Sometimes you hate your degree
Ominous title, I know. Fear not! Whilst it is definitely true that sometimes you will hate your degree, right now I’m not getting on too badly with mine. This is not just another coronavirus related complaint about how strange university is right now. I merely think it is worthwhile highlighting that no university experience is perfect, and whilst there is a whole host of reasons as to why this is not the case, one of this is that your chosen degree will likely disappoint/ frustrate/ over-challenge you to the point of exclaiming “I hate X.” Like any great figure in your life, your degree will be a love-hate relationship.
Perhaps it is the British tendency to complain, which is so powerful that it seems to change even the most exotic of international students into doing the same, but it is pretty hard to walk through Warwick’s library without seeing one person look pretty angry. Or crying. In fact, the culture of claiming to hate your degree is so ubiquitous at Warwick (I cannot speak for other universities, though I’d assume it would be similar) that my friend endured a year extra of her Chemistry degree, because she just thought she hated it “the normal amount.” Don’t do this. Whilst we all go through phases of loving and hating most aspects of our life, it is of course important to recognise the difference between mild annoyance disguised as hate, and actual suffering.
Certain periods where I have hated my degree were the anxious filled first few lessons of first year, where I was so nervous about making friends; the occasions on my year abroad where I felt so insecure and lonely; the times where I have been given so much group work (in all honesty who likes group work?) that I’ve just wanted to avoid the task completely; when I’ve tried so unbelievably hard in an essay and the mark has not moved up at all….. You know the drill. A lot of you will read this and realise just how petty these complaints seem, and it is true, most of the time the problems in our life are transient, and will seem so small after a few months. It will also seem blatantly obvious that “hate” is a strong word, and whilst many a student will use it to express their frustration, they don’t actually hate their degree. They’re just annoyed at their current situation.
But there’s nothing quite like the catharsis of just shouting to your housemate about how much you hate your degree.
I imagine quite a lot of university students right now are hating their degree. University is a complete experience: a change of life for three years centering entirely around your degree. Therefore, when everything seems to be uprooted and going wrong, it can be comforting to latch onto one of the few things that is somewhat grounded – your degree – in order to process all these emotions. And of course, the complete disruption to your education which you’ve paid upwards of £27,000 to undertake is something to be furious about. Therefore, hate away! If it gets you through the next few more months of lockdown, then I fully support it. Remember: there will be some positive up ahead which will remind you why you choose this degree. Just endure the hate for now.