Your mental health is more important than your grades

So i’m currently in my last trimester of university and currently the world is experiencing the COVID19 pandemic. As you can imagine the world is quite tense and overwhelming. I consider myself to be very lucky, im safe, i have the ability to self isolate and have what i need. But feelings of overwhelm, anxiety and fear are things that i can’t shake at the moment.

The classes that i have are intense, heavy in biochemistry and maths and i usually enjoy the challenge, but at the moment this isn’t the case. The idea of sitting down for hours and working out chemical equations and calculating the concentration of salt in a sauce sample seems so ridiculous with everything going on. I’m dealing with a lot of feelings of grief and loss even though i am safe for right now. I honestly can’t fathom giving a single fuck about whether i get a distinction this trimester at uni. For the first time in my whole academic journey i have just wanted to do the bare minimum and pass.

I hold a lot of my self worth around my itelligence and for my whole life. I felt like that my intelligence was the only thing i had to offer the world. I’ve known for years that the concept of intelligence is so subjective and personally haven’t actually felt that university made me smart at all, in fact it kind of felt like the opposite. School stifled me lot and i know i’m not the only one who feels that way. So why have i always been so stressed about making sure i get high marks? Many of my friends who have graduated have said that if they could go back to uni, they would do the bare minimum, pass, graduate and start their career because even if one person got high distinctions and another just passed, they both will come out with the same degree.

During this time, i want to throw away any shame that i have around doing what i need to do to preserve my mental health. One of these shames, is not prioritising getting high marks. Prioritising getting high marks right now and pushing myself non-stop until the deadline will negatively impact my mental health.

This trimester, i will do what i can. What i can do is not what i’m usually capable of and that’s okay. My current abilities are valid and enough, they always will be and so are yours. I don’t believe that using this time to “hustle” or forcing myself to be “productive” is actually going to help me. If i feel up to working harder on my assignments i will, but i refuse to feel guilty about putting my mental health over my studies.

If you are someone who is feeling guilty about not being “productive” during this pandemic, i’m with you. But we are enough as we are and looking after your mental health should take rein over anything else.

I hope you are all well.

lots of love,

Maddie