Since joining high school and thinking about what I want to do with my life, my biggest worry is what will happen if I don’t succeed. I’m stressing about third-year exams already, worried about what will happen if (or when) I fail them all and how my parents/teachers would react. I have a feeling I’ll spend too much time studying and not spending enough time with family and friends, which will wreck my already extremely limited popularity. But I can’t think of any other way to succeed. I also fear that I won’t and can’t amount to anything in the future, and have a constant feeling of worthlessness, particularly when others do better than me. I’m often scared to ask for help, particularly in maths when everyone is miles ahead and understands perfectly. I’ve already been told I won’t be able to take maths to the highest level I initially can (National Five in my country) and will have to do National Four instead, and I feel terribly about it, like it’s not even worth doing if I can’t do it to the highest level.
Something that really doesn’t help is that I’m a serious perfectionist – this shows through everything, from music practice and artwork to how I dress and look. If I can’t get it completely right the first few times, I start getting stressed and feeling worthless, and even when other people say I’m doing a good job, I can’t shake the feeling they’re lying because not many of my classmates actually like me and it would be so much like them to mess around with me. I have a music exam in four months time which seems like ages, but I am freaking out and preparing far too much. I think I just want to succeed straight away all the time; it isn’t possible and it makes me feel bad all the time.