Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

(Trigger Warning) Sharing my story about uni

Hi everyone Smiley Happy


After reading a post on RO earlier tonight where another user was struggling with thoughts of failing uni, I thought I would share my story about this, in the hope that it will help others.


I got into the undergrad degree I wanted (I can’t say more for anonymity reasons), and for the first three semesters I felt very stimulated and good, and I really felt like I learnt a lot.


However, by the fourth semester of my degree, my depresssion was really beginning to come to a head and at the beginning of September, I ended up taking myself to the emergency department at my local hospital as I was at immenent risk of committing suicide. I was in hospital for a total of four weeks whilst my medication was increased and monitored, and I was discharged at the beginning of October. Whilst I was in hospital I dropped a number of subjects for the semester so I could focus on just getting a small number of subjects done to help me cope. I ended up doing okay in those subjects, however my medication change was not helping, and so at the recommendation of my psychiatrist, I went back into the psych ward for a further four weeks in the middle of November (it was around this time that I first joined RO). My medication was adjusted, and feeling much more like myself, I was discharged just before Christmas.


The next semester at uni passsed without much incident, and I still did okay in my subjects (remember: P’s get degrees!). However the following semester things began to really go downhill with my studies. I failed my major subject at uni (getting 49, and they would not budge the mark to 50), and I received some very negative feedback from the uni, essentially telling me the fact I had failed meant that I had “put the university into disrepute” and they hoped that “future employers didn’t see me and think that all graduates ended up like me.” This really impacted on my self-confidence, and just confirmed my thoughts and feelings about myself at the time, that I wasn’t good enough, I had no future and the world would be better off without me. I have to say though that prior to these events taking place, I was having doubts about my course anyway, but I just wanted to push through so I had a degree and have some job prospects.


At the recommendation of one of my lecturers at uni who knew my situation, I approached the disability advisor on campus and got reasonable adjustments for my studies. This made it so much easier for me to cope during my final year at uni (which, I might add was an extra year due to the fact I had failed the previous year). However, some of the other lecturers didn’t see it that way - I had a couple of comments about how I was “obviously rorting the system to pass my degree” and that what I was doing was “devaluing the degree for others”. The fact is with my then chosen career path, these kind of remarks are quite common as many people will not settle for less than perfect.


I ended up with mostly passes for my final semester, but I was frankly relieved just to have got through my degree. I then switched to a completely different field (music therapy) for my masters, and I am loving it, because it allows me to help others in a much more relaxed and creative way.


If you have got this far, then well done! I guess the moral of my post is:

- don’t give up, even if you fail multiple subjects

- you don’t have to go suffer at uni without support

- failing at uni is NOT the same as failing at life


I hope this post helps others who may be going through a similar situation.

Re: (Trigger Warning) Sharing my story about uni

Hey @mrmusic wow I am really disappointed in the behaviour of some of the lecturer's at this institution but also really stoked to hear about the one lecturer that did support you.


Well done on changing your units towards the end and pursuing your Masters. getting 49, and they would not budge the mark to 50 - This really baffles me. I have had the same thing happen. It just is not how life works in the real world. It would be nice if tertiary institutes were a bit more flexible around the marking system.


@redhead you might like this post Heart

Re: (Trigger Warning) Sharing my story about uni

@Bree-RO To be fair, I had some great supportive friends here as well, and I keep in contact with them sometimes Smiley Happy Just a bit hard when everyone’s really busy!

Re: (Trigger Warning) Sharing my story about uni

Glad to hear there were some positives out of that stressful and very long and drawn out process that I would have imagined it to be @mrmusic. How strong you are and what perseverance you have shown despite a few people making it difficult for you. Awesome reflection and I feel some of your pain in being in a degree where people don't want to accept less than perfect. It places a lot of pressure on people and I can't begin to imagine what that would be like when you already had so much to deal with. Kudos to you and you should feel super proud of yourself!

Whether you think you can or think you can’t, either way you are right.
– Henry Ford

Re: (Trigger Warning) Sharing my story about uni

@mrmusic thank you for sharing your story. I'm so sorry your university / lecturers didn't support you. Luckily my lecturers have been really accommodating of my mental health and disability.

I'm pursuing my masters too - commencing on Monday (eep!). Maybe we can support each other :-)

I'd like to reiterate (and expanding on your points) that it is OKAY to get extensions / utilise your adjustments if you're feeling overwhelmed. After all, that's what they're there for. Your mental health should never be compromised.

Re: (Trigger Warning) Sharing my story about uni

Hello @mrmusic !!


I honestly can't believe that your lecturer would say that. That honestly sucks, but I think it is incredible that you are so positive! It is so motivating!! 


I also think its great that you sought support throughout all of that. You should be really proud. and I totally agree that failing at uni is NOT the same as failing at life! Smiley Very Happy


Re: (Trigger Warning) Sharing my story about uni

Hi everyone @T4ils @Strawberries @Karinaskii,


Looking back a few years later, I think I have come a long way from that time. Having been able to think back a bit more objectively, it would appear that it is a professional development issue, considering that the comments and behaviour were the opinion of so many people (including other students - not just lecturers!).


I don't want to identify this institution for anonymity reasons, but it is commonplace in this environment to induce anxiety in order to produce results. That may work for some students, but definitely not me. I think that this experience has certainly been a learning curve for me and has made me a much stronger person, so while it's a shame to have endured it, perhaps it will do me good in the long run.