I Failed A Module of my Dietetics Degree – Here’s Why That’s Okay

August 19, 2018

Earlier this year, I received 35% on a university assignment. A fail. And in my postgraduate degree, module assignments don’t balance out. Any fail, is a fail. Here’s why it is okay.

Back in May, I completed some coursework which I unfortunately failed. There’s probably many reasons for this. I mean, I’m not gonna blame my fail on anything but myself, I mean, it was myself, but let’s talk about it.

So, first thing first, sociology. I have never studied sociology before, so to say I’d completed my first essay in it in my fourth year of university is kinda a big leap. The structure to it is pretty much like psychology essays, which in sixth form I really struggled with. So when it all came up again and threw me a little. I didn’t particularly find the unit interesting, which obviously plays a huge part in your engagement and in all honesty, I could really get my self interested in the topic. I definitely don’t perform as well on areas I’m not as interested in. I stupidly picked a difficult essay topic and well, the rest is history.

Now a huge influence on my essay was my depression. I’m not sure whether it’s the medication or the illness itself, but brain fog is horrendous. My mind is jumbled and I can’t think straight. I’d be able to have an idea but then it would lie there and get stale. Nothing would flourish, I had no ideas and couldn’t really think outside the box.

It could be a bit of a dramatic comparison, but think of it like this. An ice skater can’t really skate without skates. They could go on the ice on normal shoes and slip about, but it wouldn’t be anything like there normal performance, however much they try. It’s kinda the same with writing. Your brain is your tool and when it’s effected by an illness, it’s hard to perform to the best of your ability. When I read that essay back, I knew it was rubbish, but I just couldn’t do anything about it!

Well, there was one thing I could of done, but I didn’t. I could of spoken to someone about it! My doctor did inform me that as I was still in the early stages of my treatment, I could in fact apply for special circumstances so I might have been able to have extra time. But I was almost ashamed to come forward. I didn’t really think I was applicable and I felt bad for people who truly needed it. Despite this, I didn’t speak to any lecturers about my concerns. I didn’t speak to my course mates. I didn’t really speak to anybody. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. I tried not to listen to others ideas and suggestions because I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it alone.

The thing is, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for extra help when it’s there, especially when you need it. Medication doesn’t make you weak, but it does make some things slightly harder than before.

I love this quote. It’s so true. You can only be knocked back by failure if you allow it. And it does hurt. Getting knocked back can damage you, but you can get better, stronger. I’ve spent my whole life ‘failing’. I was never the best at school, I got Bs and Cs when everyone else got As and A*s. I went to a polytechnic uni when everyone else went to a red brick institution. But I’ve got to where I am today through lots of determination and I’m not letting one fail get me down.

The thing is, I can try again whilst I’m better. Failure is just an opportunity to succeed again. Don’t let anything, especially mental health, hold you back.

Emma x

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