January 19, 2022

Best of All, You Let Yourself Down

BREAKING NEWS: Scientists have discovered that it may be advantageous to fail most of your exams, and be forced to graduate a year early with an Ordinary degree. Extensive research has revealed five significant, positive outcomes of choosing this path:

1.       You may have the opportunity to graduate in November rather than June. The benefits of this are two-fold:

  • You will be one of a small handful of BSc graduates in a big bath of Masters graduates: the cool, furry hood on your gown will be the envy of much of the room.
  • November is likely to be windier and darker than June. This can make for some very dramatic photographs. Tip: hold your arms out and let the wind cast your gown into the night behind you – this will transform you into the image of some kind of dynamic and powerful leader (who can control the weather, perhaps).

2.     You will be free from the overbearing recommendation from the Careers Service that, if you must take on a part-time job, you work no more than 15 hours per week. Suddenly, you’ll be able to spend 20, 25, 30 hours a week in the local supermarket! The more time you spend working in there, the more likely people are to recognise you in the street. One of these people may stop you for a conversation that ends with their giving you their number and saying: “You know, I like you. I think maybe I love you or something, I don’t know. So anyway, give me a text sometime.”

3.       You’ll have to foot the Council Tax bill all by yourself because you’re still living with students (who don’t have to pay). If you like to indulge in catharsis, this is an ideal tool to get you started on days when you have nothing else to complain about.

4..       If you try hard enough, you may be able to convince yourself and others around you that failing your degree was just the first stage of your postponed teenage rebellion. You could try some new, exciting drugs; cut your hair so it’s shorter on one side than the other; or simply take up arguing with your father’s conservative politics.

(NB: There is a misconception that this behaviour is not suited to those with a coveted Ordinary degree: this is far from the truth. Indeed, going down this path as a teenager is boring and obvious. It is also boring and obvious to begin practising this new lifestyle whilst at university – furthermore, with no parents to oppose it, approaching it as a student doesn’t even pose a challenge. As a graduate, this behaviour is most unexpected and unwelcome, and therein lays true rebellion.)

5.       You can enjoy the benefits of being a graduate with a student card that doesn’t technically expire for another year. Please be aware, you may run into difficulties outside situations that allow you to simply flash your card for a discount. For example:

  • The card will not let you into the computer labs after 5pm. You may have to make the effort to get out of bed before the evening, or be willing to arouse suspicion by loitering at the door, so you’re ready to dash in when someone leaves.
  • Technology may have moved on since first year. If, in a nostalgic move, you opt one evening to attend the student union club night, you may find they now wish to swipe your card rather than just look at it. Your card will not work. If this happens, don’t react. They are likely to presume they are doing something wrong, as tipsy 22 year olds are universally famed for their trustworthiness. They’ll let you in anyway.
  • If you want to claim a student discount on a haircut, be prepared to lie extensively for at least half an hour. You might want to play it safe and reassume the character of yourself one year ago. Alternatively, this is the perfect opportunity to create an entirely new identity and become the better person you have always wished you were.



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