To First or not to First? | Student

Today,  I got my results back for my modules I did in semester one and I feel so grateful that I’m passing because I know people around me who are failing modules but I feel like that First class degree that I’m aspiring for is slipping out of my grasp. We do three modules per semester on my course and for Modernism module I got a first which I was so surprised about, for my English Language module I got a 2:1 (one mark off a first) and for my dissertation I got a 2:1. I’m most gutted about getting a 2:1 in my dissertation just because I know I could’ve got a first but the stress of juggling a dissertation, a final essay, and a 3 hour exam that were all due on one day (which I consider a pretty unfair disadvantage) just really exhausted me. It’s just the fact that getting a first in my dissertation would have firmly planted my academic flag into first class territory that is really bugging me.

But anyway I’ve now become really conscious of counting marks and how much I need to succeed to get a First but I know this is not mentally healthy and I should stop but maybe I can use it as motivation. I have really got to push this final semester if I want it by getting Firsts in all three modules but I don’t really know how possible that is. In the summer I’ll have two exams (in Post-modernism and World Englishes) and 1 final essay (21st Century women’s fiction), but I also have to do well in the mid-semester essays that are not so far away in the distance.

I know everyone can’t get a First but being borderline is so frustrating especially when you know you are capable. I’ll still be over the moon with a 2:1 and it’ll still allow me into my post-graduate course but I guess I wanted to finish my academic career feeling on top of the world. I guess it’s just hardwork but sometimes it’s not that even simple because Life has a funny way of testing you in other ways when your already sinking under a load of books. We’ll see what happens I know so many people that find these kind of slightly delusional student rants annoying but it’s something I’m passionate about and I want to do the best I can. I feel like im becoming one of those people who want firsts all the time (you know the ones who are like “can’t believe she didn’t give me a first!”) but I’ve never been one of them it’s just being realising im borderline makes me want it more. I guess time will tell and even if I don’t get a first I’ll still graduate with a strong 2:1.

Anyone else have student anxiety around getting the grade?


4 thoughts on “To First or not to First? | Student

  1. I believe I am in a similar position to you: stuck in the grey area between a 2:1 and a First but I can’t be sure because my uni is super annoying and never gives us our proper scaled marks. Whilst it is tempting to nitpick and work out how many marks you need where, I think we’re both better off just trying to to our best on each thing as it comes. I find that for every mark I’m disappointed with, it tends to balance out with a good mark that I didn’t expect. Best of luck- keeping working hard!


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