Pre University Stress

Hey guys!

On Monday I will be moving into my new house, ready to start my second year at university studying English with American Literature. Term doesn’t actually start until towards the end of September, but I am already starting to panic about a few things, and I am stressing out over the fact that I do not feel prepared at all to start my second year.

Second year is much more important than first year, in terms of what grades you get in each module. The marking tends to be more harsh, because the lecturers expect more from you, and that alone has been putting pressure on me for the past few months. It’s mostly been at the back of my mind, because I know that once I get into the swing of things, it’ll be okay, but the pressure to do well this year is still there and the closer I get to starting second year, the more uneasy I am beginning to feel.

I’ve said already in a couple of previous posts, that I have been reading a lot over the summer for my modules, because some of the texts we have to read are pretty big. For example I am currently reading Middlemarch by George Eliot, which is an 800 page long Victorian novel and I just can’t find the motivation to read it. However, I found out today that one of my essays in that module focuses on Middlemarch which makes me worry a bit, because I hate writing essays about texts which I don’t feel connected to, or have little interest in. I’m sure once lectures start I’ll get more of an understanding, but at the moment the stress is starting to kick in.

I want to do well. I am incredibly ambitious, even though I myself don’t always realize this a lot of the time, and my goal at the end of my university chapter is to get a 2:1. If I get lower than that I know I will be disappointed, even if I still pass, because I’ve already set myself a goal and if I don’t achieve that goal then I’ll feel like I’ve let people down, and I’ve let myself down, and then I won’t be able to do the things I want to do and lalalala. When I say I don’t realize I’m ambitious, I mean that when I set myself a goal, I think it’s possible but sometimes I’m slightly more… optimistic? Or… I don’t know what the word is, but sometimes I think I can do better than I actually can do. Which I don’t think is a bad thing, because you work hard towards that goal and you know that you’ve worked for it. But it’s just more disappointing if you don’t manage to achieve that, and I think that’s what I’m worried about. It makes sense considering that one of my fears is failure…

But going back to the topic of university, I am no where near finished with the amount of reading I need to do. We have four modules per semester, and I couldn’t find my complete reading lists for all four modules until today. Luckily for one of them, my Victorian Fictions module, the lecturer sent us an email at the beginning of the summer so we were able to get a head start. I’m also doing a module on Chaucer and The Canterbury Tales so I knew that I would need to read that as well, so that was self explanatory. But then I didn’t have a reading list for my other two modules. One isn’t so bad, because we also watch some films within the class so there’s a bit less to read, but the other module is the one I probably know least about and I can’t even remember the name of the book which I need to read. I can’t even remember the complete name of the module… all I know is it’s got something to do with literature and some kind of revolution… to be fair, it is a long title…

I know this stress is unnecessary. I’ve still got twenty days or so until term kicks in, but then it’s only twenty days. It’s not that long. I’m only 100 pages into Middlemarch, and I’ve still got two other books to read on that module alone… do you see why I’m stressing out? And then I worry about not reading the books, and not being able to write the essays and I worry about my essays anyway because I’ve always struggled with structuring them and the fact that when I read through it, it makes sense to me but it doesn’t to the teacher or the lecturer or whoever…I was talking to my mum about it earlier and she said to talk to my tutor (who I didn’t speak to at all last year, mainly because I didn’t feel like I needed to). But he doesn’t teach any of my modules and a part of me feels like I would just be really awkward around him so I’d rather talk to my lecturer instead. But then I always think that my questions are stupid questions and I don’t want to embarrass myself in front of the class, or even the lecturer.

Can you tell I’m overthinking? I’m definitely overthinking. It’s just suddenly hit me that I’m going into second year and I have to do well. I think most of this pressure that I’m feeling is all self inflicted… I need to sort myself out…

-The Storyteller


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