Q & A: University struggles
Answered by: Chereen
Q: I am in my first term in university. I started being lazy in uni unlike I used to be when I was in high school. I lost the motivation to study and believed this idea that everything will solve itself. I am studying in Swedish when I have studied in English all my life, which has resulted into me blaming the language as to why I am feeling how I am feeling. I also blame the courses I have, saying that they are not interesting. This led me into questioning myself alot. Why I became so lazy, if it is because of the career path I have chosen,whether it is because of the language change, whether I am tired or stressed about life itself. Can you give me tips on how to be motivated and focus on my studies and myself?
A: Wa alaykum as’salaam friend,
You don’t sound lazy, you sound discouraged. Transitioning from high school to university is a big deal. It’s not as simple as people assume, and it takes effort to really do well. For yourself, you are transitioning from high school to university and you are also switching languages. You are going from English to Swedish which is difficult to do when it is not the language you are used to studying in.
Are you enjoying your career path? Do you feel like you are excited to study it? Sometimes the initial courses for your major are not as interesting as the later courses are. Introduction courses can be a bit broad, so once you get more into the upper level courses you tend to enjoy your major more.
My advice is to communicate with your professors. Discuss your struggle with them, and ask for their advice. They have tips that can benefit you. You also want to reach out to the teachers assistants and benefit from them as a resource. I also recommend hiring a tutor to help you with the courses that you are struggling most in. Possibly a tutor to help you with your Swedish, so that you feel like you aren’t taking twice as long to process everything you are reading. Have you considered speaking to your school psychologist to help you cope with the anxiety?
In order to be motivated, you have to enjoy what you are studying. It helps when you feel like you are processing what you are learning. If you aren’t able to get a tutor, join study groups. Connect with people studying the same major as you, or even just taking similar courses. They will be able to help you, and you will be able to help them. You will not feel alone when you have a suppprt system to help you stay on track. Studying together can work in your favor because any questions you have will be answered by the group.
Most importantly, don’t give up on yourself. It will get easier once you have a system set up. Remember that university is a part of your life, so don’t let it consume you. Allow for it to be a positive experience. Gradually, with these changes you should become more comfortable being a university student.