Musings: The Problem With My Course

In my previous ‘Musings’ post I mentioned that I’d been suffering chest pain as a result of stress. This stress was particularly heightened by my university course work. I was so exhausted and in a lot of pain which honestly made me resent my course so much. I thought I didn’t like the course, that it was wrong for me and, who knows, this could be true. However, last night I looked at it from a different perspective, one I don’t explore all that often, but really should. I actually do like learning. I like acquiring new information. I’ve enjoyed finding out about the different ways all the texts I’ve studied so far can be read and interpreted (oh yeah, I’m doing an English degree, just for a bit of context)!

So… do I enjoy my course? I do. But it doesn’t feel like it’s designed for enjoyment. And that’s what I don’t like. I’m not really talking about my course specifically (though it’s really the only course I’ve experienced in depth so I equally cannot claim that this applies to all courses) but it really feels like the outcome of your work (i.e. your grade) is prioritised above the enjoyment of the course.

You are constantly told what you should and shouldn’t be doing in order to get a particular grade. Don’t get me wrong, it is certainly useful advice, and I’m not saying that the grade you achieve is super important, but I’m paying near £10k a year to learn. And the knowledge I’ve acquired from my course is pretty damn cool. I feel that this knowledge is overshadowed by the notion that one must ultimately walk away having achieved a ‘good’ (i.e. high) grade in order for your degree to be truly considered valid. The focus is on work and achievement rather than the joy of learning.

I’ve come to associate learning with stress and anxiety, which is honestly really sad and I wish I could alter this perspective. I’m trying, I guess, but it sure is hard (years of intense exams that come with education really reinforce such stress).

My stress is only increased by what feels like a ‘one size fits all’ approach to learning and completing your degree. What I’ve been told I should be doing doesn’t always align with what i can do but, of course, I will attempt to do it because that is what is being recommended. You can probably guess that this would only increase my existing stress- it’s really, really hard trying to fit a mould which just isn’t right for you.

There are definitely many upsides to university and my course (and learning stuff is very much up there), like being able to choose your modules, having L O A D S of free time etc. I just really wanted to vent a bit, because while these advantages are very much present, the pressure to succeed is also very real, especially for an anxious mess like me, and such pressure means, at least for me, that a lot of the enjoyment ends up getting lost. I also wanted to articulate this realisation to remind myself that I do like my course, and my hatred really came from the stress and the pressure.

Thanks for putting up with this little rant of a post! I really needed to blow off a bit of steam.

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20 thoughts on “Musings: The Problem With My Course

    1. Unfortunately studying at such a high level does come with stress. Remember a lot is a stake. The finance and what you hope to achieve at the end. Stress will come into your life in many forms, for many things. It is what YOU do along the way to elevate that stress and press on. Watching comedy, going for walks, painting your nails (if that’s your thing), watching a good film or reading a good fictional book, are great ways to release stress. Good luck with your studies, your doing just fine : ) xo

      http://www.juanitalikes.com

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I completely understand, I hate the way the education system as it is in place today often feels so ‘cookie cutter’ with no flexibility for individual learn styles, personalities, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Awh honey! I did a biomedical sciences degree and changed to English mid way through because of the anxiety it caused me! I was just doing the wrong thing. It added an extra year to my degree but I’ve since got a masters and a PhD and am
    Dead happy with my choice to change. Try and have some just you time – it takes ages to just find you I promise you will ❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We all need a little rant sometimes! I don’t regret my course but sometimes look back and think, did I actually learn anything that will help me in the real world? as it was so theory based and I did events management, so I’d prefer it had been a little bit more hands on and practical!

    G

    http://www.teawithgi.com

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my gosh, I agree with this entire thing! I totally feel like I hate going to college because learning isn’t fun anymore and it’s really freaking stressful! I loved school when I was younger and as I got older I couldn’t understand why I was starting to hate it all of the sudden. You’re right, the issue is that grades are way more important than being able to enjoy your courses. I definitely relate to you and your frustration about this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad I’m not alone, but it’s sad that grades are elevated to such a level that we are left feeling like we don’t enjoy our courses as much as we’d like. Good luck with college by the way, hopefully it will be worth it in the end 💜

      Like

  5. I’m actually thinking about applying for dentistry and it worries me that I could end up hating it (if i get in the first place haha). It’s something that interests me so much and I’ve enjoyed all my work experience, but I’ll only know if I like university and the course when I get there. Like you, I can feel quite stressed and anxious in certain situations so I just hope dentistry sits well with me!
    Aleeha xXx
    https://www.halesaaw.co.uk/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get where you’re coming from, you don’t really know how you’ll gel with the course until you get to university. I think if you’re interested and have enjoyed your work experience in the field, however, you’re probably making a good choice, at least the best choice you can make at this stage 😊 Good luck with your exams and I hope you do enjoy your university experience 💕 xx

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  6. I know exactly what you mean about finding the stress of university a bit overwhelming. I also enjoy my course but I feel like because I love it so much I put a lot of pressure on myself. We need to remind each other that first up, it’s incredible to even get a place at university – we must be doing something right! – and that it’s okay to take a break and look after yourself. Scheduling self care hours as well as productivity hours is so important. Sending you good vibes!

    Nati x | http://www.lifeaftercoffeeblog.com | @NAfterCoffee

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s such a good point- we’re lucky to have access to higher education and that really is a great thing, even if it comes with heightened stress. I need to keep reminding myself that haha! Breaks and self care hours are so important for making it through university for sure 😃💜

      Liked by 1 person

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