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Frustration & issues with schoolwork

The past few yrs I’ve struggled rlly badly with dealing with my frustration when it comes to not understanding my school work, which is most of the time.I get so angry, it’s so abrupt & overwhelming, I come close to crying as well & I have to rip paper up or something. Sometimes I refuse to do work as I know what will happen. I’ve failed school & my marks are very low. (I’m in HighSchool) 

It has gotten worse overtime. I also struggle with asking for help when I don’t understand the work. I’m unsure why Smiley Sad I also struggle with motivation to do any work.

I can’t get a part time job because of these issues & I’ve spent yrs feeling helpless & stuck. This semester i’ve got new subjects, I want to start fresh & gain control of my Anger & learn to ask for help & be motivated it would b great to have some advice!!!


Re: Frustration & issues with schoolwork

Hi @winterr002, welcome to the forums and thanks for reaching out!

It sounds like you're having a really tough time with school and it's become a bit of a negative experience. But it also sounds like you're ready and keen to have a fresh start which is awesome! 


It is definitely okay to feel frustrated and upset when you're at school and under pressure and many students feel this way! Anger is just one way that this can appear and is often a sign of other uncomfortable thoughts and feelings. Do you think you can identify the exact feelings or thoughts that appear before you become angry? Who, or what, are you angry about? Are there any other emotions which are getting caught up in there, like fear or sadness? Is there any way to step back once you've identified the thought that often starts you from becoming more angry so that you can cool down and return to your work?


Asking for help can be a frightening first step and I'm glad to hear you're looking to start doing that too! One thing I would suggest is to figure out exactly who you would be most comfortable going to for help. If you are in high school, do you have a certain teacher, counsellor or adult that you have a good relationship with, and who could help you take a first step towards getting some help? I'm sure they would be excited to know that you're looking to improve yourself Smiley Happy they may also be able to direct you towards some resources that could help you understand your work better, like extra textbooks, youtube videos or some sort of homework help. If going to a teacher alone is also scaring you, do you have any close friends who know what you're struggling with who could come with you? 


I hope this helps!


Re: Frustration & issues with schoolwork

Hey @winterr002 it sounds like this must be a really intense time for you, it must be so exhausting having those feelings of anger and frustration all the time. And it's really tricky feeling like things are not in your control and that you're stuck. 

There is a resource here  about struggling with study, it talks about how failing a subject doesn't make you a failure and that we all fail things sometimes. I'm wondering if there is something that makes you feel better when you're angry? Ripping up paper sounds like it could be kind of soothing.

You said you struggle with asking for help when you don't understand the work, is there anything you can think of that might make it easier for you to reach out and ask for help? It can be really hard to ask for help, but it shows strength that you've done that by posting here about what you're going through Heart

Its really great you've got some new subjects and are keen to start fresh, what are the new subjects you're doing? Were you able to pick some electives you like? That certainly helped me when I was at school, knowing I had a subject I liked coming up made it easier to get through the day Cat Happy


Re: Frustration & issues with schoolwork

Hi @winterr002 


I can think of a few ideas that might help, if you're willing to put up with me for a bit Smiley Tongue


Firstly, we could brainstorm some ideas on how to regulate your emotions while you're doing the work. 

Honestly even just having some techniques to use can make the whole thing a lot easier.


Secondly, we could think of some ways to make the work easier to understand and work with.

Different people find different formats easiest to use, not everyone works well with a page of black and white text or with long lecture from a teacher.


Thirdly, if there's a specific concept you need help with, maybe someone here can help explain it, or find some resources that will help you understand it better.


Do you think any of these might help?


Re: Frustration & issues with schoolwork

Hey! @StormySeas17  Thank you for replying! I definitely am ready to start fresh. 

I just become really angry, sometimes I think it’s the idea of failing, I would prefer no answer then one that is wrong but I automatically feel like I’m never going to understand the work & I feel frustrated at myself for it. I’m mostly angry at the work & myself. Definitely Sadness, I always feel like crying & sometimes I do. sometimes I can stop & put my focus away from work but most of the time I get too frustrated & need to rip something up which sometimes has to b the work.

There is this nice lady at my school who I wouldn’t mind talking to about it but not really anybody else unfortunately. My Close Friends aren’t aware of any of these issues, I’ve never considered telling them. 

It has definitely helped! Thank you 😊 


Re: Frustration & issues with schoolwork

Hey! @Hannah-RO Thank you for replying! It’s definitely a struggle.

Thank you for that resource! I read it & it helped a lot. Definitely ripping up paper or scrunching it, makes me feel better whenever I’m angry, it’s the best way I stay calm, having something to rip up, unfortunately it’s the work most of the time. 

When I don’t understand the work, I mostly prefer if the teacher just comes up to me & starts helping me without me having to ask but usually you have to say something to get the help. I’m thinking maybe not to think about it too much & just ask but I get really uncomfortable asking for help & I think it’s awkward same goes with asking for help with these issues. Thank you! It took a bit of guts to post about it but everyone has been really nice so that helps. 

The new subjects are Legal, Sociology, new English Subject & FoodTech & Music. I got some subjects I wanted which was good! It definitely helps to have a subject to look forward to, it helps me too sometimes! 


Re: Frustration & issues with schoolwork

Hey! @Tiny_leaf Thank you for your reply! 

Yes definitely! I think it could definitely help!



Re: Frustration & issues with schoolwork

Hey @winterr002 great to hear back from you, I'm glad you found the resource helpful, i think the video in it is quite nice Cat Happy

It sounds like you've found a helpful strategy in ripping up paper, do you think there could be a way to do it where you don't have to lose your work? Like maybe you could have a pile of old pages or newspapers that are in a special place for ripping? 

It definitely can be so hard to initiate asking for help from a teacher, and I totally understand that wanting to just ask them when they are there seeing if you need help. It sure does take guts to ask for help and I'm glad you've found everyone to be really nice on here. Do you think you might feel more comfortable asking for help in a different way, like with a note or email to your teachers? You're right that asking for help can be super awkward, I'm just wondering if there are any alternative ways of doing it that might be less awkward.

Those new subjects sound great! I'm so glad you got some you wanted, I really felt my whole high school experience change when I got to pick things for myself. Is there a fav amongst those or one you look forward to the most? I think music was my favourite subject, so I'm here for music class chats anytime!


Re: Frustration & issues with schoolwork

Hey! @Hannah-RO Yes it was very helpful! Yeah definitely going to do that, I’m thinking of having paper right near me or old schoolwork that isn’t needed anymore. Yeah Email sounds good, I’m doing remote learning this term so its a little easier to ask for help over Email or Chat compared to doing it face to face. I think that too will make things less awkward! Yeah definitely, having subjects that I want makes school much better, I enjoy school more as well. Sociology I’m looking forward to the most & I’m interested in Legal, idk if I’ll enjoy it though as it also sounds a bit boring. FoodTech I don’t mind. I hope I enjoy music this semester, some parts of it are cool but others not so much. 


Re: Frustration & issues with schoolwork

@winterr002 if there's anything you need help understanding feel free to post it Smiley Happy


Sorry in advance about length of this, I've tried to break it up as much as I can...


With managing your frustration, I have a few suggestions:

• Maybe you could keep some scrap paper/ cardboard near you to destroy instead of your work

• You could also write/ draw/ scribble the thing you're struggling with on the paper/ cardboard before you rip it up

• This might sound weird, but using playdough might help. You can rip it, hit it, throw it, ect.

• Take breaks so that your emotions don't build up too much



With making the actual work into a better format for you, are you able to say how you learn/ what works and what doesn't work for you?


If not you can try this quiz here, it helped me a lot when I was at the start of high school (and throughout it too)