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I think I'm a perfectionist..I can't get anything done

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This is just horrible. I have an essay due in a few hours. It's 4:00 a.m. and I don't have anything. This often happens. Except this time it's even worse. I talked with my teaching assistant over the phone on Friday & he basically told me that my plan for the essay is good, but not good enough for the mark I want (an A.) So I've been researching all weekend trying to improve, trying to figure out the missing links that would secure that elusive A, trying to hit the mark of 'brilliance' that he says qualifies the 'A' paper. But now it's only a few hours, I have nothing and have been paralyzed for at least an hr, not knowing what to write or what to do. His advice was to aim lower, and just try to patch up a few things and hand it in as is, but I just feel awful. I can't do that. I can't type knowing that what I'm typing is empty in advance, and that I'll just get a B regardless of what I do. So here I am with a blank page and if I don't have it done for today I'll fail.


Unfortunately, my TA didn't know that I'm a perfectionist. Sometimes it takes me 2 hours just to write an introduction..that's typically about 5 sentences. By suggesting that my paper was sub-par he couldn't then say 'oh yes, it sucks but hand it in as it is anyways.' I *can't* do that. I've had this happen before and never ended up handing the project in on time. Unfortunately I got an extension on this (more than technically allowed by the prof.) and so -must- hand it in today. I still feel awful, and don't know if I can type.


I just feel so incredibly stupid. I want to type it but I can't because I feel like I don't have anything. He basically told me that my ideas aren't significant. That makes me feel great. Like it's completely worth my time to even try.


He knows I'm trying hard on this essay. If I end up getting a B I don't know what I'll do. I will be devastated. That could also be why I'm not doing it actually..I don't even want to try if I'm going to fail anyways. I feel like this year is just getting worse and worse. I want to apply to law school, but I don't even know anymore. I've contemplated suicide around December last year, and I feel the same desperate thoughts reoccurring. It's not just this paper, but what if I can't achieve any of my goals? What if this keeps happening -- I try but then the effort is just deemed worthless? I don't even want to face the possibility..I've told people (my mom & boyfriend) that if I end up not going to law school or grad school I will consider committing suicide but they've always just shrugged it off as being melodramatic. I know it does some hyperbolic, but I just can't envision failing throughout my life all the time. It is the most awful feeling in the world. I hate it. I would rather not face it at all if possible, and if it comes to that point I can actually see myself doing it.


I don't really know why I'm writing this..perhaps for advice, perhaps just to get something off my chest. This is probably the worst feeling for me though - failure. Like actually trying and having someone tell you "that is not deep enough. Why can't you just answer this question, and then you will have offered something substantial?' and you try and answer it but can't. You know you're so close, you're trying to offer something original, but you can't. It's horrible. I just don't even want to try. I'd almost rather drop out of university than the possibility of facing this again. I've secured As before in courses, I know I can do it, but this is just stumping me and I don't even want to try anymore. I feel so frustrated..I really don't want to face the possibility that I'm not smart enough, which is what he's implying..

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AHAHA~ I'm in the same position... except I'm not a perfectionist...


I have a paper due in 7 hours and I'm only less than half way through. >_


I sat on this very chair the entire day, since 9am, staring at my topic thinking, and reading my stupid book... but the majority of the time were given to surfing internet and posting...


...grr... my brain was fried and I couldn't think up anything. @_@




UGH, I need 2.5 more pages.

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Here a perfectionist in big struggle with the MA thesis... I know how you feel. I want the perfect thing and nothing else, so I rather do nothing than something moderate, so to say.


I have struggled with this throughout all my studies, and it's part of the reason that it took me 6 years to finish this study. I am simply not satisfied with lower than an A (in my country we don't give A B C, we have 0-10, the latter being impossible to get for anything except a multiple choice exam). I will probably graduate cum laude, and if not I will feel like a loser. *sigh*


For my thesis this is really terrible. It takes me ages to write a single section. The results are always good, but that only makes me slower. I want that A. (9 in my country).


I decided to relax a bit, maybe it helps you to not postpone the work (hear ME talking haha), but cut it in small pieces.


Good luck!



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almost 7:00 a.m. and I have nothing. Although I slept for about 15 mins. and don't feel too tired anymore (before I could barely open my eyes.) I think there's something seriously wrong with me.


[edit] I've decided that this is really going nowhere. I'm going to try to talk to a graduate student I know at 9:00 and see if he can help, although he might be tutoring then, I'm not sure. I know I can't talk to my TA after that phone conversation, so that's not an option. If this doesn't work, then I'll have to just work with what I've got..which isn't much, but at least it's not a fail.

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Hi H.Hippo,


Thanks so much for your reply..I was able to write an outline for my essay, so at least I got something done. I still have a few hrs, so I should be okay. I'll get it done, even if it's not the best piece of work I've produced (far from it - my TA wouldn't have told me straight up it wasn't good if it wasn't the truth..) But in any case, you're right - I'm just going to try my best on this & see what happens.


About law school though..I really don't know. It's so hard to think about if I don't get in because I've wanted to be a lawyer my whole life. And if it doesn't work out, you're right, I can always try another year..it doesn't look the best for my application, but I know some people who do take an extra year to bring up their marks & get in so it's possible. And if it's really what I want to do maybe it's worth it. Ironically I'm using a public PC right now & the person before me using this computer was typing up their personal statement for law school applications. Needless to say, I was curious so I read it over & it sucks BIG TIME. I can't believe how much it sucks. The person can barely type English! She probably has better marks than me though (her major is in science apparently so it's not like she had to use english much in uni) but it still gives me a bit of hope that at least I'm a better applicant than some people out there (possibly.) I know I can write 100% better than this kid at least.


Anyway, I probably shouldn't be so competitive..it just really really hurts when you try so hard and have people tell you it's not good enough. Hopefully I'll improve..I only have a few hrs to finish this though so I should just get a move on..


Thanks again. Realistically..I don't think I'd commit suicide (although there have been desperate moments when I was seriously considering whether it's worth trudging on.) But hopefully things will work out and I'll never have to resort to something so drastic.

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