I have a question for other autistic people...
How do you manage to commit to school/education/jobs? I'm currently in college and I'm thinking of unenrolling because of my bad attendance but I really don't want to.
I enjoy the subject I'm doing but with the added pressure of assignment deadlines, grades, my perfectionism, peer acceptance and sensory issues, I really do lack the motivation to maintain a good attendance. I'm only meant to go into college for 3 days a week but it feels like it's way too much for me.
I have a key worker who has helped me by clearing up with my teachers why I miss college so I don't get booted off the course. We've also done some work on time tabling so that I might not feel overwhelmed with my work load and other methods like taking breaks during class times. I think these methods have kept me going to be able to reach this point of the year but sometimes especially during/after burnout I revert to not using these techniques and I feel that sets me back.
I want to go university but I don't think I'll be able to go if I keep on going like this.
NAS35909 said:I enjoy the subject I'm doing but with the added pressure of assignment deadlines, grades, my perfectionism, peer acceptance and sensory issues, I really do lack the motivation to maintain a good attendance.
Which of those is the most significant issue, and which do you think there's a realistic chance of making an improvement to?
What do you think triggers the burnout, do you know it's about to happen, and how do you cope with it? Might it be better to take a planned energising break than to get into bad habits? Can you learn not to be perfectionist, and just accept something as 'good enough'?
I'm sorry I don't really have an answer, but I'm interested in other responses. I've heard that self-discipline can be enhanced by realistically visualising short-term goals and long term-goals, but I'm too disorganised to try that
Thank you for your response.
My perfectionism, I think, is my most important issue. I hate failure of any kind whether it’s a classmate not liking me or a bad grade, so I try to avoid it at any means possible, hence my bad attendance at school. I have a sort of ‘all or nothing’ kind of thinking which plays a part in my perfectionism, for example, if I haven’t finished my assignment by the deadline I’d rather miss the day of college than settle for going in with an unfinished assignment. I have quite a rigid way of thinking that makes it really hard to break these bad habits but I feel if I could somehow unlearn my perfectionism I would be solving the root of many of my issues at school. Whether this is realistic, I’m not quite sure.
What usually triggers my burnout are usually changes, mainly unexpected changes, maybe some family are coming to visit, a last-minute test or something happens that makes me feel uneasy/unsure about college. I feel unprepared and overwhelmed before burnout. Sometimes I can assume that after a distressing event I’ll have burnout but sometimes there are not really any signs other than feeling overworked. I don’t really cope with burnout, it’s such a big hindrance to my studies that I usually feel guilty and ashamed afterwards. I usually end up stuck at home because I’m anxious about what waits for me at college.
I’m not exactly sure how I would go about an energised break like, how often would I take it, how long should it be? I think most of the pressure surrounding college and life in general would be alleviated if I didn’t approach everything as something I needed to be perfect in.
I think with my ‘all or nothing’ kind of thinking, I tend to be either really organised or really disorganised but I’ll definitely check out that link.
Thanks again for your response, I really appreciate your input.
two ideas(1) Can you use your perfectionism in a different way such that it benefits you? For example, concentrate on trying to get "perfect" attendance in school. That's also perfectionism, but may be more helpful and productive.(2) It may be helpful to analyze which subjects matches you and have less problems with perfectionism. Some subjects, e.g., maths, may have only one correct answer for assignment questions, then after you have finished it, it will be done. But other things, like essay writing, might not have a definite answer, so it's possible to feel that your essay is never perfect. Some subjects may be stressful when it comes to exams, because grading is subjective, e.g., essays, or it is easy to make accidental mistakes, e.g., arithmetic, so grades may not really reflect what you know; other subjects grade accordingly to how well you have memorized the topic, and can guarantee good grades if you have memorized most of the material, e.g., biology. This is how I feel about these subjects, and you may feel differently about them, but I just want to point out that these are things worth considering, and there might be a subject that matches your traits. I also think Cassandro's suggestions of managing perfectionism and breaking 'all-or-nothing' thinking are good. If perfectionism is getting you reversed results in school, maybe trying a different studying approach will be helpful. Maybe just try turning in a not-so-perfect assignment, and see if things get better after a few weeks of persistence?