My first four months of university have served as a wake-up call, of sorts. I'm eighteen years old, and I've started a degree in Physics and Chemistry, and quite honestly, I've never been unhappier, and my own flaws have never been more evident.
When I started attending an all-girl's secondary school over six years ago, it immediately became evident to my peers that my social skills were severely lacking; I was clumsy (not in the endearing sense- more so the startled-at-any-loud-noise, constantly-dropping-things, tripping-over-own-feet-every-two-seconds sense), shy, plain and unable to engage in conversation, particularly with males. Due to that, I was automatically labelled as a 'nerd'- I'll be honest, it was a title that I was proud to identify with, and I steadfastly maintained the masquerade of academic knowledge in order to compensate for other elements of my personality that were severely lacking. I know now that I did not deserve the title- perseverance, commitment, initiative, determination or ambition have never been terms that could be used to describe my academic prowess, despite my reasonably good performance in examinations.
There's always been the sort of paradigm present in society that studying Science is an accolade marginally behind the biomedical sector; only those in the 96th percentile and above, academically, have an opportunity to study it at third-level. My strengths (although I had previously paid no heed to this) probably lie more within the realms of Arts and Humanities, but I felt compelled to study Science, as it would finally prove that I was just as capable of success as any of my contemporaries. Again, I was proved wrong. Although I've been adopted by a group of genuinely amazing friends within my course, I feel I don't deserve their friendship; I'm slow-witted, mediocre and awkward in comparison, prompting the return of all of my old twelve-year-old insecurities in full force. It sounds terribly childish, but I'm also the only one who's never had any romantic experience; my two closest friends started going out a few weeks ago, and I feel that I'm not needed within our group any more.
I don't feel capable of anything. I'm unable to bring myself to study, as I know I have no hope of excelling, and it feels like I've chosen Science to strengthen other's perception of me as intelligent, rather than due to the fact that it's something I'm passionate about. I feel like I don't even know what I am passionate about any more, as after spending so long cultivating this persona, the gilded surface has been torn away to reveal nothing of any value or interest. I'm not independent, I'm not beautiful, I'm not genuine; it feels like I have nothing at all to offer to anybody. I've never felt so worthless.
ElysianPeace ElysianPeace
2 Responses Dec 10, 2012

Sounds to me that you're growing up as a person, trying to find your place in this mess we call the world. Feeling yourself useless and flawed and imperfect is very important part of maturing and can not be skipped in my opinion. Remember times when as a kid you had wild aspirations about becoming an astronaut or whatever you did want to become? Relentless pursue and unwavering trust in oneself. But when we start to realise our own limits and boundaries we start to question whether we are good at anything, or even mean anything. At least this is how I see it.

However I can assure you that you have something to offer - you just don't know what it is yet. For me it took all the years thusfar to realise the first thing I actually have to offer to the environment around me: it was improvisation. But that didn't really stop the search for my place in the world nor the skills and points of interest I hold inside this entity called my persona.

I wish you luck in finding something of value in your own life as it is you who has to find it for it to exist.

Wow....that sounds EXACTLY like me when I graduated from high school and went into university. I felt that my "brains" were a sham and that I wasn't nearly as smart as I thought (or other people thought) I was.

"slow-witted, mediocre and awkward in comparison" pretty much sums up how I felt all through school.

Thank you for responding- it's comforting to know that other people have gone through the same difficulties as I'm currently experiencing. If you don't mind me asking, how did you deal with it?

Honestly, I wish that I could say that I DID deal with it properly, but instead I suffered from depression and loneliness all through my university years. I really don't want anyone else to have to go through that. I did eventually get my degree, but I still feel like I don't deserve it.

I can fully empathize with feeling that you don't deserve it- however, it's amazing that you persevered onwards to obtain your degree, despite any difficulties you may have been facing at the time. I can only hope that I can emulate that courage.

I appreciate that, though with me, I'm not sure if it was so much courage as just that I didn't know what else to do. It's like I HAD to finish, even if I just squeaked by. Academics is all I knew, like yourself, and even though I faltered so much, there was no other option for me BUT to finish. I'm just saying that I hope that you CAN find your passion or your motivation. Four months in isn't a lot, so I just want you to be able to be happy eventually and you DO have time to turn it around. :)

1 More Response