Back in November I wrote a post about my decision to retake Year 2 at University. If you’re interested you can read that post here, but to sum it up the reason why I decided to retake a year is because I had completely lost interest in education which resulted in really bad grades and low attendance. However, what I didn’t mention in that post is that I was actually going through a pretty severe period of depression where I couldn’t even perform daily tasks such as brushing my hair or my teeth. I had no satisfaction from doing anything at all. I spent all my time watching series on Netflix and that’s about it. I left all my assignments till last minute and because I didn’t attend my lectures nor did any self-study at home I barely passed them. Once I started feeling a little bit better I realised that what was going on is not OK and that’s when I decided to retake the year, but was it worth it?
YES! 100%! I got back on my feet and started pulling my life together and although I’m still a mess, one thing that I’m really proud of right now is my decision of retaking a year as I managed to get a 1st. I won’t lie, it was very difficult for me. I started the year surrounded by completely new people. I was excited at first as I thought I will make new friends, but it all came crashing down when I realised that everyone already knows each other and has formed these friendship groups who do not accept new ‘members’. I actually felt like Cady from Meangirls when she first joined North Shore a couple of times throughout the year. However, I didn’t let that bother me too much as I know that my main goal of being at University is to get a degree. Luckily Year 2 of my course is coursework based so I didn’t have any exams and the assignments were pretty much the same as the first time I attempted Year 2 so I actually used my previous work as a template for my assignments which helped a lot. This time I actually gave myself a few weeks for each assignment and I studied the topics that helped me write my assignments rather than every single topic discussed in the lectures.
My decision to retake the year actually helped me learn quite a lot and made me grow so much as a person, so I thought I will share some of my learnings with you as I think it’s applicable whether you are thinking about retaking a year or just want to improve your University life.
- IT IS OK TO FAIL AS LONG AS YOU DON’T GIVE UP
I cannot stress how important this is. I felt like a complete failure when I got bad grades and I was beating myself up for it for a long time. Sometimes I still get upset knowing that I would be done with University right now, especially since I don’t really enjoy my course, but I have to remind myself that I have become much stronger because of my decision and I’ve actually finished the year with a 1st rather than just a pass. This means that 40% of my degree is already a 1st and if I push myself even harder in Year 3 I will end up with a good degree than just a basic degree. Therefore, it made me realise that it is OK to fail as long as you don’t give up and you keep pushing yourself to succeed. This actually applies to any situation in life whether that’s losing weight, buying a house or learning a certain skill because all goals require overcoming certain obstacles to reach them.
- STUDY FOR YOUR ASSIGNMENTS/EXAMS
All my lecturers would hate me if they knew I’m telling you this, but one thing that really helped me get good grades is the fact that I only studied and researched material that helped me write my reports or put together my presentations. I’m really bad at managing my time, so this helped a lot as I wasn’t wasting my time on trying to process certain information that was completely useless for me and I actually remember everything I studied because I was straight up applying it to my assignments.
- REMOVE TOXIC PEOPLE FROM YOUR LIFE
At the beginning of the academic year I met some people who made me feel really crappy about myself and tried to take my energy off my goals. However, I did not let them poison me with their negativity. I much rather spend my breaks eating alone or doing some work and going home straight after my lectures rather than going out for lunch to gossip about others just to feel like I ‘belong’, knowing that the same people gossip about me. I highly recommend removing people from your life that are causing you stress and trying to put you on the wrong path. Trust me, you will thank yourself in the long run.
- BELIVE IN YOURSELF
This one is very difficult for me because my self-esteem is almost non-existent , but for once I stopped doubting myself and it all paid off. I made University my first priority and pushed myself to do well, because deep down I knew I actually could. This has given me so much confidence in myself as I now know that if I put my mind to something I can achieve it and you can too.
I hope this post was somewhat useful to you and let me know in the comments down below if you have ever considered retaking a year or have actually done it.