Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Lost Confidence...

My exams are over. I went down to Birmingham last month for two weeks, in the hope that I would get more work done there than here at home. And I did, to a point. Despite the exams looming over me there were some days when I couldn’t even bring myself to get out of bed. It was like the autumn term of 2nd year all over again.
I’ve been thinking about what I’m going to do if I fail. Let’s face it, the exams weren’t spectacular. Certainly not how they should have been after an extra two months revision. And I need to learn to stop kidding myself that everything will be alright. That’s when you get disappointed.
People have told me that I just need to stop worrying and wait. They say that I have nothing to worry about because I did everything I could do. But that isn’t true. “Everything” would have been 8 hours a day, 7 days a week. That’s not excessive. I’ve done it before. And so I should have been able to do it again. I didn’t. Like I said, some days I didn’t do anything. And yes, mostly that was because I couldn’t face the prospect of the world and it seemed like there was no point, but that doesn’t make it any better.
Everyone keeps saying “You’ll be fine.” I don’t believe them anymore.
Shit’s happened before. I’ve been having episodes since at least year 10. I used to write “Help me” on my books all through high school and I can kid myself all I want but that must have come from somewhere.  And despite the constant arguments of my parents, or the divorce coming through, or finding out my Dad had married without telling me or the dark thoughts that would occupy my mind, I’ve always got top grades. Top boxes on my report. 10 A*s. 4 As. My academic performance has never suffered.
And no one ever thought it would. And they didn’t expect it this time. I would come out of an exam and say that it was hard, and mean it, and people thought I was being modest. And when the results came through I don’t think people were that surprised that I achieved what I did. Happy for me, yes. Surprised, not so much. They would always say “you’ll be fine” and I was. And even though I never stopped worrying about exams I think I started to believe them. And so this year, when everything went sub-zero there was a part of me that thought I would make it through.
I didn’t.
And so now, when everyone says “You’ll be fine” I can’t bring myself to believe them. I’m literally surrounded my books I’ve bought for Bristol but can’t really bring myself to read them in case I don’t get in. I won’t let myself get excited about next year. I won’t even order a new NUS card.
The results should be through on the 15th but because of a Student Finance situation I might get them earlier.
I am trying to forget about it. To have faith. I know I can’t change it so I shouldn’t worry. I try and do things I enjoy, go places with my friends, have fun. But there’s still a little gremlin whose had a midnight snack sitting in my mind, waiting, to say “I told you so.”


  1. I so know how you feel. Same thing happened to me but just in year 13 instead of at university. I just came too confident and thought that with no work I would get there. People thought I would and then when I said no, they didn't go well they thought I was being honest.

    Now I find myself having to take a gap year and without knowing if I will ever be at medical school. I want to make myself think I worked as hard as I could, but as you said I didn't work 8 hours every day or anything like that.

    This does not mean that you didn't get the grades though :P However, worrying won't help you so just get yourself very busy these few days and forget about them.

  2. Hey Lex! Been a long time - this is not the happy return I was hoping for :(! Alas, I think being consistently intelligent comes with a territory - i.e., your friends/family/teachers and maybe eventually even yourself begin to take it for granted. But everyone fails sometimes. You're allowed to. In fact, you HAVE to. It's part of the big cosmological party of being human! I know you've heard this allllllll before, but I don't think it hurts to remember :). Try not to dwell on the fact that you may or may not have lived up to your own standards, or other peoples'. It's easy to say in hindsight that you could have done more, but at the time you did your best, and that's all you can ever do!

    I say read the books anyway - starting is the hard part, but once you're into a book the whole rest of the world can fall away. And it's great that you're still going out and having fun. Distracting yourself from "dark thoughts" is probably the best thing you can do :). It's at least a step closer to not worrying at all.

    Now, I'm an art student so I don't really know all the ins and outs of med school and prerequisite grades and whatnot, but in the context of your entire life, this whole thing is in all likelihood just a black blob of sludge
    and you will get through it and things will be much better :). It is definitely NOT the end of the world.

    Okay, I'm going to stop being some glib life coach now! I really hope you start to feel a bit more positive soon and good luck :). You. Will. Be. Fine. :)

  3. Sorry I didn't reply earlier you guys!
    Hi Behrouz - thank you for your lovely comment. You know what I've realised? We're both really good at giving out advice but terrible at following our own! Everything happens for a reason, everything will turn out fine. And this gap year could be a chance for you to do so many exciting things that you may never have had the chance the do if you go into medschool straight away. Take advantage of it and have an awesome time :)

    Hi Rosie :)I'm sorry, I didn't intend it to be so dire on my return lol. "big cosmological party of being human" I LOVE that. And you're right, as usual. About everything. Also, I've started on Middlemarch and am really enjoying it :D Thank you, for everything :D


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