I’ve had a rough weekend and I honestly hope yours was far more relaxed and sunny!
It all started when I came home Friday noon after taking my contract law exam. I think I haven’t done well, but actually I don’t know as grades are only published in the beginning of July. To make a rather long story about how I came to feeling sad short: once I came home, still in my dress and heels (it was an oral exam) I just started to cry, and really hard. I felt such a disappointment, such inferiority and so extremely sad. I had studied for 6 days in ‘blok’ – after already studying in term of course – and I really thought I’d be able to give an answer to most of the things the professor could ask, but that turned out not to be the case. The ground was swept from under my feet. And after crying two times on Friday, feeling miserable on Saturday and crying a third time yesterday I think that what I feel is something that many of you have felt too and that it should be a topic of discussion and conversation, because our mental health is really important.
University is a rat race – or at least at mine is
I am so disappointed in the way the faculty/-ies profile themselves. It feels like they don’t care. It is not the purpose to keep people on board, as the matter of fact, it is just the point of losing those who can’t swim (yet) and even though knowing this for quite some time it just struck me all of a sudden. I am quite the perfectionist so when I don’t reach my goals I am just so disappointed, but then I manage to get back on my feet and carry on. But not this time. This exam was the one I really wanted to study for, I really wanted to do really well and I didn’t want to disappoint the professor because to be honest he’s a straight down genius and an incredibly gifted and clever man, able to slip jokes in his lessons – while many others just come and teach their courses, able to explain things in a good way, a good narrator and a teacher who keeps the crowd active in class. I like people like him, so naturally I wanted to be at my best. Then it felt like I failed. And hard.
Truth is, I study law not necessarily to become a sollicitor / barrister, judge or something. I don’t really know what to do with it, but I had an eye on becoming a professor, with the mentioned professor as a huge example and role model. But as everyone knows, only the top get to become professors. And I’m not the top. Teaching is something I’d really like to do, and certainly at uni. But there I am, in the middle pack, not the one with the really good grades and then you see your dreams float in the air, unreachable. I was sad.
I feel a constant disappointment in myself and especially when leaving my exam
I’ve only had one exam that made me feel good afterwards and that was history of law exam (course about constitutions / constitutional law and political developments throughout history of the main countries in Europe), all the others made me feel sick to my stomach. I left in sad cloud mode, thinking I (nearly) screwed it. Professors (when having an oral exam) can give you such doubts and it really affects me. Still, no one of the staff seems to find that a problem. I keep thinking over and over whether it’s a test or not. And so that happened again, Friday. Not that the professor was unkind or anything, but it was the atmosphere ‘hanging’ in that tiny office. I returned home by bus and train afterwards, happy I’d brought my Harry Potter book to read. It’s the only thing of comfort these last days. So I managed to hold myself together until I got home. I was sad.
In term it was practically the same story: not making deadlines I personally planned, not feeling fulfilled, only emptied, reading but not able to absorb the things written in front of me. I was sad.
Doubting whether I fit in law school. Shouldn’t I have chosen languages from the start?
This is truly a hard one. It’s what I feel for three days now. I’m not quite sure if it’s a correct feeling or not. I have always loved books and languages, beeing kindly fed them by my Mum, who is a language person herself. But transfering gives no guarantees either and it might be a leap in the wrong direction. Anyway, one thing I know for sure is that I miss English as a course and a matter of study. My mother tongue is Dutch so obviously I like reading books in Dutch as well but ever since I started uni, I have read English books non-stop. I truly think it’s an indicator. Question is, what should I do with it? So, I was sad.
Conclusion of this whole matter is that I’m in such doubt I couldn’t function anymore. I panicked and I overreacted for sure, since I could still have passed that exam. Trouble is, I can’t seem to find the proper concentration to get back at work again. One small fact: I have still two more exams to come and every time I open the books, it’s a constant reminder of my doubts and sadness – I felt so dumb and stupid after that exam…
I don’t want to discourage any of you thinking of going to uni, I certainly don’t! But don’t make a fairytale of it, because it’s not. It’s a full-time job. But whatever you do, try to remain positive and full of hope. Relax from time to time (I think I’ve sacrificed too much to study and get through my books with the result I’ve blocked myself). So, if you are a student / student to be, will you try not to do that? Please?
So, I’ll try to get myself back on track and not give up, certainly not for those two last sheets of paper to fill in and explain. I’m a Gryffindor after all.
A nice start of the week for all of you!
PS: I wrote this post in a hurry, so excuse possible spelling / grammar mistakes O:)