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To think university is fairly easy?

(305 Posts)
watthaduck Mon 30-Nov-20 18:27:03

This is not a boast in any way, I am not trying to ruffle anybody's feathers but am genuinely curious if I'm missing something.

So I am at a fairly average university in Glasgow, I was a direct entrant into third year after completing my HND at another fairly average college in Glasgow. I am a mature student (28) and am studying social sciences with a main focus on politics, from there I'm hoping to do my masters in social work.

Anyways, leading up to university, I heard so many people, lecturers included telling me what a shock to the system university would be, how I would be studying constantly, how the workload would be so much more full on than college so I was fully prepared and slightly dreading it.

However, since starting beginning of October we have had 6 assessments for the term, 2 assessments per module which have mainly consisted of 1000 word to 2000 word essays, one assessment we had to complete four fairly basic questions and a presentation. Everyone on the course is freaking out, saying how difficult the workload is and how all the assessments are crammed together whilst me and another girl that have been on the same course from the start genuinely scratch our heads wondering if this is a joke.

I've only had one piece of coursework graded and this was the assessment with the four questions which I got 72 percent, not amazing but was happy with that being my first piece of work. Yet today I was speaking to other students who got 43 percent and said how difficult the work is this year.

At college we literally had about 12 pieces of coursework all within 6 weeks of each other including exams and I was very stressed but always passed with an A.

I guess my question is am I doing something wrong? I am putting in the bare minimum amount of effort to be honest as is my friend as struggling with motivation with it all being online. I've never felt less stress through education.

AIBU to think that people were just trying to scare me about uni? And that it's actually not that hard?

Obviously I understand and appreciate that some courses are harder than others and mine just might be a fairly easy one but I'm just waiting for someone to come out and shout JOKE

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Northernsoullover Mon 30-Nov-20 18:32:26

I would say it depends on your course. Obviously some subjects are harder than others. I found A levels much harder and dropped out. I'm getting firsts for a lot of assignments which has surprised me and I'm not doing an easy course (its quite technical). Research methods almost broke me though... I'm shit with numbers.

watthaduck Mon 30-Nov-20 18:33:15

@Northernsoullover oh I get to look forward to that next term

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BlueDaysTillChristmas Mon 30-Nov-20 18:34:03

Well everyone has different things they find easy or hard, we all have different strengths and weaknesses. For example, I find study and whatnot really really hard and stressful but I find empathy and kindness in my heart where many others do not. I was told last week that I was good at de-escalating situations so at work I am sometimes put in positions to do that as I have a slight leaning that way.

stargirl1701 Mon 30-Nov-20 18:38:42

I would say 5th year of school was harder than my degree in the sense that there were 5 unconnected subjects with massive pressure on a final exam.

I did my undergraduate degree at Edinburgh Uni age 18-22 so no real outside commitments.

Juggling a second post-grad in my late 30s with a young family was the hardest!

watthaduck Mon 30-Nov-20 18:41:24

@stargirl1701 well that is another thing, I am a single mum but share 50 percent custody with my ex and I have no job so to be honest I do have plenty of time, however, rather than spending that time reading like I should I do other things not involving uni.

I guess I'd be less concerned if I was reading and studying loads but because I'm hardly doing anything and still passing okay so far and finding it stress free whilst everyone else is ill over it and getting low grades I'm wondering if I'm missing something. I'm basically stressed that I'm not stressed.

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Yesterday22 Mon 30-Nov-20 18:43:46

I think there’s a big difference in the workload between an undergrad course and a post grad / master course. The most difficult thing is balancing the workload with your personal life e.g If you’re working 30 hours a week on top of your lectures and assignments, or you have children / school runs / kids homework / housework etc. If you’re without children and not working then it is definitely easier. Think the most challenging part will be when it comes to doing your dissertation, or if you’re planning to go on and do social work, you will have to do a placement where you work a full time social work job for no pay, and then have to work and pay the bills on top of that, write assignments and eventually write your dissertation. If you’re finding it easy and not really applying yourself then you’re obviously really smart and capable - more power to you! A lot of people go to uni straight from school and the jump in the work is pretty big, but if you’ve been to college and are a mature student - so obviously lived in the real world, it will be less of a shock to the system and you’ll be more resilient. Enjoy it!

Daydreamsinglorioustechnicolor Mon 30-Nov-20 18:47:50

I found the jump between GCSE and A level to be much harder. And 1st year uni to be sort of on par with A level and quite a lot was repeated. For example not everyone had done chemistry or maths a levels and basics had to be understood before moving on. So it might be that?

pointythings Mon 30-Nov-20 18:48:04

DD1 finds some aspects of her course easier than A levels, others harder. The workload isn't as tough as A-levels, but then she picked 3 tough ones plus an EPQ. I think the more academic your A-levels, the better you end up coping at university.

CanICelebrate Mon 30-Nov-20 18:51:19

Depends on the course and the university, as well as the student of course. I did a degree in Maths at a good university and it was very tough at times. I had excellent a-levels and found them fairly straightforward. The degree really challenged me which I was pleased about.
My PGCE was considerably easier but my MSc was the hardest of all!

rawlikesushi Mon 30-Nov-20 18:51:29

If you're at a mid level Uni then you are just cleverer than the rest of the cohort surely?

You're getting 72 while they get 43, you bash out assignments with minimal effort, you don't understand why they're stressing, because the course is easy for you.

Bronzino Mon 30-Nov-20 18:52:06

Commenting purely on my step children’s experience I would say it’s a 3 year chill stoner session with moments (mere...) of work.

Bellringer Mon 30-Nov-20 18:53:23

Best holiday ever

watthaduck Mon 30-Nov-20 18:53:38

@rawlikesushi that makes sense however, they all seem a lot smarter than me when discussing topics in the module, I get lost at times in seminars but always manage fine when it comes to written work and doing my own research.

@Bronzino hahaha yes except for me it's 4 years of that

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gwenneh Mon 30-Nov-20 18:53:42

I chose a course that marched along with my natural abilities, not necessarily the one I would have enjoyed the most, so I did find it easy. I had some modules in my master's programme that I struggled with but on balance, that was very similar -- something I was naturally inclined towards.

I don't think you're missing anything, you just may be working with your own natural inclination.

Sexnotgender Mon 30-Nov-20 18:54:55

I found some bits difficult and some easy. Horses for courses.

I was a mature student, single parent working virtually full time and managed a first class maths degree so didn’t do too badly 😂

watthaduck Mon 30-Nov-20 18:54:56

@Bellringer that's how I feel, I'm finding it so easy and I think well if it's this easy why do people speak about how hard it is to get a degree hence why I am just waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under me.

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Clockstop Mon 30-Nov-20 18:54:59

Yes, it can be. I'm a lecturer and if you turn up to my classes and do the pre work, make sure you start coursework early it's fairly easy to do well. Most students don't do that though. I also find mature students have more clarity, probably because they have less time so need to get to the crux of the matter quickly.

BoomBoomsCousin Mon 30-Nov-20 18:55:19

I think being a mature student is a massive help in a lot of ways. What many people struggle with is time management and prioritization which are skills you’ve probably got well developed. I also think age and experience helps a lot with social science (in a way that is less useful in the sciences and arts). You will have seen a much wider array of situations than students who are 20 and that’s a huge help when trying to process and analyse the ambiguity and contradictory ideas that a lot of social science encompasses.

Also, it sounds like you don’t have to struggle too hard to meet a reasonable standard so you’re getting by with little effort, but you’re comparing it to your past course where you put in the extra effort to get top marks. You might (and you might not!) find It a lot harder if you were trying to ace your degree instead of just get by well enough.

Finally, some courses at some unis are just degree mills and not that taxing. It’s possible that’s the case here, but not a given.

satnighttakeaway Mon 30-Nov-20 18:57:04

It's clear that your course doesn't have any kind critical thinking requirement. How easy or otherwise you find your course can in no way be extended to anyone else.

You don't really think that because you find your course easy that means that “university is easy” do you? Anyone drawing that conclusion would be massively unreasonable.

watthaduck Mon 30-Nov-20 18:57:19

@Sexnotgender well done, that's amazing and hands down I could not have done that. I have always said I am very fortunate to not have any other commitments and maybe that is why I'm finding it so easy, perhaps if I was working 30 hours on top of that I'd be singing a different tune. How funny you should comment with your username, my essay I got 72 percent in was why the distinction between sex and gender was so important for second wave feminism!

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watthaduck Mon 30-Nov-20 18:58:58

@satnighttakeaway my course is nothing but critical thinking, that's what social science is.

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Sexnotgender Mon 30-Nov-20 18:59:03

Excellent essay choice!

rawlikesushi Mon 30-Nov-20 18:59:20


*@rawlikesushi* that makes sense however, they all seem a lot smarter than me when discussing topics in the module, I get lost at times in seminars but always manage fine when it comes to written work and doing my own research.

@Bronzino hahaha yes except for me it's 4 years of that

Yes, some students talk the talk don't they. I remember those. It can be quite intimidating for us quieter types. But the proof is in the pudding - you can self-direct, prioritise efficiently, work to the mark scheme and are just generally smarter when compared to them and are getting the marks to prove it.

In fairness, they might be struggling with living away from home, the current situation etc and raise their game for year 2, once they've got into their stride.

Snooper22 Mon 30-Nov-20 19:01:43

I'm on the 4th year of a 5 year part time degree whilst working and managing a family. That is hard work. Uni has also got harder over the years. I will be glad to finish!

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