Help! I’ve got a 2:2
Landing a highly coveted first class degree is great, obviously, but in the majority of cases, it requires loads of work. Factor in a busy lifestyle, and the chance of getting that top grade almost fades into oblivion. A 2:1 can be equally challenging, unless you’re one of those naturally gifted people who seem to just know what to do to keep everything on track… and then there’s the slightly dreaded 2:2. It’s feared simply because we’re so often told that we can’t do anything with it. But that just simply isn’t the case.
Okay, so I’ll level with you. I graduated with a 2:1 from the University of Liverpool. In some respects I was lucky – I’d always done well academically, and even with numerous jobs, work experience, (a social life), and being part of both a band and a cheerleading squad, I managed to get by. Some people don’t quite manage this, but I don’t in any way mean to sound patronizing, and I certainly don’t pity them. Why? Because the idea that you can’t get anywhere with a 2:2 – or lower - just simply isn’t true.
In life, you get out of it what you put into it, in the majority of cases. Of course, if you’re reading this as a second year then yes, fine, if that means working slightly harder toward the boundary of a 2:1, it’s probably going to do you some favours. But if you’re reading this as someone who just got his or her results, all is not lost.
Instead of sitting thinking of a million excuses as to why you didn’t receive higher results, work on the things you do have to show employers. It’s true that a 2:1 is used as a filter in a lot of roles in big, fancy grad schemes these days, but who said you need to work there, anyway? Your time is going to be much more productively spent attaining more work experience (which, as I said in this post, is vital), and becoming generally more worldly. Take time out. Travel. Work any job you can find until the perfect one comes along – the likelihood is, you’re still young, and your life doesn’t actually need to be mapped out for you just yet. You could even start up your own business… why not, hey? I freelance on the side, so why can’t you? There are a million skills you can put to work in this respect!
I work for Datify, a start-up Digital Marketing Agency. Half of us have degrees full stop, the other half do not. A grade is not all you bring to the table, and in some respects, I feel like it’s just a ticket. I enjoyed my course, but when I’m honest with myself, I don’t think my exams proved anything. The most useful module I took was my work experience placement class, and I learned far more actually on the job. Plenty of people in my Uni did better than me, but I don’t feel that this has necessarily gotten them better work prospects.
When you’re living in student accommodation, University can seem like the be-all-and-end-all. But it’s not. Soon, that grade will fade into oblivion, something you bring up occasionally as a distant memory, which you’ll occasionally get asked about in passing at a job you love. That’s the dream, anyway.
Posted on 14th July 2014 by Claire L.
Claire Louise Sheridan lives and works in Peterborough. She recently graduated with a degree in English and Communication Studies from the University of Liverpool.