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If you are feeling suicidal please reach out to someone right away to talk to directly. Since you're on this forum, I am assuming you're in Canada: there are hotlines across Canada that you can call into where you will be put in touch with someone who you can talk to about what you're going through and how you're feeling: https://suicideprevention.ca/need-help/  . I don't know which school you're at, but they certainly have to have student counselling resources -- contact them as soon as you get back to school on Monday. I used to suffer from quite severe depression, and I know from experience how helpful it can be to just have someone to talk to. There was one semester where I was really struggling with school generally, as well as some things in my personal life, and I felt like I really needed help but didn't know who to talk to. It was really hard for me to talk to my friends, because I felt like they couldn't relate to what I was going through. I went to see one of the counsellors at the school for cognitive behavioural therapy, and she really, really, really helped me. In addition to just being there for me to talk to, she had training and actual strategies she could suggest to me to help me deal with my anxiety and depression over time. I know it can be scary to reach out to someone like that, and sometimes it can take a couple tries to find a mental-health provider who is a good fit for you. But it's really worth trying, because in my experience it's even harder to deal with depression alone. 

It's also really important to understand that A LOT of students struggle with the same kinds of things that you're going through. You're really not alone, and it's a normal struggle for a lot of people.  Learning how to learn well is actually a really complex skill -- it takes most people years to master, and even then, it's something you keep improving on over time. I am still really developing these skills in medical school, and I've had to change my study strategies a lot to be effective in this new environment (and I've got 8+ years of post secondary under my belt). 

Many students find themselves in a similar situation that you're describing where they worked so hard, and just couldn't get the results that they wanted. Many are able to overcome a bad year (or years) in school with support and planning to help them figure out how to succeed to a level that they are happy with. What helps in such a situation differs from person-to-person -- for example, for some students, it helped to reduce their course load for a semester or two so that they could practice time management and study strategies with less going on, whereas for other students, it helped to connect them with resources and tutors at the university that could help them work on areas they were struggling with.  So in addition to finding someone at your school to talk to about your mental health, I'd strongly encourage you to reach out to a faculty or departmental advisor to talk to about your course planning and your study strategies. They may be able to help you themselves, or put you in touch with some other resources to help you. 

Edit: And as @organize suggests, if you let us know what school you're at, we might be able to give you some more specific advice!

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Hey friend, don't feel bad for asking questions. We're all on the same team!

I'm sorry to hear that your grades aren't up to your standards. I would love to give you advice, however, I must ask: which school do you go to?

People experience hardships in many different ways. It is part of life. Getting bad grades when you really want good ones can be devastating. However, it seems that you really improved after your first semester; your overall average was about 13% higher! Maybe you can bring it up even more by changing your study techniques or optimizing your schedule?

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Hey reelinie, don't feel bad at all. You're right that we've all been there... First year sucked for me. My worst grades are from my first year. And ultimately it didn't matter since many schools will drop your lowest year when calculating your gpa. 

It does take time to learn how to study, how teachers test, and often my midterm marks are lower than I hope the are. I kind of find that the midterm teaches you what the profs are looking for and the detail they are expecting, and then I use that info when studying for the final. It sounds like you're making all the right choices by studying more and asking for help/suggestions, keep going! I personally find that writing out questions from my notes, and then using them as flash cards works well for some of my courses. And definitely doing any/all practice problems you can find for physics (also, I find watching youtube videos on the topics helpful for difficult concepts). 

I do hope you reach out for some support around your suicidal thoughts. I agree that sometimes talking about how you are feeling with someone is the best place to start. Even this post is a good start :) You aren't alone in how you feel at all. Seeing a counsellor is honestly a hard but good thing I've done for myself, I live with chronic pain and anxiety and it's helped me put things into a new perspective. And it definitely helps you learn about yourself (which is useful for applications & interviews!).

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2 hours ago, Koopatroopa said:

Hey reelinie, don't feel bad at all. You're right that we've all been there... First year sucked for me. My worst grades are from my first year. And ultimately it didn't matter since many schools will drop your lowest year when calculating your gpa. 

It does take time to learn how to study, how teachers test, and often my midterm marks are lower than I hope the are. I kind of find that the midterm teaches you what the profs are looking for and the detail they are expecting, and then I use that info when studying for the final. It sounds like you're making all the right choices by studying more and asking for help/suggestions, keep going! I personally find that writing out questions from my notes, and then using them as flash cards works well for some of my courses. And definitely doing any/all practice problems you can find for physics (also, I find watching youtube videos on the topics helpful for difficult concepts). 

I do hope you reach out for some support around your suicidal thoughts. I agree that sometimes talking about how you are feeling with someone is the best place to start. Even this post is a good start :) You aren't alone in how you feel at all. Seeing a counsellor is honestly a hard but good thing I've done for myself, I live with chronic pain and anxiety and it's helped me put things into a new perspective. And it definitely helps you learn about yourself (which is useful for applications & interviews!).

Thank you so much, I have kind of been ashamed of my mental health to be quite honest. I have seen others do well without letting their mental health get affected and I guess I did not realize that is not the majority of the people. Hearing that others have been through this really helps because I felt so alone in this whole situation. I am going to look into seeing a counsellor because the severity of my thoughts have been concerning, I just have been ashamed to do it. Is khan academy helpful in physics? I feel like people just always know what to do in physics like I can get the answer after I'm given the equations it's how they derive them that confuses me. Online resources they get these equations from all this conceptual thinking and I always get so confused as to how that comes about. I really appreciate you so much; I will look into therapy. 

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4 hours ago, frenchpress said:

If you are feeling suicidal please reach out to someone right away to talk to directly. Since you're on this forum, I am assuming you're in Canada: there are hotlines across Canada that you can call into where you will be put in touch with someone who you can talk to about what you're going through and how you're feeling: https://suicideprevention.ca/need-help/  . I don't know which school you're at, but they certainly have to have student counselling resources -- contact them as soon as you get back to school on Monday. I know at UBC you can literally just show up in the morning and express how you're feeling, and they will get you in to talk to someone right away. 

I used to suffer from quite severe depression, and I know from experience how helpful it can be to just have someone to talk to. There was one semester where I was really struggling with school generally, as well as some things in my personal life, and I felt like I really needed help but didn't know who to talk to. It was really hard for me to talk to my friends, because I felt like they couldn't relate to what I was going through. I went to see one of the counsellors at the school for cognitive behavioural therapy, and she really, really, really helped me. In addition to just being there for me to talk to, she had training and actual strategies she could suggest to me to help me deal with my anxiety and depression over time. I know it can be scary to reach out to someone like that, and sometimes it can take a couple tries to find a mental-health provider who is a good fit for you. But it's really worth trying, because in my experience it's even harder to deal with depression alone. 

It's also really important to understand that A LOT of students struggle with the same kinds of things that you're going through. You're really not alone, and it's a normal struggle for a lot of people.  Learning how to learn well is actually a really complex skill -- it takes most people years to master, and even then, it's something you keep improving on over time. I am still really developing these skills in medical school, and I've had to change my study strategies a lot to be effective in this new environment (and I've got two previous degree and 8+ years of post secondary under my belt). 

In my last job before returning to school, part of my work was an undergraduate advisor. I worked with a lot of students who found themselves in a similar situation that you're describing where they worked so hard, and just couldn't get the results that they wanted. Many students are able to overcome a bad year (or years) in school with support and planning to help them figure out how to succeed to a level that they are happy with. What helps in such a situation differs from person-to-person -- for example, for some students, it helped to reduce their course load for a semester or two so that they could practice time management and study strategies with less going on, whereas for other students, it helped to connect them with resources and tutors at the university that could help them work on areas they were struggling with.  So in addition to finding someone at your school to talk to about your mental health, I'd strongly encourage you to reach out to a faculty or departmental advisor to talk to about your course planning and your study strategies. They may be able to help you themselves, or put you in touch with some other resources to help you. 

Edit: And as @organize suggests, if you let us know what school you're at, we might be able to give you some more specific advice!

Thank you so much, I really appreciate people like you; to be honest you might have just saved my life today. I was feeling suicidal and was planning on acting on it. I called the help line it was helpful and they told me about the programs my school offers. I have known about them but I have been to ashamed to do anything about it. I just feel judged all the time, even when I ask professors for help in school work help they judge me. And I just felt so alone in the situation, to know that others are/ have gone through similar things really helps me; so I really appreciate this. 

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1 hour ago, reelinie said:

Thank you so much, I really appreciate people like you; to be honest you might have just saved my life today. I was feeling suicidal and was planning on acting on it. I called the help line it was helpful and they told me about the programs my school offers. I have known about them but I have been to ashamed to do anything about it. I just feel judged all the time, even when I ask professors for help in school work help they judge me. And I just felt so alone in the situation, to know that others are/ have gone through similar things really helps me; so I really appreciate this. 

I’m so glad you used the help line! It’s there for exactly that reason, and if you ever need someone else to talk to who’s in the same situation as you, feel free to PM me. We can work through this together!! I don’t think it’s right for professors to judge you when you ask questions to them, it might feel that way and if it does, let them know (they might not know it!). I think you’re doing really well and the most important thing to realize is that you’re definitely not alone. We are all here to help you. Don’t forget to live your life as well, don’t put it on pause for anything :) work/life balance is key 

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3 hours ago, reelinie said:

Thank you so much, I really appreciate people like you; to be honest you might have just saved my life today. I was feeling suicidal and was planning on acting on it. I called the help line it was helpful and they told me about the programs my school offers. I have known about them but I have been to ashamed to do anything about it. I just feel judged all the time, even when I ask professors for help in school work help they judge me. And I just felt so alone in the situation, to know that others are/ have gone through similar things really helps me; so I really appreciate this. 

I am really glad to hear you called them, and that they were able to help you today. Don't be afraid to reach out on this forum again if you need advice as you move forward! A lot of us have been through similar experiences, or are going through them now, so you're definitely not alone. 

It's absolutely true that some professors can be jerks, and I know how hard it can be to brush those experiences off and not let it get you down. But there are also a lot of professors that do really love teaching, and really want to help their students to succeed. Try to identify those ones if you can, reach out for help when you need it, and just do your best to take things one step at a time. 

Edit:  And, for what it's worth, I know sometimes it seems like so many other students are just flying through with stellar grades and very little effort, but there are very few true 'unicorns' out there who are actually having an easy time and are good at everything. Many more people are putting in a lot of hard work and experience their own stresses and anxieties and difficulties. They just might not show it. Remember that you're you, and they're them. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses, and we all have to walk our own path to get to where we want to be. 

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51 minutes ago, frenchpress said:

I am really glad to hear you called them, and that they were able to help you today. Don't be afraid to reach out on this forum again if you need advice as you move forward! A lot of us have been through similar experiences, or are going through them now, so you're definitely not alone. 

It's absolutely true that some professors can be jerks, and I know how hard it can be to brush those experiences off and not let it get you down. But there are also a lot of professors that do really love teaching, and really want to help their students to succeed. Try to identify those ones if you can, reach out for help when you need it, and just do your best to take things one step at a time. 

Edit:  And, for what it's worth, I know sometimes it seems like so many other students are just flying through with stellar grades and very little effort, but there are very few true 'unicorns' out there who are actually having an easy time and are good at everything. Many more people are putting in a lot of hard work and experience their own stresses and anxieties and difficulties. They just might not show it. Remember that you're you, and they're them. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses, and we all have to walk our own path to get to where we want to be. 

Thank you so much I remember asking my physics prof about centripetal acceleration and he said "you're taking university physics and can't understand something as simple as centripetal acceleration? How did you even pass the first semester course?" And do you think people lie about their marks because I literally feel like I am the ONLY one, so it helps so much to hear this. 

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35 minutes ago, reelinie said:

Thank you so much I remember asking my physics prof about centripetal acceleration and he said "you're taking university physics and can't understand something as simple as centripetal acceleration? How did you even pass the first semester course?" And do you think people lie about their marks because I literally feel like I am the ONLY one, so it helps so much to hear this. 

That's awful! I really hate when professors have the reaction -- as if they've never encountered something that was hard for them to understand.

I was never able to understand physics, probably in part because I really did not like it and subconsciously I just did not want to understand it. It was (and still is) like a wall went up in my brain whenever I tried to do physics. Needless to say, I did not take any physics after my first semester, and studying that section for the MCAT was the worst . . . 

I think a small number of students might lie about their grades, but I am sure most people are honest. Someone might do way better than you in a course for all sorts of different reasons -- it could be that they may have more previous experience with the material, or maybe they're more interested in it, or maybe it just makes more sense to them and they're naturally good at it, or maybe they're putting more effort into it at the expense of their other courses. If you can manage it, I think it's best to try not to compare yourself to others. Although it can be informative to look at the class average and / or amount of scaling to get a sense of how hard the course is, and how well you're keeping up generally. If you're getting a 70% and everyone else is getting 85%, then that probably means you're doing something wrong and need to change your study strategies for that course if you want to do better. Conversely, if the class average is 70% and you're getting above 80%, then you're probably doing a lot of things right. 

You seem to be doing really well in some of your courses, so you're clearly starting to figure out how to study for those. If you don't have the same knack for physics as you do in other areas, then you might just need to adjust your approach in order to see more success. 

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4 minutes ago, frenchpress said:

That's awful! I really hate when professors have the reaction -- as if they've never encountered something that was hard for them to understand.

I was never able to understand physics, probably in part because I really did not like it and subconsciously I just did not want to understand it. It was (and still is) like a wall went up in my brain whenever I tried to do physics. Needless to say, I did not take any physics after my first semester, and studying that section for the MCAT was the worst . . . 

I think a small number of students might lie about their grades, but I am sure most people are honest. Someone might do way better than you in a course for all sorts of different reasons -- it could be that they may have more previous experience with the material, or maybe they're more interested in it, or maybe it just makes more sense to them and they're naturally good at it, or maybe they're putting more effort into it at the expense of their other courses. If you can manage it, I think it's best to try not to compare yourself to others. Although it can be informative to look at the class average and / or amount of scaling to get a sense of how hard the course is, and how well you're keeping up generally. If you're getting a 70% and everyone else is getting 85%, then that probably means you're doing something wrong and need to change your study strategies for that course if you want to do better. Conversely, if the class average is 70% and you're getting above 80%, then you're probably doing a lot of things right. 

You seem to be doing really well in some of your courses, so you're clearly starting to figure out how to study for those. If you don't have the same knack for physics as you do in other areas, then you might just need to adjust your approach in order to see more success. 

Thank you so much, and you're right. I'll work on it; the class avg for chem was 67, and the avg for calc was 61; however everyone I talked to got 90+. So it just feels like everyone I surround my self is so much smarter than me. 

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Hi reelinie,

First of all, you should be very proud of yourself for getting through today- for recognizing that you are struggling with depression and having suicidal thoughts,  for seeking help here, and for calling the helpline. Sometimes, just getting through the day is an accomplishment on its own.

 

Others have provided some great suggestions already. I just wanted to emphasize the importance of following up with a counsellor or therapist for ongoing support, and that it may take a couple of tries to find the right "match", but it'll be worth it for helping you learn more about yourself and developing some coping strategies moving forward. Also, it's ok to slow down, or even pause things for a bit to take care of your mental health. You shouldn't ever feel ashamed for asking for help, for feeling down, or for doing what you need to do to take care of yourself. Although the university may lead you to believe otherwise- you are not your transcript. Your self-worth is not determined by your transcript. When I read your posts, I see someone who is very self-aware (you identified what you are depressed, that your mental health is important to you, and that if you keep going you might disappoint yourself further), perseverant (you've been studying really hard, trying lots of different techniques, and brought your grades up in second semester), and brave (you asked for help from your professor even though he turned out to be a dick, came here to ask for help, and called the crisis line). Those are incredible qualities to have and will serve you well in any setting, in university and beyond.

What you're describing sounds very familiar to what I went through when I first started university (being disappointed with my grades, depression, being consumed by shame, finally learning the studying strategies that works for me). I was not as brave as you and took 3 years to seek help.

Also, the good thing about these intro courses (calculus, physics, chem, etc) is that once you've done them you pretty much won't ever need to take them again. Many people struggle with the intro courses and do much better in upper years because they're more interesting and relevant.

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23 hours ago, Egg_McMuffin said:

Hi reelinie,

First of all, you should be very proud of yourself for getting through today- for recognizing that you are struggling with depression and having suicidal thoughts,  for seeking help here, and for calling the helpline. Sometimes, just getting through the day is an accomplishment on its own.

 

Others have provided some great suggestions already. I just wanted to emphasize the importance of following up with a counsellor or therapist for ongoing support, and that it may take a couple of tries to find the right "match", but it'll be worth it for helping you learn more about yourself and developing some coping strategies moving forward. Also, it's ok to slow down, or even pause things for a bit to take care of your mental health. You shouldn't ever feel ashamed for asking for help, for feeling down, or for doing what you need to do to take care of yourself. Although the university may lead you to believe otherwise- you are not your transcript. Your self-worth is not determined by your transcript. When I read your posts, I see someone who is very self-aware (you identified what you are depressed, that your mental health is important to you, and that if you keep going you might disappoint yourself further), perseverant (you've been studying really hard, trying lots of different techniques, and brought your grades up in second semester), and brave (you asked for help from your professor even though he turned out to be a dick, came here to ask for help, and called the crisis line). Those are incredible qualities to have and will serve you well in any setting, in university and beyond.

What you're describing sounds very familiar to what I went through when I first started university (being disappointed with my grades, depression, being consumed by shame, finally learning the studying strategies that works for me). I was not as brave as you and took 3 years to seek help.

Also, the good thing about these intro courses (calculus, physics, chem, etc) is that once you've done them you pretty much won't ever need to take them again. Many people struggle with the intro courses and do much better in upper years because they're more interesting and relevant.

Thank you so much, I honestly appreciate this so much. Just, I am so grateful people like you exist in this world. Just thank you, wow, thank you so much. 

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Just an addition to this thread is I seriously want to thank the people who took the time out of their busy lives to help a stranger knowing they would get no form of reward from it; the honest thing I want to tell you here is that you guys saved my life that day; I was planning on committing suicide and that was a rant I posted with an intention to die that day, plan and everything; so I cannot thank you all enough. I can only imagine how good of people you must be to be able to save a life through communication on the internet, I called a help line and am going to work on my mental health and try not to let the stress of this take my life even though it is really hard and feels like a battle everyday, I appreciate you lovely individuals; thank you so much. 

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Hey, I am so sorry you're going through such a horrible rough time in your life but I need to tell you this- it will pass! First year is hard for EVERYONE! Sure, there will always be those people who barely study and still do well and the thing is, you don't know their circumstances! Those that did IB school generally do very well in first year university because its basically a repeat. However, many highschools don't prepare you on how to study for exams and thats why many people struggle in first year. I surely did. My first year marks were terrible, but look at me now.. I got a 3.96 and 4.0 in my last two years of university. The difference all came down to two things: how to study and how to manage my time. They do go hand in hand too because once you learn the study method that works best for you, your efficiency goes up and so does your time management. Experiment with different study methods! Use online cue cards like quizlet.com, or listen to the lecture recording and truly try to understand what the professor is teaching you rather than simply memorizing. Tutoring helps too! There are sooooo many ways around doing bad in first year and please DO NOT THINK ITS A TESTAMENT OF YOUR INTELLIGENCE. Its notThe fact that your marks went up in second semester just proves how capable you really are. I promise you if you keep going at this strong, do some adjustments here and there, and experiment a little, your marks will sky rocket.

Let me tell you about a story about someone I personally know that was in a similar position to you. He was on academic probation in first year because of how bad he did. Yes, of course he became discouraged but that didn't stop him from working towards his goals as much as possible. Guess what? He's in an Ontario medschool right now (I don't want to say which in case hes reading this). If he can do it, so can you.

Please PM me if you ever need to talk or ever feel like things are going a bit rough and its hard to handle. There will always be people there to support you!

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  • 1 month later...
11 minutes ago, reelinie said:

Hey guys sorry I kind of disappeared but let me just say all your support meant so much! My final marks are followed 

90 in Biology II (I got 95 on the exam! And it was all thanks to you gyts) 

77 in Physics II (this took my blood sweat and tears; given my midterm mark I thought I could never recover) 

78 in Chem II (kind of disappointed, as I did work hard for this)

82 in Psychology (Essays.....) 

and I havent recieved my calculus marks; these marks along with my first semester marks Which was 

81 (Biology I)

81 (Calculus)

76 (Chem I)

and the dreaded 50  I got in Physics I put me at about a 3.3 GPA; I'm really annoyed because I could have been 80 average if it was not for Physics I, but I just want to thank you all for the support; a couple of months ago I wanted to kill myself, now I think maybe I have a shot; I am contemplating moving back home next year because I feel like my mental health being so horrible had a lot to do with my isolating myself and at least with my family I will feel like someone is there for me. 

Just a heads up, I think you are calculating your GPA wrong. You have to turn them into GPA first and then do the average. You seem to be doing the opposite. 

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