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Old 02-15-12, 08:17 PM
Byward Byward is offline

Join Date: Feb 2012
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First year engineering student. Feeling like I am totally lost. Any advice?

Hello everyone,

As a preface, sorry if I miss any forum etiquette in this post. Although I have spent the last few hours reading here, I am still new. Also, sorry for the massive post, I have a lot on my mind.

Before I jump into my current problem, let me fill you in on a bit of my background. Through grade school and for the first half of high school, I always had stellar marks. Generally very near, or at the top of my class. I never studied, never worked, in all honesty I just got by on intuition. Everyone else in my family has been very successful, and as the youngest one, my success came as no surprise.

This worked great up until about grade 11. At this point, things started to change in a way that actual work and follow-through was required by me to maintain my top marks. Unfortunately I didn't. My marks were still solid, but between grade 10 and 12, they slipped from mid 90s to low 80s.

I wanted to go to university for Engineering, and applied to a number of top schools (I'm in Canada). As it turned out, my marks weren't enough for all of the schools I really wanted to go to, and I ended up at my safety school. My parents were very understanding and supportive, but must have been a little surprised. No one else in my family ever ended up at anywhere but their top choice.

My first semester was pretty rough. I started in 6 courses, finished with 4. Of those 4, I passed 2 of them. I might have a chance to pass a third. The way the exam structure works at my school is if you score 45-50% in the course, you have a chance to re-write the final. This re-write is happening in about 2 weeks, and I am hoping to salvage a 3/4 semester.

I came to this semester with a hope to start fresh, but it is so far looking even worse then the first. I am currently enrolled in 5 courses, but will probably drop on in the next few weeks. I have had 3 midterms so far, all of which I have failed. I have another tomorrow evening, which I am really lost for.

Half-way through my first semester, I decided to seek out professional help, and after meeting with a series of doctors, was prescribed Concreta. Although I feel like it helps a little bit, it is certainly not making the difference I need. I met with my psychiatrist yesterday, and he added a drug called Wellburtin on top of my Current dose of Concerta (current at 54mg). I am seeing him again next week to follow up on its effectiveness.

It's very hard for me to articulate the problems I'm having, but it seems mostly to be a total lack of self discipline and motivation. Most weeks I will only make it to 1 or 2 classes out of ~15.

until this year, I had never studied for a test before. For my first round of finals, I managed to make it through about an hour of chemistry review, but that was only on something like a triple dose of my meds at the time. I was uncomfortable with that solution, and haven't repeated it since.

Generally when I try to talk to people about this, they seem to think that I am just lazy and don't care, but this is seriously not the case! I am honestly starting to become terrified about the prospect of failing out. I genuinely want to work, I wish I could. I can't imagine what I will do if I fail all my courses this semester. More then anything else, I just want a week of what seems to be the normal university lifestyle. Go to all my classes, study for an hour or two every night. It seems impossible for me.

I know it is probably a vague question, but has anyone experienced problems similar to mine and figured out how to overcome them? I am really out of ideas at this point. After talking to my psychiatrist yesterday, I am going to look into something like life coaching or therapy, apparently there is a center for this on campus.

Thanks so much for any help you can provide!

p.s. - Sorry for the wall of text, I have a lot on my mind!
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