The I Feel Down Topic.

Discussion in 'Corner Coffee' started by Adam, 13th Jun 2012.

  1. QTXAdsy

    QTXAdsy TowersStreet Member

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    So sorry for your loss, my own Grandmother (actually my only living Grand parent now) is suffering from Dementia and it is quite sad that she can't seem to remember me now. At least she is now in a better place.

    Had a wee smile that you mention the Dean Forest Railway, I've been there and it is a lovely corner of the world and it would be nice to talk to someone else on here to talk about trains. :) Would be happy to talk about it of you'd like to take your mind off things.
     
  2. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    I know this seems like fairly small fry compared to some of the other problems in this thread, but I’ll admit that I’m feeling a bit down about university at the moment.

    As many of you know, I started university around 2 months ago. Now I should clarify that my struggles are nothing to do with the environment or the people; the campus is lovely, the people are all really nice, and I’d say that I’ve settled into the university setting itself quite nicely. Independent train travel, which was a big step for me to take and was one of the things that most worried me before heading to uni, is going great too; in fact, I do actually quite enjoy taking the train now. So in theory, I should have nothing to be worried about.

    However, I’ll admit that I’m increasingly feeling a little bit out of my depth within my degree and university in general.

    Prior to going to university, I think I’d almost taken the work for granted to a degree; the course had no prerequisite to have ever done Computer Science before, and I got an A* at A Level, so while I knew I’d have to do a lot of work towards my degree, I was expecting to grasp the material fairly easily. I was anticipating much of it to be a repeat of stuff I’d done at A Level. So I’ve got to say that I’m a bit surprised at just how hard I’m finding some of the material; quite a bit of it is really complex stuff compared to anything I’ve ever done before, and I’ll admit I’m struggling a bit with grasping some of it. It probably doesn’t help that many of the other people on my course are absolute Computing and STEM prodigies who could probably do this sort of thing in their sleep even prior to university, but I’ll admit that I feel really stupid compared to everyone else there, and I’m worried at how slowly I’m grasping some of the material.

    The other thing is that I think the general university study style has been a little bit of a shock to the system and something I’m finding quite tough to adjust to. Being autistic, I’ve always liked having explicit guidance on tasks and having a bit of structure. While I knew very well that I would have to do a fair bit of independent work in university, and this was something I had no issue with, I’ll admit that I’m finding the relative lack of guidance and unstructured study style compared to somewhere like school/sixth form quite hard to adjust to. In university, the assignment briefs and guidance given are very ambiguous, and they expect you to know what to do on your own, whereas in school (even sixth form) they gave you clear guidance and a very clear set of instructions for completing tasks. I know many like the independent approach of university, but I’ll admit that I’m personally struggling with it somewhat, and I’m starting to think that the more guided approach is more my speed. I’m also finding things like referencing and finding the right places to integrate references a bit tough, as it’s never really something I’ve had to think about before.

    My initial assignment deadlines are in about 4 weeks, and while I’d say I've at least made a decent start on all of them (the written element of all of them now has 1,000-1,500 words at minimum out of a 2,000 word limit, if not close to the limit; in fact, I have actually finished one of them, and am trying to cut it down to fit the limit and further refine it), I’ve started to hit a bit of a wall with them, as there are some practical elements to some of them that I’m completely lost on. For instance, the code for my programming module is really complex compared to anything I did at A Level, and is currently giving me a world of pain, and I’m also struggling with the practical element of my maths module somewhat (although I was not that strong at Maths A Level, so I guess I was never going to find coding complex mathematical operations a walk in the park). Of the 4, I’d say there’s only one module that I feel really confident with at the moment, and that’s stressing me out.

    Sorry to burden you all with all this, but I’m just feeling a bit down about it all at the moment, and even though I’m only 2 months into my first semester, I’m wondering if I’ve made a huge mistake, as surely it’ll only get harder from here…
     
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  3. Thameslink Rail

    Thameslink Rail TowersStreet Member

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    Believe it or not, I was thinking about posting something very similar. School/College to Uni is one hell of a change, you are suddenly an Adult in charge of your own learning, it's a very difficult jump especially if you have learning difficulties and it can be easy to get overwhelmed early on. Luckily from what I know of you, you are a flipping genius and I know you can get through this. I have been working on Microcontrollers and Assembly Language which can be a pain in the neck but after a few hours of reading up and testing & debugging code I am starting to get it, you will too.
     
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  4. JAperson

    JAperson TowersStreet Member

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    This is all great stuff and you should 100% focus on these as positives.
    I very much doubt your really stupid compared to everyone else. You can tell by the way you do things on here that your not stupid. Your clearly intelligent and you shouldn't discredit yourself. Finding the work tough doesn't mean your stupid it means your learning. Just because your finding it tougher than some other people doesn't mean that your stupid it means that your trying to learn it. I really don't think you should worry about it and I'm sure there is plenty of people who can support you.
    Again there is some good things here. You're doing well on one of your modules so there is no need to worry there. As for the one you are struggling on if your finding it difficult you should ask for some help. Even though I know it's easier said than done there is no need for you to be stressed as long as you are trying your hardest, that's all that really counts.

    @Matt N please do feel free to message me if you want someone to talk too. Remember you're smarter than you make yourself out to be and you're clearly a very talented guy. I hope that's helped as I'm not very good with things like this. Your a great person Matt and you can take a beating on here sometimes for your opinions so I'm sure you can push through.

    @Thameslink Rail the same as I've said to Matt also applies to you. You are incredibly talented and you shouldn't doubt your abilities just because of the people around you.

    Once again sorry if this wasn't helpful I just truly believe that you're both incredible and there is no need for you to worry, even if that is hard to do at times. If anything else it proves to both of you that other people go through the same things and its not something to worry about. :)
     
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  5. Poisson

    Poisson TowersStreet Member

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    Phone is on its way out, laptop dead, TV dead, lorry crashed into my car on the M18 yesterday. Can this last week or so please give up being terrible?
     
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  6. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Thanks both; I appreciate the reassurance.

    @Thameslink Rail Out of interest, what course are you doing? It certainly sounds as though you’re doing a Computing course too based on the subject matter you talk about, but are you doing Computer Science or a more specific course?
     
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  7. Thameslink Rail

    Thameslink Rail TowersStreet Member

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    Electronic Engineering at Bedfordshire
     
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  8. pluk

    pluk TowersStreet Member

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    I know saying relax and enjoy it when you aren't relaxed or enjoying it just sounds annoying, but it's important to find a way to do that. Being stressed is not a great place for your head to be in to learn and retain information. Make time to do what you need to do to relax, what ever it is for you find a way to put work out of your mind. Get drunk, get laid, meditate, go and see a film at a cinema. Just something completely away from your studies to clear your head.

    And if you can, don't pin your progress against others on your courses, pin it against your own learming. Ignore them academically; whatever marks they get won't affect your grades, so just worry about what you can influence, which is you. If they are being taught things they already know and you are learning something new its you who is growing and they who are missing out.
     
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  9. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Thanks for the advice @pluk; I do really appreciate it!

    To be honest, I was always trying to be able to balance things out a little as opposed to having to dedicate myself solely to studying towards the end of the semester anyway.

    One thing I’ve learned over the years is that I don’t work well under pressure, so since A Levels, I’ve always tried to take a more proactive approach of “little and often” to studying, starting to study in manageable quantities from fairly early on as opposed to having to cram like hell in the final weeks and days. I hope this approach continues to work in university, but that remains to be seen.

    I don’t know whether you think this sounds sufficient, but alongside 4 x 3hr lectures per week (1 3hr lecture on each of Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with Wednesday being my day off), I currently do 1-2 hours of independent study on days I have lectures (1hr of pre or post-sessional depending on which side of the lecture the bulk of my time is, and 30mins or so on the train ride on the other side that I don’t do the bulk of my work during), 4 hours on my day off on Wednesday, and 1 hour on each day of the weekend as well, totting up to around 12 hours of independent study per week. I’ve been doing this consistently since around the 1st or 2nd week of lectures.
     
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  10. pluk

    pluk TowersStreet Member

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    Do what works for you, but I'd say you need at least one actual day off every week. Chuck an hour on another day if you need that total, but have a day where you don't study and don't feel like you should feel guilty about not studying.
     
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  11. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    @Matt N, for what it's worth that sounds exactly my experience at university (I'm a Computer Science graduate). The course covered a lot of things in detail that were completely new to me, and the pace was quick too. Many times I felt out of my depth.

    One of the things about University compared to education at, for example, high school is the onus is on you. You don't get spoonfed, instead you get the basics, the tools and skills to go off and research more in your own time. This can take some adapting to.

    Don't worry if you feel like you're getting left behind, this is natural, but in reality almost everybody else is in the same boat. You will pick it up, just stick at it and read up on things if they didn't made sense... also talk to fellow students, the lecturers or your tutor if you need help. Don't struggle alone.

    I also agree with others not to overdo it. Make time to rest, enjoy yourself and socialise too as that's an important part of Uni life that you won't get as much of after you leave education.
     
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  12. Heidi

    Heidi TowersStreet Member

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    Funnily enough a while ago I nearly made a very similar post @Matt N . I'm in second year now and the way I've chosen my modules has made this semester much more intense and it really has token its toll on me. The advice I would give though, if your uni is similar to mine at least, is to make use of your lecturer's office hours by emailing them and asking for some more support 1 to 1, and if you have a personal tutor let them know how you're struggling because they have the resources to help you. Also, as a second year, I'd say definitely enjoy your first year as much as you can. I couldn't due to COVID meaning many places weren't open and many events were cancelled, and now in second year the assignments contribute to my degree and I wish I'd had more time to go out and enjoy myself.

    Keep working hard and make use of the resources you have, and make time to enjoy yourself and relax. I promise you'll be all good
     
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  13. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Thanks for the support, both; I do really appreciate it.

    Having talked to you guys, I must say that I already feel a little better. I’m hopeful that things might look up for me once I settle into the work ethic of uni a little more; I guess I’ll just have to wait and see!
     
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  14. Skyscraper

    Skyscraper TowersStreet Member

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    Yikes mate, are you ok? :eek:
     
  15. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Oh gosh, I’m so sorry I didn’t notice your post @Poisson; I was too preoccupied with my own problems…

    Hope you’re holding up OK after some of the things that happened…
     
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  16. Poisson

    Poisson TowersStreet Member

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    Not much damage just a bit shaken. I was back in work today and am okay as I am usually
     
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  17. Jb85

    Jb85 TowersStreet Member

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    Two weeks signed off so far with stress. Not feeling any better.

    also self isolating as caught covid whilst I’ve been off. Feeling very down.

    will post the when’s and why’s later, not quite ready yet but it’s been such a tough two years for me and my family. Had a breakdown…..

    all I would say to all of you out there, in my experience you try to be tough and carry on. It’s ok to not be well, and it’s ok to need help.
    The autism society are amazing. And our local gp have been fantastic too. Not sure I’m ready to gk back yet though.
     
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  18. Thameslink Rail

    Thameslink Rail TowersStreet Member

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    My DM's are always open mate, (and that applies to everyone)
     
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  19. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    I’m always here if you need to talk @Jb85; that sounds rough.

    Whatever it is that’s been stressing you, I’m glad that you’re seemingly getting the help and support you deserve in order to try and help you manage it. I hope you feel better soon.
     
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  20. JAperson

    JAperson TowersStreet Member

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    I echo what @Thameslink Rail and @Matt N have said my DM's are open too. Continue to get the help and support you need and I hope it helps. Your posts on here are great and I personally very much enjoy discussions with you.

    I really hope you feel better soon @Jb85
     
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