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Dedalus Offline
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Name: Joe
Age: 30
Gender: Male
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Posts: 431
Blog Entries: 3
Join Date: January 23rd 2010

i can't think of a title. - August 18th 2010, 02:04 PM

This was a lot longer than I intended. Please bear with me as itís the last lengthy post I plan to make.

Today my sister got the equivalent of her A level results. Grades here are calculated with a number of points so they can be compared and I was met with the comment "I beat you by a lot." And the truth was she had. I scored above average and she was less than a hundred away from the max.

I'm feeling a bit fed up about this. I don't begrudge her for her grades at all. But my grades have been constantly brought up in arguments between my parents and me and between my mother and my father. I had a friend die in my penultimate year of school and from then on I just basically stopped studying, skipped a lot of days and got stoned fairly regular. I studied for two weeks before the exams. My parents paid little attention to how I got on at school - they didn't go to the parent-teacher meetings and they weren't interested. I had no help in the house; in fact they made things a lot harder for me. We had a massive argument after I was offered the place in university that I wanted about how I massively underachieved and whose fault it was...and I think I won, because my mother altered completely how she treated my sister in her exam year. I mean, I did tell my parents that the blame ultimately rests on me, but they made it harder and caused me less motivation.

I didn't really care at the time and my goal was to leave home. Since leaving home I'm on track for a first in my degree. But this BA in Classics is fine and everything, but the whole time I've been doing I don't feel challenged. I get A's and B's without a huge amount of effort. I mean I do all the reading and essays and do enjoy it, but there are no hurdles to jump. I go to the seminars and everyone seems to start tagging onto me - I'm the one who has the right answer to all the questions; I'm the one who gets texts and calls from people in the seminar asking for tips for the exams; when there's group work I'm the one who knows what the question is asking. There's nothing difficult - I can nearly guess what questions are coming up in the finals and there's never been an essay question that is hard. The long and the short of this BA is that itís not challenging and I'm starting final year. Itís not that I'm one of those people who are completely absorbed in the course - I'm no more interested than the average person. I just go to the lectures and do the reading.

I don't want to sound conceited or like a know-it-all, because I don't do those things and I'm not like it. But the whole time during this BA I've felt pretty choked, like I did at school. You know, itís like bad sex, you're doing it and its satisfying to an extent, but you know there's just something more over the horizon and you just can't fucking get it. Thatís what this BA feels like: not challenging and unsatisfying.

I know I've underachieved massively and should be on a more challenging course. I've been told that by a couple of tutors and one of the Professors.

And then there's the people in my extended family, like my Grandparents and cousins, who say I'm particularly clever or bright or know whatís going on or whatever else they say, because I've had articles published in a few newspapers, brought the family tree back to the early 1700's and tracked down my great-grandfather's war medals, taught myself two musical instruments, built a website from code when I was 15,and a few other things I don't care to remember

...but it just adds to this massive feeling of dissatisfaction. I wish I'd done better and was doing something with something ahead of it unlike this fucking BA. Actually that analogy of bad sex should also include the fact that itís in a relationship that you know isn't going anywhere anyway, because I definitely won't do an MA in it.

This is probably sounding very venomous but itís the first time I've actually said or written down this before. I've probably offended a lot of BA students here and painted this picture like I'm on some pedestal above them, which is not the case. I would never say I'm more intelligent than anyone else, but this BA which I am very interested in, just isn't challenging. I enjoy all the reading and essays and stuff, but I look at it and I don't feel it to be intellectually stimulating. Itís like something I'd do in my spare time to relax not actually study.

That probably sounds rather excellent to a lot of people and I suppose was why I chose the course, but itís not good for me. I need something hard and challenging and that I really have to work on. It doesn't just have to be interesting.

I'm applying for post-grad medicine. I've done some modules in it while at uni and I enjoyed it more than my BA modules. I liked the way everything was done in systems, viz. circulatory, renal, &c.; and you added info to the systems and pieced it together - all in your head; and then you had take pieces from each system and put them together to work out the answers to the questions. Itís all sort of abstract thinking. I remember I was one of 6 people in the class of 100+ who figured out exactly how CO2 regulates blood pH...I felt quite proud of that for a while - and was completely mentally exhausted after that exam!

I don't know if I will pass the entrance exam to medicine. I've had to teach myself chemistry and biology. I get physically sick sometimes thinking of the high chance of me not getting a high enough score to get a place...I had a moment earlier where I just want to sit and think how hopeless it is. Itís such a hard exam and better suited to science graduates. My parents aren't too fond of this idea, mainly because it means staying in uni and not using this degree.

I don't know what I'll do if I don't get a place.

I am sorry for writing all of this out and coming across as a real condescending bastard. I'm just feeling fed up about everything now with this degree and my sister and my circumstances. I probably seem very ego-orientated, but my gripe about the degree is that itís not fulfilling or challenging - not that I don't like it.

I suppose, looking back over it, I'm in the wrong if there is a wrong. I probably don't deserve the place I have in university and am just using this to make myself out to be a victim. I'm just feeling fed up that I didn't do better in my exams and been able to pick a course I'd feel more satisfaction from and at how little better my sister did than me considering the huge amount of work she put in for 2 years when I did very little.

I hope I haven't come across as a complete fucking dick, because I'm afraid I have.
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