Degrees of Ranting

Have rant. Have ranted on this subject before.

So, have put behind cut so as not to bore those who don’t care.

It’s A Level day. RESULTS CONTINUE TO IMPROVE FOR THE 28TH YEAR IN A ROW! The radio screamed it at me this morning. Apparently, if you go by the marks of these exams, students are getting more intelligent, know more, pass their tests, go on to university… and good luck to them. I mean that wholeheartedly, because I’m well aware that in that mix are some young people who have a real desire to better themselves and to get a great education.

I overheard a conversation not so very long ago that went something like this.

Person A: I can’t wait to go to Uni.

Person B: What are you studying?

Person A: Dunno, yet. I’m just looking forward to the partying.

I can’t start to tell you how much that attitude annoys me. Well, actually that’s a lie. I can tell you how much it annoys me. It really annoys me. Yes, I have a chip on my shoulder about the subject. Mind you, if you think this is a chip, don’t get me started on the reasons why I don’t do fancy dress. Any psychologist would have a field day with me, I suspect.

Why does it annoy me? It annoys me because I didn’t go to university for any number of reasons, not least of which was my own crippling lack of self-confidence, having spent my formative secondary school years being bullied. I went to college for three months, but that same shyness made it nigh on impossible to ‘Keep Up With the Joneses’. Lack of confidence + foundation course in drama = disaster. So I left college and I started work.

As a result, I didn’t do any A Levels. This apparently means I am sub-standard in terms of level of education. In the eyes of employers, not having A Levels, or – as this rant is more specific – not having a degree immediately cuts me out of even applying for some jobs. Does it matter that I could do the job just as well – if not better – than many people who do have degrees and who can’t string a sentence together in their own language? Does it matter that I didn’t spend three years drinking my life away and then cramming everything into the final few weeks? Does it matter that finances have always been tight for me and that I couldn’t afford to give up work to go back to studying?

Apparently, yes. Yes it does matter.

I’ve ranted about this subject frequently, but then it’s dear to my heart. I find it faintly offensive that people have asked me what my degree is in and then refused to believe me when I tell them that I don’t have one.

I’m quite smart. I don’t need a degree to tell me that. Over the years, I’ve told myself that so many times that I was hoping I might have started to believe it by now. Alas, it’s not the case. I still feel angry and cheated that I never got the ‘university experience’, but I know what would have happened. I’d have been the student who didn’t go out with anybody and who was laughed at by all the people she studied alongside, who was socially inadequate and who never got drunk. It would have been just like school – and I have very few fond memories of that. So perhaps it’s for the best that I didn’t go.

I’ve looked at doing OU, but our income isn’t huge and there’s no way I can afford it.

Incidentally, just to satisfy my own need to prove a point to myself, I did a night school A Level in English Literature. I got an ‘A’.

I shall stop ranting. I do have this rant far too regularly. I should probably have told you about the reasons I don’t do fancy dress.

Rant Ends. Go back to your lives.

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2 thoughts on “Degrees of Ranting

  1. Lord Lucan says:

    Have to agree there. The brain-dead ‘party animal’ students piss me off no end (and I am a uni student myself).

    They usually don’t come back the second year on the plus side. Because at University, cramming really doesn’t help that much.

  2. schafe says:

    the only qualm I would have is that people expect an awful lot from what are still effectively children (especially with the way society and famalies are geared nowadays).

    Sure people go into university with the wrong expectations sometimes. I’m possibly not the best example as I dropped out as other things were going on and I didn’t (and to an extent still don’t) value a degree that highly. That said I do wish things hadn’t gone awry and I’d have a degree and it’ll all be good now. Perspective comes with age and experience and at 18/19 you have little of either to draw upon to come with any sort of decent perspective. University does add to that and people do mature and stop being brain-dead party animals constantly, and tone it down to knuckledown and work and what not (or they don’t and they muck up, it’s their choice and decisions and they’ll live with the results).

    They’re just children, brought up in a society that produces terrible terrible monsters. They’re not going to appreciate things and they’re going to make stupid decisions and drink too much and miss lectures and be forced to shit a kidney to scrape a 2:1 in allot of cases. It’s a shame that the system is geared up to give opportunities to such beings that are almost universally incapable of doing the best with them compared to the likes of you but considering the amount of graduates working dead end jobs at Sainsburys where I work because their lives are directionless, if you don’t give them degrees early on some of them won’t ever get arround to arming themselves with the required abilities to escape and get on with life. You have seemed to have done OK for yourself which suggests the university experience wouldn’t have had as much to add then it does with some of those out there.

    The OU is darned expensive though, I’m disheartened that via my car accident and the savings crippling excess claims and the fact as a 23 year old losing 4 years no claims bonus costs £80 a month means that my studies are likely to take a hiatus after September when my current course ends. It’s such a hard long slog to get something I know theoretically could be useful but has no practical purpose. I don’t have an avid interest in gaining graduate positions anywhere afterall. That said if I give it up I have to handle familial disapproval and have to come to terms with having wasted hours of my life and £350.

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