H1 for Happiness
Exams are around the corner, taunting me with the amount of readings I skipped. Yesterday as the exam timetables came out, I realised I was screwed.
I thought I was clever for picking subjects where the end-of-semester assessments were an essay or even a take home exam, leaving me with only one real examination. I thought, cool – easy – no problem. SWOTVAC will be a breeze. I was wrong. They’re all due in the same week and I’ve become a procrastinator.
Let this be a lesson (to myself as well) – do not, for the love of God or whomever/whatever you believe in, push things off for later. It’s a trap.
I’m sure this reaction of being unmotivated and becoming a procrastinator has happened to many people this year as a by-product of the pandemic. But I also think that it is something that can happen to many First Years in particular. You’re suddenly ‘Just Another [im not sure if im allowed to swear] First Year’, when last year you were studying your butt off, taking late caffeinated nights, your only social time being study dates, and you found yourself thoroughly stressed and burnt out. That was me in Year 12. I remember saying at the end last year, “I promise to be a dropkick next year, and not study so hard.” What an idiot.
This idiot now is fumbling over notes, trying to keep up and is desperately trying to get her head around this crazy grading system. Am I the only one who doesn’t know what her standards should be?
Prior to university, the goal was always 90% and above. That dream has died. Technically I’m not struggling and my grades are apparently decent. However, the adjustment to this grading system was one of the biggest transitions of all.
At the beginning, I looked at the grading and thought that I should maintain my crazy standards, which meant that I should only be getting H1s. As time passed, I realised how difficult that was as other students described attaining a H1 as practically unattainable. It’s not, but procrastination does not lead to a H1 either. All people talked about was this bloody H1 and I thought – if you get anything below that, is that bad?
On the other end of the spectrum, I heard a lot of the phrase, ‘Ps get Degrees’ – even from a sociology lecturer. “I want you all to try hard, but remember everyone – Ps get Degrees,” he reassured us at the end of the lecture. He dressed as Superman and had his children’s toys to help him present the lecture though, and I really had to question whether I was dreaming.
Though some may see that phrase as encouraging laziness, I suppose it has merit though. It’s great to aim for a H1. It’s still awesome to get a H2A or H2B. But if you get anything lower, Ps DO get Degrees so it’s not the end of your life. (Just minimise fails because of the new HECS-HELP reforms for domestic students though but that’s a whole new rant)
Adjusting your standards might be the hardest thing to do as a First Year. Though it sounds like adjusting means yielding to mediocrity, its more about positivity. It’s about accepting feedback graciously, and to keep moving forward.
(I watched Meet the Robinsons again recently, I just had to quote it.)
Good luck with exams – don’t procrastinate.
Also if you really do want to get better grades, Academic Skills really do have bomb resources though. I’ve only looked at their brief info sheets and some online learning modules, and I’ve seen an improvement in my grades this semester.