Should you Do Something Even if You Hate It?

Yesterday was a great day: I felt positive, happy, did work (understood my psychology and history) and I was held up by the thought that for the whole day, I’d felt alive and like I was in control. Recently – and by that I mean for the past few months – I’ve steadily been feeling less connected with my emotions; numb, if you will; growing slowly more unfeeling and scared because of it. Yesterday was a change from that.

Today started off the same – a bit dulled – but it was still alright. I had great conversations with Swan, felt passionate about Othello and English and laughed in Psychology with the new, casual friends I’ve made.

That shattered, at lunch, for one reason: French.

“I fucking hate it.” “God, I wish I’d done Philosophy, or Politics instead.” “If I could go back and change my options, I honestly would – I know loads of people say that but I mean this.” “I’m not passionate about it any more.” “I can’t do it – I just can’t – I want to cry whenever I think about it.” “I love the concept of it – languages are amazing – but studying it sucks the energy out of me and I hate myself for it.” These are all things I’ve been saying about the subject, with more and more insistance, increasing in frequency after the soul-destroying disaster that was my mock.

Today I broke down over it – it was like the final straw. I do Peer Mentoring for this lovely girl a few years younger than me, but I couldn’t do it this lunch. It was partly because I felt shit, but also because I’m tired, confused, and I feel ill, but that’s a whole other story. I hope that she’s okay; I feel rubbish for not talking to her because she might have needed my help nd.

I went to the VI unit – building for visually impaired people where they prepare our work – told the teacher who helps me find my Mentee’s form room that I just couldn’t do it because of stress, and then opened up to her about the french problem. They all knew I was stressed, that I disliked french, but today was the day I truly told them how I felt. After that teacher left, I explained how awful I felt to the teacher who prepares my French work, and one of the other teachers there. Then, I cried through my words, just feeling guilty and hollow.

Essentially, I don’t think I can carry on with French, even to the AS exam. Every time I think about that subject, I panic, cry and don’t do the work. Not doing the work makes me panic so much that I then can’t do it, but there are other reasons.

In French, we study a film. I’m blind, and can’t see enough at all to, well, read the subtitles. The film’s in French, English but also Spanish (which I have no idea how to speak apart from some simple phrases). It would be bad enough if I just didn’t understand what was going on scenery-wise, but not only did my dad have to try and explain what was going on with that as well, he had to translate a few key passages using the subtitles. Plenty of VI people have done french and other languages for A-Level, but I’m just bad, and my mental health was low anyway. That sounds like some fucking stupid excuse.

How do I explain this? Right, so imagine you’re blindfolded and you have to listen to something. It’s in a foreign language, a few English words scattered here and there but mostly in a different language. You watch it with your dad and you think “Okay, I think I get the plot?” You watch it with your class and a funny scene comes up; they laugh, and it takes you 10 minutes to get the context of the joke, understand it, and then understand why it’s relevant. The teacher tells you, “Here are some filming techniques!” Oh great, you think, but what does that mean? Why? You find out the plot, have to learn it and then someone in your class says, “Remember when the main character did that?” Did what, and when was that, and when was the significance of that, and oh god oh god oh god!

When I write about this film, I write what people tell me to write. Either because I’m incapable or because of partly the blindness, coming up with good points based on scenery, characters or anything like that is a struggle. I just don’t understand it, and writing, reading, listening or anything has turned into a chore, something I dread, and it ultimately makes me hate myself because I convince myself I’m some sort of failure.

It’s not only that: the workload is awful. I do three other essay subjects, and they’ve all been affected because French takes up my time, and I always stress I’m just not doing enough. This year has been the worst, academically and personally, for me; my enthusiasm has gone, my mental health is unpleasant, I feel like crap all the time and I can’t seem to shake a feeling of worthlessness. I only wish I’d caught this at the start of the year but at the start of the year, I was much happier.

My friend Laurel, who sits next to me in French, found me after class today as it was the end of the day. She’s also thinking of dropping it, and we walked down the corridor, as I was trying to explain an abbreviated version of how I felt. The wind, as we walked outside, threw my hair around and we stood facing each other, she patting my arm as we said goodbye because she could hear the deadness in my voice.

The thought of going to french lessons makes me feel sick. When I come out the classroom, usually I’m upset, or dead inside – as I am right now, numbed to it. I got so stressed about the speaking exam and how I hadn’t prepared for the practice one that I bent my fingers back, twisting my wrists and gasping for air, trying to tell myself I was fine, that I was just being pathetic.

I can’t do it any more, and I’m gripped with this awful desperation. If I continue with this, I’ll break down, cry even more than I have, and I’m just scared of slipping even further down the crap health ladder. Then again, am I making this out to be worse than it is? If I drop it, will everyone hate me?

I’m speaking to a more senior staff member tomorrow, because I’m too nervous of talking to the french teachers. They’re amazing people and I adore them, but if I explain it to them, they’ll try and convince me to stay. They’ll give great arguments, or say, “Just stick it out to your exam!” I genuinely don’t know if I can do that, but if I told them, they’d convince me I could and then I’d get even worse, because I’d have to prove something.

Pros of dropping French:
I’ll be happier
There’ll be less stress
I can concentrate on the subjects I want to carry on with
I’ll have more time for myself
I may hate myself less

Cons of dropping French:
My french teachers and otherteachers will be disappointed in me
It looks like I’m giving up after having not tried it
I’ll lose credability for not carrying it through to the end
I may regret the decision
My friends and everyone else could think I’m a failure
I do enjoy the idea of French

As I sit in my bedroom, hands shaking and feeling cold all over, I ask myself this question: is it worth feeling this miserable, panicking constantly and worrying, for something that won’t affect your future much after you do it? Is it all really worth it if everything else is being brought down by it? Is it too late? I don’t know. I don’t think it is, and that’s terrifying.

From Elm πŸ™‚

71 thoughts on “Should you Do Something Even if You Hate It?

  1. hiiii,
    I really think that you should go ahead and drop the subject. It is not worth you feeling horrible about yourself, getting you down and all the work you are doing. No one will think that you’re a failure for dropping it, and if they do, then they’re a shitty friend. And your teachers will be okay with you dropping the subject as it is the right decision for you. If you carry on with french it could effect your other classes, and is definitely not with it, especially as you don’t enjoy it. I say make the decision for you, not for what other people will think xx

  2. It’s not worth getting so stressed about something like this, if you’re not enjoying it then drop it. What’s the point in wasting time being miserable and stressed about something you can change? There are so many ways to learn languages right now that don’t involve school or exams that it’s honestly not worth making yourself go through this.

    • You’re right, and I wish I’d seen this sooner. I would have been so much less stressed – but what’s done is done. I’m dropping it, to stop myself from feeling so miserable all the time. Thank you xx

  3. Life is about doing finding things we love and finding a way to mould that into a future we will enjoy, but at the same time will test us. There is no point stressing yourself out over a subject. Only push for things you are passionate about. If you push for things that don’t, you will find you will begin to feel annoyed and down every time you know you have to do it. Why put yourself through that? Just a thought haha

    • It’s an extremely valid thought. Thank you so much, Chloe πŸ™‚ People telling me this is what makes me, and helps me, to make decisions xx

  4. I definitely think you should drop it. Especially since it’s making you so miserable. There are plenty of opportunities to learn a new language when you’ve left school- find a subject you like!

  5. The thing is, your life is completely yours. In all perspective, what people think about the fact you dropped French will not matter when you are older. What will matter is how you have lived your life and the things you have done. At the end of the day, happiness is all we have got. You need to make sure you do what will make you happy, Not other people x

  6. Aww Elm whatever decision you make, remember to put yourself first. You wouldn’t be a failure for dropping French, because you HAVE tried it and you’ve tried your best and that’s all anyone can ask of you. My French teacher said herself she thinks teaching languages as a levels is stupid quite frankly as it is a skill, not a subject like history or English and shouldn’t be taught or examined in the same way. If you do drop French, doesn’t mean you’re giving up on it – you can learn it without doing a level in a more relaxed way if you want to carry it on, and you’ve probably gained so much more knowledge from the past 6 months of studying it, so it won’t have gone to waste! Hope you’re okay πŸ™‚ xx

    • I’m alright – I’ve stopped stressing as much about it which is great!! Thanks so much for your encouragement, Em πŸ™‚ To know that people don’t think that I’ve failed means a lot, because it’ll quieten the shouting inside my head for a time. I definitely want to carry on in SOME capacity, outside a place where I feel terrible.

  7. DROP FRENCH!! It’s a horrible subject, I do it for GCSE and have double lessons of it on a Tuesday, every single time I go in I want to cry or just leave. I understand nothing, and teachers pick on you and it’s not good. I’ve tried dropping it but sadly for me it is too late 😦 i admire people who can do languages, but I’m fluent in English, and have got that off to a T (thank the lord considering it is my only language!πŸ˜‚). I’d say if it makes you really unhappy so much so that it spoils a happy and productive day then it’s not good for your mental health and just drop it. I started Monday off feeling so happy and productive, and Tuesday was okay but then french, and it ruins my mood until at least Thursday, but then the week is nearly over and productivity just dies from within. Such strugglesπŸ˜©πŸ˜‚β€οΈxxx

    • Oh hell I TOTALLY understand that!!! 😦 It is pretty awful. Are you in year 10 or year 11? Only a short time left and then you can drop it! πŸ˜€ Ahh so happy someone understands me – and I hope you’re okay!

  8. It’s totally up to you but also what makes you feel best and helps you, like if French is so difficult and is causing a lot of stress then go ahead and drop it and you will be able to focus on your other subjects and do really well in them. Either way its your decision and no one else should influence it or be the reason why you chose either option. Your friends may even be pleased for you if you drop it because they will know that it will make you happier and if they are true friends they will not think any less of you 😊

  9. i have been having this same issue with my french class, but i have to struggle through until the end of the year (sadly enough). i would personally say go with what makes you happier, which is in this case is dropping. that is definitely way more important than taking a difficult class because you can and you like the idea of it. and it’s especially not worth it if it’s taking you to the point of crying over how much you hate it. also, if you drop it you’ll have the time to take a class you actually enjoy and can feel good about. since you do love the idea of french (which i do as well hehe), maybe try an online app that can cater to you like rosetta stone or babbel. that way you can learn at your own pace and not be so frustrated with yourself. whatever you choose, though, make sure it’s not a risk to your mental health and that you’ll be happy πŸ™‚

  10. Good courage into the future with whatever decision you choose to make (because you really don’t need luck). It’s hard to say ‘actually, I shouldn’t do this’ and do what is best for you- only you can know that!

  11. Go ahead and drop the subject if it stresses you so much. It’s completely your choice. No one can judge you for this because a lot of them probably can’t understand what it’s like to be in your position. It isn’t as if you haven’t tried and if it’s affecting your other subjects then I’m sure the teachers will understand. Try talking to them! Since you like the idea of the language I suggest you learn it later as a hobby. There is a huge difference between studying for a test and as a hobby. The former is much more stressful and demanding.
    Personally, I face the same problem with History. It’s a very interesting subject but only as long as you study it for the knowledge and not the marks. I’m dropping it next year but keeping my books.
    Good lock with your decision!

    • Thanks so much! In terms of history, I know what you mean, and I’m glad you’re listening to your own happiness and dropping it πŸ™‚ You make me be sensible towards myself and I really appreciate that.

  12. That sounds like a big problem. I personally have never had that sort of problem, I take ASL and I find it very easy. But I do have some advice:
    If it doesn’t make you happy, it isn’t meant to be in your world. The sooner you take it out, the better, but ultimitley it is your desicion, no matter how much advice you recive.
    Hope that helps!
    ~ Rainbow Girl ❀

    • It really does; thank you! Getting advice from people is really useful because I’m terrible with myself, as I always get paranoid I’m doing the wrong thing, or just not thinking it through enough. Having other people there grounds me πŸ™‚ xx

  13. From the sound of this post, it sounds like you should definitely drop it. The huge stress it’s causing you hugely outweighs the good things, from what you wrote. If it’s making you feel that bad it’s a definite drop. It sounds especially difficult without good vision as well. But of course it would be okay to carry on, whatever you can manage. Ahhhhh I’m pretty bad at advice but I hope you’re happy with whatever decision you make and that you feel okay 😊

  14. I’m not going to tell you to KEEP French or drop it because it’s your decision. I’m going to say this: Do what you love and don’t do things that get in the way of your passions.
    You have to look at your position and thing, IS IT REALLY WORTH IT? DO I THINK I CAN COPE WITH IT anymore? WILL I EVER GET BETTER AT IT?
    Follow your heart and gut instinct. You might regret it later, but you’ll probably regret it no matter what. Make the choice that YOU feel is right, be it keeping french or dropping it.
    And hey, your teachers MIGHT be disappointed in you but I’m sure they’ll understand. What with your mental health now, I don’t think anyone would be able to cope with the amount of stress you are under.Stop thinking about what OTHER people will think of your dropping or keeping French. In some situations, you’ve got to think about yourself and the impact on YOUR life. Who cares if they think that you can’t carry things on, and stick at it? I mean, ELM, You are waaayyy more important than their judgmental opinions. No-one can possibly know how YOU ARE FEELING and therefore I have no right to judge you like that.
    As I said earlier, we are always going to regret because the grass is always greener on the other side!
    I don’t think anyone would think of you as a failure. Your name and THAT word could not go in the same sentence. You’ve been through a lot of undeserved carp and have BEEN A SUCCESS in my eyes!French may be enjoyable and seem fun, but is the best for you right now. Take chocolate, I love it but it isn’t always the best diet choice. I’m not comparing you french with chocolate just trying to explain?
    Whatever you do,
    we’ll always love you (as friends)
    for you who you are
    because YOU are amazing

    • You know what you are SUCH an inspiration to me! You’re encouraging, and make me think of myself as human, rather than a work machine. You have no idea how grateful I am to you for it. Also, chocolate is amazing but bad for you πŸ˜› Love you lots! I’m trying to make myself as happy as I can.

    • Oh – and honestly, if teachers are disappointed in me, then I just know -that it’ll be okay because at the end of the day, they don’t know what goes through my head to make this decision. lX’s not their fault, but equally, it isn’t mine; I’m doing things for myself and that’s PERFECTLY FINE!

  15. Elm, if French is seriously effecting your health, which it definitely seems to be, I think you should drop it. It is absolutely not worth it. There will always be opportunities to learn it in the future but right now, you should do what’s best for you. No grade is worth risking your health. I hope everything works out. ❀️

    • ARGHHH you’re right! Thank you loads – I appreciate your advice a lot because you’ve always been here. I hope you’re okay by the way xx

  16. If French is really making you feel so bad then you should definitely drop it. You can always learn French outside of school, when you’re older or during the holidays (I recommend the site Duolingo, it’s what I’m using to learn French at the moment).

  17. I feel like we are the same person! Both experiencing very similar things, same age! A-Levels are bad enough when you like the subject, but we are both in the same boat, both not enjoying a subject choice which makes it all the worse! If the teachers are disappointed in you for dropping a subject which is affecting your mental health then they are mad. Do what makes you happy, don’t do things to please other people! Stay strong lovely! x

    • You’re AWESOME; thank you! What subject aren’t you enjoying? I totally get that. It’s just so… UGH! I hope I can get my health under control honestly xx

    • Not at all, though my french teachers will most likely think differently. However, I’m definitely dropping it; it’s affecting me negatively and does me no good.

  18. Maybe you should drop it, but I don’t believe you really hate French. I remember reading one of your posts about your love for French and how happy you were when you learnt it or gained knowledge of it in daily life. The enthusiasm might fade, but it’s not likely to turn into hate. What I’m trying to say is that A level French seems to make you feel way too stressed and unhappy, and learning shouldn’t like that.
    Will you regret it if you drop French? Maybe, but will you regret it more if you don’t? It might help you to think about it this way. You are learning for yourself, not for anybody else, and it’s you who decides how to learn. (Plus anyone who knows you well enough would know that you’ve already tried hard enough.) There are plenty of other ways to learn French if you want to in the future, so don’t worry about not picking it up again if you decide to drop it. Wish you all the best! xo

    • That’s what it is – I love FRENCH, but just not the subject and the way we study it. I really think I should pursue it after my AS exams: however, the thought of learning it in school makes me feel sick. I’m going to drop it, but I think maybe dropping it will actually increase my enthusiasm for the subject, because I would learn it in a place which makes me happy. Thanks for your comment; it made me think more deeply and made a lot of sense πŸ™‚

  19. Oh my god, I see this was a much older post… what did you decide, finally? Please please tell me you managed to drop it! Even if the idea of learning the language sounds appealing, you don’t have to study it the typical way they do at schools, you know… you can always try out other methods!

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