27th July 2020

What Grade Did You Get?

Opinion pieces are the view of the author and in no way reflects the views of the Liverpool Guild Student Media or Liverpool Guild of Students.

It was Thursday morning, my palms were sweaty, I sat on my bed and opened my laptop to see that I passed all my modules. I was over the moon! I hadn’t told anyone or mentioned results day to my friends and family because I was afraid that once mentioned it would be the only thing on my mind. Passing my hardest module – accounting and finance with a 2:1, and business statistics with a first, was unbelievable.

For someone who has always struggled with maths, this was a big big deal to me. I messaged my uni group chat to congratulate them on their grades, we worked out our average first-year grades to find out I got a high 2:1. This is all I wanted, a high 2:1, 67.5% for my first year.

Turns out that both of my friends got firsts. I should be happy for them, right?

Yes, I am happy for them. They have worked so hard for these amazing grades. But a part of me is asking myself “what could I have done for a higher grade?”. From feeling the happiest for achieving what seems an amazing grade, I was now feeling like I didn’t do enough. I started to question myself; maybe I should have revised harder for my exams in January, why didn’t I start my coursework 3 weeks before the deadline like suggested.

I can almost hear what you all are saying through the screen: why is she complaining about such a high 2:1? There are students out there that have achieved a lower score than me and I seem to be unfulfilled. Well, comparison breaks you. Initial happiness with my own grade became a fail in a split second just from seeing others achieving a higher score than you.

Then the dreaded platform popped on my screen, LinkedIn. I have become obsessed with LinkedIn for weeks. I loved looking at people’s experiences to inspire me, I have networked with so many people and made many friends on there. But, like everything in life, it has a downside. Students studying the same course as me were posting about their achievements in receiving firsts, and how well they have done in each of their modules. Suddenly, the connections that I made weeks before didn’t seem like a good idea. I felt frustrated that I didn’t do enough revision or spend enough time writing my essay. Not a pretty feeling, I know.

I have always been an advocate for posting your success so, I have to reiterate that feeling upset and not good enough is all on me. Whatever your success, it can only be measured by you and you alone. I always remember that I will forever be average (yes, I will explain, I know what you’re thinking “hasn’t this girl learnt anything?” but hang on) because there will always be people doing better than you and worse than you. You and only you can strive to achieve your potential. I have to put myself in their shoes: if I got a first grade in my first year, I would share it on LinkedIn.

A closer look at my grades made me realise I had improved massively from 2:2 grades to a collection of 2:1 and first grades in a semester. Looking back, I didn’t know how to write a university essay nor how to read an academic journal before arriving at university. Seeing the improvement in numbers is so satisfying. Whatever grade you get, 1st, 2:1, 2:2 or 3rd, this is your achievement, and no one can make you unhappy.

This goes without saying, whatever I had written above about believing yourself and being proud is easier said than done. I, for one, have logged off LinkedIn on my laptop to stop myself giving in to the urge to see other students’ grades. I could lie to say that I am over the fact that I feel insecure but it’s fine, it takes time.

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