deferred exams

I’m giving myself two days.


Two days to rest and sleep and be lazy and useless overall so I can get over this leftover-from-deferred-exams burnout. Then I’m getting my shit together.


I have two options:

- continue to complain that my Honours is too easy and not challenging enough and then not give an eff about doing my assignments properly, which equals shitty grades

OR

I can make the most of it. Put in 100%, get fantastic grades and learn beyond the scope of what I’m taught. I have an amazing project now. Exams are coming up and I have work to do.

how do u tell people you’re struggling again despite getting help and also deferring exams and all sorts send help i need to cry at someone and maybe get them to give me a cuddle

Mental Health Tips for University

The other day I came across someone in the studyblr community saying that she didn’t know a lot of people in the community who are studyblrs and who talk about going from a low in life (e.g. dropping out) to trying to work through it and make it. I realised I fit that category to a T, so maybe I should talk more about it.

This is for anyone incoming first years/freshmen in to University who are struggling with serious mental health issues. They’re really simple, but did all the difference for me the second time round! That being said, I think these could benefit anyone really!

If your university offers it to first years, ask for a single room

  • Truth is, no matter how much you want the roommate experience, and how much you think being with another person will help you, it probably won’t. A lot of the time, we need to have time to ourselves. To deal with ourselves. To cry. To binge watch Netflix in peace. To try and heal ourselves. If you have a roommate who comes in and goes when she wants to, has friends over, wakes you up when she’s coming in late from a night out, does that thing she always does that annoys you - you’re not going to get the rest you need. You can always talk to her (or him) but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s her room too, and she has as much as right to the room as you do. Having a room to yourself where you don’t have to be concerned about another person and can just concentrate on you and your needs is important. It’s healthy. Also, on another point, my mental health issues actually ended up affecting my roommate really badly too, and it was difficult for her to deal with someone who had ‘episodes’ like I did. To me, not having another roommate my second time around was actually as much protection for my potential roommate as it was for me.

Talk to your student services/health care centre

  • When you first arrive make absolutely sure that you talk to your school so they know you’re having a difficult time. Sometimes they even offer you counselling sessions if you need them. But even if you don’t, it’s good that the school knows - so in case anything ever happens (e.g. you don’t make it to your seminars, you need to extend a deadline, whatever) the school has a record of you struggling and knows that you are not lying when you have to explain yourself. Unfortunately mental health isn’t seen as an acceptable ‘excuse’ by everyone, and some professors may not react well to your reasons for missing a deadline. You’re not going to be able to change that, but having the school know about your struggles can help you a lot when do have to explain your situation to a professor or otherwise.
  • Also, sometimes universities offer services for those struggling with mental health. From counselling (as mentioned before) to things like exam help. When I re-did my first year, my university did something amazing. They gave me my own exam room. I’m alone when I take an exam - with the exception of the person who’s invigilating my exam (so I don’t cheat). I have borderline, so I tend to overreact and really get emotionally worked up (let’s not talk about the time I actually started banging my head on the table in the middle of an exam) and being in a room where I don’t disturb others and am able to freely express my emotions is extremely comforting. Your university may be able to do amazing things for you, but you won’t know what your university is capable of if you don’t talk to them and let them know.
  • You don’t have to go into details about your mental health issues if you don’t want to, but you can always shoot the correct office an email and let them know - hey, I struggle a lot and I want to let you know in case anything ever happens

Expect everything to change

  • There’s nothing more to this than that. Things will change. You may be going far away for university, so you may be lonelier than ever before. You may not be the smartest in class anymore. You’ll lose your friends. And you as a person will change. I think we all ‘know’ this when we go to university, but we don’t really know this - and we can’t, because we have no idea exactly what’s going to come at us. The truth is, university is going to be really, really difficult because the changes will be steep. And they will be hard to take. Expect things to change and be as prepared as you can be.

Don’t buy in to the hype/expectations of university

  • You may be excited. Parties with alcohol. Going out. All the extra-circulars you can do. You may think all the new stuff will be really cool, and that you’ll love it. I know I did. In fact, I ended up buying into the whole binge-drinking culture of university. It didn’t matter that when I was drunk I was absolutely miserable (crying most of the time), hated being around a lot of people, and ended up making decisions that I regretted the next day. It was how life was supposed to be, and it was supposed to be fun, and eventually it would be. Man, guys. So bad, so bad. Don’t do it. If you find that you’re miserable going to parties, then don’t. There’s nothing wrong with trying new things out, but don’t do things because you think you’re supposed to be doing them and that they’ll eventually be great. Eventually doesn’t exist. Do what makes you happy now, and if that’s watching Netflix in your bed, eating Ben & Jerry’s, then for love’s sake, do it. And don’t worry that you’re missing out on all the fun. You know you won’t enjoy yourself anyways (you tried it out), so better take that time for yourself and catch up on your TV shows.

Take your time

  • University is new and difficult. It feels like everything is set on fastforward and sometimes it’s way too much. And it’s not always going to be smooth sailing. So, it’s okay if you fail. If you relapse. If you’re not okay today. Or if you weren’t okay for the whole of last month. University is a huge change. And things will be difficult, and there will be times where it will be challenging for your mental health. But it’s okay. It’s okay that you just don’t want to get out of bed today. It was okay in high school and it’s okay now. Having to repeat my first year was incredibly embarrassing and defeating. It was embarrassing that I had to defer my exams this year because I relapsed last semester. But it’s okay - it’s okay to do things at my own speed. To defer exams, to take an extra year. There’s nothing bad or wrong about it. The important thing is to let yourself be okay with the fact that you may not finish university like everybody else, that you have to do things differently. That you may only be able to take a class a semester - whatever. There’s nothing shameful or bad about it. As long as you’re actually doing it, heck, you’re already a step ahead of everyone else. And that’s an amazing feat.