Lesson 4: Your ability is not the problem

Hello everyone and welcome back to the fourth part in my series The Top 5 Lessons I’ve Learnt at Uni.

I’m not going to lie – I’m a little bit of a stress head (okay I’m a total stress head). I’ve always been a little bit of a nerd and want to do well in my studies.

In the midst of a (total) freak-out last semester, I turned to a friend for some guidance. I told him I was stressed about assessments, what mark I was going to receive for them and how I felt I wasn’t going to get everything done on time.

He took a deep breath, sighed, shook his head a little and said to me “Steph, there’s literally no need for you to freak out. You can absolutely do this – your ability is not the problem here”.

Your ability is not the problem.

I realised; he was right. I had the capability to complete the task at hand. I had just stressed myself out so much that it all seemed incredibly overwhelming and unachievable. This has become my go-to mantra for whenever I’ve felt stressed trying to complete uni tasks.

There’s no sugar coating it. There are times at university that are stressful. We’re about to enter into a stressful time right now, with lots of final assessments and exams.  

In these kinds of periods, you might find yourself stressing out and doubting whether you can make it through these assessments. Not to sound like too much of a cheerleader but you can totally do it – your ability is not the problem in getting these things done.

You were talented enough to be accepted into your chosen course. Therefore, you have the talent, tools and ability to do the work that is required of you, to a good standard. It’s just about remembering this when you’re super stressed out.

This is a lesson I learnt a little late, but I think it’s one that has helped me the most throughout the past semester. Every time I think I’ve hit a roadblock in an assessment, find a task daunting or start stressing out, I remind myself that whilst the task might be a little challenging, my ability is not the problem in getting it done.

If the exam and assessment period is a particularly difficult or stressful time for you, it’s a great idea to talk to someone so don’t be afraid to reach out to a friend or utilise La Trobe’s Counselling Services. And if you need assistance in polishing those academic skills, you can always check out the Learning Hub for guidance.

Best of luck for the end of semester!

Steph