Depression, an imperfect uni student

I’m not very good at writing in the good times if previous journals I’ve kept are any indication.  Suffice to say, I’m feeling rather ordinary about the concept of my life.

I am a lucky bitch.  You wouldn’t know it, but it’s true.

Because I am a smarty pants.  A real book worm.  An effortless nerd.  Going waaaaay back I was always ‘above average’ in those ridiculous primary school where-your-child-is-at assessments.  In prep (the first year of Primary School in Australia) I recall being told that I already had wonderful expression when I read compared to the-cat-sat-on-the-mat monotone.  I never had issues with learning objectives, and come to think of it even at age 8 when we first started receiving ‘homework’ (a double sided sheet with questions including – What weighs more? A tonne of feathers or a tonne of bricks?) I was useless at time management.  You could be assured I’d be doing it the day before it was due.  But surprise surprise, I’d never get less than a ‘B’ equivalent for assignments.  Nerd.

Fast forward a few years, young idealist starry eyed me in high school.  Still a poor excuse for a student, and now last minute deadlines were well and truly ingrained.  I can’t recall ever handing in an assessment early.  Despite this, in Year 7 I received a medallion for getting in the top 5% of the state for the Science Competition Tests that every student was encouraged to do.  I believe in subsequent years I received a similar award for the Geography Test…  I was ashamed in Year 9 to receive my first ‘C+’ grade… but it was the only one I think I got for all of high school to my memory.  But do you think any of those grades were fairly awarded given my effort and time spend studying for those subjects?  I can assure you, the only subject I could have been justly awarded an A+ for would have been ‘Teenage boys and pubescent hormones’ had there been such a subject.

Come my final year, the cords of the black cloak were firmly secured about my neck.  Despite going through some (in hindsight) significant spells, it was a bit more ‘Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak’ than ‘Phantom of the Opera’.  Somehow, despite self harming, despite clearly being emotionally fixated and dependent on someone who treated me incredibly poorly and despite all the issues of being a student with very poor focus, I managed an ATAR (then ENTER) score of 91 point something.  Somehow, and I still don’t quite know how, I accomplished a score in the top 10% of my year level, more than enough to get me into the course I’d chosen for myself.

And then university happened.

May I just say, it makes me sick to even think about this next part. I feel like chucking my life out and starting again, if that were at all possible.

It’s become acutely obvious to me why setting in place good organisational habits in young people is just vital.  I am a completely incompetent uni student, at least thats the feeling I get looking at my academic transcript.  Where once high grades were the average, now ‘60%’ is an achievement.  It is absolutely devastating, and a blemish that is unchangeable, unmovable and permanent.  I’ve spent 4 years showing lecturers who I so desperately want to think well of me that I’m not worth a second glance over.  From what my academic record says of me, I’m uninterested, unintelligent and incapable of being all that I want to be.

And while my psychologist has tried to help me put a positive slant on it – ‘but look what you managed to achieve despite having depression!’, it all comes back to me.  It was only at the end of last year that I realised that there were facilities available to me to help soften the impact of my ongoing depressive symptoms were having on my studies, had I not been so ashamed, defeatist and full of self-pity then perhaps I may have found this out sooner.  I am the product of my own foolish volition.

Suffice to say I’m harboring a lot of anger and hopelessness and shame at who I am.  People keep saying that it all won’t matter in the long run, but it matters RIGHT NOW! I don’t even know where I want to head, whether I want to prove to myself that I’m a capable student and aim for an Honours degree (which at this stage could be almost impossible anyway which perhaps makes me want it all the more) or whether I want to head into the workforce.  But I’m so scared that potential employers will see my record and think of me exactly the way I do right now.

Or worse still.  Maybe I am my grades.  Maybe the fact is that I’m not nearly as God-damned smart as I like to think I am.  Maybe I’ve been a ’50 – 60%’ student all along somehow fluking my way through.

And the irony of course is that all this floats around my head and hinders me from doing the uni work that might see my uni grades improve, because well hey, I already have a crappy grade point average.  Whats the point of trying to do well now, it will only make my average just a bit better.

I really would like to put all this down to insane Black Cloak self sabotage.  But I’m on drugs.  I’ve got my power trio of Doctor, Psychologist and Psychiatrist.  My biggest fear is that this is just me.


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