To make it even worse, many of the students felt
terribly alone because they did not want to talk to
their families about what was happening or, when
they did, they did not get the emotional support
they needed. This is from a different student:
… my family is really proud of
me and they just don’t believe
me when I tell them about how
I’m not coping because to them
I’m their little daughter who is
so smart, who never brought a
bad result and always finds
a way to be a top student.
Sound familiar? There is no easy way through
this very difficult terrain. Those of you who
have crossed it will know that. You have to find
the strength in yourself to change the way you
look at the world and the way you respond to it.
Consider these extracts:
I began to wonder how did I come so far off
(from) the path I thought I was on? The next
few days I was more than ok because I suddenly
remembered what I came to university to do – to
excel and transform the nobody mentality to
somebody. My eyes were open finally to see op-
portunities and seize them.
If anyone could have asked my friends during the
first semester about Mr Complaints they would
have simply pointed at me; all I mean is that I used
to complain about everything but since the begin-
ning of this semester all that has changed.
But I told myself that the only thing that is block-
ing me from getting my degree is first year so I
decided that I’ll do whatever it takes for me to
pass my first year. You know why? Because I have
faith in myself and I believe that I will do it no
matter what comes in my way … I may not know
it but many people are dying out there and they
depend on me.
Look at these extracts from students’ writing
carefully. What lessons do they have for you?
Change the way you talk to yourself and about
yourself – think about writing down your
thoughts and your goals to motivate yourself.
Start making friends.
Look outward. Participate in student
committees and other activities.
It is possible to find your feet and achieve success.
Here’s some more feedback from students who
have walked this road before you:
I saw many of my close friends and classmates
deregister or decide to drop everything because
they said they couldn’t cope and they said that
they’d come back next year and repeat the same
course. I mean what’s the use of you repeating the
whole thing all over again! Things won’t change,
they’ll still be the same; rather suck it up, pull
your socks up and find a solution because when
that thing strikes again in your later life you can’t
give yourself a year to solve it or to come to terms
with it. Do it now or forever hold your peace.
Perhaps the most important realisation is that
things are not going to change. This is the reality
and if you want to reach that goal that you set
in the beginning, you are going to have to find a
way of coping. No one is going to do it for you.
others have done it
before. It is possible.
Winter – third term