I'm Working harder than i ever have, but making the worst grades i ever have...

I attend a small private liberal arts school in North Texas. I play college football here. It is my junior year and I’ve got the most stressful semester ive ever had. I have 4 classes 3 days a week, 9-4:20pm with almost no breaks in between. Tuesday and thursday I spend in the tutoring center, getting help on my classes. I spend at least 6-10 hours a week in the tutoring center.

I sit in the front row of all my classes. I try my best to be attentive and take notes. In both of my economics classes, I made a 52 on my Macro exam, and a 55 on my micro exam. Both are seperate classes. I have studied tireless in all my classes and I get nothing in return. I have always been very non-chalant in school until spring semester of my sophomore year. I was always able to not put a lot of effort into school, yet still make A’s and B’s. Since I am in the “meat” of the classes needed for my major, I have gotten lessons on how to get more organized and I have been working harder than I ever have.

My grades are terrible and reveal my true level of intelligence. I’m really not that smart. I’m not getting on the field in football either, I got injured during training camp and got moved down to scout team because i missed practice for rehab.

I have battled depression and anxiety ever since I was 12 years old. I cut myself when I was in 6th grade on the knuckles so nobody would notice. I almost decided to put my hand in a pot on boiling water but stopped. My depression has been coming back ever since I started school again. I MAYBE eat twice a day. I am a college football player too so i’m not sure how much that effects me. I always go to bed insanely late because i’m anxious over school and obsess over assignments, or my mind races and i just can’t go to bed. I am stuck. I meet with the campus counselor every week and yeah talking about this stuff is a short term reliever but I haven’t felt any better. I KNOW i am not ‘all there’ mentally, i am pretty unstable lots of the time, very self-conscious, a clinically diagnosed serotonin deficiency, anxiety, depression, and very bad ADD.

I honestly hate myself. I’m an only-child and my parents are all about “C’s and BAD! Never make C’s!!” and my dad barely graduated college, and my mom is the dean of a d2 college in my hometown and has her PHD. I can’t go to them. I can’t and i won’t. They won’t understand and will probably just get mad at me. I’m almost 21 and feel trapped. At this point I just want to stop.

Please be very candid with your counselor about how badly you are feeling @ajanderson32. Make it clear that you are feeling like you need additional help and support. When was your last physical? I think you might want to be checked out - could you have gotten a concussion and not realize it? There could be a neurological impairment that needs treatment. Sorry you are in such a rough spot. I would also stop by your professor’s office hours and ask what think would be helpful to you. Hang on @ajanderson32 . You are in a rough patch, but you can get through this. I will be thinking about you.

What kind of counselor are you seeing? Are you on medication for your depression? Please talk to your counselor ASAP and be very honest about how you are feeling.

You are almost certainly wrong about that, but you probably are unlucky: you are smart enough that school has come easily to you until now, and unlucky that nobody every pushed you enough to develop all the skills (and muscles) that higher level learning requires. In fact, given the list of extra baggage you are carrying it is likely that you are really smart- otherwise you would never have made it this far.

All of @Happy4u’s suggestions are useful. Talk to your counselor- and your advisor. You almost certainly need some study skills help- you are getting to work that is beyond just getting it by osmosis.

FYI- most people hit that wall in HS. It is really unlikely that you are not intellectually able- but you may not have the muscles for it. A kid starting out in football game gets all kinds of practice- exercise, agility, the plays, the strategy- that build up over time. You were clever enough that you could do well enough to get by without doing all the workouts - until now.

You need the right tools and the right guides, and you need the basics- eating right & sleeping, and moral support. And you are cutting off support from the 2 people who are genuinely the most interested in you of anybody in the world. Work this out a bit with your counselor, and see if you can have a joint meeting (even by facetime) so that you have the support of your counselor.

I agree with everyone else -tell someone -get some help for your anxiety. Also my D who is really smart says that economics is HARD.
Some things are just difficult. Could be the teacher, the subject, could be that you are so anxious about it. Please talk to someone and be honest. Are you on meds? They may need adjusting. Good luck and be kind to yourself.

Also, check out this thread, from a fellow traveller- student who got through HS w/o having to work but has hit the wall in 1st year of college (& look at you, just hitting it now!)


Yes, I take 100mg of Zoloft Sertraline. I was first prescribed it when I was 13, and took it for a little over 2 years. I didn’t take it for about 5.5 years, and just got back on it in May 2017.

Medication & dosage needs change as your body changes- which it is doing a lot right now (even if you can’t see change on the outside, there is neurological development change happening on the inside!). Strongly urge you to re-visit that with the prescribing counselor as part of getting the tools & support you need.

Yes, I agree with @collegemom3717! Get in touch with the prescribing clinician! Also be sure they know you are not sleeping consistently. If you don’t want to involve your parents, you have to parent yourself and get the help you need. Ok?

my thoughts:

  1. See your prescribing counselor/psychiatrist for a medication update. Sometimes you need to up the dose.

  2. Keep seeing the counselors to talk. Tell them how you are feeling.

  3. Decide if staying on the football team is the right thing. If it takes up a lot of time, you are not playing, and you have no plans to play in the future, is it worth it? It may be that it is part of your identity and is your social group so you want to stay. It also maybe that you have always played and are just staying because you always have. But future employers are going to look at your GPA, not that you played football.

  4. Did you get accommodations for ADD in HS? can you get them in college?

  5. Is the depression so bad that you shoudl consider taking a medical leave of absence? The depression may be overwhelming you. Talk to the Dean of Students.

  6. I think you are underestimating your parents…but if you aren’t, then find a trusted adult to talk to.