Actually Doing University Work

This week, as the rest of the university, is off to prepare for assessments, our course was also given the week off despite us not having any assessments for a while. For one of our lectures, we were given some work to prepare for a group presentation. This is the first “proper” work that I’ve had to do as a student, and I’ve found it quite hard, to say the least.

To prepare for our presentation, we had to go through a written article about a given subject; our group had a piece of writing titled “Is Poetry Dead?” Now, I don’t know a great deal about poetry, so I’ve gone into the read-through with an open mind, ready to take in what other people have to say on the subject. It wasn’t the reading and taking notes that I found difficult; it was getting the time and motivation to work on it.

If I don’t start work first thing (after my couple of wake up hours of gaming), I find it so hard to get my head into a place in which I can work and have my attention held. I don’t know whether this is just my head being a dick, or it’s because I’ve not been in education for a long time, so now we’re finally getting around to doing some real work; my head is just like, “what the fuck?”

After struggling all week, I finally managed to do what I needed to do yesterday, and I think I’m ready to get together with my group next week and go through what we all made of it. I’m interested to see if we have similar or differing opinions. But I’m also nervous about working in a group. Again, part of my anxiety is probably because I’ve not done this kind of thing for ages, but I think some of it is just because I’m not great at working in a group – my anxiety does summersaults because I end up with no confidence in what I’m saying.

The other reason why my anxiety is so high is that not only do we have to work in a group to put together our own argument relating to our chosen piece, but also present it in front of the rest of the class – I’ve never been great at this. I’m fine in class talking and giving my opinions, but when I have to stand up in front of everyone and talk, it creates a whole new level of anxiety.

Part of the reason why I’m doing this foundation year is to build up my confidence and my skills in areas like these that I might be lacking before heading off to start my actual degree course. I’m hoping that by the time I finish this year, I will have more confidence and fewer issues doing certain things. I’m not blinkered in thinking that I will be fine and my anxiety will disappear completely, but even if it just decreases some, then it will have all been worth it.

I’m getting into the swing of my daily life at uni, but I always knew that as soon as we started real work, I would start to struggle some. I’m trying my best to just get it done and not let my brain dictate what I can and can’t do, but sometimes it’s just so overwhelming and tiring to constantly be doing battle inside my mind.

Soon I have a meeting with the university to get a RAP (Reasonable Adjustment Plan) set up. This will hopefully give me things that will ultimately help me get through the course. It may include things like extensions on pieces of work or more time in exams. I don’t know if I’ll necessarily need these things, but my brain being the dick that it is, it’ll be good to have something in place just in case.

Now that I’ve done what I need to do, I’m going to spend the day working on my WIP – something else that I’ve been struggling to fit in this week. I’m only 950 words into my NaNoWriMo challenge, and I want to be much further in than that. I’m not pressuring myself, but it’d be good to get the first draft of And Then I Killed Her finished this month.

That’s it for this week. Have a good weekend!

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