Academic Focus: Putting pen to paper

The dreaded part of any university may well be the actual work you have to do. Some students embrace their subject and it is not unusual after fresher’s week to be actually looking forward to learning. Going to your first lecture can be exciting and may snap you out of the ‘holiday camp’ mind set. Soon however the novelty will run dry and many students will proceed to skip lectures, especially the awful 9 am ones. You may experience sudden exhaustion sitting in the lecture hall as you become mind numbingly bored and sink to unconsciousness. I even witness vomiting from a peer after a particularly exciting night out. This would probably also happen if the lecturer rarely engages with the student audience.

Lecture sizes will vary depending on the subject and the entire academic dynamic will vary depending on what subject you take and which university you go to. However do not be deceived by the biggest lie: that getting a 1st or a 2.1 will guarantee you a job. Not in a million miles. Getting a 2.1 will open the door, but that no more. As more students get more 1st and 2.1’s it becomes increasingly hard to differentiate from the competition. According to the BBC in 2010, 78% of graduate schemes demand a 2.1.  It merely means your application form will not be shredded before it gets to the table. There may exceptions highlighted later in the chapter but the key is this strange paradox, academia is not everything, but in the same time, getting below the threshold could create a serious obstacle in getting your dream corporate job.



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