Sometimes when you fall, it doesn’t seem worth picking yourself back up
So I’ve been planning this post for a little over a week now, it hasn’t been particularly easy the past few days. I realise that isn’t necessarily in the spirit of this blogring but I needed to come to terms with one thing and another and get things straight in my own head.
I didn’t pass all my Semester A classes. It wasn’t a total surprise but was a big disappointment and enough to make me very depressed. I had an e-mail from a senior tutor saying to come visit in a few days time, and those few days were pretty much unbearable – I was panicky, depressed and full of thoughts of hurting myself. I don’t think I’d let myself hurt myself again, I know that if I do I can’t play it off as an accident and it will hurt the people closest to me. On top of that, I don’t own any knives, razor blades or anything of that nature, just in case. However, I did accidentally burn myself a couple of weeks ago getting something out of the oven, and I kept imagining taking the back of my hand and pressing it up against the top of the oven at full heat… clearly I was in a bad frame of mind.
Of course, I made my meeting with my tutor and it was fine, she was very understanding. I wasn’t expelled, or thrown out of halls, or forced to drop some classes, as I was worried I might be, and everything is pretty much OK. But it has left me with one question to answer:
Why exactly am I here?
I’m not happy here, and I don’t really care about my classes. I picked two very different areas to twin in, Economics and Sociology, as I was very good at both and didn’t want to be confined to one career path. However, it just doesn’t seem worth doing either any more. There isn’t anything I particularly want to do with either, and the more interesting jobs I’ve been looking at online don’t need a degree in either field, or at all.
That said, I’m not going to quit now. It would be far too awkward explaining it to my parents, and as it stands I’m pretty close to the end of the year anyway. I figure I give it my best until the end of the year, and then come back if I pass, and don’t bother if I fail. I can take doing some more modules next year, maybe part-time, but I don’t want to come back to another year here. I’m just not enjoying it.
The frustrating thing is, I enjoy learning new things and I read a lot. The last few days I’ve been reading books and blogs about a bunch of different topics, from from Japanese towns to prison breaks and from man-made islands to the effects of various drugs on the abilities of spiders to produce webs. Obviously I won’t be writing a dissertation on any of these topics, but the point is I clearly enjoy learning about the right stuff, I’m just not inspired learning the facts someone else wants me to learn for no real reason than to pass an exam.
On top of that, living conditions are a bit tricky right now… the whole flat is being fined due to someone tampering with a communal fire alarm, which is obviously pretty irritating. On top of that, the girl in the room next door to me is having problems with her boyfriend, and other flat members have said they’ve heard her screaming, and seen her with a black eye. I had no idea this was happening until a couple of days ago, but I walked into the kitchen this morning to see her crouching in the corner, crying and using her mobile. Apparently security have been told of the situation but haven’t done anything, and haven’t communicated the problem to housing services (one girl phoned to say she could hear screaming, and security passed the message on as she was playing loud music, so by the time housing services came to respond the boyfriend had left). I went with a couple of others in the flat to discuss this situation and the problem with the fire alarm to housing services, and they seemed like they were on our side, but both things have left me feeling so impotent.
My plan at the moment is to keep my head down and plow on till Easter… hopefully some time away from here will make things seem brighter.
Comment by Rees posted on Tue, 13/04/2010 01:12
Thanks for your comment, Aron. I did read it when you first posted it and it did make me feel good. Courses don’t seem so bad right now, though I will be glad when I’m done, it does seem largely pointless. I guess part of the problem is that I know I’m smart and I know that I can do it, and that not doing it would be unfair somehow, like I didn’t earn it and I don’t deserve it, but to not take the opportunities I’m given would be insulting to those that don’t have those opportunities.
I have a couple of loose ideas about what my next step might be, but for now I’m happy just to sit back and calm down a little.
Thanks again for the support and sorry for not getting back to you sooner!
Comment by Aron posted on Sun, 21/03/2010 22:22
I can honestly say that I understand where you’re coming from. Before starting medicine I did two previous degrees. I liked them both, but somehow medicine, while interesting, is proving difficult to keep my interest at times. Sometimes it’s because we have to learn about something that I’m not particularly interested in (gynaecology or histopathology come to mind) but my previous two degrees taught me something – make the most of it. What I do when i dislike a subject is I read a lot into it (i.e. run a google search, take another book out from the library) and learn more about it. Might seem counterintuitive, but eventually you’ll find something you like about it. If I could do it in statistics, then you can do it! Anyways, once you find that thing you like it could be the best subject in the world.
I’m sorry to hear you didn’t pass all of your classes. But don’t let that get you down. You’ve worked hard and it will seem like you’ve come too far to quit. You have obviously recognised that you are feeling disconnected from your subject area. Maybe try the above advice and see if that helps.
Also, I think it’s important to recognise that your courses at uni aren’t necessarily going to put you into the job you want. Just take courses that interest you because that’s what uni should be about. Yes, there are required courses, but everything else should be a choice and you should make the most of it.
As for everything else that’s going on in your life, I feel for you. The fine and the flatmate issue are heavy things to deal with. I’m sure you would much rather you weren’t in that situation.
I’m rooting for you, Rees. You seem like a very smart guy and I hope to read about how you’re getting around this in the next few months.