This year I’m resitting 3rd-year architecture, which obviously wasn’t something I had planned to happen. When I found out I’d failed last year I was understandably devastated, but now it’s almost the end of the first semester, I can’t help but feel like maybe there are more good things to come out of it than I expected (apart from the extra nine grand in tuition fees, there is no way I can put a positive spin on that one).
When I first found out I would have to resit, it was very upsetting. I knew I’d been struggling with some mental health issues such as anxiety over the past year, so I knew the work I’d produced was never going to be as good as it could have been. At the worst point, I missed four tutorials in a row because I was finding it impossible to go in without having an anxiety attack. Naturally, when that review came around, I wasn’t surprised that I failed. After going to counselling a few times I was doing better, but then, of course, Covid hit and everything changed. For the project that we did during the lockdown, I honestly thought what I’d done was good enough, and was massively disappointed to find out it wasn’t.
I kept it all to myself because didn’t want those around me to be worried or disappointed. This meant that I had to organise myself, meaning I had to think about lots of things I hadn’t really had to think about before. Firstly, I had to work out where I was going to live in Dundee, as I’d already moved out of the flat I was in. I spent a lot of time searching and enquiring about places, which is something I’ve never done before, but I will definitely be more confident doing it the next time I need to. Money was another serious issue; I had to make sure I applied for student finance, and work out how much I would need to borrow to pay for rent, food and anything else I might need.
After a month or two of stressing behind the scenes, it was easier to tell people what had happened when I had a solid plan in place for how I was going to manage it. It wasn’t an ideal situation, but there was nothing I could do to change it at that point without a time machine, and everyone seemed to accept that.
Joining a new year group was a bit strange as first, but with a lot of online teaching, it was just a lot of names on a screen I didn’t recognise, rather than being surrounded by new faces. In some ways, I think this was easier and definitely less overwhelming than it would have been. I feel like online teaching has been a blessing in disguise for someone like me, as it would have been very easy to just stay in my room and not talk to anyone, but with constant communication between tutors and the other students, it forces me to get involved, even in my room.
I also think my work itself has already seen a massive improvement, perhaps because I have a head start by knowing what not to do, or maybe I’m actually improving. It might take a bit longer than most people, but if I can produce work at a higher level, that’ll be great when I’m applying for jobs, and even beyond. To be honest, the future is all that matters.
So, although it seemed like the absolute worst thing that could have happened at the time, having to resit a year does have a few good points. If I had the opportunity to go back in time to make sure I passed the first time, would I take it? Of course. But seeing as I can’t change it now, accepting it and looking for positives in the situation is the only way forward.