to be having a cry(14 Posts)
I've got my uni final exams coming up in four weeks. For context, I'm at a top 5 RG uni and chose to study a dual-language degree. One of the languages is fairly unusual and I started it from scratch in first year. Unfortunately the teaching left a lot to be desired and I struggled to combine it with my second language (which I speak pretty well). But still, I persevered and got good marks. In final year, I was set with people who had studied the language as an A level and had spent a whole year in the country on their year abroad (I split my year abroad between two countries); essentially they had studied it for double the time that I had, and we are sitting the same exam. The level hugely, hugely stepped up in final year and I was essentially surrounded by people who were essentially fluent.
I am really struggling to keep up with these people. I am now desperately spending time trying to better my knowledge of the language, which means I'm not revising so much for modules that I'm good at and my second language.
I'm so scared I'm going to either fail this module and/or get a 2.2. Ironically it is still possible to get a 2.1 overall even with a fail in this module as I have done well in previous years (high firsts and 2.1s). But for obvious reasons I would rather not fail!!!
I'm really regretting my decision to pick this degree. I was a top student throughout school and a bit of a geek. All A*s at GCSE, As at A Level. And for what?! Look what it has come to. I'm so disappointed in myself.
Does anyone have any advice please?
I was you 15 years ago. Came out of my bog standard Northern comprehensive school with straight As and went to Durham where I felt like a very thick fish in a very big, very clever, very posh pond! First year was fine but by the second year everyone else's ski holidays in France to top up their speaking skills were starting to count and I felt I couldn't compete. Then i realised that trying to compete was silly and I really had to focus on being the best I could be. I worked my socks off and couldn't have done any more and ended up with a 2:1 which I never thought possible at one point. It sounds like you are working your socks off and if you know you've put in the effort you'll accept whatever you end up with happily (I promise!). Do what you can but don't beat yourself up about the others. If it's any consolation, once you graduate, no one will ever ask you what class of degree you got. I know it seems like a huge deal now but just graduating is the main prize and you won't ever be asked specifically whether you got a 2:1 or not. Lots of luck. And do remember to take regular breaks and take some time off!!
I'm going to assume you immerse yourself. When learning Italian we watched Italian TV, listened to Italian radio
had everything in the house labelled in Italian, read Italian books. As little English as possible.
Don't neglect your better subject.
What are the languages BTW? <nosy> I fancied doing Italian, which I was semi-fluent in, and Arabic at University. Chickened out for exactly your reason!
Op try not to worry.
Life can be strange but averse situations mould us.
I didn't get into my first or second choice uni and loved my clearing uni.
I got onto a PCGE and got a permanent teaching job with ease (not boasting) but it wasn't for me.
I hated it. comfort ate. lost all my self esteem.
Landed into another career but still I education. There over a decade. Management. Also teach this level part time.
Very substantial take home pay.
If you had to told me that when I was crying and down night after night back then I wouldn't believe you
I am always grateful for what I have now.
I'm no mystic meg but I think you have a brilliant future ahead. Try not to worry.
Thank you both!
My languages are French and Russian, started off the Russian from scratch.
I purposely only took the core Russian module in final year to ease the pressure a bit (it's worth 1/16th of my degree, so not a huge amount) but that is taking up my time when realistically I should be focusing on my other, stronger modules.
If I'm honest I could have worked harder, but equally it's hardly like I was out partying every night - when I get stressed, I panic and then I can't/don't work
I so wish I had done it differently and only studied one language. I know the grass is always greener etc. etc., but that would have been so much less stressful
At the end of the day, it's better to have three languages than two. So you are better off. And you never know when it will help you. I emigrated and my French got me points I needed. Russian might get you a job you want, you never know. Now, go and read Pravda.
And no one has asked me what flavour of degree I got for years.
No point regretting degree choice now, or thinking about what might have been
Invest your energies in doing the very best you can for the upcoming exams - that way you won't look back and regret not doing so
Finals bring huge amounts of stress and it's easy to get things a bit out of proportion. Sounds like you are on track for a good result whatever happens and as long as you have done all you feel you reasonably can, that's what counts
Hard as it is, try not to compare to others - focus on being the best you can be because that is really all that matters (sorry, horrid cliche but nonetheless true)
For what it's worth I was in similar situation many many years ago (German and Russian but otherwise pretty much identical story) - looking back now I wish I'd been kinder to myself.
You have no reason to be disappointed in yourself at all. Take some of the pressure off yourself and just do what you can do 😄
As others have said, degree becomes irrelevant pretty quickly and whilst I understand it seems like a massive thing right now, a couple of years past graduation it will all seem nothing but a distant memory and you will have plenty more great work achievements to talk about instead 😀
Right, petal - it's time to whoop you into shape. Bin the Russian. Focus on getting the marks where you can and things will even out. I did joint honours: practically failed one subject but got a first for the other so everything rounded up in the middle.
DD is now staring her A2s in the face so I will give you the same advice as her: set yourself up with a revision timetable and allow time for relaxation and fresh air. Eat well, get plenty of sleep and go outside for a walk at least once a day. Come the exams, take them one exam at a time. If you balls up one paper, leave it. Don't dwell on it. It's done. Focus on the next exam.
Do what you can to salvage this and you'll look back knowing that you did the best you could.
When you get to the job interview stage, be honest. Explain that you started Russian from scratch and that you found it challenging. I think the interviewers will be more interested in how you faced those challenges than other people who studied it from the age of 15.
Bachs Rescue Remedy Pastilles are brilliant. They're like legalised valium. Buy some from Boots and pop a few when you're feeling out of control.
You are much much better off with the 2 languages. French by itself is next to useless (I say this as a French speaker myself) - too commonly spoken in the UK and not widely used globally, outside France itself and west Africa. Speaking both French and Russian to degree level will make you far more of an asset to employers and almost no one cares if you have a 2:2 or a 2:1.
PS I'm not saying you shouldn't focus on the French when revising - as it is the bigger part of the marks. I'm just saying don't beat yourself up for your degree choice. I promise you that you will look back and be delighted and proud that you did both languages. удачи!
You won't regret it a bit when you have a degree in French & Russian (whether you failed that last module or not!!). A French degree on its own would not have been half as useful - employers will be really interested in the Russian side (much more diverse an experience overall which makes you much more interesting, especially in today's world). I did a second euro language from scratch at uni - wish I'd done Russian/Arabic - would have been a shed load more useful in the context of a career!
A 2:1 from a RG uni and you speak French almost fluently and are pretty good at Russian? That's incredibly impressive!
Do what you can to get that 2:1. That's the one bit of information a lot of employers will look at first. Most grad schemes have a min of 2:1 to apply.
However, I also think your languages skills will set you apart from any other candidate, so even if you come out with a 2:2, you will be very employable. And once you're in work the pain and worry of uni will fade and it becomes just about you and your skills.
I must say though that I am a bit jealous! I'm awful at languages, it's just something I always struggled with at school and wished I was better at.
* so even if you come out with a 2:2*
Sorry, I disagree. Having been involved in several Grad programmes there usually minimum criteria that must be met, and 2.1 or higher is quite common.
So, to the OP, concentrate on what you actually need to do to get the higher grade
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