblax, I'm glad someone can somewhat relate to what I'm going through! Thanks for the advice, I will definitely try it :). Unfortunately though, I'm a math and economics major so a lot of the material doesn't have much meaning to relate to (for me anyway) just long complicated equations, so it's hard to really "feel" anything for it. By this level it's pretty difficult to just cram and pull off a good grade...this is the type of stuff that has to be LEARNED beforehand.

David, I will definitely make an attempt to speak to my professors about it, however I have a feeling that it would pretty difficult to get them to understand. I won't lie - I'm a lazy student to begin with. That is what has got me in this position. I'm fairly certain that professors don't appreciate students trying to get by by doing as little work as possible in their classes. Am I supposed to go tell them that I'm failing because I just didn't bother to put in the effort to study, simply because I just didn't feel doing it and I don't care about what they're teaching? That I'm a procrastinator and don't do schoolwork on a regular basis and last minute studying for the exam didn't pay off?

I can't focus or concentrate on schoolwork when I sit down to do it, not because I have some difficult issue that I can't stop thinking about... My mind wanders and I procrastinate because I'm just not interested in the material and like I said before it's very difficult material to relate to. So I just don't care about it. But that's just tough sh*t. Switching majors is not an option. These are classes that must be taken. They're boring for everyone, but everyone else seems to be able to get through it.

I guess what I'd like to know if anyone has the answer, is how do I turn my head off? I am a CONSTANT thinker in general. My mind is always churning. How do I stop thinking and start concentrating? And how can I force myself to concentrate on material that I don't care about or like? Final exams are coming up... So even if I did talk to my professors and they did miraculously understand, I imagine the most they can do is let me write a higher weighted final exam. Which means I really need to pull it together!


Are you interested in what you're studying?

H! I think that braveheart's question is important because if you have lost interest then it might be important to find out why possibly through counselling as Dr. Baxter suggested. I come from a family of music and math maniacs. I fail at music (although I am an excellent audience) but I excel at math and find it fascinating - I do math when I want to avoid doing things I find less interesting. :hissyfit: Not much help but I just feel like talking and everyone here is asleep and I am trying to get sleepy. :heart: Mari
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