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School anxiety

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aLadypilot posted 3/11/2013 16:26 PM

How do you deal?

I'm already on Paxil. Not sure what else I can do? Exercise? Ha! Who has time for that? I'm working full time, taking 8 credits, and I have major paper writing anxiety. Can not write a paper to save my life. Have already dropped out of college twice because of it, and am about ready for the third time, except there is no way I can pay back those college loans on what I make. So, ironically, I'll have to forge ahead. I feel sick.

veritas posted 3/11/2013 16:36 PM

(((aladypilot))) I am in the middle of writing a paper myself, so if you want help, let me know. Writing comes pretty easily to me, so even though our paper isn't due for two weeks, I will probably have a near final draft in less than one week. My "rough draft" will probably be as close to something that I would want to turn in to be marked. Hit me up by PM or on Facebook if you want me to proof and make suggestions. Warning: I'm not a beach about it, but I am thorough. And picky.

NoLongerWantHim posted 3/11/2013 16:39 PM

Writing Center!!!

I only had to take En 101 & 102, but I figured I was rusty.

If you can't stop by, see if they do on-ine or e-mail sessions.

Keep writing, some Prof's will let you resumbit corrected papers.

Don't give up - it's an investment in you.

aLadypilot posted 3/11/2013 16:42 PM

Thank you. Logic tells me I can do this. I just have a huge mental block to overcome. This particular paper is the easiest type. It's an interview paper, so there's no research, no citation, just type what was told to me. Not sure what my damn problem is. Really appreciate the encouragement, though.

GabyBaby posted 3/11/2013 16:51 PM

I enjoyed writing papers when I was in school, but I usually didnt sit down to write until a few days before it was due.
However, I was mentally processing WHAT I was going to write well before hand.

Maybe it would work better if you try writing down things as they come to mind (points you want to make, supporting ideas, etc).
Keep a pad handy and as you have a thought pertaining to the paper, jot it down.
Then when you sit down to write the paper, you have bullet points or ideas already on paper and it'll help you get started.

yewtree posted 3/11/2013 17:22 PM

My sister is an English teacher. when I went back to school she suggested that I type the questions / instructions for the assignment and as I answer each question, delete it, and the paper begins to take shape. It really works!

I have a hard time not writing a synopsis of the story, and getting to my thesis and supporting paragraphs, so her trick really helped.

There are many superb writers on this site, maybe others will have ideas too!

aLadypilot posted 3/11/2013 17:42 PM

Thanks.

solus sto posted 3/11/2013 19:15 PM

I'm a professional writer; if you need help with editing, or any aspect of paper-writing, feel free to PM.

Weatherly posted 3/12/2013 11:33 AM

Count me in as another person who can/will help if you need me to. I actually really like writing papers. Last semester my uncle had me check all his papers before he turned them in and went from a D to a B. Not an A, because he wouldn't listen to me when I said his papers didn't flow or have a clear conclusion, and I wasn't going to write the whole thing for him.

Amazonia posted 3/12/2013 11:41 AM

when I was in school, but I usually didnt sit down to write until a few days before it was due.
However, I was mentally processing WHAT I was going to write well before hand.

This is me too, both in undergrad and now in my night classes.

Now for work, I do a lot of drafting that needs to be done same day, and my typical process is as follows:
-Immediately jot notes
-Reorder notes into the order they need to be in in the paper/memo/email/policy/handbook/whatever
-Write paragraphs using the notes as a guide, to get all the substance; if it sounds bad, just keep going, and make sure I get all the relevant information in
-Put it away and work on something else for a bit, generally as long as I can - an hour or more is best, or overnight if possible.
-Go back and rewriting, paragraph by paragraph. I literally hit enter above the first paragraph and start retyping/writing and will copy and paste the parts I like from the old paragraphs as I go, then delete the leftover scrap paragraph and move on to the next one the same way. I call it wordsmithing, I don't know if that's really what wordsmithing is though.
-Send to a coworker for editing, telling her it's a rough draft
-Incorporate edits
-Send to supervisor.

nowiknow23 posted 3/12/2013 11:44 AM

When I'm anxious abpout a task in front of me that seems impossible and overwhelming, I try the 15 minute trick.

Do SOMETHING that relates to the task (rereading the assignment, creating a blank document on your laptop, putting paper in the printer, whatever) for 15 minutes. Set a timer for it, and stick to the time. When the timer goes off, stop. Go do something else for 15 minutes. Again - set the timer. When it goes off again, reset for 15 minutes and work on the assigment again.

Rinse, repeat.

Sometimes, just getting your momentum going can knock down the barriers.

jennie160 posted 3/12/2013 12:26 PM

When I had to write papers I used a similar style to Ama's. I would write down all of the points that I needed to cover and I mean every little detail. Then I would order the bullets in essay structure so topics would flow properly. The outline ended up basically a choppy essay in bullet point style. Then I would write the essay off the outline so everything meshed and sounded right.

I had a college history class where the entire grade for the class was based on a mid-term and final that consisted of 3 short essays each. The instructor would tell us the essay questions before the exam so we had a little time to prepare. I would write my essays the night before and completely memorize them word for word because I was so bad at writing essays on the spot.

aLadypilot posted 3/12/2013 15:55 PM

You all have wonderful ideas.

why2008 posted 3/13/2013 10:00 AM

Writing is not my forte either so I completely get where you are coming from.

When I had to write papers I found the grammar check in Word to be incredibly helpful.

http://www.gcflearnfree.org/word2010/6.2

Also if I started early my papers were much better.

Like Amazonia suggested, working on it for a bit and then taking a break and coming back helped me a bunch. If I sat and read my work over and over again. It all started to look and sound like gobeldy gook.

solus sto and veritas offered you help with editing and review... I would totally take them up on their offers! I wish I had developed the habit of asking for help more often in my life instead of spinning my wheels stuck in my own head so much.

Also get out the assignment, and if they have requirements, double check that you have covered those.

Good Luck! YOU CAN DO IT!!!

KeepCalm_CarryOn posted 3/13/2013 12:48 PM

I write a lot for work and my first "draft" is basically word-vomit! Just ideas, phrases, little things to get something on the paper. It always seems much less intimidating when there's something already on the paper.

I edit. Then I edit again. Then I edit again. Then I walk away. Then I edit again!

tryingagain74 posted 3/13/2013 12:57 PM

English teacher here-- begin by outlining in whatever way works for you. I personally like headings with bullets under each heading. I do this with my own writing and teach my students to outline as well.

PM me if I can help.

click4it posted 3/13/2013 12:59 PM

I work specifically with parents who are going to school. Many who come in experience the same anxiety you are having -especially with test anxiety. My boss has recommended a hypnotherapist who specializes in anxiety. Those who have gone to her have said that it has helped out a lot and they were able to pass their classes. I would suggest looking for one in your area to check out. It might be slightly pricey, but its worth a shot and you might find one who works on a sliding scale.

[This message edited by click4it at 1:00 PM, March 13th (Wednesday)]

aLadypilot posted 3/14/2013 14:52 PM

Hm, hypnotherapy sounds interesting...

Yeah, this writing issue I have definitely isn't rational. Some sort of emotional foul up. Maybe the next assignment will go better?

Of course, I won't have the three doctor visits, the trip to Chicago and the overtime at work that I had when the last paper was due. That really sucked!

aLadypilot posted 4/3/2013 20:54 PM

Well, I emailed my advisor asking for information on withdrawing from classes. I have a group presentation due on Saturday with a 6 page paper, and of course I haven't even started yet.

Everytime I sit down to think about this assignment, my throat closes off and I go into a crying jag. I'm thinking that is NOT a normal response to an assignment. Ugh. I guess I'm just not college material.

Thriving posted 4/3/2013 21:50 PM

Hon, you ARE college material! It seems this program just isn't a good fit for your learning style.

My sister couldn't do a traditional "in a classroom" school. She graduates Cum Laude from an totally on-line college in June. Lots of papers (rather small papers based on my in-a-classroom experience) but no presentations. She's done and just killing time until commencement.

Take a break and then research your options. If you really want the degree, you'll find something that fits how you learn best and fits your schedule.

You can make it if it's really important to you. I know you can do it!

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