Psychological Help

Hakoda

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This whole day was amazing, I got to hang out with my girlfriend all day and see her and laugh and just plain relax away from school. Sadly, when she left, I went online to see my test scores for my AP Biology class. Didn't do so well. I got a C. Before that I got a B and before that I got 2 A's so I'm practically getting worse without really knowing what I'm doing wrong. So for whatever reason, I choose to complain to my girlfriend after she gets home and I have a nasty habit of constantly degrading myself, especially with school.

So I guess I went a little too far. She was trying to cheer me up and just trying to help. I mentioned that we got 3 retakes per semester and she said she had forgotten about that measure. I accidentally snapped at her and told her she forgot cuz she never gets anything wrong. She always gets a better score than I do on my tests and I guess I let slip on accident. She took offense to it and just kinda left. I called her back and I smoothed it over and everything's fine now.

However, its not a fix to my own problem. Is there a reason why I dislike failing, why I'm afraid of it? I know all the content and I study hard and I work hard but it doesn't benefit it me at all when the time matters. Others who barely looked over the chapter got better grades than I did. But whenever I get a bad grade on something, I immediately think of her and how she probably got a better grade when she was always the one telling me the night before to go to bed at 11:30PM because I study too much. She always does better and its frustrating to me but I'm not angry at her. I don't mean to be. I'm doing exactly what she does but I end up doing worse and it makes me angry and eventually that anger slips her way.

Any advice?
 

fuze9

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Though this isn't exactly the most encouraging response - the feelings and patterns you're experiencing are fairly common. Self-consciousness, insecurity, and the sort of transference you describe are facts of life, particularly for our culture and age group. That being said, you're obviously super-astute about it - noticing how hard you're being on yourself and how your frustration is affecting your relationship.

I'm sure you've heard it a zillion times before, but comparing yourself to others is a recipe for frustration. You'll always always find folks better or worse than you at just about anything, and ruminating on the fact only worsens it. But you'll get through struggling with one class or job and start excelling at another before long, even if at the time, it seems like everything's hopeless.

"Is there a reason why I dislike failing, why I'm afraid of it?" - Because you're human - and presumably an ambitious one. Take comfort in your desire to succeed. Better that than simply not caring, right? Clearly you're dedicated to your studies, but everyone learns differently. Some are great at standardized tests, others at long-form writing, and others at practical application. Unfortunately, our education system (AP classes in particular) doesn't always differentiate between these as well as it could, and you're left feeling like the odd man out.

Again, moral of the story - you're quite normal. I've seen plenty of college and med school kids behaving exactly the same way, but a little thoughtful perseverance gets you through it.
 

Schizoanalysis

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Well, you can privilege many different things in life...

High grades
Beauty/attractiveness
Wealth
Your collection of belongings
Intelligence
Some other form of superiority over others


All are relative, or dependent upon a hierarchy. And thus, you will never be (or stay) happy as there will always be someone better than (superior to) you.


Uh... yeah.
 

Tokyo Jihen

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Oh yeah, I'm extremely jealous of those who can never study and still ace tests. It's just something you have got to accept. You're completely justified in feeling frustrated. Some people get it easy in life while others have to work their ass off to do the same things. My advice: just try not to let it get to you. A bad grade on a test(a C isn't that bad) hardly has an impact on your future. Your frustration will always be there, you just have to accomplish goals that make yourself happy and not compare it to other people's successes.

Wow, I feel like that whole thing I just typed up is really confusing
wacko.gif
 

Icealote

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What are you really asking?

Is there a reason why I dislike failing, why I'm afraid of it?

Can't really answer there because there's no frame of reference of why you would be afraid of failing. It could be the way you were raised via parents? environment? previous educations? Too many to point at.

When you write you know all the stuff to study for and yet it fails to help you when the time happens... maybe you're just feeling overconfident and that info just doesn't hang inside your memory for long. Then when you think of failing or getting bad marks... it automatically think of your gf? That's not healthy for yourself. You sound very dependent on your girlfriend.

I'm pretty sure studying for longer periods of the time doesn't really work. I've read our brains can focus at a maximum 10 minutes at a time, anything longer is a waste unless you truly love what your reading/studying about.
 

Psyfira

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Your fear of failure might be easier to explain than you think; you've never done it before.

Think about it, you're used to getting higher grades, the fact that you've labelled a C as a failure is evidence of that. Now you're faced with a lower one you don't know how to cope, you're not sure what you need to do to turn it around and that scares you. And that's okay, everyone gets scared of things when they step outside their comfort zone.
smile.gif


Jealousy and constantly comparing yourself to the people around you will get you nowhere, this is about you and it's up to you to figure out what you need to make things work. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it, better to swallow your pride and get results than waste your time fussing about appearances. If you know the material inside out and it's just the test scenario that's causing a problem then maybe do some reading up on exam techniques in general.

If you're worried what the people around you will think, try turning it the other way around; what do you think of the people around you who get C's? I bet you don't give it much thought, and neither do they when they think of you. You'll always be harder on yourself than the people around you are, so give yourself a break. It's okay to screw up every once in a while, everyone does it and it's not the end of the world. Forgive yourself.
smile.gif
 

sprogurt

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Just chill the hell out! Some people would die for C's in their exams! Besides, the highest I got was a B and I managed to get onto a course which I didn't meet the requirements for at my chosen college! (I never took art as a subject at GCSE level) Now I' m doing a job I love! (Computer specialist ^.^) Yes I've gone through a load of shit to get where I am now so it wasn't all great but what doesn't kill us make us stronger, right?

(By the way, in school I was the unlucky kid in class. In year 10 my English teacher called me a goon and predicted me Fs at GCSE level. I worked my ass off and pulled it up to a B and a C ^.^.)

tl;dr

Relax! You're doing great! Just be persistant and you'll get where you want to be!
 
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