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I feel burnt out and unenthusiastic about my degree. My grade average currently is 1.5 (not the American kind where 4 is good, but the reverse, so I am actually pretty good so far). This current assignment is absolutely horrible and it's pushing me to my limits in a bad way that is entirely unneccessary.
I just can't look at this document anymore. I spent 2 months working on it and I am done. I have lost all oversight over it, it confuses me, I fight to get back into the topic mentally every day. Specific parts have been written by me so long ago they don't even feel like mine and I forget they exist in the document. I lost the plot, because I've been looking so much at this that I cannot see it with a fresh, curious mind anymore. I am beaten.
Most of all though, I am scared that I am just not made for university, no matter what degree, and I wish so desperately I was. I need this paper for what I truly care for, and for a society that puts a lot of emphasis on proving your intelligence and capability ins such a limited and inaccessible way. School was relatively easy for me, the trade school I went to was way too easy for me and bored me, but university sometimes seems too hard. I've attempted another degree before this one while I searched for a traineeship, just to have something in my CV instead of a gap, but even that one was unappealing.
But then I sit back and analyze it and think.. it would not even be that hard, actually. The problem is arbitrary and weird standards that do not make sense to me and are therefore hard to deal with mentally, artificial difficulty added in where it is not needed, and people caring more about sounding smart and obfuscating the meaning of sentences behind difficult words and long sentences than they care about actually teaching a concept. It wouldn't be hard if the assignment actually relied on the stuff we learned in this semester, and not things we will learn in the next. It would not be this hard with better communication.
All law is is a big mindmap, maybe a big decision tree. Keywords make you jump to a paragraph mentally, and then it's a thing of "is there x?" yes/no leading to another paragraph or conclusion. Once you internalize that decision tree in the specific semester or module, you'll be good. Once you know how to research, you're good. There is surprisingly little you have to know by heart.
The thing that burns me out the most is how much is restricted while writing assignments in my country, at my university. Having to write a report and not an essay, having the structure you have to use in that report pre-decided for you, banning lots of words and phrases and forcing you which tense to use. Added together with arbitrary page and character standards (ex. 20 pages, 40.000 characters with spaces and footnotes counted in) as well as a fixed number of footnotes and literature you have to quote and list is making this insanely hard for me.
I feel like the ability to think and learn has been robbed from me. There is no space for my own thoughts anymore. All that is asked of me is to research several articles, books and court cases and quote directly from there. Writing my own thoughts and conclusions is a waste of time, because then afterwards I somehow have to research who potentially said or thought this too so I can get the arbitrary number of footnotes and literature in there and having to shoehorn that in and alter what's written to best accommodate a footnote. So I might as well skip that, skip my own thoughts and reasoning, skip the whole training of preparing and articulating my own view - and go straight to research, changing the wording on what I see in the writings of others and immediately put a footnote behind it to credit it accordingly. That is what's encouraged, otherwise you might not reach the holy numbers. It feels like a cloze test, in which I have to copy paste and alter other peoples thoughts together with a source credit into a structure of categories and headlines already presented on the screen. Like drag and dropping text into different bins.
I feel so restricted, it's hard to think. Even writing something without this debilitating and paralyzing legal report structure they impose on us presents me with the issue of how to put my thoughts and arguments in these way too small and limited boxes. It all just comes out disjointed. I just can't.
I can't be brief in my arguments and descriptions and definitions because then I won't hit the page and character requirement, so I have to add in useless filler bs and milk everything to death. I can't fully use each source to its most potential because then I would not reach the required number; if I find 10 sources saying the same things, I'll have to opt to use each of them once when it was all said in the first. I read interesting stuff in one but have to "save this" for another source for absolutely no reason aside from a number. The situation that I have to carefully decide who gets the credit for a fact because one source can't cover all of them because I won't reach a number that way is ridiculous to me at times.
If there are differing opinions and uncertainty, it makes sense - you gotta be sure you're not quoting a weird outlier or something wrong, and you should always read multple sources-, but to even be able to pass, I have to quote and credit the most ridiculous and benign stuff everyone can agree on from 5+ sources with no conflict or interesting twists. And that's supposed to be scientific? It's boring and redundant.
Not to mention that secondary quotes are banned too, so if you're entering some kind of hellish quote circle in which they're all pointing to eachother while you dig through the rabbit hole and find lots of misquoting too, and there is nothing in the damn sources that is not credited to someone else as well, you end up not being allowed to use it for a footnote at all. Because it's primary source only, the original, that you should quote. But then, ohh, court cases should not be put into the literature list, only in the footnotes. But all the articles are crediting the court cases with each fact, and I need the primary source, right? That means only the court cases can be quoted. Now I have to think about how to even fill my literature list because the books and articles are mostly not allowed to show up anywhere with this weird rule.
What is this stupid clown dance?
The prospect of having to write these for another 5 years is making me lose my mind. It shatters my self esteem because failing at this makes me feel stupid, it makes me feel too neurodivergent to succeed in life, it also makes me feel somewhat crazy because I see other people just adjusting flawlessly to this completely empty way of "proving" that you understood anything at the end of a semester. I feel like I am participating in a huge clown circus and everyone is just pretending weird shit for nothing. Maybe to feel elite? The social capital and status image for studying law or having completed the education for that all come from the image of it being hard, so I guess people are invested in keeping the farce up, else their anticipated reward of being seen as a really smart or hardworking person could disappear. It's like the goal is to burn people out who like a bit more freedom and to think for themselves, while the mindless drones pass through well.
Though I try to tell myself that some assignments and cases simply lend themselves a lot better to lots of sources, footnotes and literature, than my current assignment. It's simply much easier to write something engaging and finding lots of diverse source material that makes your numbers explode naturally without artificially inflating them, if the assignment is about a diverse and controversial topic. It's ridiculous to give such a monotonous, everyone-parrots-the-same-thing topic and then expect people to naturally hit specific high numbers.
So far I have 14 pages, 31k characters, and over 30 footnotes. It should be doable. But I still feel like dying inside. I feel like something in me is being broken by putting me through this, and as if that's the whole point.
I really don't care if I pass, I just want to hand it in and be done with it no matter the outcome. I still learned from it and I'll just move on to the next semester.
𓇽 ° . ༻ 𓈒 ꒪ ๋ ° .𓏲⠀ ๋࣭ ♡ ͘ ࣭⠀⸰ ⋆ ֗ ִ ᨒ .⋆ﾟ. ͘ ࣭⠀⸰ ♡ 𓂂 ◌ 𓇽 ° . ๋ 𓂂 ⠀✼ 𓇽