Dealing with anxiety

I've got my uni results for second year being confirmed in a couple of days time. I'm so anxious I can't sit still.

See, I know my results, for the most part. They're provisional, but they rarely change majorly. The thing is, I've never understood how results for all my modules equate to my overall performance for the year. It's all so bloody complicated. I always just try my best, and anything above a pass (40%) I'm happy with. After all, I tried my best.

Still, with it all being so unclear, I'm worried. We only get our progression to next year confirmed when the results are confirmed. Some of the tutors are real assholes. I know they wouldn't tell me if something was wrong. Hell, what if they just decide to stop me progressing to the next year regardless of the results? People have been crueler for less reason.

I just can't get it out of my head. It's like they're fucking toying with me, which doesn't make much sense, I know. I just want to fucking demand they tell me. Right fucking now. I'm sick of being messed around with, all year we've been kept in the dark with shit, hell, we didn't know that we were supposed to decide the subject of our final essay this year until we only had three weeks to go. Considering we had to find an idea and that it was by far not the only thing we had to do, that's fucking pitiful.

I got nervous like this last year. I freaked out, and tried to find something out through the courses facebook page. My so called "fellow students" just joked about me being nervous. Bet the fuckers still laugh about it now. They've explicitly said that nobody is to phone the uni about results unless something's seriously wrong, like the address or they've got the wrong ones, so I can't just ask.

Top it all off, I'm in my parents house for the summer. They seem to get angry at me when I get too nervous about things. They never hurt me but I like them to think I'm doing better, somewhere near normal. I can't let them know I'm nervous. And this town's shit. Nowhere to go, nobody to go with. All my former friends here have become chavs while I was gone. Not just listening to bad music or wearing tracksuits, full on bad people.

I just don't know how to calm down. What if I can't go back next year? I can't retake. No fucking way. I'm not having people think of me like that. Especially not my parents. The place I go to uni was the only place I had a chance to fix my mental problems without my parents finding out. I won't be able to fix anything if I don't get into third year. I'll be stuck here in this shitty little town. And the bastards who did it to me will never pay. I can't live with that. I don't want to even think about it, but I can't stop.

How do normal people deal with anxiety? How do they fix it?

Well, you can try rationalizing that since it's out of your control at this point, worrying about it excessively is pointless and counterproductive. May as well do something with your time that you either enjoy, or will at least further one of your goals. It takes practice though. I personally find exercise to be a great way to clear my mind and boost my mood.

At my university our exam papers were anonymised: no names were included on any exam papers, just a code, to make sure the lecturer didn't know whose paper they were marking, so it's quite possible that your lecturers don't know how you've done.

As for your tutors deciding to stop you progressing out of malice? Phenominally unlikely - a charge of gross misconduct and a door print on their backside is what they could expect to receive from that.

They can't tell you your results sooner than anybody else: everything needs to stay provisional until they've crunched all the numbers together. Then they can release the final set. It's sucky to be on the receiving end, but they're not acting unfairly.

Doclector:
I just don't know how to calm down. What if I can't go back next year? I can't retake. No fucking way. I'm not having people think of me like that. Especially not my parents.

I don't understand this at all. If you failed the year then you can either drop out of university completely, or retake the year. How is dropping out completely better than repeating a year? (Which, by the way, isn't nearly as bad as you seem to think.) Is your university aware of your mental health issues?

I thought that repeating a year would destroy my university life - it didn't, it was a fantastic opportunity to turn things around.

Doclector:
The place I go to uni was the only place I had a chance to fix my mental problems without my parents finding out. I won't be able to fix anything if I don't get into third year. I'll be stuck here in this shitty little town.

University is not the only place you can get help. Go to your GP and talk to them about the problems you are having, they will be able to refer you to the appropriate people.

Doclector:
And the bastards who did it to me will never pay. I can't live with that. I don't want to even think about it, but I can't stop.

If you can, try to focus on something more positive: revenge might be satisfying in the short term, but long-term it doesn't take you to good places. Think about what you're going to do in spite of those people!

Do you have a car/does your town have any public transport? A university/colleges? There might be evening classes you could take to meet new people. Hell, your parents might even be willing to give you a lift (particularly if you explain that part of the reason you're going is to try to get to grips with your anxiety).

One thing that has always helped me is this quote

"Fake it until you make it. Keep pushing!"

A therapist once explained to me that so much of what sucks about anxiety comes from trying to run away from what you can't stop thinking about. I say "stop thinking about clowns," and the first thing that pops into your head is exactly that.

The best way to control anxiety is not to run away from the fears, because trying to block them out just makes things worse.

"Wow I'm freaking out about these grades. Well whats the issue? If I fuck up my life goes a different direction, and that sucks. Shit well I'll just have to wait to see how that plays out. Man, what else am I freaking about...."

Also, it's helped me to realize that the pain of anxiety is never as bad once the thing happens, whether it goes good or bad. Our greatest enemy is fear itself...or something like that.

 

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