"If you get a 2:1 it means you're boring."

Friday, April 01, 2016





(*This is not an April Fool's post.)

Recently I met up with some of my good friends from sixth form, and we were speaking about our experiences of university life.

My friends and I are very similar to each other - we hold the similar values and beliefs and we want the same things out of life.  I went to university because I wanted to get a degree and further myself academically, and they went to university for the same reason.

Not only that, but we were all determined to work very hard and to do our very best, with the goal of achieving a 2:1 and getting into our chosen careers or post-graduate courses.

My friends and I aren't the sort of people who went to university to get involved in the 'typical' student lifestyle - i.e. going out clubbing every night, getting drunk, experimenting with drugs and sleeping around with anything with a pulse.  We're just not interested in any of that.

Unfortunately if you don't 'fit in' with the 'typical' student lifestyle, you're shunned and treated as though something is wrong with you, as my friends and I have experienced.  One of my friends even said that on her undergraduate course at her previous university, people would often look down on you if you decided to study hard instead.  Often, she would hear some people say this:

"If you get a 2:1 it means you're boring."

The general mindset from some of the people on her course at her previous university was this: if you focus on your degree, work hard to get a 2:1 and decide not to engage with the student lifestyle, then you're a boring person who clearly doesn't know how to have fun.

Well, I must be boring then!

I know the feeling all too well, and it's really unfortunate.  It shows a high level of ignorance!

Just for the record, my friends and I are not "boring" people in the slightest.  We just want to do well in education and our careers.  What's wrong with that?  For some of my friends who have graduated (and achieved a 2:1), they're doing really well.  They would rather get a 2:1 and progress in post-graduate study and a career than waste time partying every night and achieving low grades, and I feel the same way.

I'v never heard anyone at university make the above comment, but I've met a lot of people at university who have very poor attitudes towards those - like me - who care more about doing well in education than going out drinking and partying every night.  Often I'd hear comments like "doing an essay is a poor excuse not to go out clubbing" or "you study a foundation year/social science degree, you have no work so you have no reason not to go out" or "I've got an exam/assessment deadline coming up and I'm still going out, so you should too."

Come to think of it, I could have sworn I was called "boring" at one point by some people!

I was judged very harshly by flatmates, housemates, people living in my halls and my course 'friends' because I'd choose studying over going out clubbing with them.  I was hated, sneered at and resented rather than respected.  If a friend or a person I was living with told me that they could not go out because they had too much work to do, I'd totally understand and I wouldn't expect them to justify themselves, but then again I'm not a rude person.  It's such a shame that my flatmates and 'friends' from my foundation year and first year could not have the same respect for me.  Ironically, the same flatmates/housemates who made rude comments were the same people who would insinuate that I hated my course (I didn't and I don't), and they were the same people who (I felt) probably felt as though I didn't deserve a place at university.  In addition to this, I started having issues with some of my 'friends' from the foundation year, because they took it personally that I'd rather study at the library than spend 24/7 with them.  No matter how busy I was I would always make an effort with them but for them this clearly wasn't enough (despite the fact that they weren't making an effort with me) because they'd complain that I was "too busy studying" to hang out with them.

As for the clubbing culture at university, I could not care less about any of that.  That's not what I came to university for.  Clubbing is boring and overrated anyway.  I tried clubbing but it's not for me - it never was - but I really hate it when people assume that if you don't go clubbing it means you're anti-social and awkward.  What a generalisation!  It doesn't apply to me and it couldn't be further away from the truth.  As introverted as I am I love socialising with my friends.  In my opinion, clubbing is the most socially awkward setting ever.  I can't have a proper conversation with anyone.

I don't regret boycotting the clubbing lifestyle in favour of working hard to achieve a 2:1.  It was hard at first.  There's a lot of pressure to club and drink all the time, and the fact that I study in a city with a vibrant nightlife doesn't help matters, but I'm so glad I took a step back eventually.  To be honest, I had to.  I'm naturally a sensible and level-headed person so it had to be done.  If I had gone out all the time and tried to emulate the 'Skins lifestyle' I would never have achieved a 2:1 overall in the foundation year, first year and second year.  I don't think I would have been able to study a Politics degree (I had to achieve 60% or above in my foundation year to be accepted onto the course.)  I don't think I would have made much of an effort to join, and commit to, societies related to my interests.  I don't think I would have discovered my passion and enthusiasm for writing, and I don't think I would have bothered to hone my writing skill.  I don't think I would started my blog.  I would not have grown or progressed as a person.

To be honest, I don't think I would have done well at all.  I would have been so messed up mentally, so, no, I don't regret ditching the nightlife to study.

I study, blog and socialise during the day and I go to bed at night, and I like it that way.  I don't want to go out at night and I don't want to go clubbing.  It's a waste of my time.

I'm in my final year right now and I'm set to get a 2:1.  Well, I'll see about that but I'm working so hard right now to make sure that happens.  I've never been so stressed out in my life (and I've had many stressful moments in my life) and I have had moments where I've felt so overwhelmed with my studies that I just want to crawl into my bed and go sleep.  I feel so tired and demotivated sometimes.  Nevertheless, I'm gradually pulling myself out of that rut and working my hardest to do the best I can.

I've always been a very hardworking person, and coming to university has not changed that.  In fact, coming to university has made me much more determined to work hard to achieve the best out of education and out of life, and that includes working hard to get a 2:1 because I know that I am capable of doing so.  I didn't come to university to doss around (what a waste of £9,000 per year that would be!)  If that makes me boring, pathetic, anti-social and socially awkward, then so be it.

UPDATE: I did get a 2:1! So clearly I'm boring as sin!

:)

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4 comments

  1. I went to uni and worked hard, but also enjoyed the student lifestyle and came out with a 2:1 and I was perfectly happy with my university experience. It['s all about balance, I think! I was President of a society and a member of 3 others, which is probably why I didn't come away with a First, but I've subsequently gained a lot from it and work in a career using my degree. Some of my friends who got Firsts and shunned all student activities are not using their degree. I also know a lot of people who chose to party all the time and not focus on work and then got lower than a 2:1 (some friends did't even graduate) and act as if the university did them an injustice. Insane. You have to work hard but also find that balance I think :)

    Great post!

    www.adventuresofkate.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely agree, it's all about balance and staying organised! Alongside my degree I write for a magazine at university, I run my blog, I have a couple of (casual) jobs and I like to go out to social events. Yet I'm still predicted a 2:1. You can work hard and play hard. I just hate it when people assume that if you take your degree seriously and work hard to get the best marks then it must mean that you're a boring person who has nothing better to do, and I really don't like it when people assume that if you shun the 'Skins' lifestyle (like I did) then it means that you're socially awkward and don't want to have fun at university. I don't club at all and I drink occassionally but I still have fun and I have enjoyed my time at university. So yes, balance and learning to stay on top of things by being organised and managing my time effectively are all important.

      Like yourself, I know people who partied all the time and they achieved lower than a 2:1, and I know people who were just really lazy, disorganised and didn't bother studying at all, preferring to sit in front of the TV or lie in bed all day, instead of studying and completing assessments, and they failed their degrees. I think it's about attitude and priorities.

      For myself, I've always been a studious person and my degree comes first. :)

      Delete
  2. Really enjoyed reading this post - you have a very fluent writing style!
    I commend you for working as hard as you have done and are working and I wish you all the best in your final year! You must be extremely stressed, but of course everything will be worth it on your graduation day!

    I do agree with Kate that it is about balance, but at the same time, I totally respect your personal taste for not liking clubbing, and I think it's extremely sad that you weren't respected for your opinion.

    Thank you again for sharing this! I shall definitely be keeping up with your posts!

    Charlotte XX

    https://thisbeautylover.wordpress.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! :)

      I'm really stressed out at the moment but I'm still working very hard to do my very best so it's all good.

      Yes, it's definitely all about balancing things and keeping on top of everything, and I do believe in working hard and playing hard and socialising, but clubbing was never my thing and I was disrespected because of that. It's not very nice but I think that showed me who truly cares about me and who has my best interests at heart. I'd also experienced this at school and sixth form - some people hated me because I made my education a priority over their expectations of me - so this experience isn't new to me, but it's not nice. There's nothing wrong with trying to get an education (it's not a bad thing!) and I would expect people at UNIVERSITY to understand and appreciate that.

      A good flatmate/housemate/friend would respect the fact that I don't like clubbing even if they didn't agree with my choice. I've turned my back on people like that because I'd rather surround myself with people who support me in my education.

      :)

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