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got a 2:1 today and I feel down about it.

Tell me I am being stupid.

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jessiehl
Jul. 2nd, 2011 03:16 pm (UTC)
Something I learned as an undergrad, that I tell to friends who need to hear it:

Grades are just hoop-jumping. That doesn't mean that it's not impressive to get very high ones, or that it's not worth trying to get them (since good hoop-jumping can really smooth one's path). But they aren't accomplishments in the same way that, for example, furthering human knowledge or quality of life with your research is.

So you got the same grades that other people you know did. So your grades don't wow people. That's okay. You just need good enough grades to get your foot in the door. Your whole career is still ahead of you. Most of your opportunity to distinguish yourself from your peers by actual accomplishments that matter in the world is ahead of you.

You want to be told that you achieved more than the insignificance of being one among a big group? Didn't you do anything else as an undergrad, something of worth that not all your peers did or could do? You might have done excellent research with a professor, or had a prestigious internship, or invented something, or taught a class, or tutored slower students to get them up to speed. You might have been an activist in the student union, who worked for better financial aid, so that smart poor students will have more chance to attend. You might have been a peer counselor, helping fellow students in emotional distress. Or any number of other things. If you didn't, that's still okay - you might not have done anything of particular significance as an undergrad, but you hoop-jumped well enough that now you can go on to a PhD program, where you'll have more opportunities to excel.

Though I don't know exact conversions between UK and US grades, I can assure you that your undergrad grades are a whole lot better than mine were.

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