Getting a First Class: An Introduction

I thought it would be interesting to talk about achieving academic success, given that there have been many related searches on google that leads to my blog. In addition, from time to time there will be a random comment seeking advice for university related matters. Fun fact: I only started learning the difference on usage between advice and advise when I started working as having good staff work translate to better performance.

Alright, let’s set the stage clear. There will be a series of posts following this introduction that would deal with specific issues that I thought would be worth sharing. However as a general guideline, I thought it is best to make it clear that I do not think that getting a First Class is so big a deal. I have just read an article on the internet detailing how pointless the author felt when he got his First Class. He felt that he should have gone out more with friends, experienced more of the outside world etc instead of spending his time studying. I feel that one should have no regrets, so do deal with this delicate balance yourself.

What I will do is talk about the good values that would aid you into achieving that academic success you so desire. However, do not end your university life regretting that you did not find time to pursue other interests and develop yourself in other areas. Like the author of the article, I thought development outside the classroom was important as well.

Another important thing to consider is the argument of nature vs nurture. Some people believe that being smart is dependent on your genes and some believe that being smart is a result of how you were taught. I believed that it is a balance between the two. I have seen friends who struggle and put in a lot of hard work but it didn’t translate into results. However there are those who easily get better results with half the effort.

That said, whatever I am going to write from now onward in my series of posts under this category will be merely an aid. It will not be a guaranteed method of getting a First Class. However I do believe that if you are an average performer you should be able to improve and pull yourself up.

Another interesting topic that I would like to cover in this introduction is on whether it is worth it to get a First Class. The argument against is usually along the lines that employers look for other skills that are not taught in the classroom. This argument is valid, except that I do not subscribe to it. What I feel is that getting good results shows (1) how serious you are about the subject and your education and (2) your ability to pick up material in a short time (a semester is really short in my opinion). I would just like to point out that it would be beneficial for people to adopt this attitude: “I will get my academic success PLUS develop the soft skills needed to gain an edge over any potential competition”. This is like the argument, “I will rather have health than wealth”, as it is not one thing other than another. Our attitude should be “Can we have both”. Hence, other than talking about academic success, I will be adding posts belonging to the various soft skills we should have under this category too.

But, for the record, I think it was worth it to get the First Class, despite the fact that there might not be a salary difference given the class of honours. However, it might help to open doors and add in some minor points to your resume. However, it does get a little irritating if everyone labels you as the “First Class guy”. We have to learn to take that with a pinch of salt.

So, with all that being said, I hope I will have the energy and dedication to see through this series of posts and help train better graduates. If you have benefited from this series of posts, do leave me a comment or a testimonial.

Thank you!

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