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to want to do more than 'just' pass my first year at uni?

(46 Posts)
suwoo Fri 12-Nov-10 13:13:31

I'm a mature student and have just started my first year at uni. I am working really hard and putting my heart and soul into it. I work 2 evenings a week and have 3 DC so it isn't a walk in the park but I am thriving on it and absolutely loving it.

I am sick of people though, telling me not to work so hard, that I only need to pass. I know this years marks don't count towards my overall classification, but what is wrong with wanting to do my absolute best?

It is an English degree with a heavy reading list (one novel a week), so why the fuck did one girl ask last week, why we had to read so many crappy books? I was hmm.

Don't young people care anymore? <<sweeping generalisation>>

But I'm not BU. Am I? Swot yes, unreasonable no.

Shambolica Fri 12-Nov-10 13:16:56

YANBU. Why start a degree course if you're not going to work hard? Best of luck with it!

PlentyOfPockets Fri 12-Nov-10 13:34:43

YANBU. You get out what you put in. I went P/T after my first year because I knew I could do much better than the 'OK' grades I was getting. Lots of people questioned why I didn't just want to 'get it over with' confused

I don't think many people value education for its own sake anymore - they see it as a means to an end.

Lambpathia Fri 12-Nov-10 13:37:56

YANBU - I used to find it annoying in the first year of uni when people on other courses kept saying this to me - my first year marks did count. I was probably jealous.

It is great that you want to do well.

Goingspare Fri 12-Nov-10 13:43:52

I think you have a proper mature student's attitude - I was slighly in awe of a mature student friend when I was a callow undergraduate, as she read everything on the lists (and loved every second). It's far too big a commitment for you to bugger about and not bother.

Education's wasted on the young.

ccpccp Fri 12-Nov-10 13:46:06


These graduates will be able to cram in the last few months and will breeze to high grades.

You on the other hand need to plan your time carefully as you have other responsibilities that draw on it. You cant drop everything and panic revise at the last minute.

You are also a mature student and you are there because you want to study, rather than being there on a jolly because you dont want to go to work for a few more years.

suwoo Fri 12-Nov-10 13:47:41

Thanks all. Yes, goingspare, I think they are in awe of me <<preen>> wink

I am reading additional novels and all of the secondary reading list. I told you I was a swot. It is an English degree FFS, what did they think we'd be doing, painting our toenails?

I love reading.

Geistesabwesenheit Fri 12-Nov-10 13:51:58

YADNBU. My first year marks didn't count either, but I worked damn hard. I'm glad I did, as it's good preparation for second and final years.

Goingspare Fri 12-Nov-10 13:56:57

I worked much harder for a second degree in a useful but far less interesting subject a couple of years later, and realised how much more I'd have got out of my first degree if I'd really gone for it. I did what ccpccp said, and worked like mad for the last few months. All that time to do nothing but read, makes me weep to think about it.

muddleduck Fri 12-Nov-10 13:56:58

I love teaching mature students smile

FranSanDisco Fri 12-Nov-10 13:58:14

I am a 3rd year mature student - start as you mean to go on is my advice. I have totally let this degree absorb me and am amazed at how I still put the hours in to read, read, read. It has to be done as you can't fall behind and it reflects well in your writing. I have done a couple of English modules as options as I am doing an education degree. I was amazed at how many people tried to wing the lessons which were based upon knowledge of certain books. It was just me and another mature student who read them! I was totally the reverse at school hence the late degree LMAO!!

lazarusb Fri 12-Nov-10 14:33:16

Good luck and well done. Keep working hard and you will reap the rewards. I admire you greatly

suwoo Fri 12-Nov-10 14:34:15

God, I am going to start a thread like this more often, as I sit back and bask in the glow of your admiration.

Thanks lovely ladies.

minipen Fri 12-Nov-10 14:36:42

Good for you I think! The first year is to learn where you are making mistakes so you don't make them when the marks really count.

Enjoy the basking wink

BarbieLovesKen Fri 12-Nov-10 14:44:52

No, because its in relation to you, then of course you are not being unreasonable. People say things like this though, not to be nasty but to relieve the pressure.

I have to admit, when I started my law degree last year, I planned on getting a pass and would have been happy with just that (I did alot better thankfully!) but I was working full time, had 1 dd, was pregnant etc.. so just bear in mind that others may simply not have the time that you have but want the qualification.

MadamDeathstare Fri 12-Nov-10 14:47:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LeQueen Fri 12-Nov-10 14:50:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

suwoo Fri 12-Nov-10 15:08:31

I think for me that it is fairly heavy, one novel a week plus the neccessary reading around that novel and the subsequent essays. I sit here now, essay writing surrounded by 10 novels and 17 journal articles, so I reckon that is fairly substantial. Lequeen, I bow down to you for reading 3-4 novels a week. I would say that that was virtually impossible, no wonder you are a bloody speed reader! My tutor reckoned that an Austen or similar novel would take 40 hours reading. I say bollocks to that, I am a superfast reader too, doing 2 pages per 30 seconds or less.

Barbielovesken, I think most of my peers have way more time than me. I do approx 12 hours a week working, plus some additional work from home, school and childminder runs etc, then the FT course, plus 'keping house'. For example I go out on Monday at 7.45am and get in at 9pm. I worked til 9 last night and tonight.

Plus, being a swot, I turn up for every seminar and lecture and pay rapt attention wink

Anyway, back to my essay....

suwoo Fri 12-Nov-10 15:10:51

correction. When I say surrounded by 10 novels, I in fact mean, scholarly boring texts like eg, 'Marriage and love in England 1300-1840'.

AbsofCroissant Fri 12-Nov-10 15:29:22


This used to drive me crazy when I was doing my degree, and I wasn't even a mature student. Lots of idiots people said "the first year doesn't count", which it did. Some of them must have gotten quite a shock when applying for Grad jobs and being asked to put all their marks from university, not just their degree classification.

It's amazing that you're enjoying the course - reading lots (IME) does show in humanities degrees. When writing essays, if you've just read the bare minimum, it does show, whereas if you've read tons, you have a lot to draw on (making more interesting, more rounded and better essays).

LeQueen Fri 12-Nov-10 16:11:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

suwoo Fri 12-Nov-10 17:08:08

Agreed totally. Mansfield Park was the novel in question BTW. I think I did it in 4-5.

My tutor by the way is a sociologist. I am doing English with Cultural Studies, not English Lit.

winnybella Fri 12-Nov-10 17:16:56

But by scan reading you miss out on a pleasure of reading, don't you? Very useful skill, though.

LeQueen- 3,4 novels a week? 12-16 novels a month plus I imagine a lot of critics...Were the students actually required to read them all, or was it additional reading?

HelenaRose Fri 12-Nov-10 19:29:46

I'm a fellow mature student! I didn't listen to anyone else and I got 75%. The feeling of smug satisfaction is far better than having just 'scraped by' with the necessary 40%.

quicksand Fri 12-Nov-10 19:31:41

Of course yanbu. I did my eng lit degree part-time as a single mum mature student and got a lot of that too. I got a first [preen] - but would have been as happy with a third, just wanted to know I had done my absolute best. It remains the achievement I am most proud of.

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