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Anxiety & Stress over assignment

Hi guys,

Sorry if this makes no sense I'm currently sobbing because of a Uni assignment. So iv been at uni for about 6 weeks and I'm having my first mental breakdown, I have an assignment due Thursday that I tried to start Monday (couldn't do it earlier because I had 3 assignments & a test last week) but I'm not sure how to do it, so I tried to do it yesterday but the assignment sheet is very vague and I don't know exactly what to do and I have an Anxiety disorder along with OCD symptoms and low self-esteem so I'm really scared of doing anything wrong I need someone to tell me what to do so I know im doing it right. But anyway i tried to do it Monday and I couldn't figure out how to do it and I can't get any help from lecturers till Thursday & thats when its due so I spent hours yesterday sobbing & iv been trying for hours today but I cant do it because I'm scared ill do it wrong so Iv have done nothing and I cant stop crying & im like 80% sure the uni won't  give me an extension even though I have a disability access plan because of my mental illness becuase its not an excuse to get an extension apparently & im to ashamed to ask coz i look unorganised and weak. I haven't gotten a grade less than a High Distinction since I started uni so I'm really worried I won't get a HD.

What do I do? I can't stop crying & I kind of want to die.

Re: Anxiety & Stress over assignment

Hey @Charlie-29-1999 first up well done on reaching out here about this, RO has tonnes of support relating to uni pains, it's not easy - you've done really well I had my first uni breakdown at week 2!


Before I can provide some further support around uni alongside the community, I need to check in on "Kind of want to die" - are you able to stay safe tonight?

Re: Anxiety & Stress over assignment

Hi Bree
Thanks for the reply I'm not suicidal I'm just overwhelmed I will be ok.

Re: Anxiety & Stress over assignment

Heya @Charlie-29-1999 I think that was a typo - but I am hearing you will be okay and are not suicidal is that right?


In terms of the uni load, it is a very stressful thing at times. Have you considered linking in with the Uni counsellor? Many students do this, and generally the student support team can help you strategise and take some pressure off. They also can assist you with applying for extensions. We all feel under the pump with uni at times. Sometimes I just accept if it's late I will lose 5% per day, which sucks, but my health is the most important thing so sometimes the Pass will have to do.


I am going to tag some other members who have further insight into uni strategies Smiley Happy 


@mrmusic @lokifish @letitgo

Re: Anxiety & Stress over assignment

Yeah that was a typo I'm ok
I have thought about seeing the uni counsellor but I feel off about it because I already have a therapist & am on medication, though I only see her once every 2-4 weeks because its a free service run by the government & is very busy but I feel guilty going to see someone else and also I feel like I'm wasting the uni therapists time I'm sure there are other people who need it more than I do that don't already have a therapist

Re: Anxiety & Stress over assignment

Hey @Charlie-29-1999, thanks so much for your posts. I can see that you’re really struggling with this assignment and the feelings around doing it perfectly. These are really hard feelings, and I can certainly relate to the feeling of needing things done perfectly, so please know that you’re not alone. Heart


You say that you can’t get help from the uni lecturers until Thursday, and (please correct me if I’m wrong) I’m assuming that this is because tomorrow is a public holiday. My advice would be to email them anyway to ask for assistance, as the worst thing that can happen is that they don’t respond. I would think that they would have at least some obligation to assist you, particularly if the assignment sheet is vague as you say. I also think it might be worth sending an email to the disability advisor to alert them of the situation as they might be able to negotiate on your behalf - again, the worst thing that can happen is that they say that you can’t have an extension.


The other point I would like to address is the uni counsellor. I know you believe that you would be a waste of the counsellor’s time, but please know that these situations are precisely why the counsellors are employed by the uni - in order to look after students like yourself. At the end of the day, you would be paying the SSAF (Student Services and Amenities Fee) to study at uni, so you may as well make use of some of the services you are paying for. I know that my uni has drop-in sessions, so if you really need help you can just turn up and a counsellor should be able to see you if they’re not already fully booked, so that might also be worth investigating.


I also agree with what @Bree-RO posted in regards to your health coming first. Unfortunately, this will sometimes result in not receiving the marks you are hoping for - I’ve been in this position many times due to mental health issues at uni. The cliche saying “P’s get degrees” really applies here. I know that this might be hard to hear, but as long as you pass, that’s enough - so please try and give yourself some love.


I think it would be a very good idea to bring some of these issues up with your regular therapist as well, as they would be able to help support you in more detail. I hope this helps - please keep us updated with how you go. Heart

Re: Anxiety & Stress over assignment

@Charlie-29-1999 have you tried asking your peers for any advice. Often uni units have discussion boards and you could ask some questions about the assignment and see if anyone has advice.
Trying to make my misery
just a piece of my history
A little less victim a little more victory
-Icon for Hire

Re: Anxiety & Stress over assignment

Yo! This happens to me sometimes, you are definitely not alone! 

@Charlie-29-1999 Be sure to email your class tutor for an extension when you get a chance if you haven't already! Do whatever you can to get yourself some breathing room. Then we can all talk it out here and figure out the next step!

Im in my first year at uni, and a tonne of my essay questions have been really vague and we even have to come up with our own in some classes which i was excited for but my suggestion for a question to write an essay was shot down so now im worried about that. we are here to help :3

Re: Anxiety & Stress over assignment

Hi @Charlie-29-1999


I guess you missed the talk on 'Perfection' here on RO a few weeks ago. What do you do? If you don't get a HD, then you don't get a HD. It's not the end of the world. There are hundreds of tasks ahead of you in your university life so try to take it easier on yourself. There is no point in a university degree if you come out of the other side a complete mess. Unfortunately university is like that, no hand holding. Unlike high school teachers don't remind you that you have something due or you need to do this homework. They just throw you in with wolves and see who survives. Sometimes you get lucky with nice lectures or tutors so that's always nice.  


It's actually very easy to be granted an extension. There is a form that you have to let your psychologist or the university psychologist to fill out and you scan it and upload to your university. Depending on your task they say how many days after the due date the form needs to be handed in. It's usually 5 school days. 

Re: Anxiety & Stress over assignment

Hey @Charlie-29-1999, how did you end up going? I am sorry to hear that uni is really overwhelming for you at the moment. Mental illness is not an excuse but it definitely is a great reason for you to get an extension. A lot of people understand that sometimes things pop up and your disability access plan is evidence that sometimes you need some extra support, not that you are unorganised or weak.

Well done on trying to start your assignment early, that is really proactive! I can tell that you have been trying really hard.

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