I keep falling into cycles of self-sabotage, with a few complicating factors. Recent academic news feels like its biggest manifestation - advice on this, and the possibility of moving past this when i go into employment. Apologies for the long read.
Brief background: I'm a student at a decent university in the UK, in the final year of my degree. I generally seem to come under the classic type of being told that I was intelligent when I was growing up, and having a resulting complex around having a good 'work ethic'/finding it difficult to be able to 'work hard'. Through a mixture of (what i now realise is) mild depression, 'laziness' and anxiety around work, I kept not doing well/handing first-class work in late, which meant that I was subject to late penalties. My second year average was just below a 2.1, and since my final year is double-weighted as 2/3rds of my degree, I came into it realising I needed to try as hard as I could to counteract this tendency. My first semester marks generally went well - a decent first, in the range of the 70s.
Over Christmas, a close friend of mine passed away
. I had since found it difficult to stay on top of work, and I felt old habits returning. In the assessments for the second semester, with 40% of the year's credits, I asked for an extension as I was having trouble getting it done in time, as I was going through a difficult mix of grief, anxiety, and frankly, apathy.
I exceeded the extensions by 6 days, and was told I wouldn't be given any more, but that if my work was late, the best I could hope for was to apply for special consideration after having handed them in to forgo the late-penalty deduction . I've since done that. After handing the work in, I started seeing a doctor about getting diagnosed for mild to moderate depression. Eventually, my grades pre-penalty came in at just under 80 as an average for these 40 credits (the threshold of a first-class degree is 69, and I needed an average of 73 for the year to balance out the second-year average).
I've just received an email from the department saying that my application for special consideration was rejected, and that my late penalties would not be rescinded, as they feel they'd given me enough extensions (2 weeks) considering my circumstances. There are still a few options left to me - my personal tutor suggested as much when I spoke to him, and said I should get in touch with him if this turned out to be the case, as did another student advisor.
Sorry for the amount of detail this has gone into. Basically, if any of the few remaining options manage to rescind the penalties, I come out with a first-class degree; if not, I scrape through a 2.1 degree, which is generally considered passable, but probably precludes me from a masters at a good university.
Nevertheless, right now, I just feel a little sick of the way I do things, even though it has led me to come out only just on this side of average. I just feel exhausted with the flow-chart process in my own head of how this self-sabotage seems to come about, where I'm clearly capable of doing really well but constantly undercut myself. I know a lot of this is down to a 'fear of failure'. I guess I am just worried that this won't stop here, that it will continue into whatever job I have. I also just feel sick and angry with myself at doing this because I'd feel like a disappointment to my parents: they constantly tell me i'm the smartest in the family but can just never manage to work, and I feel like this degree is going to be a rehearsal of a similar routine that happened at previous academic milestones (GCSEs and A-levels, where my results were un-noteworthy)
I know a degree is far less deterministic of the quality of my life than I might be suggesting it is, but I'm just looking for some advice, since these last weeks of university seem like when everyone enjoys themselves and prepares to end their years here on a good note, whereas I can't seem to move past feeling really angry with myself. Apologies if this sounds petulant, but I guess I'm just looking to read some consolatory words of advice, or something, from people familiar with academic self-sabotage, UK universities, employment, life, or chronically feeling like you're disappointing someone. thanks in advance.