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Just started Sociology classes on Access... watch

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    (Original post by Kaeden)
    I've been in some pretty unpleasant situations with people on my course - two mothers in particular would often downplay my distinction grades and say that I only got the grades because I don't have children on my own.
    One of loud mouths off my course said a similar thing to me and said that my work did not deserve distinctions. It's just a pity for her that a disinterested person (who delivered PGCEs as well as Access) thought my work in fact was worthy of the grade and thought hers wasn't. It's one thing to tell yourself that you've been treated unfairly, but another thing to say to someone's face that As a mother, I don't think you should have got that grade because my work was better. The unadulterated cheek of that is unbelievable.

    To the people who are starting Access and getting anxious hearing these stories fraught with antagonism and betrayal, 95% of the time we all got along and had lunch together every day we were in college, and had a couple nights out on the town.
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    It's just a reflection on life, unfortunately you'll find people like that everywhere.
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    I completed my access course this last academic year and I noticed a divide - in the beginning - between the younger and the more mature students.. I was in the latter group, and by the end of the year, we were left with a group of about 10 out of 30. A 50/50 mix of younger and mature and we all got on great.

    I have three children and only ever mentioned them if relevant to a topic, otherwise I only mentioned funny anecdotes on occasion.

    I actually found some of the students, young and more mature, had more of a raw deal than me if they held down a job. Some were working crazy hours, because it was a necessity, working on days off, evenings and weekends. Whereas I had the luxury of utilising my free days (kids were at school) and evenings (once kids were in bed from 7pm) to do assignments etc. Some even had kids AND worked.

    It doesn't make a difference what your scenario is when it comes to grades - you earn what you earn according to what effort you put it, regardless of your home life. A younger student working 48 hours a week at a pub gaining a distinction is no more or less worthy than a parent of three earning a distinction and vice versa.
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    (Original post by PrittyVacant)
    Some even had kids AND worked.
    Yeah, I had a few people on my course juggling the studying with both parenting and part-time work - I don't know how they managed it! We had people in a wide variety of different circumstances, although the most noticeable aspect was that women made up the overwhelming majority - I was one of only 4 men out of a class of 20, plus all the tutors were women!

    I didn't get any negative comments from anyone; we all got on rather well, when all is said and done (but of course I have no idea what people said behind my back or thought privately about me). I admit I benefited from not having to work this last year, but I earned that privilege, so I didn't feel the least bit guilty about it. I've no doubt having more time available to study helps, but that's not the sole factor explaining the variance in results. One woman on my course didn't get a uni place for 2015/6; she worked and had kids, so I do respect her for battling away to do Access as well, but nevertheless, even in class (when neither of those two factors come into play) she struggled to articulate herself. I doubt even if she'd had all day every day free to study that all the passes she got would instantly have become distinctions.
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    I was quite surprised at the 'high school' mentality that still seemed to prevail amongst apparently 'mature students'. I just wasn't prepared for it, I figured I'd left that behind when I left high school in 2000! Unfortunately for me, I seemed to be the person that various people would say things to about various people. Fortunately for them, I happened to be someone who didn't/doesn't feel the need to instigate and perpetuate gossip and *****ing.... It's swings and round-a-bouts.. If you're there for the right reasons, you just get your head down and crack on, regardless of the high school politics.. I did make one or two friends that I'll keep in contact with, but for the most part, I was there with one aim and one aim only; to get myself on my social work degree and meet the requirements of the offer.

    Hopefully the above won't be the case at uni over the next three years, however, I do not hold out much hope. So my aim has changed to getting my head down and getting my degree and hopefully, a successful career.
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    (Original post by PrittyVacant)
    I was there with one aim and one aim only; to get myself on my social work degree and meet the requirements of the offer.

    my aim has changed to getting my head down and getting my degree and hopefully, a successful career.
    I had a similar approach to Access. I wasn't really there to make friends and I looked at it as a means to an end, really. My perspective on uni is also similar to yours - getting the most out of it with regards to moving my career in the direction I'd like - but I'm hoping that I can make a few friends along the way.

    But, yes, I suppose with groups of people (and particularly groups of teenagers at university), there's going to be a fair amount of drama, cliques, and fall outs and so forth, and I really don't want to waste too much of my time getting involved in that (unless it helps me in some way!).
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    in my experience humility plays a big part in how well you'll do.


    those who tend not to do so well are the ones who genuinely think they know it all and won't listen, and those who are overcompensating for their insecurity by acting as though they know it all.

    i was sharing with a couple of people last year. one a young guy with a very iffy educational background but very thoughtful, quiet and humble, and another a young woman who'd bull**** incessantly because she was insecure. the guy started off shakily but by the end was getting firsts, and the girl was stuck doing averagely all the way through. sad really as she's almost certainly capable

    go, listen, ask when you don't understand (even if you think it makes you look dumb), work hard and you'll do well. you're there to find out what you don't know, not to broadcast what you think you do know
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    (Original post by andiewithanie)
    in my experience humility plays a big part in how well you'll do.

    go, listen, ask when you don't understand (even if you think it makes you look dumb), work hard and you'll do well. you're there to find out what you don't know, not to broadcast what you think you do know
    (I'd rep you for that post, but it's not letting me at the moment.)

    I believe I was way over the base level for distinctions on my Access assignments and so I'm quietly confident about starting uni, but I'm equally well aware that I'm pretty ignorant compared to the real experts in the field, so I'm going to uni to learn at their feet, so to speak. Our Access Lit exam question was about heroes and heroines in our set text (Wuthering Heights) and while I comfortably got a distinction, reading over my marked assignment, I realised I was blathering on and on and I basically couldn't really adequately discuss what a literary hero or heroine is (since I didn't know). That's when it hit me that I ain't all that (well, not yet, at least). Not viewing it through the filter of marking criteria, an academic could've easily ripped my exam answer to shreds within a few minutes.

    Tbh, I think that people who do well on A-Levels or Access and think they're amazing just on the basis of that are actually immediately revealing their ignorance 'cos they can't put it into perspective.
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    Ack. The socialising part is the part that frightens me most. I'm quite reserved, not the easiest to approach I guess and quite awkward. I'm really looking forward to learning and getting stuck in, it's just the BS token introductions and ensuing awkwardness that is making me dread it a bit!
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    (Original post by LurkQueen)
    Ack. The socialising part is the part that frightens me most. I'm quite reserved, not the easiest to approach I guess and quite awkward. I'm really looking forward to learning and getting stuck in, it's just the BS token introductions and ensuing awkwardness that is making me dread it a bit!

    I've just started the Access course on Monday. We had some type of "ice breaker" but it was quite quick and wasn't too awkward- I'm thankful of this one. To be honest, everyone on the course has gelled quite quickly, even after a couple of hours. Whilst some are more friendlier than others, I guess we all talk to each other civillly. I'm not 100% sure on what the average group numbers are for the Access course, but on our first day we had 11 with 4 being absent and a few more in the process of interview/enrolment. I was told by another student that our tutor thought our group would be around 18 or so. Of course, such small group sizes makes it a lot easier to get round everybody and have sort form of conversation.
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    (Original post by Amy. J S)
    I'm not 100% sure on what the average group numbers are for the Access course, but on our first day we had 11 with 4 being absent and a few more in the process of interview/enrolment. I was told by another student that our tutor thought our group would be around 18 or so. Of course, such small group sizes makes it a lot easier to get round everybody and have sort form of conversation.
    I think we had about 25 in our group at one point, including 3 who started around the 3rd or 4th week. I think the tutors were actually a bit worried at that point that there were too many students for the group to be manageable! Drop outs are typical on Access, however. Our drop out rate actually wasn't as high as I've heard of, but there were a few who bailed fairly early on. We then had another person who dropped out around November time (iirc). So that left about 20 students, who all stuck it out to the end.

    It was nice having lessons with the full group, because of all the different viewpoints, but tbh I actually found our smaller Lit Studies group (7 students) a more comfortable learning environment. You get more tutor time and the group is more cosy & intimate (but not too intimate, if you get my meaning!).
 
 
 

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