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How to stop beating myself up about bad grades...

I am staying with a fellow classmate of mine while we are out on placement for uni.  I've been here 3 weeks and have another two weeks to go. 

I haven't really been on RO much because things have genuiniely been going pretty damn well with me.  I think it's because I have been putting so much work into coping with the things that trigger my anxiety and depression.

Well...since being here lets just say it's all come back pretty intensely!  My first week was pretty good, just a little overwhelmed.  By the second week I had a complete and total breakdown.  I had sever anxiety for a few days on placement, constantly holding back tears...and sometimes failing.  One of the girls I was working with noticed and had a chat to me which was nice.  But what completely and utterly set me over the edge was getting my feedback results from that week.  They mark us 1 to 5 with 3 being satisfactory.  I got all 3's and was greatly offended as I felt that for a few areas I did better then what I had been awarded.  What hasn't helped was the fact the girl I am staying with said she got all 5's and a few 4's.  For some reason I completely lost the plot that afternoon in front of her.  She thinks it's because I wasn't happy with my results...but I know it's because that weekend I had been verging on having panic attacks and I think it's because of living with her.

She is a clean, tidy, neat freak.  Do not get me wrong I am clean...but as soon as she gets home she looks for anything out of place. I cleaned the bathroom...two days later she cleaned it.  She gets the shits if people don't put the cushions back into place after leaving the couch.  I left a cake I bought yesterday sitting on the bench cos I was going to eat it.  She asked me what was going on with it as soon as she walked into the house, I told her just to leave it there, next second I turn around and it's gone.  Today she tidied the shelf I keep my food on in the pantry.  She is just constantly cleaning and when she is like that I just want to disappear.  She gets angry sooo easily at inconsequential stuff which does not matter at all.  SO anyway...there are are times where I am greatly uncomfortable and on edge with living with her.  As soon as she walks into a room looking for things to do like that my anxiety levels just go UPPP!!!

But this is  not all, she likes to compare her grades and results to me.   Fact is...yes she's doing way better than me and I know that.  But honestly as soon as any type of result becomes available she asks me what I got.  I don't want to tell her!  Also because she does so well and sometimes I get disappointed.  I've been getting disappointed a lot lately with my marks and I don't know if it's because everything at uni is just so full on.  I'm doing a full course load (4 courses).  She's only doing 3...which makes life and uni sooooooo much easier.

*sighs*  I just don't know how to not be so affected by my marks when she's constantly looking to compare.  I have ages left to go in the semester.  I don't know how I am going to get through it. 

Re: How to stop beating myself up about bad grades...

Sounds like a really rough situation to be in. The hard part is that there will always be people around who just don't gel with your way of doing things.


Talking about her behaviour, I wonder if you don't have more in common than you might think. Her excessive tidiness and ultra-competitiveness might be related to her own issues. She might have a lot of external pressure on her from family (and herself) to do well; she might be dealing with issues of her own that relate to her need for everything to be very clean and perfect. If you're able to talk about it with each other, it might be possible to figure out a way to find some middle ground that works for both of you…?



Re: How to stop beating myself up about bad grades...

Yeah it has crossed my mind she has an insatiable need for's her own set of standards and values. ..and my idea of what's more important has shifted greatly. I really don't like being annoyed and angry at I tend to not be. I guess I have accepted her for who she is...but I don't  feel she has the capacity to do that because she is so controlling.


There is no way I would even want to bring it up with her.  I don't feel it would really benefit our relationship, especially when I am a guest in her house.  Regardless of the fact I am paying rent.


It can just be hard to know what her issue is. Like this arvo she came home...I said hi and hownshe wqs going...she said good and disappeared.  I guessed she was in the bath. ..and she was...but shejust looks so cranky and angry I don't want to say a word. Probably better off that way. Just until next Saturday right? 

Re: How to stop beating myself up about bad grades...

Hey sagira 


Glad to have you back. Being constantly compared can be very painful and creates competitiveness when there is no need for it. It sounds like she has some kind of insecurity and is going through issues of her own. I used to have a friend who was like that with me and everything from school, our parents and our social lives she wanted to be better than me in every way and I felt so little, if I didnt do better than her I felt like nothing. 


One thing you need to remember is that people are different with different strengths and weaknesses and sometimes people dont realise that until you tell them how it affects you, maybe it might lessen the pressure for you if you told her how you are feeling? If you would like some tips for communicating, check this factsheet out. 


I think it is so difficult to not be affected by her marks but maybe you could try and focus on yourself and remind yourself that you are doing the best you can because no one is perfect. 


Take care of yourself Smiley Happy

**Believe in the power of you because you are your own hero**

Re: How to stop beating myself up about bad grades...

Hi Sagira


Welcome back to RO!


It sounds like your housemate is a bit overboard with the obsessive-compulsive. I mean I have a mother who likes things the way she wants it in our house. It definitely gets my anxiety level going. I think I am anxious when my mother is looking around because I am apprehending her next outburst. I don't want her to catch me off-guard, thus I am constantly wondering "Is she going to yell at me now? Or maybe now? Or maybe now?" Anyone would go nuts after a little while living with her like this.


What you could do, is stay in your own space (like your room) when you are both in house together. I know it will be hard. I tend to minimise the time I spent in the same room with my mother. When I have to out in the kitchen, I would replace the things I've used the way I've found them. I think I rather do that than have my mother have a go at me. Keep the peace and my sanity for that matter.


If your housemate is comparing her marks to yours, I would also get quite anxious and disappointed with my marks too. I reckon you could try and maintain your assertiveness and not tell her what've you got. It's a privacy matter too. I mean, education isn't all about being competitive and always being the best. The fact she is comparing to you is because she knows she will have the better mark and in making you admit you have a lower mark makes her feel good about herself. Don't let her make you feel bad. You've tried your best and that's what matters.


Take care!



Re: How to stop beating myself up about bad grades...

@ruenhonx and @Doris 

Thanks for replying guys.  It has helped.  I do believe she is competitive in that she is looking for validation that she is better and has done well.  I am definitely not going to tell her how I go in the next two weeks for placement.  Thing is I didn't tell her what I got last week straight's just that she brought it up a second time...and I caved!  I do know that I have done really well and in fact the best I have done on any placement thus far.  I have learned a load and it's been really awesome and I have enjoyed myself there.  Only thing is she is ruining it for me a little bit when she comes home and says so and so told her how good she was.  

The thing I think that bothers me most though is probably her attitude to people on placement as well.  Her mentor for example...every night she would come home and say how annoying she was and how annoyed and pissed off she was with the fact they hadn't looked at her work or signed her off for her competencies yet.  I'm like...I haven't even asked my mentor to do it for me yet.  My point is she has the same mentality with people at work.  She wants them to do things right then and there for her.  In terms of her bad mouthing her mentor (whom I have worked with and had her look after me on some days), I feel like she completely over exaggerates.  Her mentor is so lovely. She said she was lazy...I don't feel she is at all.  Ummm...anyway this is me just really rambling!! 

I came home last night after having been at the library. I walked in on something.  Her BF said hello and asked how I was going, but she had her head in her hands.  I think she was crying.  I started eating my pizza in the kitchen (cos all hell would break loose if it was anywhere else)...and she got up and went into her room, her BF following.  She came out a bit later and I could see she had been crying so I asked her if she had had a bad day? 'No, I just don't feel very well, *Todd and I are going to go for a drive.'  About 20 mins later *Todd's brother came home and I had a HUGE discussion with him about this girls behaviour...because she can't stand him...for all the wrong reasons.  He said he just stays in his room too because he doesn't feel comfortable being around her.

So yes Doris...I have taken to just staying in my room and if she addresses me in a friendly manner I then know it's okay to chat to her...otherwise I just don't bother at this rate.

Thanks for reading and listening guys, I appreciate it.  I will maybe try and talk to her just to see how she's going and if she has been annoyed with me at any stage, but I will probably just leave it at that.  Her friends invited me out on saturday night...but I think I might bail this weekend!

Re: How to stop beating myself up about bad grades...

Hey sagira

Thanks for updating us. I liked your plan of action. Talk to her when she is friendly, otherwise, don't bother coz she arent gonna get the chance to make you feel bad.

Let us know how you go when your placement is over. Or when something gets tough again.


Re: How to stop beating myself up about bad grades...

Thanks @Doris!


I e-mailed my psycologist to make an appointment after next week is over and mentioned my temporary housemate/uni friend is seriously intense.  Tonight I've listened to her yelling at her boyfriend about his brother for a good 3 hours or so.  'SHUT UP!...LISTEN TO ME!', has probably been repeated 30 times in the space of 10 mins.  Lovely thing to be listening to.

Anyway my psyc replied promtly and gave me some comforting words of advice and basically said she is amazed and surprised when people are so bold to act this way, especially as I am a guest and even more so because you would think she would want to save face seeing as I am around her a lot on placement at uni.  Let's just say my opinion of her has completely changed.  I have never met anyone like her...

I really wanted to talk to her tonight, but...ummm that didn't happen.  But yes, no point in saying anything to her unless she is in a good mood.  Try not to add fuel to the fire!!

Re: How to stop beating myself up about bad grades...

Hey @_sagira_ 


Sorry to hear that the other night was a bit intense! How have things been since then? I'm glad you were able to email your psych and get some support from them though. Did you manage to get an appointment booked? Perhaps your psych can help with some strategies for communicating with your housemate... Good luck Smiley Happy

Re: How to stop beating myself up about bad grades...

Hey Gail,

It's been okay! She hasn't been as bad the last few days at all. Tomorrow is the last day of placement! I said I would stay for another two nights...but I am so tempted to scram as soon as I finish tomorrow afternoon!! Sheesh...who knows.

Yeah my psyc kind of suggested I stay out of her way more than anything else. I didn't really go into great detail with her.

On another note I am really pleased with my effort this placement and my marks are reflective of that. Despite this girl telling me constantly she's gotten perfect scores.