Going into semester two, you feel like a veteran of your own education. You know what to expect, you made it through semester one, and only cried 36 times. Coming back from the break you feel stronger, albeit slightly more tired. “I’ll do better,” you tell yourself. “I will actually do the readings this time around”. But now it is week six, and you have been behind since week two, snowed under since week four, and crawling to the finish since week five. It’s only halfway through the semester, it shouldn’t be this hard. Your third cup of coffee isn’t doing shit and you wonder why you’re here at all.
Uni isn’t easy and nothing got my anxiety going like three 300-level essays all due on the same day. But chances are you’ll get through it. It may take an all-nighter filled with regret and self-doubt but you will get there, probably. If you are anything like me, you may also carve out an hour or two to stress-cry at the thought of failing.
To me failing was the absolute worst-case scenario. If I failed, life as I knew it would be over and nothing would matter ever again – a healthy perspective I know. Now that I have managed to crawl out of my undergraduate degree with a minor level of employability I can’t help but think back on the hours I spent panicking over the impending doom that was another deadline. Failure was so scary that it was the be-all and end-all of my worth. But so what if you actually fail? Fail an assignment, a test or even a paper?
Here at UOA we seem to have a culture of not talking about failure. We are ashamed of not being perfect or the best, which in my opinion is very unhealthy. A lot more people have failed papers more than what you probably think and honestly, there is nothing wrong with that. Shit happens. I have failed a paper before (lol medsci wassup) and I’ll be honest, it fucking sucked. You put in hard work, you spent $850 on the paper for what feels like nothing, and it might push you back a semester. But I prefer to think of it as a learning experience in itself. Maybe you had to learn your limit in terms of commitments, learn that you can’t coast on your natural ability anymore, or learn that sometimes life gets in the way of carefully made plans. What you will learn no matter the circumstances though, is how to deal with setbacks, which I believe is a valuable skill to have.
So right now you may be panicking at the deadline. That is fine. Keep doing your best to get everything in, and you’ll probably do better that what you think you will. In the off-chance you don’t, and god forbid you might fail, it is ok, it’s not a big deal and it will be fine.