In A First Class Mood

Well, the day is finally here. The day of the exam results.

And, would you credit it, I only appear to have notched up a First.

How I’ve done it I don’t know. I do know that I worked myself into the ground for most of last year. Well, perhaps not that much, but I did do a lot of work, certainly far more than I did in second year. That may have been down to the dissertation, but I’m sure I also did more work preparing for tutorials and reading for essays.

Either way, it seems to have paid off. All that work to make the “21” sign turn into a “1” on the results website.

I still won’t believe it until I have a piece of paper in front of me telling me I did it. I haven’t even celebrated properly because of a terrible night’s sleep last night (too much dreaming about exams, sad bastard) and the anti-climactic nature of finding out my results before the designated time. The exam results website always releases the results much earlier than it’s supposed to, and it did so again today.

I’ve only just scraped home as a result of procedures allowing an average in the borderline (i.e. 69) to be upgraded if you have enough firsts in general (which I did), but if you’re going to get a degree classification then you might as well scrape home than be comfortable, for the simple reason that whether I get a first with 69 or a first with 80 it is still “only” a First. Would the extra work be worth it? Would it even be possible given the stingy marking of politics lecturers? Somehow, I doubt it.

In a way I’m relieved. After all this hype and all this expectation, and a string of good results this year (all of my essays, exams and the dissertation were firsts, except for one exam), I was beginning to think “I would be disappointed with a 2:1”. I hate saying that. It’s crazy, I know. At the end of second year I was ecstatic with being a solid 2:1er. I thought I’d worked hard that year and deserved a 2:1, so I was pleased with that.

Then I realised this year how hard I hadn’t worked. After all the effort I put it, I thought it wasn’t really worth it because there was no way I could reverse the middle-of-the-road result I’d got in second year. But no, it was possible.

And once things started turning in my favour I got an inevitable sense of “this is mine if I try hard enough”. And so I did.

And so it came to pass. And I round off my academic career (for now, anyway…) with the top grade possible.

It’s beginning to dawn on me what I’ve achieved over the past four years, but it will take a little longer to sink in.

What a day.

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