For one of the main modules on my university course, there are four pieces of work. The first two combine to give 50% of the mark, and the second two are each 25%, so again 50%.

So far I’ve been happy with my marks. The first piece received 70%, although this was only 10% of the first 50%. The second assignment got 65%. While this is obviously still a very good mark, it slightly got to me that most of my friends did better than me, with several getting 66%. Somehow if they had been way ahead I would have accepted it. But something is extremely frustrating about being worse by such a tiny amount. It irritated me a bit more that despite doing really well on the first piece of work, it only raised my overall percentage for the first term to 66%. I’ve just received my marks for the third piece of work and I did exceptionally well with it – getting 72%! But now I come to the fun bit of maths: I know I have already passed the module. I would need to receive 76% on my final piece of work to raise my percentages to a distinction overall (70%), yet a meager pass (46%) will get me a comfortable merit!

On the one hand, that should be a good thing. I know I can relax a bit and should still end up doing well overall, or could even not lift a finger and still pass the module. Yet it is annoying that I know I won’t let myself do purposefully badly! In fact I think it would be quite dangerous to try to only get 46%, as for one thing I don’t know what that looks like any more than I know what a 76% piece of work looks like, so I don’t know what I would be aiming to produce. I could end up getting 45% or lower, which would make all my hard work this year feel wasted. Also, I have the nagging portfolio in the back of my mind: regardless of marks I want to have something that I am proud of and can confidently show off to potential employers.

I can already see myself working myself into the ground, not knowing what I am aiming for, not knowing what is required, coming up with something that from everyone else’s point of view is something I should be happy with, yet resenting it because I will have gone to so much effort and used so much energy to produce something that won’t actually change the overall module grade, and by that point be so exhausted that I won’t be in a fit state to look for work and show my portfolio off anyway.

Spending time working out these percentages isn’t useful and isn’t helping me any. And I still have another piece of work for the other big module still to go (again has cruel percentages: 14% needed to pass, but 73% for a distinction. That is almost a possibility, providing I work my absolute socks off.)

Don’t know what I should do. What I want to do is probably dangerous to my health. Don’t know what to do.