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Think I am too thick for my course - long woe is me thread!

(14 Posts)
IwanttobeShirleyValentine Sat 01-Oct-11 18:31:39

I have always known I am at the simpler end of the intelligence scale but last year I boosted my previous non existant self confidence by doing a level 2 course at college and passing it all with flying colours. Before that I had been a SAHM for 10 years and lost any any self belief.

This year I decided to go back and do another course Level 3 but totally unrelated to last years course.

Its a 2 year Beauty Therapy Diploma.

I am out the house at college full 5 days a week and not home much before 6pm every evening. I find by the time I have done the all the family stuff its almost 9pm at the very earliest before I get any time to even look at my homework, by then I am tired and wanting to wind down for bed.

So anyway. 3 weeks in and I have 3 assignments to do (4th one to be issued next week) and several other small bits of homework in the form of worksheets that only take half an hour or so to complete in the most part.

My first assignment is due to be handed in on 18th October. Quite some time away but I have 2 weekends ahead where we have family functions on (we dont live close to family so there is travelling involved) and I know in reality that i wont get a great deal of homework done.

So yesterday I had a day off (as there was a problem with my salon placement). I got up at 7am, did a few important jobs around the house etc and sat down at 10am. I worked solidly on my Anatomy and Physiology assignment until 5.30pm. I stopped twice to put washing on the line and in the washer to make 2 cuppas.

Then yesterday evening I worked from 8pm until midnight.

Today I worked from 9am until 5pm on it and I still have not finished it. Infact I would say I am barely half way through it.

I am finding it very very hard to understand the topic, although I understand the brief. I have to read everything so many times in so many different formats before I understand it enough to write about it for my assignment. I have books galore ,the one I keep referring to is a childs encylopedia which helps me understand, but also lacks the deeper content I am supposed to be using to explain my answers.

I am quite proud of the work I have already done (but no idea if it is good enough) but really??? Is it supposed to take this long? Dont get me wrong. I was not expecting it to take 3 hours and finito!! But honestly, I have other assignments too and I have not even looked at them yet as they have slightly longer handing in dates. That said I am well aware that only 3 weeks into our course the work load has not anywhere near reached its peak yet. I am not yet having to worry about assessments and exams nor have homework even set yet in some subjects, but I am struggling.

I have dedicated the last 3 weeks of my life to this course and quite frankly little else. I am loving it at college and every spare 30 minute break I am in the library using the time to get work done, but feel like I am sinking. My DH is so supportive and fab with the kids, house and everything but there is so much I have not sorted/done in RL outside of college that needs doing (and I dont mean noddy stuff like the housework). Infact, I have not even spoken to my best friend, mum or sister since I started this course as I just dont have the time. I have also given up the 2 hours a week charity work I used to do.

I think that it takes me so long to understand my subject matter that I cannot write about it unless I read and read and read material from lots of different sources. Its just so time consuming. I type fast, so thats not the issue.

Just sat here having had a little cry and thinking is it really worth it? If I am sat here in tears 3 weeks in what will I be like in 3 months time.

I know no one can tell me what to do, but I just wanted to tell someone as I dare not tell my hubby, as he has been so lovely about this course I will feel like I am letting him down in a weird way. I am also slightly ashamed of myself that I am considering quitting. I am not usually a quitter but really do think I have aimed to high and have set myself up for a year (2 years potentially)of misery, worry and stress.

inmysparetime Sat 01-Oct-11 18:39:13

Please contact your tutor for help, that's what they're there for. Level 3 is much harder than level 2, but as the background knowledge clicks into place it will get easier, the practical experience will kick in and the jargon will get more familiar. Ask your tutor if you could have a "jargon-busting" list of terms you're likely to see through your course, so you can spend less time translating and more time demonstrating your knowledge.

Madlizzy Sat 01-Oct-11 18:39:25

I think that you're more intelligent than you give yourself credit for, but are just overwhelmed with the volume of work on top of day to day life. It would be a good thing to chat to your tutor.

belgo Sat 01-Oct-11 18:41:38

For a start you need to stop thinking that you are at the simpler end of the intelligence spectrum, because from your well written post, that is clearly not true.

It seems to me you are just nervous and lacking in belief in yourself.

It is great that you are taking the time to understand the assignments properly, and research them, rather then just jumping up without any preparation; and that shows you are looking to have a deeper understanding of the subject matter rather then just looking at in on a superficial level.

It takes practise to write essays and study, and you will get better at doing them.

Do you have a tutor that you can speak to at college? Can you send your essay plan/ introduction to the teacher who assigned the essays, for feedback, to see if you are on the right track?

MayorNaze Sat 01-Oct-11 18:42:07

you are not thick <<passess tissues>>

have you spoken to your tutor at all about this?

MayorNaze Sat 01-Oct-11 18:42:55

i must be thick, i cant even spell passes [smiley with dunces cap on]

belgo Sat 01-Oct-11 18:44:26

pass the dunce's cap to me, I messed up half a sentence in that post. And I needed spell check to correct the word 'sentence' (again).

IwanttobeShirleyValentine Sat 01-Oct-11 19:50:05

Thank you for your replies. I have avoided speaking to my tutor yet as I dont find her particuarly approachable, although she is always very "nice" to everyone.

I know I need to really, just dont want to!

Well I am in a full on woe is me downer tonight! I think there are more tears to come from me yet. I think I need to have a full on paddy and get it out of my system as opposed to a silent quiet dignified(ish) weep!!

So I have dumped my books for the night and feel too washed out for anything but still have cells and tissues roaming around in my head!

Think I may crack open a bottle of wine and watch Xfactor with my husband.

mixedmamameansbusiness Sun 02-Oct-11 11:10:04

This may have been said, but I also have to really understand and have clear ideas in my head before I can start anything. I start my BA this year so the essays I have prev had to do have been at the same level as a first year student.

I need 2 full days in a library with no distractions to actually write and finsih 3000 words.

I need about 2/3 weeks to formulate my thoughts and read.

I need a full 2 days to research and find the resources.

I get out my diary/calendar (so anal I have both) and I look at the commitments and I plan these days well in advance. When I am reading generally for my course I have my essay note book out and jot things down.

As I note things, they form bullet points and as I go through they become sentances so putting together the finished product is less of a task.

Do you have a diary/calendar? If you have functions coming up then plan around them. The preceding week has to be busier with work etc.

Set aside one day per month for those urgent jobs and focus on those.

Organisation and being massively anal about my time is the only way I feel I can actually manage.


mixedmamameansbusiness Sun 02-Oct-11 11:13:22

Oh and you are not thick and you need to watch X Factor and Strcitly every week - we all need downtime.

ballroomblitz Sun 02-Oct-11 18:11:04

You are most definately not thick but a course is a lot to fit in on top of housework, children and actually having a life. I know because I'm a single mum starting my second year of a science diploma. I wouldn't worry about using a child's enclopedia for the basics to help you understand the concept. I've seen a few in my class using 'biology/chemistry for dummies' books last year when we started.
I find using other forms of learning helps. For instance I spent today watching videos on youtube to do with a subject on my chemistry that I was having difficulty with and it actually made sense when it was explained in a different way than what my (rather impatient) tutor would do.
At the start of each topic I try to read up about it so I have a sense of what is being talked about in class. When we reach the end of the topic I make notes and learn as I go along so it's not such a huge wack of revising just before exams.
Second the diary and if it helps, make out a daily planner of when you normally can put an hour or two aside.
If you are having difficulties speak to your tutor. Mine was lovely last year when I was having problems due to my exp and I breaking up. A few in my class were able to set up computer based tutorials as extra help when they needed it also.
Good luck. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed myself at the moment but just hoping if I take a deep breath I'll soon get back into the swing of it and everything will pan out.

IwanttobeShirleyValentine Thu 06-Oct-11 01:08:15

So I have had a little chat with a tutor - not mine as she is away this week.

They have reassured me. The tutor in question went through a question I am stuck on for my assignment with me yesterday and then again today!

I have spent this evening still struggling over the same sodding question! The daft thing is, I sort of know what I need to do, but for some dumb arse reason seem totally incapable of actually putting it onto paper. I did do it tonight and it us really bitty and quite frankly utter shiteola!! It does not even actually make sense to read but I am hoping perhaps after some sleep (its 1am now) when I look back at it something may click!!

Really not that hopeful though and really pissed off cos the rest of the assignment I am pretty happy with! Reakky dont see the point in asking her again cos I know what I need to do but just cant do it!! Does anyone else ever find themselve in weird situations like this?

I have also completed one other assignment this week.

So I have 1 large question on my cells and Tissues assignment to do and a whole Health and safety one to do before Monday and I have to say the thought of that one fills me with zero excitement.

Well I have stopped crying (for now) and am off to bed as I am pooped!

fraktious Thu 06-Oct-11 06:34:08

I know bugger all about your subject, apart from a GCSE in biology but a lot about writing, structure and putting things down on paper (I teach English for academic purposes)

If you want some help with that feel free to PM.

A plan is vital, before you even research. Think of it as breaking down the questions into smaller questions. Then a more detailed plan where you answer those questions in note form. Then top and tail each section with an introduction or link. This keeps your work cohesive. Then flesh out the middle bits with your research.

It sounds like you've got the knowledge but have a brain/paper disconnect.

MatureUniStudent Sun 09-Oct-11 22:15:00

I find it agonising to write an essay. I am always disatisfied with the end result and it takes me WEEKS. I have to read broadly as I find my text books only come alive once I have read loads of other similar texts. Others on my course automatically google wikipedia before looking to their texts, to get an "overview". So no, you are not thick and yes everyone else seems to be doing much better/quicker etc than you but you need to look at your results and you seem to be doing very well. Hold on to that thought. I, like you, spend more time unloading the dishwasher, hanging out the washing and hoovering it seems, before I can write an essay. Anything to avoid the fear that a load of drivel will spout forth onto my paper!

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